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  1. #1
    Vermonticus Outdoorsus CommuterKat's Avatar
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    Awful ride............

    Today had to be the worst planned bike ride ever... I called up my regular biking pal, and we agreed to meet up at a small pond maybe 5 miles from my house. The directions on the map that he had seemed pretty clear, so away I went. He was coming from the opposite direction, and we figured that we would meet up at the designated place in maybe 20-30 minutes. After taking a wrong turn on a road that had a name eerily similar to the one that I was SUPPOSED to be on, I proceeded to climb the mother of all hills that just happened to be a poorly maintained dirt road as well. Well, I get to the top of this hill and instead of the next road that I am supposed to turn onto to get to the pond, I hit a dead end. I asked a homeowner what was going on, and how to get where I needed to go, and he points to this little trail behind his house, and says, "Oh, just go down that trail, and around a little pond (not the right pond), up a little hill, behind a house, etc, etc, and you'll be there in no time.
    So, I proceed down the "little trail" which turns into the most aggresive single track mountain bike trail I have ever seen. I almost get hit by a mountain biker crossing the trail right as I am huffing up it (walking my bike), and eventually make my way to the pond (more of a puddle really).
    After the pond, there is another rather large hill with what looks like a house at the top, so I head that way, (at least there is civilization up that way!) and then I notice the barbed wire across the trail..... At this point, I am so frustrated, I shove my bike under the wire, and crawl under myself to at least try to figure out where the heck I am by asking a (hopefully) friendly homeowner how to get to the original pond that I was trying to reach. At the top of yet another hilly trail, I come to yet another string of barbed wire across the path. Luckily this one is pretty high, and I can roll the bike right under and almost walk under the stuff. Sooooo... on the other side of this wire is...... A horse pasture! I have rolled my bike into somebody's back yard, and am now staring at a pair of horses who are staring at me and my bike as though I just dropped from a spaceship. I quickly hike over to the other side of the pasture and haul my bike over the main gate, and head down the road that seems to dead end at the pasture.
    At the end of this new road, I realize that I am on the road that was on the original map that my friend had, so I made a mental note to tell him that A) his map stunk unbelievably, and B) we were no longer going to meet up at a place that he was giving me directions to using a map that I could not physically see, and proceeded on to the place where we were supposed to meet up. I arrived about a half hour late, and then waited another half hour to see if maybe he would show. No deal. He didn't appear, so I headed home (different route...no horse pastures....no single track...)
    Weeeeellllllll........... I got home and finally after a few hours, my friend calls me to tell me his story.....
    It seems that the directions coming from the opposite side of the pond were even worse than from my side. He ended up in a swamp, on a bog, and traipsing through the woods for a good hour, getting lost, eaten alive by mosquitos, and sloshing though an old mountain bike trail that had been completely flooded by a beaver dam.

    So, the moral of the story is....

    Never trust map directions to get two people from point A and point B to meet up at point C if they are communication over the phone and only one of them has the map in front of them.

    Anyway, I just had to rant, grumble, complain, whine....
    "Methinks my own soul is a bright invisible green" H. Thoreau

  2. #2
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    Just remember, a bad day on the bike is better then a good day at work (or school).
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

  3. #3
    2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM slvoid's Avatar
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    Getting lost is fun if you're not in a hurry for time.

  4. #4
    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterKat
    So, the moral of the story is....

    Never trust map directions to get two people from point A and point B to meet up at point C if they are communication over the phone and only one of them has the map in front of them.
    I am a field engineer (amongst wearing other hats) for a software company and I rarely get a chance to ride when I go to customer sites. Last week, I had a chance to drive down to Hillsboro, OR instead of driving. I knew one of the customers was a cyclist too so I decided to bring my bike with me and we arranged to ride together after work. Well, things ran long that day and it's started getting dark early. By the time we started the ride, the sun was already beginning to set. I did remember my lights though. Anyways, he decided that we would take a route that would bring him close by his house (he commuted in that day) and would peel off halfway through leaving me to finish the loop back to their offices where I would load back up and then head for the hotel.

    From the outset things were bad. I had to quickly change in their restroom and was in such a rush that I put my shorts on backwards so after walking halfway back to the parking lot, I had to return to the restroom to remedy that situation. Then I hurriedly prepped my bike by mounting my lights which I don't normally have in place. I guess I wasn't careful enough because as we pedalled out of the parking lot, I heard a clank and looked back to see one of my blinkies bouncing along the pavement. I stopped to retrieve it.

    After about the first mile, I noticed that my riding partner was always pulling ahead at every stoplight and had to wait up for me. I couldn't understand why I was riding so badly and failing to keep my speed up. After about eight miles, I noticed that my speed was dismal. I was pushing no more than 16MPH even trying to sprint. At the next stoplight, I noticed that my front brake felt tight so I checked my wheel and discovered that the brakes were rubbing. I realised that since I was in such a hurry to mount my lights, I had placed the bracket over the front brake cable (normally I pass the bracket in between the cable and the bar) and constricted its bend. My brakes are set up tight enough as it is and any amount of deviation from the natural bend will cause them to compress. I backed the release off a bit and that allowed the pads to clear the rim. After that, my speed improved considerably.

    When we reached the halfway point, my partner described the route I would need to take to complete the loop. It was also getting dark so I decided to change out the lenses of my sunglasses for clear lenses. I guess I wasn't paying close enough attention because after he bid me farewell and I headed off on what I thought was the right way, I missed a crosstreet and ended up lost. I kept riding hoping to find a familiar road or landmark. At about mile 25 of what was supposed to have been a 20 mile ride, my lights started dimming so I stepped them down to conserve power. On the good side, I was now able to push 20MPH with no problem. However, without full lighting, it was a little scary.

    I eventually made it back after spotting a major street I recognised on the leg out. As I pulled up to my Jeep in the parking lot, my battery finally went dead and I had completed nearly 40 miles. On the good side, I had ended up circling around the whole town of Hillsboro and saw my hotel on the way back so I at least wouldn't get lost getting to it from the customer's offices. The bad part was that by the time, I checked in, took a shower and was ready to eat, it was 10PM and all the restaurants had closed. However, I was booked into one of those extended stay hotels and thus my room had a microwave, fridge, stove, pots and pans, dishes and cooking implements. I located a grocery store and was able to buy food to cook. Unfortunately, I was eating dinner at midnight.
    Last edited by khuon; 09-26-04 at 10:11 PM.
    1999 K2 OzM 2001 Aegis Aro Svelte OCP Club Member
    "Be liberal in what you accept, and conservative in what you send." -- Jon Postel, RFC1122

  5. #5
    Rock On
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    Quote Originally Posted by slvoid
    Getting lost is fun if you're not in a hurry for time.
    i agree

  6. #6
    I couldn't car less. jeff williams's Avatar
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    Geeez, that's the stuff I like.....I ride the road to find some trail and get lost.

    Horses don't understand bikes. Wire donkeys.

  7. #7
    Vermonticus Outdoorsus CommuterKat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by khuon
    I am a field engineer (amongst wearing other hats) for a software company and I rarely get a chance to ride when I go to customer sites. Last week, I had a chance to drive down to Hillsboro, OR instead of driving. I knew one of the customers was a cyclist too so I decided to bring my bike with me and we arranged to ride together after work. Well, things ran long that day and it's started getting dark early. By the time we started the ride, the sun was already beginning to set. I did remember my lights though. Anyways, he decided that we would take a route that would bring him close by his house (he commuted in that day) and would peel off halfway through leaving me to finish the loop back to their offices where I would load back up and then head for the hotel.

    From the outset things were bad. I had to quickly change in their restroom and was in such a rush that I put my shorts on backwards so after walking halfway back to the parking lot, I had to return to the restroom to remedy that situation. Then I hurriedly prepped my bike by mounting my lights which I don't normally have in place. I guess I wasn't careful enough because as we pedalled out of the parking lot, I heard a clank and looked back to see one of my blinkies bouncing along the pavement. I stopped to retrieve it.

    After about the first mile, I noticed that my riding partner was always pulling ahead at every stoplight and had to wait up for me. I couldn't understand why I was riding so badly and failing to keep my speed up. After about eight miles, I noticed that my speed was dismal. I was pushing no more than 16MPH even trying to sprint. At the next stoplight, I noticed that my front brake felt tight so I checked my wheel and discovered that the brakes were rubbing. I realised that since I was in such a hurry to mount my lights, I had placed the bracket over the front brake cable (normally I pass the bracket in between the cable and the bar) and constricted its bend. My brakes are set up tight enough as it is and any amount of deviation from the natural bend will cause them to compress. I backed the release off a bit and that allowed the pads to clear the rim. After that, my speed improved considerably.

    When we reached the halfway point, my partner described the route I would need to take to complete the loop. It was also getting dark so I decided to change out the lenses of my sunglasses for clear lenses. I guess I wasn't paying close enough attention because after he bid me farewell and I headed off on what I thought was the right way, I missed a crosstreet and ended up lost. I kept riding hoping to find a familiar road or landmark. At about mile 25 of what was supposed to have been a 20 mile ride, my lights started dimming so I stepped them down to conserve power. On the good side, I was now able to push 20MPH with no problem. However, without full lighting, it was a little scary.

    I eventually made it back after spotting a major street I recognised on the leg out. As I pulled up to my Jeep in the parking lot, my battery finally went dead and I had completed nearly 40 miles. On the good side, I had ended up circling around the whole town of Hillsboro and saw my hotel on the way back so I at least wouldn't get lost getting to it from the customer's offices. The bad part was that by the time, I checked in, took a shower and was ready to eat, it was 10PM and all the restaurants had closed. However, I was booked into one of those extended stay hotels and thus my room had a microwave, fridge, stove, pots and pans, dishes and cooking implements. I located a grocery store and was able to buy food to cook. Unfortunately, I was eating dinner at midnight.
    Sounds like a crazy ride. I am grateful that my messed up ride was during full daylight, although after I got home, it did start pouring (my friend got drenched). I was very thankful that it wasn't dark, but I have been leaving one of my headlights (I have two) on when I go on day time rides, just in case I get side tracked and it runs into the darker hours.

    I do agree that a bad day of riding is better than a good day at work though! I was glad to get out on the bike, and I was able to take some beautiful foliage pictures!

    Kat
    "Methinks my own soul is a bright invisible green" H. Thoreau

  8. #8
    Are we having fun yet? Prosody's Avatar
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    Savor the adventure!
    You're east of East St. Louis
    And the wind is making speeches.

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