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Veronica
03-27-2005, 01:49 PM
Thom and I decided that since the rain was holding off we’d mountain bike Diablo today. The climb went as all climbs go. It was steep and took a lot of effort. When we finally crested at Prospector’s Gap the wind was blowing pretty hard and we put on jackets for the descent.

This descent is not for the faint of heart – 17.2% grade and not a nice smooth road like the Summit of Diablo. This is strewn with loose rocks and ruts. I carefully pick my way through the first section. Then comes a series of rollers and the trail is fairly smooth. My max speed for the day was here – 25.8 MPH.

Next up is the second steep section. As I start down this I noticed my front brakes feel a little squishy. Then I realize I have basically no front brakes at all! You can squeeze as hard as you want, you aren't braking! Okay… it’s amazing how much flashes through your head when you think something bad is going to happen. I see no way out of this, other than a spectacular crash. I yell out that I’ve lost my front brakes. But Thom doesn’t hear me. He is up at the top of this section watching the whole thing – which lasted maybe 10 seconds. My rear wheel starts to let go and I start to slide off to the right. This is good, off to the left is a cliff. Thom said he was wondering why I was skidding so much. It’s not the way I usually ride :D .

Somehow I keep the bike upright, regain control of my direction and ride up over a berm and onto a flat area. This slows me down enough that I can stop the bike with only the rear brakes. I don’t even know when I unclipped, probably right at the end is my guess since I know felt balanced all the way through. Turns out my left front brake pad had slipped under the rim. Good thing we carry tools.

This first picture shows the skid marks, the berm and flat area that slowed me down. My bke is resting where I came to a controlled stop.
http://www.tandemhearts.com/bike/mtb/no-crash.jpg

This one shows the corner coming up that I had way too much speed for. Notice how much Thom is leaned over to keep the bike upright.

http://www.tandemhearts.com/bike/mtb/t-with-bike.jpg

We walked around the corner and then rode the rest of the way down. There were some more hairy sections, but else nothing life threatening. :p

V.

SadieKate
03-27-2005, 03:57 PM
Brakes? We don't need no stinkin' brakes!

Glad you survived.

Veronica
03-27-2005, 04:19 PM
I didn't have time to be scared. Thom did though. :p

V.

SadieKate
03-27-2005, 04:24 PM
Poor Thom and Bubba. I fear we are aging them quickly.

snowtulip
03-27-2005, 04:52 PM
Just reminds me why I love disk brakes! Glad to see you safe!

aka_kim
03-27-2005, 06:07 PM
I'm sure it's a nice long drop off of that nice CLIFF there on the left. Tell me again, why is mountain biking so fun?

LBTC
03-27-2005, 07:02 PM
way to control the bike, V!! yahoo! you rock!

I agree with snowtulip....it's why I have disk brakes....

I won't bother telling you all about the way the hydraulics weren't quite working on them for awhile. heehee No dramatics....only noticed it while stopped squeezing the brakes waiting for others, thank the goddess!!!

ain't mountain biking the best??

Namaste,
~T~

CorsairMac
03-28-2005, 11:45 AM
Nice bike handling skills ma'am! Hats off to you!!! and thank goodness it was fixable...the thought of trying to finish the ride without them gave me the shivers!!

nuthatch
03-28-2005, 06:10 PM
Thanks for the pictures - what a GEORGEOUS ride!! Almost worth mushy brakes....