Tuesday, August 18, 2009

This is my Island Life

This is my island life
I have no friends to fear
I've got no problems no cross to bear
If you can find me
try and get me out of here

I've been here on Quadra Island almost a week now, and I'm still alive. Just barely though. Sam's training has been tough but fair. A bit of shop clean up at the start had me thinking about waxing Mr Myagi's car. Since then I have had some lathe practice, built a few wheels, had a TIG welding lesson, started cargo fork/rack and of course have gone mountain biking as much as possible.

The Shasta may be on its last legs. My first ride was a punishing run up and down some of Sam's backyard trails. They're rocky, soft, steep, raw and super technical. I was pretty worn down doing it rigid, but felt accomplished at the end of the loop.

This weekend we hit up Cumberland to check out their beautifully groomed and manicured trails. That was a treat and much faster overall. Once again the Shasta came through.

Last night I rebuilt its BB as half the balls were flat. At the same time I installed DFLNick's 175mm cranks, and took off the outer ring for more clearance. I also added one of Sam's old Schwalbe Big Bettys for another .3" of suspension travel. I was ready to hit the trails.

Today, not 1km up from Sam's yard, my freehub started making some gross sounds and the chain got all slacky. Then it went into the chainstay from the top, and I realized what was happening. I had a fully rigid fixed MTB on some of the hardest trails I've been on.

We met up with his friend Richard who lived nearby (just one section of single track away). He offered me his two speed Ti Cove Hummer.

I think the gears are 32/22 or 22/22. The fork is 5". The thing is a wheely machine compared to the "1987 XC Geometry" (as Sam calls it) of the Shasta. Shifting by hand requires stopping to shift from the granny to the mid ring, but it can be done moving in the other direction.

After I got aquainted with it We went down some pretty steep DH stuff ("Plaything" I think) and I got thrown around a bit. Its hard riding new trails on a new bike. Anyways, I made it with only some minor flesh wounds and I'll be back in the shop tomorrow morning. Even if I did hurt myself I wouldn't have a choice. I must continue my training.