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My Soloica 2020

Old 04-05-20, 03:16 PM
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Spaghetti Legs 
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My Soloica 2020

I was gonna post pics to the Virtual Eroica thread but this turned into quite an adventure and I took a lot of photos. So here goes:

Bike: 1984 Basso Gap with Super Record 6 speed. Magic MA40 rims to Record hubs with Challenge Paris Roubaix tires measuring at 29 mm. I took of the 26, supposed to be 28, Gravel Kings as I was expecting rough gravel. I was right. I was pleased to see the Gap took these with room to spare. Plan was to ride 40-50 miles in Western Albemarle County. I use these roads to train for Eroica but alas first time I got on most of these this spring.

​​​Grand Depart - I put on a big saddlebag to carry extra fluids and food as even if there wasn’t isolation precautions, ain’t no supplies out here. I dispensed with pedals and clips since it’s a hassle to adapt my shoes for cage pedals, but as a compromise I wore my acrylic “wool-like” shorts. Non-vintage camera-lights for safety/security since I’m not surrounded by hard men today.


First secteur of gravel is 2/3 mile from start. 15+ of the first 21 miles were gravel.

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Old 04-05-20, 03:28 PM
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Finish the first secteur of gravel, right turn, down the hill about a half mile to the Moorman River gives over to Clark Road, a long beautiful stretch of gravel road with gentle rollers.

One advantage of Soloica Virginia that probably compares to Tuscan Eroica but not California is the presence of a monastery on the route. This is Our Lady of Angels Monastery. According to the website it is a Trappist-Cistercian monastery but it is a community of nuns. I thought that would make it a convent but I suppose they can call it what they want.



Blue Ridge in the distance. My route has me climbing that eventually.

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Old 04-05-20, 03:37 PM
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After finishing Clark Road, it’s a right turn onto Brown’s Gap Rd for about 3 miles of pavement before the next secteur of gravel, Fox Mountain Rd. This is the first real climb of the day, about 2 miles or so worth and is supposed to be the second hardest one of the day. The sensations, as the racers say, are good today and other than the rough gravel doesn’t take much out of me. This is a pic at the summit.



The gravel was brutal today. Best time around here is probably January, when rain and snow have washed most of the rough stuff away. Spring is when they put the new gravel down, and almost all of my gravel riding today was on fresh, rough stuff. Probably the roughest continuos gravel riding I’ve done; kind of thinking bar end shifters would have been nice. This is a rest stop I took at a place where you can see they put fresh gravel down. This was not the worst out there though!



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Old 04-05-20, 03:50 PM
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The strain of the gravel starts to tell. Legs still feel good but this stretch on Wesley Chapel Road I just finished really pounded me. I pickup waited patiently behind me until I waved him around but then I got to ride in the dust Paris-Roubaix style for about a mile.



This is Shifflett’s Mill Rd (Shiflett is a very common name around here). This is where we cue the ominous music. Before today, I’d had some front shifting issues which I thought were primarily due to the braze on fitting not allowing the FD to get low enough on the compact crank. It had seemed like it was a little worse which makes me always think about the BB backing out, but the 30 miles or so of test riding, I’d reassured myself it wasn’t an issue. Well at this rest stop I could see grease around a couple of exposed threads and I got a sinking feeling in my gut.



No fear though, right? It took it this long to come out I could probably squeeze another 20 miles or so, right? Right?
​​​​​​​
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Old 04-05-20, 03:54 PM
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So another 1/2 mile from here I make a right turn onto Blackwells Hollow road for a few paved miles before an epic gravel climb with 15-18% grades up to Skyline Drive. I have some nagging worry about that bottom bracket when “POP!” , my back tire blows. Pretty sure one of those mega gravel pieces cut the side wall somewhere along the way.



Fortunately I have some Clif Gel shots in my supplies, so I down one so I can use the empty to boot the tire. I’ve done this before and can’t recommend this highly enough. Spot where the Vanilla gel pack is!



I put about 50-60 lbs of air in the tire and rode on. Around that time my FD was getting very ornery and the rear chain jammed outside the smallest cog. I dropped an F bomb and neglected to photodocument.
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Old 04-05-20, 04:11 PM
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At this point, it was clear the BB had backed out further, I was 10+ miles from my car and decided I better call it quits, tuck my tail between my legs and go home. BTW, a good mechanic never blames his tools so I will blame it on my old, worn Shimano BB tool preventing me from getting enough torque on it. The only other time in the past 10+ years I’ve had an Italian BB back out was on this same bike. Weird. Well since my tire was fragile, I decided to forego any more gravel on the way back but the problems didn’t stop. I had planned on coasting down the hills and big ringing as much as possible to limit my pedal turns but lo and behold my FD cable slipped and my rudimentary multi tool wrench couldn’t tighten it down, so I rode about 10 miles with a rattling front derailleur.

Sad!



On the return to the car it was becoming dicey if I’d make it the several miles before the BB ground to a halt. I gambled on a gravel short cut to shave a couple of miles. Score for the Clif Shot tire boot!



Spaghetti Legs throws in the towel! Final tally was 32 miles, 2800 ft climbing, 16.5 miles gravel.



Beer and cheese, not such a bad day after all.



Thanks for reading this far. I hope everyone had a safe and healthy Eroica day! Post your rides!
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Last edited by Spaghetti Legs; 04-05-20 at 04:21 PM.
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Old 04-05-20, 04:18 PM
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The "self-extracting" BB thing is no fun. One of the charms of Italian frames.

Good pics and thanks for sharing!
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Old 04-05-20, 06:54 PM
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Just a Dab 'O Shoo Goo. 'Nuff said.
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Old 04-05-20, 06:56 PM
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Old 04-05-20, 07:08 PM
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I had big plans for Soloica, but yesterday was a good ride and I have Quarantine Homeydo conflicts. So I went out on my 2020 Eroica Bike to look for a mini mixed terrain ride.


Nope!
Back to the tarmac. I have another idea.


Nope!
I have another idea. Back to the tarmac.


Eureka! Or Cambria! Whatever. Golden.
so I did a loop on this Cross Country course and contemplated my next segment. At a light, unclipping my left shoe was difficult and I recalled this bike gave me that trouble earlier in the week. I could unclip by pulling my heel inward but not outward. After a few tests of the pedal, thought it best to head home. Smooth sailing. Beautiful day. At the final light before a small hill, thinking I was in the small ring, I shifted onto the big cog, heard the noise, shifted onto the small ring, and the chain came off the small ring. I stopped, put the chain back on and a turn of the pedals showed me the chain went beyond the big cog! Yikes!

Got it it back together and pedaled up the hill. Half way up, I thought it would be a good idea to shift to a smaller cog and back to demonstrate all was adjusted proper. Whoops. Over the big cog, into the spokes, I'm on the hill, no coasting, can't unclip (Remember to turn heel inwards) panic, pedal, grind, finally unclip.

If this was EroicaCA, I might not have finished.


First time for me.

I released my brake and rode the last 3 blocks home. Then went for a run on that Cross Country course with my Honey.


Staying Home?

My pedal was fine. I had lost a bolt on my cleat which gave it too much float and I couldn't unclip.

Back to honing king our kitchen counter tops.

Honey? What was wrong with the way it was?
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Old 04-05-20, 07:14 PM
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Cheese for the win!!! 😁 No pics of my ride, because it’s raining here in Goleta, but I rode down to Goleta Beach, then to the far end of the University of California at Santa Barbara. It would have been much shorter to go on around it, but not knowing any better, I backtracked the long way. 🙄😉
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Old 04-05-20, 07:38 PM
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Jeff, hopefully we got our early April bad juju out of the way for the next few years.
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Old 04-05-20, 08:13 PM
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That’s epic, Hugh! I got out for a 50 miler with 2100 ft of climbing, but no real gravel in sight, and I certainly wasn’t on an Eroica-sanctioned bike.

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Old 04-06-20, 12:03 AM
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Very entertaining read, Hugh! Thanks!

Sorry about the troubles but it did make for a good story.

That's some beautiful country you got there, I'd love to ride it sometime.
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Old 04-06-20, 08:50 AM
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'84 Basso Gap nice! I think mine was blue but had the lay of yours with the white. Dang the white paint was a bear to remove. I'm going to get this one rolling this week.
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Old 04-06-20, 09:25 AM
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Sorry to read about your issues with the bike, but glad to realize everyone else has vintage problems. In the last week or so = broken spoke, pedal problem, FD bent - all on different bikes. Made it home each time, luckily.
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Old 04-06-20, 11:00 AM
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Spaghetti legs- Fun read and probably more of an adventure than expected. Cliff bar and wrapper (the little bicycle artwork on package) is self explanatory 2 for 1 and saves the day. Lol

----

Lovely day, got a meager 46 miles in with detour. No chop suey at end of ride.


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Old 04-06-20, 12:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Spaghetti Legs View Post
At this point, it was clear the BB had backed out further, I was 10+ miles from my car and decided I better call it quits, tuck my tail between my legs and go home. BTW, a good mechanic never blames his tools so I will blame it on my old, worn Shimano BB tool preventing me from getting enough torque on it. The only other time in the past 10+ years I’ve had an Italian BB back out was on this same bike. Weird. Well since my tire was fragile, I decided to forego any more gravel on the way back but the problems didn’t stop. I had planned on coasting down the hills and big ringing as much as possible to limit my pedal turns but lo and behold my FD cable slipped and my rudimentary multi tool wrench couldn’t tighten it down, so I rode about 10 miles with a rattling front derailleur.

Sad!



On the return to the car it was becoming dicey if I’d make it the several miles before the BB ground to a halt. I gambled on a gravel short cut to shave a couple of miles. Score for the Clif Shot tire boot!



Spaghetti Legs throws in the towel! Final tally was 32 miles, 2800 ft climbing, 16.5 miles gravel.



Beer and cheese, not such a bad day after all.



Thanks for reading this far. I hope everyone had a safe and healthy Eroica day! Post your rides!
anchor steam in virginia....nice
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