Winter Ralleye Ride Series – Pennock Pass

Did a 90 mile grinder on the Fargo the other day. Since it started on pavement, and I was running tubeless mtb tires, I pumped them up to 40 lbs so they would roll a little better. I filled them in the dark, with the temps in the low 30’s. By the time I got to the top of the Rist canyon climb, the sun was shining and the air temp warmed up enough to blow my back tire off the rim. That meant I used up my only spare tube and totally lost the group right off the bat. IMG_1644

One of the downsides to running non-tubeIess tires, tubeless, is their sensitivity to tire pressure. If you keep the pressure low, things works pretty good but if the tire pressure goes too high, the bead just isn’t designed to hold the rim like a tubeless tire is and blow-offs can happen. The second downside came up later.

I rode by myself for the next 30 miles trying to catch back up. The route was brand new to me which made it even better. I love exploring new ground when you have no idea what’s ahead of you. I did wish I’d been a little better prepared because it was a pretty remote area. I rode by a bunch of cabins but they all looked closed up for the winter. 10847933_10106117350981411_5027318921095933899_n

I didn’t check but I knew I wouldn’t have any cell coverage either. I kept thinking about my lack of a spare tube and was careful on descents to not smack a rock. I had a patch kit but trying to get a patch to stick to tube slimy with Stan’s is not fun.

I finally caught a couple of guys at a ranger station. I stopped, grabbed something to eat and then rolled on for the final climb up to Pennock. I passed through the gate closing the road for the winter. The weather was great and there was no snow but I know there’s been previous years where the gate marked a four mile hike-a-bike through the snow! When I hit the top I saw a couple of other riders up ahead. Turned out to be Colin and John, things were looking up! colin

I bet we had not gone 200 yards when my rear when flat again. I yelled my lungs out to get Colin to stop. I figured he would have another tube which would spare me from dealing with the greasy mess in my back wheel. Ever prepared, Colin had two tubes so we got rolling again pretty quickly.

More cautious descending got us to the highway and then onto the Mishawaka for a beer and burrito. Man did I need some calories. The rest of the trip back was on pavement and uneventful. Door to door was 95 miles of fun.