Yes, rode Tuesday; Kevin’s first day on his new bike!

JR on the left, Kevin on his new bike on the right, entering the forest at the top of West Old LaHonda. His new bike is very, very cool.

No great pictures of Kevin climbing up Kings on Tuesday, on his new Trek Emonda, because of course he was riding way up ahead of me! Actually that’s not entirely true. The photo above isn’t too bad.

Just a few of us; Kevin (pilot), Kevin (young guy with new bike), JR, Marcus and me. Younger Kevin’s been riding his Trek Boone ‘Cross bike since late June, after the motorist had knocked him off the road and trashed his Trek Madone. The Boone’s a pretty darned nice bike, but with its beefier frame and disc brakes, you’re talking maybe 5 pounds heavier than the ultra-light Emonda he showed up with. As a result, even though he hadn’t been riding for over a week (he and his sister had taken a trip to Disney World), he has ready to go.

At first, Kevin rode up off the front a bit, and then I got on his wheel. I held on up past the park entrance a bit before letting go, and shortly after that, Marcus came riding on past and rocketed up to him. At the park entrance, I circled around a bit and waited up for the other Kevin (pilot guy), who was hurting pretty badly after a crash a couple days prior. According to Kevin, he and Marcus made it to the top together, somewhere around 27 minutes. That would be a full minute faster than I can pull off right now. Sigh.

Overall, a super-nice ride because the pace was fairly moderate, the weather perfect for climbing, and, well, we do live in one of the greatest spots on the planet for riding a bike. And yes, if you drop 5 pounds weight off a bike, it does make a difference.

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6,803.5 miles later… (busted rear cog shortens ride)

busted_cogThis is not the way your rear cog is supposed to look.

OK, first ride for a week with Kevin, after he and his sister took off to Disneyworld. You’d think that would slow him down but no, not much. It did mean that I could kinda sorta keep up with him up Old LaHonda at least. The ride was to be the usual; Old LaHonda, Pescadero, Tunitas. After suffering through Old LaHonda we were both looking forward to that point that comes a bit later in the ride, when you start feeling good, and it was pretty much exactly that point, just as we were climbing out of the LaHonda duck pond, that I had my first bike failure in… years. I mean, many years. I’m climbing up the steep section and bang, all of a sudden I’m pretty much on the top tube, somehow managing to keep from crashing.

The picture tells the story; one of the larger cogs broke in 3 places and tore loose from the cassette body. My 11-speed cassette was now 10. Not just that, but I couldn’t trust moving the chain across that big gap, possibly getting stuck and doing all sorts of bad things. So, we turned tail and headed back up 84, an easy grade that wouldn’t require that I shift up past the first 5 or so gears that still worked.

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