I'm happy to report that the Grumbler made it within 30 miles of Denver before overheating. However, I overheated 200 miles earlier, back in soul crushing plains of Kansas. More on that later.
Tim Carson and I started the drive to the rockies last Thursday. We did a relativity short 7 hour leg to Indianapolis. A little outside of the city, Sally Collins let us crash at her house. After a fine sleep on a comfortable couch we stocked up on some groceries. Tim forced his phone number on some poor girl while we checked out. Certain that she would call soon, an excited little Tim and I headed down to Brown County State Park for the Sub 9 Super D on Sunday.
When we got to the park, I was shocked. There were hills. Steep hills. I was under the impression that Indiana was completely flat, but Brown County looked a lot like West Virginia.
I followed Carson out onto the trails. He took off, going as hard as he could. The trail system was awesome. Perfectly tacky dirt, long down hills, and banked corners. It was similar to Raystown Lake back in PA, only faster because there were fewer rollers. We were having a blast, and ripped around the park for almost three hours before heading back to Sally's RV for dinner.
On Saturday, I decided it was time to fix the creak that had been worsening in my bottom bracket. My bike rack worked great as a stand, and Tim and I ripped the dirty bb apart behind the Grumbler.
My eccentric bottom bracket was covered in dirt, and full of scars from where the set screws had dug into the metal. I wiped it clean and filed down some burs.
Unfortunately, the non dive side bearing on my bb was super gritty feeling. With no other option, I put it back in the bike.
A few minutes later, Sally and her friend Pauly came by the campsite to pick us up. We drove out to their friend Rob's house to do some work. Rob has been sick, so Sally organized a party to help pull weeds and do other things around the house that hadn't been taken care of in a while. Tim and I cleaned gutters. After the work party the place looked tons better than before. We ate some excellent homemade pizza.
When we got back to the park, Tim and I did another pre-ride on the Super D course. The course started with a ripping downhill that led to a few man-made rock gardens. There was a steep drop off on one side of the trail, and shoulder width sets of trees lined the course. After the hill, the trail flattened and wound around down by a stream. There were a few minutes of climbing before the final twisty downhill to the finish.
We rode the course hard, and while Tim was able to pull away from me on the downhills, I caught and passed him on the climb. Tim was incredibly confident that he would win the next day, and not afraid to let everyone he talked to know it.
Our start time was late the next day. I entered the Pro/Open class so that I would have a chance to race against Tim and maybe shut him up for the rest of the trip. Fortunately, no one asked to see my non-existent USAC pro licence. We did some riding on the other trails and chatted with other riders while we waited for the 3:00 start.
Tim toed the line and sprinted away. Two minutes later it was my turn. I shot down the hill, but the Breck Epic was in the back of my mind the whole time, so I rode with some reserve. I didn't want to crash. I hammered up the climbs as hard as I could then ripped around the turns to the finish. Then it was over.
My 20:08 time was good enough for 4th overall, and I'm pretty sure I was the only one riding a single speed. Tim won with a 19:40ish, and was awarded a 2010 Thru Axle Reba. Son of a bitch. But really, I'm happy for him.
We showered, then hit the road again.