Monday, October 16, 2006

Road Bike Rush - Break on Through to the Other Side

This little adventure report comes from the President and Co-Founder of Backcountry.com after a recent lunch time road bike ride.

I had a very short window in the middle of the day to go for a ride and I was desperate to get some exercise. So I bolted on my road bike and decided I’d try to set a personal record riding to the top of the hill above the Olympic ski jumps here in Park City, Utah. It’s about 1,100 vertical in three miles, so steepish, winding, gets my heart pounding and then a sled ride down.

At any rate I pounded up at what is a fast rate for me and was trying to think logically about how to set a good time. I’m wicked spastic with a water bottle so I thought, “the gate will be open because it’s the middle of the day, so when I get to the downhill by the gates I’ll drink quickly and recover my heart rate a bit and then start pounding again.”

I grab my water bottle, toss my head back and gag down half the bottle as I’m approaching thirty miles an hour…and of course the gate is closed. It’s a big aluminum bar that rises vertically, when open. I was about 20 feet away and had time for these thoughts: Oh damn, I’m going to crash…nah, maybe I can bust through the gate…BRACEBRACEBRACE. I rocked back off my seat and KBWANG! Broke right through the gate, all hollywoodish.

It turns out they design these gates with nimrods like me in mind and it has some type of shear system where if a 210 lb. biker hits it at 30 or more it’ll crank right open. Who knew it could move in two different planes.

So I stopped, searched the weeds for my water bottle, reset the gate sheepishly as a van full of tourists waited to get through it(won’t work when all pranged up.) and then headed on my way. I missed my PR by 35 seconds and my pinky hurts like crazy. The Kona is fine.

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