As stated in my previous post Melinda's brother Dustin, his girl Melissa and their 1 year old house wrecking machine Chase were in town last weekend for the big turkey cook-off. They live up north in the great state of Pee-Ya where he swears the trails are tougher to ride than they are down here in the cushy south. I say cushy because we line sides of our trails with old discarded mattresses so when we loose control on our perfectly groomed trails we don't get hurt. There are an abundance of old mattresses lying around if you know which neighborhoods to look in.
We don't get to visit with them on a regular basis but when we do we try our damnest to make the best of it and sneak in a ride or two. This last weekend being the holidays and such we had to keep the non-riding family members happy so we only snuck in one ride and we barely got that one in. The plan which changed 56 times for what reason I'm not sure, I think there was some behind the scenes tom-foolery going on (somebody didn't want us to ride). Once everything was straightened out the plan was to hit Bays Mountain Saturday afternoon and ride the backside. Not to leave anyone out, Nana, Melissa & Chase tagged along to do the other non-riding aspects of the park. Just leaving the house was an adventure, We met at 12:30 but didn't leave until after 1:30 because somebody kept having to go back into the house 6 or 7 times to get this or that. The funny thing was, it was the same person, one that wasn't riding hence the behind the scenes tom-foolery comment.
Once we finally arrived at the park Melinda's aunt realized she forgot her helmet and had to return home to get it. I was really beginning to think our ride was sabotaged and wasn't going to happen. it was now after 2:00 and the park closed at 5 and we were planning on riding the backside, not a quick thing to do.
Melinda, Dustin & I went ahead while Olga retrieved her helmet with plans to meet at the top of the mountain. We rode slow and steady and I played around with a bunch of new camera mounting positions for new angles. I'll try to get a video together sometime this week and post up. Once we Olga and Joe caught up with us we headed down the backside. I glanced at the time and decided we weren't gonna make the whole route. Dustin and I continued down for a shorter version while everyone else took the new trail Bear Run as a short-cut back.
As Dustin and I descended down the backside I kept waiting for him to pass me as he was a bit faster downhill than me the last time we rode together. I kept turning around and looking for him but he just got smaller and smaller and he fell off the back. Finally once outta sight I stopped and waited and waited and waited. When he caught back up he stated that he had taken a trip over the bars smashing his Garmin and leg. He kept blaming it on the sun in his eyes and the brown ice. What I don't understand is up in Pee Ya the leaves fall earlier in the season and so the brown ice shouldn't have been an issue for him, I've ridden Pee Ya in the fall and you can't see the trails because of the leaves. I told him if we don't keep moving the sun's not gonna be a factor much longer and seeing the trail is really gonna get tough. I picked up the pace a bit in an effort to make it out before dawn and that's when things started to turn ugly. We finally reached the bottom and cut left down a trail that can't be mentioned in an effort to save time and Dustin flatted. He didn't flat just any old tire but he flatted a Panaracer Rampage 2.3, one of the burliest tires out there. We jumped into tire changing mode and and as I watched him pull out all his gear I noticed something was missing, the pump. No biggie, I had CO2, I started digging around only to find one cartridge, not enough juice to inflate a 29er tire. Ouch, we gave it what we had and only got about 10-15 lbs. at best guess, definitely not enough to carry Dustin's towering frame. I told him to ride it like a feather and keep his speed low but it didn't help much as he went for a second trip over the bars.
I made several calls to the rest of our crew to see if we could get some support in the way of a pump. I guess back in the parking lot while they were so busy making sure we had our phones on us they forgot theirs so we made no contact with them until they got to the car. I conned them into driving my truck up the forest service roads to meet us part way but we still had alot of ground to cover.
While we limped his bike out I told Dustin something was very wrong with his karma, ju-ju or the bike gods were angry with him because nobody has that much bad luck. Burning a Huffy in sacrifice might be in store to get him back on track, either that or the next time we ride it's gonna have to be the Greenbelt with a support car following.
Not everyone had a bad ride that day, Melinda really surprised me with her efforts. She really attacked the trails. I hope she keeps that up and I hate that we split up because it's not often enough that we get to ride together.