WHAT STARTS BAD, ENDS...

TODD BROWN


I'D LOOKED FORWARD TO TODAY ALL WEEK.  When I woke up the streets were wet.  When I left it was raining.  Five miles in the streets were dry.

So, that's how you're going to play it Mother?

The rocks at the first water crossing were gone, blown out by the gushing water. I charged it.  Knee deep.

The mist kept coming down, but the soil was good.  Lots of sand.

The second water crossing splintered into 5 different bottom bracket deep streams.

My drive train was smoked.  Screaming in the low gears.

Messaged CH.

You home?

Yep.

Got lube?

Yep.

See ya in 5.

It's weird to bum lube off a friend and not hug or shake hands... especially when he went to town on my chain, then handed me the lube.  I'd need it.

Seeing he was kitted up...

Where ya headed?

Up Harding - a local 9 mile gravel road climb.

You?

Trying to connect the Gravel Goon and nab 8000'.

Ride safe.

Roger that.

I was only two hours in.  2000' done.

Where we are the dirt switches from sandy to clay quickly.  Sandy can be ridden in a flood.  Clay... oh man, if it's been wet clay can clog your rig and have you walking in right quick.

The next 90 minutes I gained another 2000' but I had to forgo the Gravel Goon course... too much clay.  Close by, at this point was Harding.

Why not?

Plenty of sand there, and plenty of climbing.  Plus, I'll run into Chris on his way down and we can keep an eye on each other as we rip.

On the way over, I saw Tooch coming towards me... Hey Steve!

I hadn't been up Harding since '19 when it was graded.  It was terrible then, too soft.  But, all the rain had packed it and it was like a freeway.  No problem for my gravel bike, HVY MTL.

3000' feet of climbing later, I finally ran into Chris.  He was prepared.  PEDALindustries KOM jacket for the heavy mist, neck gator.  Me?... oh just my Camo kit.  50 degrees.  And time to plummet.

He gapped me on the way down.

We rode side by side up Old Mojeska, me in the gutter, him on the center line.  Talking.  Man, I've missed riding and talking.  I need my dude time.

We parted.  Him to rougher MTB trails... and I still had 30 miles of mostly gravel ahead of me.

I could see a blue sky to the west, where I'd be going. 

The trails were dried out.  Quite a few families were out.  Riding and hiking.

Ran into Joe... he was sporting a classic TMWC kit, and he reminded me I still owe him the 2020 kit.  Sure will be nice to fire up the factory soon.

9 hours after what looked like an unpromising day, I returned.  80 miles.  10, 280' of vert...

... and that's a great end.

Speaking of starting... is it time for you to start up your PEDALposse subscription?

https://pedalindustries.com/pages/join-the-pedalposse

https://pedalindustries.com/pages/join-the-pedalposse

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164 lbs 
Stretch n Roll
7.5 hours sleep
https://www.strava.com/activities/3318769837




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