There Can Be Only One

11/11/13, Veterans Day. A weekend of rainy weather made me itching to get out and ride. Chris was able to get away in the late afternoon and the day had been fairly clear. Since it was only the two of us, we met at Chris’ apartment and we pedaled from there to St. Louis. Yes, we pedaled up the hill. I suppose it was nice that the air was cooling off, but the climb was still as horrible as ever.

We managed to reach the last bend in the road just as the sun set. We met a pair of riders coming out from the park just as we turned onto the road that lead to the entry gate. They didn’t look too dirty, but they said it was muddy down low. Hm, we weren’t about to go home now.  We continued on. The entry road was very damp, so we figured dumps was right out of the ride plan.

We got to the park benches and the ground was pretty dry. Didn’t look too bad as we suited up. There was only a hint of light when we finally set off down the Main trail. To mix things up we turned off to the right to take the trail that overlooks Manoa Valley. Conditions were quite good, just the right amount of tack in the dirt. Turning off toward Taco Jumps it was still nice through the berms. We bypassed the three rock drops and went straight instead. We then kept to the left and where it started coming out into the open it suddenly got slick. There was no picking lines. Did avoid bashing the rear derailleur on the rocks, but did manage to get a good gouge on the center spindle area of the crank arm! Just glad it wasn’t the frame. When we hit the clearing at the watertank, the gravel was getting picked up by the mud on our tires and flinging. Crossing over to the rocky trail above the concrete road knocked most of the mud loose.

We took an extended break at our usual rest stop on the concrete road. The sky was crystal clear and the air cool. Once again spotted a satellite whisking across the starry sky. We were in no rush now since we had lights and it wasn’t going to get any darker. We remarked at how beautiful a night it was. Little did we know.

We headed into that last rocky trail. The first rock strewn 30 yards or so was fine, but then we got hit by mud that we weren’t expecting. This area is totally exposed so we had thought if anywhere on the St. Louis downhill was dried out through the day, it would be here. We were totally wrong.

What usually was that gray dusty dirt had turned to super adobe mud! Picking lines over rock or grass as much as possible got me about 10 yards farther than Chris before the tires clogged impossibly. It was a crazy mess and we had to find sticks to clear the mud so we could drag the bikes another 10 yards before having to stop and do it again. We finally did get to a point where we could ride the bikes.

Made it out to Dole Street, to spend another half hour or so cleaning off mud. We hope the road ride back will shake the more mud loose, but this stuff is tenacious.  We spend yet more time cleaning bikes at Chris’ place. Chris comes up with the theory that the god’s are angry whenever there is more than one Yeti SB66C in the same place. He might be onto something, so far it’s been hellacious conditions whenever the two were on the same ride!

The bikes are about as clean as we want to work at this late in the evening, so we head out to grab a bite to eat. For old times sake we go to the Kapahulu Taco Bell. Ah yes, the freak show. Guess it isn’t late enough for all the freaks yet, we only see one guy walking past talking to his best buddy, Mr. Malt liquor in a brown bag. What a night!

Few more pics Here.


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