Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Go West Middle Aged Man - Part 2 - Off the Back

Myself, Dathan, and John are leaving Leadville, driving North on 24 after pre-riding sections of the LT100MTB course. We're en route to I-70 at Eagle-Vail, and it's been a long day.  The beautiful sunset has gave way to darkness as we wind our way up the valley on this two-lane mountain highway. We talk about the ride, and how the altitude crushed us on the push up St. Kevin. 

With limited opportunities, Dathan takes advantage of a short straight stretch to pass a car. It was a safe pass with no risk beyond everyday driving. Immediately after returning to the right lane, the car we'd just overtaken begins the most erratic behavior. Flashing the headlights between high and low beam. Aggressively approaching our vehicle, doing their best to come up beside us. I was convinced that our pass had somehow offended the driver, and they were in the process of showing us just how offended they were. It made me nervous, and I did little to hide it. Dathan done his best to get away from what we perceived as a serious case of road rage. He sped up. The car sped up. He aggressively slowed and pulled to the shoulder. The car aggressively slowed and pulled to the shoulder. I had visions of newspaper articles detailing the bullet ridden truck, chalk outlines of our bodies carefully drawn on the pavement, that place where we fell, running from the road raging maniac, gasping our last breath. 

Finally, Dathan had his fill. We stopped. We stopped in the middle of our lane. The car pulled along side, rolling down the passenger window as it approached. Dathan lowers his window. I await the barrage of expletives, the sound of semi-automatic gunfire.....


He then sped away.

Let me process this a moment.

Okay, well, umm. Wow. I feel somewhat foolish. More than usual foolish. 

I feel foolish because......because it's MY bike on the back position. It's my bike, and there's only one reason it's falling off the rack, the back tire scrubbing the pavement as we cruise down the highway at 50 mph. It fell because I failed to secure the rear bike tire. 

Luckily the front tire restraint on the Kuat rack is designed to capture the wheel in the cradle, preventing the bike from falling completely off, cartwheeling down the road. Wreaking havoc to the bike, and even worse, other motorist. We pulled to the shoulder and I went back and surveyed the damage. I was lucky, the only damage of substance was the rear tire. 

Like asking that not-pregnant woman, "When are you due?"

Not one of my finer moments.

Go easy on the left hand corners

I properly secure the rear wheel, and we're off to western Colorado for the night. We have the breadth of Utah and Nevada to cover the next day.

That's right, we rock a selfie stick. Try waiting for someone to take a picture of you in Ghost Rock Utah

Myself and John near Green River Utah

Myself and Dathan near Green River Utah

Nevada has the loneliest highway stretch, Highway 50. 

The name is still applicable.

We arrive at the Reno airport and pick up Brad, our 4th riding partner, then head down to Northstar village, located between Truckee, CA and lake Tahoe. It's late Thursday evening. It's good to be out of the truck, and it's really good to have all 4 bikes on the rack.

Northstar Lodge

 Let's Race!

No comments:

Post a Comment