Bringing in the New Year on my bike

Make that my mountain bike.

I rode Friday, Saturday, and Sunday accumulating about 40 miles of soft muddy trails.  Each ride has it’s own story.

Matt prepares a healthy breakfast of brown powders.


I got up early and spent my morning preparing for a solo ride.  I had recently fixed the hanger on my 29er and also put a new rear tire.  I was fired up for some trail riding and was on my bike around 8:30 heading towards the Gap when I encountered a camper on the River to River Trail, which is the premier trail in Southern Illinois, it crosses the whole state and hits many of our prime natural areas. 

Back at home my bike is on the workstand.

I had a long hill to climb and near the top I ripped the derailluer off my bike.  This happened because I tinkered with the derailluer limit screws getting my bike to shift and didn’t pay attention to over shifting.  Ironically this is exactly what the dreaded dork disk is designed to prevent.  It’s a shame I’m too cool to run one. 

I had to push my bike back down the mile long climb and walk past the hiker in shame, but I went straight home, repaired my bike and got back out for about 15 miles of riding. 


Before Saturday’s ride I replaced the cables on my rear derailluer again and carefully adjusted the cable tension and limit screws to achieve good shifts.  I also oiled the shifter which made it feel brand new again.   

This was a ride with the East Side Boys at High Knob, which included some rough old trails and some smooth new benchcut.  The story of this ride has got to be the half drunk horseback riders we kept running into.  They were riding in circles, talking on cell phones, and throwing back Keystone light like it was New Years Eve, well I guess it was New Years Eve.

When I got home I uploaded this ride to Strava and found my buddy Eli had already uploaded his ride.  I’m telling you Strava is cool. 


I went down to check out my bike about hour before the ride and found two flat tires.  It never ends with these mountain bikes.

Today was an afternoon ride at Eagle Mountain, only 11 miles but it was adventure for me because much of the ride was on trails I’ve never ridden.  About an hour before the ride I ate a big plate of spaghetti, and I feared it may come back to haunt me, but as the ride went on I started feeling better and better, about halfway through I began to feel invincible.  I was climbing everything and it seemed easy, like I didn’t even have to try.

One thing that I should have learned a long time ago is to avoid the bonus loop.  I rode down a hill to checkout a side trail near the end of the ride tonight and when I was riding back I sprung my Freehub, my bike still works but it won’t freewheel, which is a pretty useful thing for a bike to do.  Time to build a new back wheel with a stronger hub, that’s the second freehub I’ve broken in about 2 months. 

Three days of decent mountain bike riding at the start of winter is a blessing and I hope it continues. tomorrow is my last day of Christmas vacation and I’m spending it with Shauna, hopefully mostly relaxing.  Good night.


About Matt Gholson

Cycling, school teaching, husband.
This entry was posted in Bikes and components, lifestyle, Mountain BIking, Stories, training. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Bringing in the New Year on my bike

  1. Steve says:

    AHA! A documented case of a mechanical due to the lack of a dork disk. I know you were thinking of me on that hill!

    Glad you got out all three days over the weekend. I only managed to do it yesterday.

  2. Mike Mcroy says:

    The river to river trail society was hiking at High Knob sat, i saw some bikers on another trail but did not see them again, did run into some sober horses with drunk cowboys on them who always ask the same thing, wheres your horses?

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