Thursday, July 21, 2016

TD 2016 Never Give Up - A Week Later

Banff was fun. After last year, I kinda had the routine figured out ... get the bike to Soul Ski and Bike to get boxed up for the flight home, make a reservation to get to Calgary and find a flight. Was all set by noon on Thursday, got a chance to sit in the sun for a while ( really nice to do after 4 days of rain ), and walked down to see the falls on the Bow River.


Rapids above Bow River Falls

One epic fail, I missed Bundy coming in to finish out his ride. He was a long ways out, and I was out walking away from wi-fi.  Had trouble getting trackleaders to load up on the phone and by the time it did, he had already finished. Good guy too ride with !

Canada Day chalk work on sidewalk
Really great magic show and a nice Library

Had to move hotels on Friday, so walked around with all my stuff on my back, checked out the Whyte Museum and while at the library in Banff, watched a really good magician do a kids magic show.

Saturday morning, caught the shuttle to Calgary, no problems with Customs, had a good seat on my WestJet flight to LAX.  Had to change Terminals at LAX going from Term 2 to Term 6 meaning I had to go back through security again, but it being Saturday evening wasn't a problem. So around 8 pm, I got back to Tucson.

Old Man sitting in the Sun
Pacific Ocean

Let's see, I lost about 11 lbs, but otherwise doing fine. The saddle sore issues are healing just fine, haven't ridden the bike in a week now, but soon. Am still waiting for a new chain ring to show up so I can take the bike to get some much needed new parts. My PIVOT performed just fine through the whole ride. The shifting was a little wonky with all of the mud and debris and my cassette has a couple of cogsets on it that are pretty worn and prone to skip, but those things are pretty much expected. Last year the drive train held up much better, but the weather was a lot better.  It's pretty hard to keep things lubed up when it's raining and you are riding through puddles. I might have to look for a different lube for wet conditions.

Lots of good things to say about the Saguaro tires that I ran. Going up to Brazos Ridge in NM, I hit a sharp rock and heard Stans and Orange Peel coming out. Turned the tire so the puncture was down and waited and it sealed up and was fine for the rest of the trip. The rear only had a problem with the valve core, a 50 cent part that I replaced in Steamboat and never messed with again. Putting extra sealant in the tires was probably a good idea.

Only weird problem with the bike was that Revelate harness and Summit stuff sack that I had on the front would rub against the front tire on steep descents, especially when braking a bit.  I managed most of that by making the stuff sack longer instead of fatter and really tightening it up, so other than one hole I tore in it on Thorn Ranch, it came out unscathed.

Was happy to have finished 4 days earlier this year. I had thoughts of maybe 6 days, but lost one with my debacle at Separ in the first hours of the race, and the mud and rain meant that I wasn't going to get from Elkford to Banff in one shot, so that was that. I did take care of the pieces last year where I though I wasted a lot of time, so that's where most of the 4 days came from.

All in all, I have to say I had a pretty good time. I thought about quitting more this year than last, having your rear end hurt every time you hit a bump isn't a lot of fun, so I thought about bailing to Jackson and it was good to get away from Flagg Ranch and out where bailing became less of an option. The little surgery ( poke the boil ) thing I did in Pinedale probably saved the ride for me. And then there were those first moments in Separ, where I was overheated and bonked and probably would have taken a ride back to Tucson and bagged the whole thing on the first day !

I knew going with a new saddle wasn't a good idea, but it had to be replaced ( my old one was 4 years old and worn out ).  Same for the shoes, starting with new shoes because I managed to kill my old shoes trying to do some pre-rides for the AZT.

Next year ?  I doubt it, but never say never.

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