Coming into this 3 day MLK weekend the weatherman predicted rain everyday. Steady rain. Rain every hour, 80% chance. For 3 days straight. In fact, the original forecast looked like it had possible windows of opportunity but as Friday closed out the forecast continued to get worse and was exactly as I've stated above. Of course we barely got jack, a few brief overnight showers but that was about it. But the old weatherman (who I was counting on) and his poor job performance had me revise plans and hit tarmac on Saturday and Sunday with some bike wrenching thrown in. Thanks pal, I hope these things are noted at your next performance review.
With Monday's weather prediction much of the same I wasn't going to get snookered again. I figured I'd head to the Watershed unless rain was actually falling from the sky. No plans were concocted, no calls were made, I figured it might not be worth the effort since the rain would be bound to arrive if I counted on it being another false alarm. I figured I'd head out solo but when I got home Sunday evening there was an email from Larry pulling together an AM ride in southern Michaux for the morning. It was something I couldn't pass up.
Early morning fog was thick on the way up, I could barely see 50 yards up the road in most places. As I crested the last ridge things let up. Nick and Steve came up from VA. With Larry and I we had a group of four. Out of the parking lot I had a flat but that was the only mechanical, except for a couple of dropped chains (more on that later).
Temps were cooler than last week but by no means cold. The first climb was 3.5 miles on a dirt logging road and had me peeling layers almost right away. Once on top we tapped into some sweet, narrow singletrack that set the tone for the day. Little rocks, big rocks, wet rocks. Rocks, rocks and more rocks with some dirt inbetween. Tight, technical, twisty descents and beautiful forest punctuated the ride. We climbed 3000 ft. over the course of 16.5 miles, which meant we got to descend the same amount. Good stuff.
After some recent chain derailments in the rear of the bike I took a close look at my White Industries freewheel. These things are the ultimate, hands down, no questions asked. But they do not last forever. This one has literally thousands of off-road miles on it and finally the teeth were done. Luckily they are replaceable for approximently 1/2 the cost of a complete freewheel. A quick rebuild last night and things appear much better.