Utilitaire Control 6 – Bike Shop

Impetus for a ride…

A few utilitaires ago I took the 1 speed to the grocery store and fought up some big hills with a backpack full of groceries. No sooner than the next day I was riding home from work on the same bike. The light turned green, I stomped on the pedals and the chain exploded. Passers-by saw a mushroom cloud of smoke. I push-rolled through to the other side of the intersection and went back after 1 light cycle to collect the remnants. The 1 speed has sit in the basement ever since. I was just going to leave it that way and ride something else for a while, but I had a sunny afternoon, a Utilitaire 12 to complete, so I said “time for a trip to Baltimore Bicycle Works“.

The trip there and back was a loop along fairly standard roads, but I tried to take some off-road diversions along the way to spice things up a bit.

leashed outside while I buy stuff.

Once done spending money I looped back towards campus to explore a footpath I saw on the map during my first utilitaire. Turns out to be totally bikeable the way I went (downhill) and probably bikeable the other way with a little practice. At the bottom I crossed a steel bridge and rolled down into a rocky creek bed for 50-75 feet.

Click for bigger

Riding in the rocks was fun. Required a ton of concentration. When I stopped to take the photo I let some air out of the tires as I thought that would help traction a bit. For the terrain I think it made it worse. I might just need more practice/experience. Probably the latter. I followed the same mantra the whole way home and cut across footpaths here and there to try different routes. You know… Somthin’ different…

Control# | Type:   6 | Bike Shop

Date | Week: 2/26/2012 | week 4

Distance: 8.5 miles – All ‘Round

Where: Baltimore Bicycle Works

What did I learn?
If you pinch your broken chain back together to get home while on a ride, don’t trust it any farther than you can throw it — at least if your bike is a 1 speed, and you plan on mashing up hills. Also, Pugsley is real fun in dry creek beds. I could hear the loose stones sliding around under the tires, but the treads were too big to fall in the cracks. While getting back out I found pug’s not a good ‘lightweight’ climber, but great traction goes a long way towards redeeming that. Haven’t spun out on an incline yet. That’s about it.

The Route:
gps track

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