I was lucky enough to ride the Reforestation Camp twice this week. The first time I quietly bowed out after 40 minutes of slow going pain due to a tweaked lower back from last week. The second time (this morning) I rode it like I owned the place, knowing vacation was over in a few hours I picked a steady pace. As I mounted up I saw a group of two guys and another pack of three that followed me off the highway but hit the gas station before hitting the trailhead. This would be the last time I see another human for about a hour and a half.
The first thing I noticed was my chain was ghost shifting or slipping slightly once in a while, its done this before and usually I trim out the rear derailer at some point and the problem goes away. Today I rode along thinking nothing of this minor annoyance on climbs and flat sections. After 10 miles and alot of dodging of small stumps I hit my final climb, it wasn't final because I was home free, it was final because my chain sheared off and took out my rear derailer breaking it off halfway through the hanger. So as I sit out in the middle of the woods 3-4 miles from the parking lot I think back to the last time this happend. The last time I was out here and broke something was about a year ago when I drilled my non-drive side crank arm on a small stump (anyone who's rode out here knows 99% of the small stumps are painted orange.) I hit with enough force to loosen the bolt holding the arm on and had to use my keys to tighten it enough to get back out of the woods.
I think these trails are cursed...
I did enjoy my hike to the parking lot and did see one other person gave me a friendly "hello" as he finished his ride. As I walked out I ended up going the wrong way and found myself downhill of the parking lot on the far side of the Zoo in with the maintenance vehicles.
Special thanks to Stadium Bike for fixing me up right after they openned, and for selling me the great Pearl Izumi jersey off the discount rack.