Monday, July 6, 2009

Weekend Recap

I had a pretty good 4th of July weekend. On Friday I rode Castlewood for about 2 hours. I started out on the hill behind the gazebo and that set the tone for the day; I rode pretty hard and fast all day and had a blast. I spent most of the time going back and forth on the roller-coaster trail which is my favorite trail but I ended up going up the gazebo hill 3 times; the last time my legs were on fire and it felt like my chest was going to explode. Good times. The only down side to the day was for the first 45 minutes of the ride there was a grinding noise coming from my bottom bracket whenever I petaled under pressure. It was pretty irritating but not enough to ruin a good ride. I knew my BB was having issues because about 2 weeks earlier when I was lubing my chain before a ride my crank was giving me quite a bit of resistance. I removed the cranks and I when I rolled the cartridge with my fingers, the left side was stiff and had a bit of a grinding feel. So I put the cranks back on and spun them really fast. That worked out the stiffness but I knew they needed to be replaced. After the ride on Friday I stopped by Sunset Cyclery near Watson and Kirkwood and picked up a new bottom bracket. The guy working there (Tim) was very helpful and looked at my bike to make sure I was getting the correct part. We also discussed building a 1X9 crank and he said he had built his first one a couple weeks earlier for a customer and suggested I buy one purpose built. They are marketed as downhill specific but no reason they wouldn't work for my XC rig. After visiting the shop I had a burrito at Nacho Mamma's in Rock Hill and spent the evening installing my new BB.

It rained Friday night so Saturday's ride was a mess. I started the day with Donuts from Lamars, then spent the morning at the Missouri Botanical Gardens. Afterward I had a late lunch at Uno's in Kirkwood. I ordered the Numero Uno, my favorite deep dish pizza and it was excellent as always. Then I visited REI and picked up a CamelBak FlashFlo waistpack. I think it will be perfect for my longer runs. Finally, thinking things may have dried out enough I rode Chubb. I probably should have skipped it but I couldn't help myself. I almost always start on the Lone Elk end of the trail since it's a shorter drive, and I think this was the first time my car was the only one at the trailhead. That was a sign. It was a wet and muddy ride and the only highlight was that I finally rode down the steps. I always intend to ride them but at the last second I always chicken out. When you're approaching them it looks like you're going to ride off a cliff. But on my way up I told myself that if I stay to the left there is a clean line and I WILL make it. On the return trip I was riding really well and feeling pretty good so as I approached the steps I was like; "what the heck" (or something like that). I kept to the left, backed down off the seat and as I expected, the line was there and I went over them without any problem. It felt pretty good. Oh, and there was no more noise from my bottom bracket.

After the ride I had a late dinner at the Cheesecake Factory in the Galleria. I wasn't that hungry so I just ate an appetizer and took home a slice of cheesecake for breakfast the next day.

On Sunday I started the day with cheesecake, then rode Castlewood again. I was pretty sore on the hills from the previous two days so I only rode for about an hour. I did the hill behind the gazebo a couple times and after the second time I was ready to go home. The trails were in pretty good shape, but I stayed off the lower trails near the river. After the ride I packed back up and headed home to Springfield.

On a sad note, we returned home to find my cat Moses laying on the floor in the bathroom unable to move. We rushed him to the emergency vet and found out he had a blockage and wasn't able to urinate. They removed the blockage and kept him overnight. On Monday we took him to his normal vet and he's not yet recovered but they say he's showing signs of improvement. Hopefully there isn't any permanent kidney damage and we'll be able to bring him home tomorrow. When we were at the vet a couple brought in their dog to have him euthanized. I don't know exactly why but the dog looked pretty old. They were crying and it was just so sad. I kept thinking about my two dogs and how much they mean to me and it was heartbreaking. I don't know how I could handle that situation.

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