Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Revenge of the Chollas

We went out to Fantasy Island today to do a short little ride. It started out really well. Here is me going through a small wash; feeling good about things and working on riding with good form.

There's been a lot of rain, and there are a lot of cholla pups on the trail. Pups are little pieces of the cholla cactus that fall on the ground and wait for some unsuspecting animal or mountain biker to take them somewhere else so they can put down roots. So, we were carrying the bikes through a pup infested part of the trail, when I turned to the right, which caused my back wheel to whack a standing cholla. I got 3 pups stuck in my tire side wall. Jim is pulling them off with pliers. Needless to say, there was a tube change as well after it went flat. We recovered, we shook it off and continued to ride.

This is the entrance to Christmas Tree loop. We haven't ridden there yet. I like the art that people have erected at various points on the trails.

After a good execution of Lone Cactus Loop, we headed off down the fence line to the truck. There is a lot of erosion from the rains, and a lot of soft sand. While looking for a path on firmer ground I managed to hit a cholla with my left hand and arm. It's unbelievable how bad that hurts! And THEN, and THEN we came up to a mud bog which we had to walk around, and I dragged my bike over another cholla. We were two miles from the truck, so I rode back with a deflating tire. It was totally flat by the time we got there. I think the next tubes we buy are going to have slime in them to help with the flats issue. And perhaps I will have better luck avoiding the dreaded cholla.

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