Yesterday's ride at Blue Mountain was short & sweet. I had envisioned a long day on the trails but several factors worked against that vision. For starters, I'm still sick. I have had this false notion that I'm fine, despite my constant hacking (this cough won't leave me). So when I got out there and started the first long climb I was feeling completely drained and barely got my singlespeed up the hills. My pace was slow; that's for sure.
The other factor that worked against us was Marc's bike. He had sent me an email the night before saying that he was having problems with his brakes. I thought to myself, no problem, I'll get him rolling at the tail head. Having spent several years as a wrench in bike shops I was positive that I could fix whatever was wrong with his ride. Unfortunately Marc, not knowing any better, had sprayed an obscene amount of WD-40 on his brake calipers to try to "free things up". I was able to adjust his calipers so that they weren't rubbing so badly on his disk rotors but the oil on his brake pads make the brakes pretty much non existent. The other issue with his bike was that the cones in his hubs (both hubs) were loose. They must have been loose for some time because when I tightened them down, by hand, the bearings were super gritty. (Marc I highly recommend you pick up this book!)
We rode for about an hour before we called it quits. I was OK with that. I loved being out in the woods as it was beautiful. The drought we're experiencing has definitely taken it's toll on the forest. Several of the swamps we rode past were completely dried up leaving black leaves and dried out moss where swamp water once was (see pics below). This area sure could use some rain.
As per standard operating procedure we swung in to Peekskill Brewery before catching the train back into the city. I enjoyed a couple of their IPA's (my favorite type of ale) and we all talked about riding, work, life and exchanged ridiculous stories of times gone by. The brewery is a great place to end a ride.