Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Big Guy on a L’il Bike: Mount Alton Ride (9/11/11)

Distance: 22 Miles
Difficulty: Hard
Great Views of Lake Winni from atop.

Sure enough, I thought. I can’t ride it up this hill with it like this. So I picked up the Day-glow Death-trap, slung it over my shoulder and started running up the hill. And from behind me all I hear is Alex yell: “Oh No!!!” (I don’t know if it was in empathy or disgust.)

I got to the top of the medium sized steep climb where everybody but Alex (still struggling up on his Gary Fischer commuter). “Does anyone have tools?” I demanded.


As Aharon, Tim and the rest of the serious runners spent Sunday morning going on 10-17 mile runs at paces I don’t run races at, I tried to find a bike. For the ride we were planning later.

First in the garage was the maroon/brown mid-80s steel Trek. It had the issue of two flat tires and a misaligned rear wheel. I remedied these situations to find out it was also the size of a BMX bike and the rear brakes didn’t work at all.

So, I went with the second choice. It was a later Trek. An all aluminum Trek 1200. The color scheme was only slightly worse than the WLAF’s Orlando Thunder. (There was a little less blue in this day-glow yellow-green). After pumping up the tires and getting used to riding clipless pedals in sneakers, it wasn’t horrible. It still was built for someone around 5’7” and maybe 10 cm smaller than my Specialized. But, the brakes worked and I didn’t hit my knees on the handlebars.

The route Matt had planned was 40 miles with 5 hills. The first hill was Alton Mountain which was a steep bear of a hill. However, atop the hill there were views of Lake Winni were well worth the climb. Had I brought my camera to New Hampshire at all – you would see pictures of the great views.

Next was a long sweeping downhill away from the lake. Those on road bikes that fit them screamed down the mountain. I was a bit worried about the tipping issue – either sideways or forwards. So, I was back with Alex who is both tremendously light and was riding a Gary Fischer commuter bike. He eventually gained on me.

My speed slowed more once my handlebars stopped responding. Well, the handlebars responded fine, they turned – just they didn’t take the front wheel with them. So, I had to slow down to take turns at speeds that I could lean into the turns. This however meant that I kept losing ground to all the other riders.

At last, I passed Alex and caught near the others. I watched them fight their way up the steep incline. It seemed like a good hill. But --- When I tried to pull my way up, the handlebars kept moving instead of giving me power. Thus I had to dismount and run up the hill.


Atop the hill I did get tools from Aharon and “repaired” the handlebars. The concensus was to turn around and go back as opposed to following Matt’s route over an unknown amount of dirt roads. I would have done the dirt roads on MY bike; but, I was happy to avoid such things aboard the Day-glow Deathtrap.

Instead we retraced our route to make it a 22 mile out and back.

Next year I want my bike and to do Matt’s route.

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