Tuesday, September 11, 2007
CDA 70 miler
I haven't ridden out in the CDA forest since the 60 miler that left the Gary Fisher with multiple component failure and that was early summer. I was eager to continue piecing together the route for a hundred miler. I decided to follow the course from the beginning in downtown CDA but this time I wanted to add a drop down Trail 78 to the South Fork and then back up to Hudlow Saddle.
I admit that I am out of shape. I know that the months ahead before the GDR will require consistent increases in fitness and I have allowed myself to take the summer off from worrying about that. Considering I am at the bottom physically I have to be pleased with my ride yesterday. Regardless of what kind of shape I am in I can always grind out some long hills and long miles. I would have preferred to understand algorithms but I got the slow hill climbing gene instead.
The route consists of some hills that are perfect for me and my 2:1 gear ratio.
The first climb up Fernan Creek road is paved and climbs 2518 feet over 8.95 miles. A mile later the burnt cabin trail tops out with a 1461 foot 3.08 mile rise. There is another good rise from burnt cabin saddle up to Spade Mountain but at the end of the day it is not much to worry about. From Spade mountain Trail 78 is some technical singletrack that drops down to the river. The descent is so long and difficult, it left me as wiped out as the climb that preceded it. FR 392 does a serpentine climb up to Hudlow saddle. The road barely tilts ups. It does most of it's 1743 feet of climbing in the switchback corners that are numerous during it's 6.35 mile length. From the saddle I took a wrong turn and made the descent down to Hayden lake a little early. The route was new so once I discovered I went the wrong way I decided it wasn't worth climbing a couple thousand extra feet just to come down the next road over. The 100 mile route won't come down this way in fact it will come up the road after descending Hell's Canyon trail. Ohio Match road is a bumpy dirt climb that starts behind Hayden Lake and climbs a mere 1666 feet over it 9.36 mile length. Yes, it is a gradual climb but considering it's placement towards the end of the ride in the afternoon sun; I started thinking about the end just after the halfway mark. The last couple of miles were an exercise in mental strength.
I decided to come down Canfield butte on trail 10 and was able to find it only after I found a couple of dead ends. For some reason I have a knack for picking dead end trails when I am at Canfield. Trail 10 is a douzy of a descent with trenches filled with rocks and plenty of root drops. I was pleased with my handling of the worst part at the top and feel like I am making progress with my technical riding ability. Of course, that doesn't seem right to say after the fall I took on the lower "easy" section.
I still don't know what happened but I was cranking on the pedals and then I felt the whole drivetrain come to a short stop. While skidding I had enough time to think that I had survived another close call and then I went elbow first into the rocks.
I expected to see a mangled chain or a bent wheel but the bike was absolutely perfect. The numerous gouges in my forearm hurt like hell so I did not spend any time trying to see what the cause of the accident was. I had been riding six and a half hours at this point and the car was still 7 mile away. Having no more water made the last bit of riding a grueling slog.
I am clean and bandaged now and feel great about the riding yesterday.
at 8:14 AM