As mountain bikers, it's important to give back every now and then and spend a day out in the woods building new trails or helping to maintain the ones we already have. A recent, lengthy discussion about trail work on the BBTC listserve brought to light the fact that we, as a group, don't do enough to get the word out when we are holding trail work parties. So, as a means to help increase attendance at these work parties, I got a hold of the BBTC logos, had the Volunteer Coordinator and leader of the work party approve flyers I made, and then printed a half-dozen of them up on waterproof paper to hang at the trailheads around Tiger Mountain.
I won't be able to attend this Sunday's work party on account of a series of rides I'm leading elsewhere, but I figured I could at least help earn some "trail karma" by hanging the flyers. Because that's what it's all about, or so I'm told. You give back to the trails and the trails, in turn, give to you.
So I rolled up to the main signboard at the bottom of Tiger Mountain and hung my first flyer. Now it's time for the 3 mile forest road climb up to the Preston trail. It's a beautiful day out, I re-confiscated Kristin's iPod Shuffle for the ride and although my Moots in the shop awaiting new chainrings, my Giant ran well last night so I'm in a good mood. I round the first bend and suddenly hear a snap. My rear derailleur has broke in two, shot straight through my back wheel, mangled the cable and housing, and bent a spoke. Excellent.
Now I'm down to no mountain bike and have my two biggest pre-TransRockies weekends looming large on the calendar. Again, excellent.
The more you ride, the more wear and tear you do, and the more expensive this sport becomes.
Funny side-story though: I immediately brought the bike over to Singletrack Cycles to get a new derailleur put on and while I was there a guy came in with his bike. It had a flat rear wheel. He was upset because he apparently just had the shop repair a flat for him yesterday and now it's flat again. "I don't know if it's something I did or if there might be something wrong with how the tire got fixed". The man leaves his name and number and goes to run errands. Five seconds later the bike mechanic and I notice a large nail sticking out of the rear tire.