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Aledo Times Record - Aledo, IL
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Bald Knob Ride 2014 – Crashing with Shon
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By Barn Door
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July 19, 2014 12:01 a.m.

Three rides this week, three mishaps.



Shaun's ride could have went South here when he picked up this rather large stick in his rear triangle, but nothing bad happened.

Shaun’s ride could have went South here when he picked up this rather large stick in his rear triangle, but nothing bad happened.



Ride 1 Sunday:



Riding with my pal Shaun, who drove a long way to ride some East Side trails with me.  15 minutes into the ride my bike is snagged by a log and I’m thrown on the ground hard.  I’m not hurt, but my the saddle on my Dos Niner is broke.  The rail popped out.  After 10 minutes trying to fix it I gave up and walked back to the car.

Ride 2 Thursday:



Riding with my pal Drew, who drove a short way to take us to Eagle Mountain.  Conditions were excellent, like so good you can’t believe it’s July.  The temps were like 70s, the ground was dry, the trails were opened up.  All is great.  My back wheel pops out on a climb.  The back wheel on my Salsa has an Alfine hub and it’s bolted on.  Silly me forgot to bring a 15mm wrench.  Opps.  I gave up and walked back to the car.

Ride 3 Friday:



Riding with my other pal Shon, (how many ways can you spell Sean anway?) we both drove a ways to meet up on the infamous, WOLF CREEK ROAD.  We did a 60 mile ride with about 5000 feet of climbing and almost no flat roads.  We climbed to the famous, BALD KNOB CROSS in Alto Pass, it was a big day.

As the ride began I wasn’t feeling quite right, my entire metabolism felt stunted, like I’d just ate 5 pounds of slow cheese.  Maybe I need more then 5 hours of sleep per night?  Maybe it was the fact I’d forgot to drink my caffeinated beverage?  Anyway, Shon is excellent shape and is dropping me on the hills.  You know when Phil Ligget says a rider has heavy legs, that was me, my legs were too heavy to really get moving.  I was dreading the beating I would take up Bald Knob, and was considering bailing out on that part, but I persevered.

Shon at Bald Knob

Shon at Bald Knob



At the top of Bald Knob I bought a Mountain Dew, that seemed to change my entire outlook on life.  No longer was I tired with heavy legs, now I was light as a feather and full of energy.  As we approached Cobden I came off Skyline road at full speed and stood to climb.  A small dog came off a nearby porch and started YELPING.  I was like, “Want some Dog,” and I started sprinting.  It turned out to be a mistake because this dog really did “want some”  he wanted to put my ass on the ground.  He ran beside me for a second then darted right in front of my front wheel while I was in mid sprint.  My wheel rolled up on his back but couldn’t find enough traction to stay upright as the Dog bolted.  I went down on the same side as I’d crashed Sunday.

Matt at Bald Knob

Matt at Bald Knob



Luckily I wasn’t hurt and my bike was fine.  Several nice people stopped to see if I needed help.  That’s twice in one week I crashed with a Shaun behind me.  The rest of the ride was fine, in fact I started giving Shon some company on the climbs.  According to Strava I set a PR on almost every climb I did today, even the ones I thought I was sucking on.  Hmm.

Despite the mishaps it was still a good week of riding, luckily I’m no worse for wear and I learned a valuable lesson about racing dogs.

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