Woke up and it was already hot. Hot - Hot. Not hot hot. You know that other kind of Hot Hot, which is very closely related to HOT Hot, which in most peoples minds is still not quite HOT HOT. In the middle of the winter, we dream of hot. (You generally do not dream of HOT HOT, as that is just not realistic.) But today, it was hot. Kinda.
All the guide books say that Rock Lake Trail is not for everyone. (Pick up the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, and you will find it there.) Rocky, technical and difficult. Felt like just the trail for us today. Liz had been wanting to try the trail for a few years, but frankly was just a little bit afraid. We had also piled in the Remedy 150mm bikes, on the off chance that we would have decided to head up to Spirit Mountain in Duluth to try out the new gravity fed trails there. In the end that was not going to happen, as we just did not have the time for that. So to keep the bikes from going to waste, Remedy's it was and Rock Lake Trail. Woot, woot.
We loaded up the Remedy's, (over the pick up truck tail gate, mind you was we are not posers) and headed off to find the trail head. East of Cable is the Namekagen and Rock Lake trail heads. We got there, and there were just 2 cars in the parking lot. The guide book was doing it's job of keeping people off the trails.
Turned out to be just a sweet little trail. More technical than the other trails in the area, but not unrideable. Certainly deserving of a black diamond rating, but not the double black rating that we were seeing. Grand fun, a lot of challenge and if you are going to Hayward you have to give it a try.
But about halfway around, I sheered off my rear der by smashing it into a big rock. Now, dilemma - what to do next. No rear shifting for the rest of the ride, making my bike into a fully suspended singlespeed. I did not pull the der off, as that does not really work on the FS bike. But, I was able to pedal with alot of horrible noise a skipping around chain etc... One gearing it all the way around the rest of the trail.
We did finish with a smile, but after doing that:
- I have a rear wheel that needs to be trued and maybe a couple of spokes that need to be replaced
- I have an XTR rear der that is smashed into 2 pieces.
- I have a chain that has no integrity left and will need to be replaced.
- I may have a cassette that needs to be replaced.
Yow, that is alot of damage for one ride. But, actually it was worth it. Liz and I both felt that Rock Lake might be the best trail in the system. Rocky, techincal at times, swoopy, beautiful scenery - a good challenge. Lotsa fun.
So that ends, 3 days of riding in the Hayward area. Enjoy some real photos, no photoshop or anything. We will be back.