Strongman Toby made his way back to town this past weekend, and wanted to get a long ride in to prep for Creampuff. The plan was to meet up and head out for a long day of singletrack, climbing, top-notch views, and few stops. 9 was set as the meeting time, and I was in panic mode at 8:45 when I noticed my pesky rear brake not working. I made a B-line to Hellgate Cyclery, hoping that those good folks might have shown up early. I was lucky, and Dave went right to work on my bike. Turns out there was a hole in the brake cable, and after the second bleed, we started to see the fluid spewing from the cable. Dave and Kevin bird-dogged the problem, by 10 Toby and I were heading up into the snake. We rode up towards Overlook, then dropped down the Ravine Trail, where Toby reminded me just how good of a descender he was. I did my best to keep him in my sights, but at my first near miss of a tree, I opted to take it easy. After getting barked out by an old couple at a switchback, we popped out on the road, and made our way up the road to Snowbowl.
The dirt road to Snowbowl, was a nice long gradual climb, where we took it easy, and chatted about various topics. We started the climb to the top of the lift on the Beargrass Highway. The proper singletrack climbing was disrupted by a whole bunch of downed logs, requiring several stops to get around them. Curses were shouted, blood pressures went up, but eventually we made it to the top of the lift. Once at the top we took some time to soak up the views, and made arrangements to meet with Doug later. Not wanting to have to deal with the downed logs again, we opted to head down the mountain on the cat track, then the gravel road. In due time we were back at the Ravine Trail, although this time climbing. After however many minutes of climbing, and constantly convincing myself that the top of the climb was just after the finish of the next steep bitch. At the top we bumped into some Bike Works folks, and appropriate time was taken at the Overlook to enjoy some beer. After the descent we bumped into Doug, who joined for the climb to the top of Lincoln Hills. At the top all were lacking motivation to suffer through more climbing, so we opted to make a quick descent back to the valley. Doug was kind enough to inform us of a barbeque, and I was happy to devour all of their leftovers, which was a perfect ending to the day.
On Sunday the rains came in the afternoon, so I decided to let my inner fat kid run wild, and went to buy food for Rapelje. There are few things better than buying nothing but junk food at the grocery store. I started to fill the cart with snickers bars, nut rolls, bags of chips, oatmeal crème pies, summer sausage, peanut butter, jerky, fig newtons, pop tarts, red bull, and other goodies. Other assorted goodies were added to the stash, and so far the biggest challenge has been not eat any of the food. I went ahead and made a playlist for the ipod that might come in handy during the wee hours of the morning. Hopefully Hot Water Music, Pennywise, and Metallica can keep me motivated to pedal through the darkness. Aside from that it’s been a lot of preparation, making lists of things to do and pack, and hoping that something small but important doesn’t get forgotten about. Picked up an E-Z-up from them fine folks over at Missoula Bike Works, and my buddy Danney was kind enough to lend me his fire pit for the weekend. Now its just a matter of cramming everything into the back of the car, hoping that the legs decide to work, and maybe a little prayer here and there for some good luck. However, the only thing I know is that Saturday at 11, the fun will begin.