December 20, 2018

ThNR: Estrella Xmas Gets LOCO

The biking scene over at Estrella Mountain Ranch is something else. They've been holding weekly Thursday night rides for years each and every Thursday. Riders take turns hosting and choosing routes. There are a ton of trails surrounding the community, most built & maintained by these very riders. I try to make it out there a couple times a year. I'd go more often, but I typically work Thursday evenings and live an hour away.

One ride I don't miss is the annual Christmas ride. Each rider brings a gift in the $15 range, then after the ride each person who participates picks a random gift. There's always delicious food, good beer and great friends. This year would be no different.
Part of the gang getting ready to roll out.
Ken kept the pace very comfortable, sometimes the fast guys just can't resist themselves!! We did a lap through the F.I.N.S trails, hitting the wood featured downhill run - Kimurel's Hurl. Such a blast!! We made our way over to the Pirate trails and Gene led me through one of the new additions before rejoining the group at the traditional beer stop: Brethren Court.
The holiday cheer was flowing.

Not bad only having moonlight.

Erin's bike was all decked out and she wanted pics!!

Bike corral max'd out.

Mountain Santa.
The group began heading out to wrap things up. Food was being served, gifts needed to be exchanged and the ever present heckling was ongoing with this bunch.

I was near the back of the pack leaving BC, took a few pedal strokes and something didn't feel quite right. Before I could look down, my chain got sucked into my rear wheel something fierce. I hollered ahead to Tad that I had an issue and he came back as we assessed the damage. The chain was really jammed in there and took almost 10 minutes to get it free. The bigger issue was a severely bent hanger. Naturally, I didn't have a spare with me in my pack.
The chain doesn't belong there.
I got everything spinning freely and figured I'd just coast back to the house since it was almost all downhill. That idea didn't last long. The chain sucked back into the wheel almost instantly accompanied by a series of rapid fire 'pings'. That didn't sound good. Nope. At first glance it looked like 3 broken spokes, but when I inspected closer I found the spokes & nipples had completely pulled through the rim wall destroying it. Drat. Now, I couldn't even roll the bike. Bike portage mode initiated:
At first, I simply hoisted it on my shoulders.

Can't make this stuff up!!

Soon, the bike was digging into my shoulder blades. Well, I do ride with a large pack, why not attach it Grand Canyon portage style? I could only get one clip around the frame, but it took the brunt of the weight. I just held the seat & bars to keep it from swaying.

Of course the Grand Canyon wouldn't allow this, gotta disassemble the bike a bit and mounting it vertically is more realistic there. But this got the job done. It felt like a two mile trek out, but was probably closer to a mile. Thanks Tad, for hanging back with me making the time pass quickly.
The proper way to bike portage!! AZTR750 in 2016.

The carnage. It's a Stan's Arch MK3 29er rim.

Mangled bits.
A shout out to Darren for driving over from the party to pick me up when I reached pavement.

The party was in full swing when I arrived, thankfully there was plenty of food left. Thanks to Derek & Celene for hosting the festivities and providing delicious eats. It was good to see all the west-siders, maybe I'll see you all on my end of town soon.

In spite of the bike mishap, it was such a fun night. I'll be back next year!!



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