The blog of the adventures (or mis-adventures) of an active mountain woman.

If it ain’t broke…

Satellite view of Cache Creek drainage in Jackson, Wyoming.

Satellite view of Cache Creek drainage in Jackson, Wyoming.

You should still take it in for a tune-up. In this case, the “it” is my beloved Kona Manomano full suspension cross-country bike. While the components are far from original (some were busted, some upgraded), I still love it. And most of the time, it loves me back. But this is about the time it went rogue.

Saturday marked my first mountain bike ride in two years. I had decided that biking wasn’t worth the risk while pregnant and had been dreaming about a weekend of biking for weeks. I made sure that the trails were dry enough to ride before getting my hopes up and continued to plan my long weekend in Jackson around my adrenaline obsession. First up on the docket was my all-time favorite trail up the Cache Creek drainage, Putt Putt.

One trail change since my last pre-pregnancy ride was most welcome. The excellent trail building in the Jackson area has continued with the addition of “the sidewalk”, which serves as a single-track bypass to the busy Cache Creek road. I happily pedaled up with a few short, less technical downs to summit on the top of Putt Putt. Eagerly awaiting my first real down, I took off with gusto. When the gusto got fast, I hit the brakes for a quick speed check, but things didn’t feel quite right. In fact, things felt like a big pickup with a trailer bearing down. Instinctively grabbing more brake, I had a dramatic forward weight shift and realized I was going to have to ride this out with minimal brakes.

This is where occasional fast and reckless riding experience is invaluable. Extreme familiarity with the trail also helps. I focused on the single-track and enjoyed the ride (with a tad bit more trepidation than normal) until my speed petered out enough to steer into some sage for a full, partially controlled stop. A quick examination of the bike confirmed my suspicions – my back brake was out. I knew there was a small adjustment that could be made on the trail, but wasn’t sure how to complete it. The popularity of Putt-Putt soon paid off when I asked a trail runner if he could possibly help. He checked the small adjustment and confidently diagnosed my ride as dead, advising me to walk the down back to the road and coast to the nearest bike shop to have the brake lines bled. While disc brakes are totally ah-maz-ing, this is one drawback – there simply is no trail fix.

Cursing my luck (and lack of thought in regards to a tune-up), I walked my bike down to the road and made it back to the house in one piece. One of my close friends married a talented bike mechanic who bled the lines with new hydraulic fluid in a matter of hours and I had a much more successful ride the next day. Even on my oldest favorite trail, there is always something new to learn.

Awesome-stay-on-baby-shoes-of-the-day: Cade & Co – like those “other” wildly popular shoes but made in Park City, UT instead of China.


One Response to “If it ain’t broke…”

  1. Aunt Kay Brand says:

    Michelle, I really enjoy reading your writings. Regards to you all. Owen is the most handsome (beautiful) little boy I have seen in 45 years!What a treasure. I’m so happy to read that your life seems so good. Love from your grandma Sallys oldest sister.;)

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