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Monday, March 20, 2017

Mt. Peeley... just across the highway from Mt. Ord.  I rode Mt. Ord last year on the FrankenEpic, had a BLAST going up and down.  I figured the old dirt road to Mt. Peeley would be similar. 

No.  No, it wasn't.

On the map, it's longer with less elevation.  It even looks shallower.  What I didn't account for was the different surface.  Mt. Ord's road is primarily used by trucks heading to the fire tower and whatever else is up there.  It's used quite a bit.  Mt. Peeley's road is primarily used by the public to get to the AZT trailhead.  Mt. Ord's is better maintained.  Mt. Peeley's....not so much.

The lead in was fine aside from the ever-present washboards.  I'm not feeling "great" - allergies and such - but I figure I'll adapt.  I went from riding kinda like shit to just feeling like full-on hammered dog shit. 

But at least it wasn't all washboard!

It just got STEEPER.  It seemed to always float between 10 and 18 percent.  Good or bad, it felt like I would climb for 15-20 minutes only to lose (what felt like) half the elevation I gained on the next descent bridging over to the next climb.

This went on for 90 minutes or so.  Factor in elevation starting at 4200 feet, I was surprised I felt better at 6000.  I guess it was about 5000 or so I made the realization that the jump of about 3000 feet might be having an effect to.

Enh, what doesn't kill ya....

Reach the top, consider blowing off the AZT trailhead stop and just turn around NOW....but curiousity is killing me so I plunge the 500 feet down to the end.  Get there, take pictures and eat dates.  All is good.

Well, not really.  So ever since I bought the Diverge I have only taken it on abusive rides and some flaws were rearing their heads:

Rear wheel: it's a problem I've found with almost every Roval wheel I own.  The spokes are tensioned from the factory a bit low for my fat ass.  As I would climb the steepest portions, I could head the spokes giving up a bit.  Only on the steepest stuff....but it was enough to rattle my confidence.

The brakes:  I'm a big fan of Shimano brakes....have been since I purchased my first set....but they don't have the road set-up perfected.  Not for a 220-lb blubber bomb on a 17% grade with skinny tires.  I had the front brake screaming halfway down.  The pistons were sticking anytime I held the brakes longer than a 3 seconds.  By the end the rear brake lever was touching the bar.

The cassette:  Now this is not a mechanical's just my weakness.  About 1/3 of the way in, I hit a STEEP nasty, loose climb that I refused to walk.  I may have stopped twice to gather myself but I didn't walk a DAMN bit of it!  I also felt something tweak in my left knee.  The next morning it didn't feel good at all....even if I was getting up to walk a charity 5k.   Anyways, I ordered a SRAM 11-36 and a new chain.  Yea, that's only 4 teeth....but I refuse to run those lil' doo-dads that drop your derailleur but allow you to run these popular HUGE cassettes.

Other than those....the bike is AWESOME still.  It handles great - get in something REALLY shitty where a typical 'cross bike would scare me, it just goes where you point it.  It also helps that I've been riding this one ALOT.

So....I'll fix the brakes, recharge the fluid and see what happens.  The pads, front and rear, are's either the fluid or something bigger than my tiny brain can decipher.

I've already retensioned the wheel.  It may get one more going-over but it's bumped up a good bit.

The cassette is coming, too....along with the chain, new brake pads (anyway) and more fluid.

I really should post soon as I figure out the new phone.


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