J picks me up at 6:20am and we drive over to the Ford Road entry to Neville Lawrie Reserve. The Reserve backs onto Daisy Hill State Forest, which contains a fantastic array of mountain bike trails. We are a group of about ten riders of varying abilities. Some are experienced and confident mountain bikers, others are recent arrivals to the sport, and others are first timers. Together we will have a ball.
We ride a range of single tracks and fire trails. Some technical, others easy. When the going gets too difficult, people hop off and walk. Everyone has their strengths and challenges. For me, I sometimes struggle across large logs while others face challenges on the softer corners or steeper downhills.
It’s busy out on the trails today. We come across various other groups, many of whom move more quickly than us. Our group rides then regroups. The faster riders taking the lead and the newbies bringing up the rear. I ride near the back most of the ride, enjoying the relaxed atmosphere. It allows me to take in the scenery. The tall gum trees and rather cute grass trees. Cicadas compete with our laughter as the loudest sounds on the air. It’s the perfect way to end 2012.
Well, it seems like the perfect way to end 2012 until the drive home. I didn’t see it but my friend (who was driving) did. All of a sudden she’s calling out and pulling up the car. I have no idea what’s happening. Until I look back and see my bike about 100m behind the car. It shouldn’t be there. It should be on the bike rack.
Apparently my bike flipped through the air in quite spectacular fashion. We were traveling at 60km (40mph) at the time. The handlebars are now badly bent. They seem to have taken the whole impact. I can’t see any cracks in the frame and the wheels are still running true. The front brake also broke so I’m not sure how the wheel survived. The rear wheel wasn’t so lucky though – it’s wobbling like a drunkard on New Year’s Eve.
My poor friend, J, is so stressed and feels so bad about my bike falling off her bike carrier while she was driving. I’m just glad it was my bike and not her’s because her’s is brand new and mine is old. My damage bill looks like it will be:
- $6.86 for a new handlebar (FSA XC-270 Riser Bar)
- $6.87 for new grips (WTB MotoTec Clamp-On Grips)
- $13.71 for a new front V-brake (Shimano Acera Brakes)
- $66.66 for new rear wheel (SRAM 406)
- $19.98 for new front derailleur shifter (Shimano Altus)
- $19.98 for new 7sp rear derailleur shifter (Shimano Altus).
So at $134.06 the damage bill is a bit painful but some things needed upgrading anyway (derailleurs and front V-brake). The biggest frustration is the damage to the rear wheel. I am tempted to buy a spoke truing tool to see whether I can true the spokes first because that’d be cheaper than a new wheel. The other option is just to buy a second-hand bike and hope to get something that works well because at some point my deraileurs will need replacing. Just wish the rear wheel wasn’t stuffed but it took a belting. Front wheel is fine though.
But before I go online and purchase all the parts, I am going to stay true to the original recycled nature of my MTB and am going to see what I can get from RecycleWorld at my local rubbish dump. I hear you can buy bikes for as little as $10. Perhaps there is a wheel, handlebar and set of shifters I can salvage from there first.
Total: 20km MTB