Wednesday, September 19, 2012

My Package Hurts

There were two different cycling events to prepare for in the last two weeks - the MS Mountain Tour and cycling the Kettle Valley Railroad.  The Mountain Tour was first and required a stripped down mountain bike and the KVR required a bike with a pannier rack, handlebar extensions, a handlebar bag and the ever comfortable Spiderflex seat.

The problem was that I could only carry one bike on the bike carrier (leaving room for my daughter's bike) and this would mean that the bike would have to be adapted after the Mountain Tour but before bike-packing on the KVR.

Passing through an unusual gate on the Mtn. Tour
Bike-packing on the Kettle Valley Railway
I made the decision to ride the MOAB on both events - the bike was light enough for climbing the 6% continuous grade of Anarchist Mountain on the KVR trip and I was confident that the MOAB could handle the MS Tour and the single track it would offer. 
Another view of the Mountain Tour
What I hadn't taken into account in choosing the MOAB was the gear package.  On the second day of riding with my knees aching, it occured to me that I would have a difficult time climbing up Anarchist and when I inspected the MTBs passing me, I discovered that they had a whole different set of rear cogs than the MOAB.  At the very last checkpoint, the mechanics from United Cycle pointed out to me that I had done almost the whole mountain bike tour on a set of road bike cogs!  No wonder my knees were hurting and so many cyclists had passed me in the last two days!
The offending cog
After Kristian the United Cycle mechanic swapped in the proper rear cogs and added a new chain to match, the last 15 klicks of the Mountain Tour were a breeze and my daughter Jackie and I completed the Tour in the shortest amount of time in the four years we have participated.
Kristian saves my knees

1 comment:

  1. What a relief! Bravo to the skillful bike mechanic and two thumbs up on your success!