Thursday, October 23, 2014

Shake Down Ride Shakes Something Out: Part 2

Stuck On You Part 2!
Okay, a week ago I had a great Fall ride on the Fargo Gen 1 when at the end of it all I had something odd happen with my rear wheel. (See the post here) Well. yesterday I got around to sussing that issue out, and here's how it went down.

The Subject: A Hope Pro Evo II hub with a SRAM 9 speed cassette with the individually mounted cogs. Yes......they were stuck on! It wasn't critical to getting to the bottom of my problem, but you'd rather not have to deal with those teeth. At least I didn't. The Hope Pro evo II has removable/swappable end caps for quick release or through axles, so you simply pop off your end cap. Then this allows a tool free removal of the cassette free hub body, which reveals the free hub mechanism. You can see what that looks like on the left here.

Now I could remove a couple of the smaller cogs off the cassette and then bang on the backside of the cassette with a rubber mallet to push off the cassette and get that out of the way.

Cassette removed!
The Diagnosis:  Once the cassette is removed I could handle the free hub body much easier and get to cleaning the old grease away so I could see if I either had a breakdown or just some stuck pawls. I employed some foaming degreaser of the citrus variety from Tri-Flow. I had to do this about three times to begin with. Whatever grease those U.K. blokes put in there is pretty tenacious!

As I worked more and more grease away from the mechanism, I noticed two things. One- The grease coming off was silvery. That's never a good sign! This means the grease is contaminated with metal. Hopefully just worn metal from years of coasting!

Two- The pawls were not "springing back to life", and this was cause for concern. Maybe something really did break. More applications of degreaser and the mystery was solved. I had a complete failure of all four pawl springs!

It's a dead parrot! No! Its pining for the fjords, or simply stunned!
Bummer! Well, as I stated last week, better to find out about it before the Geezer Ride! Had I not done the 32 mile pre-ride shake down cruise, I would have had the failure on the ride, and that would have been disastrous. Or at the very least, it would have provided quite the story! 

The Solution: Well, now its on to the solution. I have a spare Hope Pro Evo II wheel sitting around that I could scavenge the free hub body off of, but I am not desperate to ride the Fargo just now. So, I won't be stealing that free hub body now. My second option, of course, is to just replace the whole shootin' match with a steel free hub body and that would also solve my issues with the cassette digging into the alloy bodied free hub. I'm thinking this sounds like the reasonable choice, given that I typically don't buy XT level cassettes for my gravel/rough stuff bikes. It really doesn't weigh all that much more either. I'd gladly trade off the minimal gain in grams for the ease of servicing the cassette/free hub.

So, I think a steel free hub body will soon be on its way, and this nearly seven year old hub will be back in service again on the good ol' Fargo Gen 1 rig. I won't necessarily be needing the old bike for a bit, so I'll be okay with waiting on that. Heck- it's getting to be fat biking season, and the single speed bikes are all ready to roll in the meantime. Fall is definitely single speed time around here anyway.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Geezer Ride Fall Out

Michael came all the way from Omaha to ride the Geezer Ride Image by R.J. Fry
Well, I have to say that I not only was blown away that 12 other folks besides myself came to the Geezer Ride, that not only did more people express the desire to have wanted to come but couldn't, but that I am getting requests to do this more! 

I got comments like the following- "So much fun, you can't do it just once", "I think riding some gravel on a spring Geezer Ride is a great idea.", and " I thought the Geezer franchise could be a Spring, Summer and Fall event." 

Geezer Franchise?!!! Whoa!

I guess this deal struck a nerve with riders and the idea seems to resonate with those that either participated or wanted to. I'm beyond flattered, really I am, but how many folks would really want to see more Geezer Rides? That's something I just don't know right now. But before I go any further, let me put this out there: There will be at least one more Geezer Ride and it will happen in Spring of 2015. It will start and end out of Grinnell, Iowa. So......there is that. (I don't have any other details than that right now, so please be patient!)

So, more of these types of rides, eh? For those that don't know- here's the format. The Geezer Ride is a sloooooow ride. Not in the Foghat vein, but in the super-chill, casual vein. To give you an idea, we didn't leave anyone behind and we stopped at least three to four times in the first ten miles. Yeah.......that kind of slow. 

We stopped to look at stuff. We stopped to talk about stuff. We stopped to make sure we all stuck together. So, you know- it wasn't about going fast, dropping people, or being competitive. People talked, got to know one another, and we saw some rad countryside.

I think I have made my point here. The Geezer Ride, when it happens again, will be about the same things. The other thing that I feel is super important about the Geezer Ride comes after the ride is done. The socializing, drinking, and eating together. For me, this has to be a part of whatever Geezer Rides happen in the future. Oh yeah......the future. About that......

So while there will be at least one more Geezer Ride, to accommodate the guys that inspired all this, should there be more? Heck, I had one person suggest there be Spring, Summer, Winter, and Fall versions. Another said that it should move around the state of Iowa. A suggestion that others do the "heavy lifting" and have me be the roving host was put forth. Obviously, there is no lack for ideas out there!

But what about it, folks? I need to hear from you and see where this should go, if anywhere, beyond next Spring.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Looking Back At "300 Miles Of Gravel"

During the Geezer Ride, I was asked about "300 Miles Of Gravel", which is the documentary of T.I.V7 filmed by Jeff Frings. To clean up a little business, I will first point out that you can purchase a DVD of this HERE. Now that I have that taken care of, I wanted to reflect a bit on the film with the perspective of three following Trans Iowas after the one documented on the DVD.

There are several things about this film that I think about when I watch it that many of you out there that have seen it may not see, or know about at all. Conversely, I have been told about things that the riders saw and knew about that happened in the film that I didn't realize at all. Perspectives are a wonderful thing! So, I wanted to just touch on a few of the things I think about when I see "300 Miles Of Gravel" that you may find interesting.
  • The beginning of the film starts out with a replay of the National Weather Service's forecast and some audio of me from my audio-blog that I used for "Trans Iowa Radio". The particular audio clips Jeff Frings used there in the beginning were actually from Friday, the day before the event when I was traveling down to Grinnell. I can remember exactly where I was, out in Tama County, when I made that post, but T.I.V7 hadn't even started yet! 
  • As you see the title roll out, the scene is of the race start. There is a shot of the riders coming at the camera, which was taken by Jeff Frings hanging out the back end of David Pals' Element. The audio has the acoustic guitar music, and if you listen closely, you will hear what sounds like a horn blowing and cowbells clanging. The "horn" was actually me blowing a note on a Salsa Cycles Woodchipper bar. I could do that since David was driving. I've always wanted to do that again, but it's kind of difficult when you are driving as well!
  • Of course, there is the whole B Road scene in the dark, but besides the fact that this became a major factor in the outcome of the event for many, it wasn't even really part of the course! There were two other, crazy, gnarly B Roads which either Jeff never filmed or didn't make the final cut.
    The B Road that didn't make the cut. (Image by S. Fuller)
    I kind of wished at least one of them would have been in the movie because they both are pretty spectacular "roads". 
  • The big hill on the cover, (seen above), for the DVD is what I dubbed the "Wolf Creek Wall". It isn't all that far from Waterloo, actually, where I live, and it was scheduled to be on the T.I.V10 route. However; the bridge leading up to it, (also featured in the film), was out and that's where the reroute happened.
    The bridge from T.I.V7 that led to the "Wolf Creek Wall" is no more.
Besides those details, (and others I won't delve into now), the main thing I see now is that T.I.V7 was a watershed year for Trans Iowa. Yes.....a lot of things changed. But more than that, it was definitely the last Trans Iowa where the B Roads really were a mess and tough to the point of causing issues for the riders, and the first one where we had a female finisher- Janna Vavre- who came back and finished Trans Iowa again in V9.

That Janna finished that Trans Iowa was a really big deal, to me at any rate, and I feel it kind of blew the doors off the barriers to the event for women.  Although it took a year to take effect, as we had a small Womens field in V8 and no women finished that year, ever since then the class has had a healthy amount of competitors and finishers with Monika Sattler even running with the front runners in V9. It used to be that we were stoked just to see a couple gals even enter the event! Now we expect a women to maybe even win the overall someday. It could happen, but I wouldn't have ever guessed at that even three or four years ago. Jana really was a pioneer in that respect.

I heard last weekend that some of you out there still watch "300 Miles Of Gravel" and enjoy it. I find that it is a compelling view into what Trans Iowa is, and I am humbled to know that many enjoy that work. I am sure Jeff Frings appreciates that as much as I do. I am not sure how I feel about the thing, at the end of the day. It is kind of personal for me. That said, it is out there and I just kind of tune it out most of the time. I even forget about it some days until I run across someone that saw it re-air on IPTV here when they have occasionally chosen to show it. "Hey! You're that guy that puts on that Trans whatcha-ma-call-it deal, aren't you?". 

Yep. That's me.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Geezer Ride Report

Waiting on a rider. Image by R.J. Fry
The Geezer Ride was conceived as a ride that would cater to the less intense rider, the rider that wasn't going to do a metric century gravel ride, but wanted to taste what it was like to be out there. It was made for conversations, stopping to "smell the roses", and most of all- to have some fun. Certainly there were some challenges along the way, and of course, B Maintenance roads!

I had done the planning and organizing for this at the insistence of a couple of friends, who ultimately had to back out of the ride for reasons beyond their control, but I am really happy, and more than that- satisfied- by what came of this day. I'll get to that later.....

I had gotten word a couple of days ahead of the ride that Robert, a local gravel/rando rider, was free to go and "would I like to drive down with him?" Plans were laid to leave at 6:30am to get to the meet-up point in Amana by 8:00am when the ride was to start. The trip was smooth, and as we approached the designated spot, I felt that we would be the first ones there and would be waiting to see the few riders that might show up roll in. I knew about a few commitments to come, but you know how that can go. I wasn't expecting more than six riders in total.

Rolling out of town.....finally!
Well, imagine my surprise when I saw the little grassy lot lined with cars and cyclists buzzing about! There were ten there and one more would show up just as we were about to pull out to leave. 13 riders in all?!! I was flabbergasted.

Yes, it was called the Geezer Ride", and most of the assembled riders were qualified to bear that moniker. There were a few "youginz", and we even were graced by the attendance of Dee, the lone female to show up for the ride. She wasn't backing down from the challenge set to her by her friend, Ed, and that even though she had only been riding since April of this year and never had done a gravel ride. Well, that was pretty cool, I thought, and so we had a great group. Two were on fat bikes, just for good measure!

I led the assembled horde out on the bike path, which petered out on our side of the road, then picked back up on the opposite side. I got my wires crossed here and missed the road out of town that I wanted to take. I stopped and my bewildered mind had trouble reading the smart phone map I was looking at. Finally my brain turned on and we made a backtrack and were on our way......finally! Up a long, gentle climb by the golf course and back up to our first gravel road. There we had our first stop to gather up stragglers.

The first B Maintenance road was coming up soon, and I wanted to stop there to give a fair warning to those less experienced with these dirt roads. A trio of barking dogs came out from an adjacent farm and while they were barking vigorously, it was obvious that they were a bit befuddled at seeing thirteen cyclists in a bunch. We pulled out and started our dirt road descent, leaving the puzzled canines behind.

The bottom of the first B Road descent. This was where Wally & George took some T.I.V10 photos in the Spring.
Climbing back up the other side. R.J.Fry taking images up ahead, and....
......he gets me with Ed (L) and David (R). (Image by R.J. Fry)
"Hero Gravel" and spectacular Fall color in the trees. A theme throughout the ride.
We gathered back up again at the top of the B Maintenance road climb, then it was a twisty, roller filled ride and descent down to our most Northwestern point on the loop. During the descent I was out front. Coming down a sweeping right hander I saw two hawks take fight from the right side of the ditch. The trailing one screams as I pass underneath. Then I take a left, get some speed up, and the next thing I know a bunch of turkeys run up out of the ditch on my left. One looks like it is on a collision course with my front wheel, but mercifully switches directions before impacting me. Thanks birdy! That would have been a nasty crash!

Not far East up the road from there was to be another stop, and one of the highlights, in my opinion, of the ride. Swedenborg Church. My hope was that the giant maples out in the church's lawn would be in their full Fall glory. I was not disappointed!

Swedenborg Church

In a stroke of fortune, we discovered that there was a porta-jon around the backside of the church, which we made use of. After everyone was ready, we set off for the barren fields Eastward. At least the wind was mostly at our back. Our first mile was Northward, and it was here that a driver of a car behind us displayed their displeasure with us by revving their engine and speeding away. We all shook our heads and carried onward into the wind for the moment. A turn Eastward then gave us a decent tailwind and it was immediately beneficial.

Any bike can be a gravel bike.
Barren fields, grey skies, and a hint of Winter in the air.
Then we finally get back to the trees!
This long, straight stretch was a bit of a let down after the constant sensory input of the twisty roads, hills, and spectacular Fall colors. We were pretty strung out along here. Finally some of the guys up front pulled up and waited on the rest at a point where the road went to chip seal. Hmm.......I found this odd. Apparently another mistake on the maps! Oh well, at least it was only a mile, and I figured it may be a nice respite for some of the lesser experienced "gravel-ists".

Then after the gathering up of riders again, we made a Southward turn into some rollers that featured short but steep ups. As the main bunch of us approached one of these, a Dodge Ram truck came over the top of the hill just in front of us at full song. Fishtailing and spewing dust and rocks, we estimated that it flew by us at 70mph! Whatever its speed, it was way too fast and we were fortunate that all of us were on the right side of the road going up that hill.

After this we arrived at our next left hander and gathering up all to see if we had all escaped the madness of that truck's passing, we rolled back into the pretty, winding gravel roads. It was a spectacular set of roads that led us down to the Iowa River Valley and our next stop to gather up the tribe again.

Looking up back the road we descended down to our gathering up point. Less than 10 miles to go!
Here we waited and gave instruction as to the next bit of roads we would be taking. The plan was to go back up a bit to catch a B Road and then a gentle descent back into town. However; I offered the stragglers an option to take the road straight back to town if they chose to. They did not sound like they would bite on "Plan B", so we took off again to go up, over, and back down again.

Knapp Creek Road was an awesome, gentle climb with spectacular views. 
We decided to stop to give some more directions to the riders strung out behind us, but only 10 of us showed up! Where did the other three go? We sent three riders back down the hill twice to look, but after twenty minutes, we figured they must have taken the short route back to town after all. This was troubling to me. I didn't like it at all.

"Rock Ends". It means a good helping of dirt is dead ahead!
The B Road proved to be a really fun one to ride. 
The final miles were mostly down hill or flat to town.
We eventually all got back with about 37-ish miles in, well......all but the three missing riders! Where could they be? I was worrying more as the time went on. Meanwhile, gear was removed from tired bodies and bikes were racked up for transportation back home. Many thanks and hand shakes. A decision by Robert and I to go for some lunch was enjoined by Marty, who asked to follw along wherever we went.

The first stop was Millstream Brewing Company, where a good pitcher of "Backroad Stout" was consumed. Whilst we were relaxing outside the brewery, we suddenly saw a welcomed sight. The three missing riders appeared up the street and were riding straight towards us!

A smiling Dee crests one of those "unflat parts" and lives to tell about it! Image by R.J. Fry
I was so relieved to see that they made it, and hear that they had not had any serious trouble. Apparently, they missed a turn, but somehow managed to ride most of the rest of the course and come in with a few "bonus miles". We asked them to join us and they sat and had a beverage and we laughed and chatted for awhile in the now bright light of the Sun under blue skies.

Eventually, Ed, Michael, and Dee took their leave of us and Marty, Robert, and I went to the Colony Inn and had a great family style German dinner. Pie and ice cream ended our dining experience there and eventually we all set off for home after what I would have to describe as a stellar day out on the bike with good people.

We were especially proud of our newest riding friend, Dee, who despite the hated hills made an end to the course successfully and now is well on her way to becoming "one of us". (<===HA!) Welcome to the "dark side", Dee! I hope you find many more miles of smiles on your bicycle wherever you decide to ride! Just keep on pedalin'!

THANKS: To all who showed up to this ride, thank you! I was blown away that you all came and some from hundreds of miles away. To Wally & George for the inspiration for, and naming of, The Geezer Ride. You were missed and you will come to ride this route someday! To Robert Fry for the ride to and from, the images, and the excellent company on this trip.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Trans Iowa V11: A Look At The Rules Part 6

Last year I did a historical overview of each Trans Iowa up to T.I.V9. This year I am going to revisit something that I feel many folks have overlooked for a long time; The "Race Rules".

 Last week I covered Rule #4. This week I cover the following rule seen here.....

5: Competitors will stock up on food and other items at stores and businesses along the route. Viva la gas station burritos and Oatmeal Cream Pies! 

Okay, now we're getting into specific rules set up by Jeff for Trans Iowa. Obviously, with only one checkpoint at approximately 128 miles in, there had to be ways for riders to be "self-supported" in their efforts. We deemed that the convenience stores on the route would provide the way this would be able to happen. This is why this rule exists. Obviously, we left the option open to get grub or drink from "other businesses". This was in part because in one city we passed through in particular there wasn't a traditional convenience store, but a gas station, and if I recall correctly, one other place had a grocery store right on the route as well.

Convenience stores are still the main source of staple items which provides sustenance for the riders of any Trans Iowa. The thing is, they don't stay open for 24 hours in most places anymore, which really puts a bind on things at times. This was the case in T.I.V8, where the area was so rural, and the timing of things happened just so that I decided to provide the "Secret Checkpoint" that year. There just wasn't a good convenience store opportunity. Fortunately, I haven't had to repeat that again.

Finally, we see Jeff's sense of humor arise here. It was something he interjected not only in these rules, but in his daily dealings with me at the shop. This is a great little window into how his mind worked back then. By the way, the Oatmeal Cream Pie reference was from when Jeff would be bonking out and sleepy at a solo 24hr event. He often would say that an Oatmeal cream Pie was the only way he could revive himself to be able to finish. That and Red Bull! I'm not entirely sure this was real, because I never witnessed him doing that, but maybe he did. I can say I am almost positive he never ate a gas station burrito back then!

Next Week: Rule #6 Mooooo!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Friday News And Views

Image by Wally Kilburg
I was cruising through the archives here and checking out the scene as it was almost ten years ago. First of all......dang! Things have really changed! The whole reason for the nostalgia trip was instigated by a comment I saw posted on one of the social media sites by a fellow that used to go by the name of "Endurosnob". Ironically enough, he was posting about a race he did in 2007. It was a 24 hour race, and he made a comment about endurance 24 hour racing in the following way: "...back when it was a thing."

You know what? That struck me in an odd way. It was a thing, wasn't it? I mean, back in '05, Jeff Kerkove, who worked with me, was going to Japan to ride in a 24 hour event, was winning the 24hrs of Boone, and was banned from 24 hour worlds for saying the fees for solo riders was too high. The whole scene was percolating and was very fresh then. But now......

You just don't hear a whole lot about 24 hour solo racing anymore. Not here in the U.S., at any rate. Of course, it still happens, and there are 24 hour worlds, but the buzz, the popularity of it all. Well, it just isn't a thing anymore, to paraphrase the earlier quip. It makes me wonder about gravel/back road events. In ten years, will we even be thinking about those sorts of events? Will there be thousands of riders at Dirty Kanza anymore? Will Barry-Roubaix be a memory?

Things change, for sure, but I think the 24 hour racing scene changed, and ultimately faded here, due to the bloated, overproduced, expensive beast it became. The events were so convoluted and difficult to put on that they were run by production companies. The "show" became the event format's undoing, in my opinion. If gravel/backroad events go this same route, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see that the same thing that happened to gravel rides.

2015 Salsa Titanium Mukluk
Carbon or Metal?

You know, another subject that is a thing now is carbon fiber fat bike frames. Well, let's be honest- anything that they can make in carbon fiber for bicycles is a thing now. Right?

I like carbon fiber bits, and I own and use a few components made from it. However; I am a bit torn as to whether this is a good idea for a fat bike. I did get to test a Borealis Echo, (with 29+ wheels), and it was really one of the best mountain bikes I have ridden. I don't doubt that as a fat bike it would also rule. However; I just am a bit leery of its durability. I mean, I could quite literally go much faster and traverse more rough terrain on that Echo, but what happens when gravity has its way with you? Hmm.......

Titanium and aluminum, well they can be dented and broken when they are made into bicycle frames. Definitely, but little crashes, or heck....even bigger crashes, well they seem to be a bit more resilient. And then there are times when you just wonder: When is that spindly, thin seat stay just going to snap? Maybe I am just paranoid, eh?

Geezer Ride:

Tomorrow the Geezer Ride happens. I hear that there are a few folks coming, and even a couple on fat bikes. The weather, while cool, looks to be completely dry and the roads should be perfect.

I do not know exactly how many folks will actually show up, but it should prove to be a fun ride and I hope all who do come will enjoy themselves going up, down, and over some (hopefully) beautiful Fall roads in Iowa.

Of course, you can expect a full report later, but until then, you should all get out there and find your own adventure on whatever bicycle you choose. Have some fun, stay safe, and look for the story of the Geezer Ride on Monday.......

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Shake Down Ride Shakes Something Out

Wednesday promised to be the first nice day of the week after two straight days of pretty constant rain/drizzle which made off road opportunities not very good choices. I was pretty committed to a gravel ride, but on the Fargo Gen I, which was going to be the rig for the Geezer Ride this weekend.

I figured I would also try out my clothing choices, since Wednesday's weather would be similar to Saturday's. Cold, windy from the North/Northwest, and sunny. I selected wool base layers for the top and bottom, then some 3/4's Endura Humveee pants, and a short sleeved Pirate Cycling League jersey. I also wore a Zoic jacket over the top and started out with some lightweight, Answer full finger gloves. On my head I wore a fleece cap under my trusty Bell Helmet. Eyes were protected by some Spy "Daft" eyesheilds.

I got out by about 9:30am and headed North. I figured I would get the windy part done first. I headed toward the Cedar River then wended my way along the streets and bike paths until I reached Shirey Way, which I suppose is named something else these days. I remember when this two-track was a legitimate road with occasional traffic and a legend about ne'er do wells practicing some midnight sorcery back in the woods that lined the roadway. Hard to believe now more so than it was then.

Spotted this bird doing some heavy lifting over the John Deere Foundry building. 

There used to be not a few houses down here, but with several major floods, the government bought out the owners and moved them out. 

Old Shirey Way, now a part of Hartman Reserve. 

Snag Creek was like a glass mirror. 

It was one of those rides that had no real destination in mind. I wasn't in any big hurry, owing to trying a pace that I felt we would have for the Geezer Ride. I ended up aiming toward the Washington Access fire road. It starts in Black Hawk Park, adjacent to the Cedar River, and it is a very rustic track that essentially parallels the Cedar River on the East side. I don't know where the road came from, but the first I ever heard of it was back in the early 90's when I overheard some UNI football players saying they had run this for training.

I went down the paved bicycle path, which takes you right to Black Hawk Park. Then I rode the park road past the firing range to the turnaround. That's where the gate to the old fire road begins on the South end.

A stop mid-way through to the Washington Access end of the fire road.

A colorful open meadow near the North end.

A farmer's field very near the North entrance.

The old pathway was choked with dead fall from the winds of late. I had to hoist the Fargo over a couple, others could be bunny hopped, and a few I was able to remove. The path is little used, and gets little maintenance. This is about as bad as I've ever seen it. There also was a branch that headed off to the East at one point and was a cutoff to Ford Road, but it is so overgrown and in disuse that I doubt it is even passable anymore these days.

Fortunately, I was able to make good headway, and the dead falls ceased to be an issue from the last third onward, so it was a good ride on a very rustic, sometimes muddy pathway. The end on the North side dumps you out into the Washington Access to the Cedar River, which was looking rather disheveled these days. Kind of sad to see that.

I was obliged to take about a half a mile of pavement to Ford Road.
Then it was mostly "Hero Gravel" from then on out!
Once I made it over to Ford Road I turned back South and the wind was my friend! Of course, while I was on that old, rustic, tree lined path, the winds were not noticeable, but out here in the open they were rushing along at a constant pace. Glad to have that at my back then!

The gravel was fast, packed down, and therefore quite smooth. I was flying along with little effort. Then I was obliged to turn East, and while it made for some slower going, it was still not all that bad. The cross wind did catch the frame bag a bit though, I noticed, and I was fighting that just a wee bit in gusts of wind. But before I turned East, I found something I hadn't noticed before....

Washington Chapel was at the dead end stretch of Bennington Road. A church that I hadn't ever seen before and I wouldn't have if not for a glimpse of the cemetery on the hill as I came from the North. This one is one of the older ones I've seen around here. 1865, was the date above the doorway, and it was in excellent repair. Very nice.

The half moon hadn't set yet. As seen above Bennington Road.

Just before getting back into town, I saw this deer which ran in front of me for a bit. 

I enjoyed the tailwind all the way back into town and then some. It made for good time versus my stop and go pace in the beginning. Maybe I went too fast for a Geezer Ride! When I was but a mile from the house at a stop light, I took off and the free hub was a bit hesitant to engage. Then after the next stop it free wheeled and I couldn't go. I thought I had thrown the chain somehow, but it was the free hub body on the Hope hub. I did finally get it to engage, so I think it is sticky pawls. I have noted that for a Hope hub it has been rather silent of late!

I was a bit bummed, as this was the wheel set I was going to use on the bike this weekend, but now I think I will have to switch back to the wheels I used at Odin's Revenge. Hey! It could be worse. At least my shake down ride served to show that issue up here instead of on the ride Saturday!