Two Wheels - Six Strings

Random news and thoughts about various two-wheeled projects and music, especially my band, Skull Full Of Blues.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Su Su Suzue, Goodbye

Brad Click ( and I went to Fruita, on Friday, and rode some of the primo singletrack there. I took the Cafe Scorcher, with it's new lower gearing, and we rode Mary's Loop and Lion's Loop.

Well, Brad rode those two. I rode all of Mary's and part of Lion's.

Mary's Loop, if you've never been there, is a combination of some double track, and rocky singletrack. It follows along the edge of a cliff overlooking the Colorado River for much of the way, and is one of those scenic rides where you stop every now and then to just look around. The trail demands enough attention that it's hard to sight-see while pedalling.

The trail is perfect for fixie riding, though. The rocky ledges and climbs were all easily negotiated; challenging but fun. We were having so much fun, in fact, that we decided to turn onto Lion's Loop and get another 5 or 6 miles of riding in before the sun set.

We looped around Lion's until we were once again paralleling the river; the most technical part of that particular trail. What a blast.

We got to the long climb which takes you to the top of Mack Ridge, and I noticed that I was having more and more difficulty in keeping good traction as I climbed. I had been thrown off of my rhythm a few times,already, by the rear wheel slipping on climbs, so I didn't think too much about it.

Then, I had a reason to think a lot about it, as I realized that I wasn't spinning the tire. I was actually spinning the cog on the hub.

Aggravating, but not surprising. On the drive from Denver to Fruita, I had mentioned to Brad that I was planning on getting a sturdier hub, now that I'm actually riding off-road on the bike. The rear hub which came on this bike, in 1988, is a pretty crappy Suzue, and was never intended to take the kind of abuse that fixed gear off-road riding puts on a hub.

Of course, I wasn't planning on replacing it in the middle of a ride.

I hoped that I could take the lock ring off of the hub, put it to the inside of the cog, and have enough good threads left on the hub to at least get out to the road back to the trailhead. So, I took out my old Alien tool, put the blade of the screwdriver in the notch of the lockring, and whacked it with a rock in an effort to break the lockring loose. What I broke was the Alien.

With the screwdriver blade now separate from the rest of the tool, I continued to try to remove the lockring. Finally, I got it to move, and eventually spun it off.

Then, I spun the cog off. What I didn't realize was that I also spun the rest of the threads off of the hub. I reassembled the lockring and cog onto the hub, in reverse order, got on the bike, and immediately spun the cog off of the hub.

Tired of working on the thing, by then, I just tied the chain up out of the way and started walking. Brad rode along, slowly, with me for a while. Then, we decided that he should go ahead and ride back to the trailhead and get the truck, since it was 7 or 8 miles away.

And, I walked, eventually taking a wrong turn onto Mack Ridge Trail, which was a fortuitous accident as that cut a lot of distance off the hike.
Rough trail to walk, though, particularly in bike shoes.

Eventually, I called Brad's cell phone and told him I was on the Mack Ridge, and would meet him at the Mack Parking Lot. He had taken the same turn, and was already at the parking lot with the truck.

And, on I trudged, contemplating how aggravating it is to push a bike on a really cool trail, rather than riding. Finally, I reached the last half mile of the trail, all downhill and rideable with only a front brake, and coasted on down to the truck.

The margaritas and buffalo burger at the RockSlide went down well, that night.

The next day, we rode (I had the Pink Bike with me, as well, on the trip) with Rich, Brian, Adam and Pat on the same trail, with the addition of Horsethief Loop. Then Brad and I drove home.

It's been a while since I had an adventure like that. I didn't realize how much I missed it.


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