Memorial Day Weekend ride, SARS

The Seattle Area Riders SARS, (a scary name) had another chaotic ride today, Sunday 29 May. We had a total of 11 participants, 9 of which went for lunch at the Red Hook Brewery. Tom Jackson turned around and basically snubbed us for lunch. Irene started earlier and rode further than the rest of the core Coker group and Steve DeKoekkoek had a tandem with trailer so two kids in tow. Bruce Dawson joined us briefly during his training ride for the Seattle to Portland ride (STP) which he will participate in this year as well as maybe Irene. Jack Hughes has done it a couple of times and I think Dan Heaton has done it.

I warmed up trying to hop up six stairs on my new wheel set, now that I have some confidence in it. When it’s pumped up to road ride, it’s tight and hard so to hop steps you basically get no help from the tire and have to lift the heavy Coker each step. I think I made three once, but on that hard wheel it’s hard to land to a good balance point and it gets tiring lifting that monster.

I rode down the six set a couple of times, though. The high pressure tire makes it bounce on the step corners and, although the wheel diameter is large and helps, it is clear that some pressure lower than the 50 psig riding pressure would be better both up and down stairs. I decided to try that at the end of the ride so I wouldn’t have to pump up the tire with a frame pump.

There was a nice planter with a wall around it at a park several miles into the ride. We usually take a crotch break at this park and get some water. I tried to mount on the planter wall which was by no means a skinny. It was at least 8 and possibly 12 inches wide. My brain kept saying, “go to the dirt, not the 18” drop." I had biffed a 12" drop on a standard Coker wheel from bouncing in the past. I probably tried to freemount 10 times. I finally took a hand up.

I had Jon McClintock on my left hand and standing on the ground. I had Irene in the planter holding my right hand. DON’T DO THIS! I had no free hands to control the Coker and it went flying when I tried to mount. I kept Jon on my left and I gave up Irene on my right so I could grab the seat handle on the second try and easily mounted and stabilized. Then the wall was cake to ride. I negotiated the 90 degree corners rolling with no difficulty. Then I did the 18" drop off of it and, although hard and bouncy, stuck it. Again, confidence in the new wheel set. Jeff Sloan also rode the complete planter, first hopping the turns, then rolling them.

Everyone in this group seems to be riding faster and with more control…except me. But that’s still fun to watch. Irene after her big 82km long, 750m altitude gain ride yesterday was noticeably more twitchy today but still much faster than me. Bruce did an 82 MILE ride on flats yesterday.

After we porked down and rode back, I got to the point where I wanted to try the stairs again. I tried them first at road pressure, still with no luck. I let a bunch of air out of the tire and first noticed that it was totally squirrelly to mount, like a MUni with way too little pressure on pavement. It was easy to hop to balance points and I successfully hopped up the six set twice with the springy tire. I also found riding down it to be much more fluid and controlled; much less bouncy.

When I got home I measured the tire pressure to be about 20 psig and then I pumped it back up to 50 psig for commuting. I will probably try 25 psig for stair work from now on.

The ride was a gas as usual and all of the people are a joy to be with. Tom Blackwood and JC extended their ride after everyone else had left. There were some photos taken and perhaps they will be posted later.

A Coker ride that features lunch and a pint at the midway point. I need more rides like that.

Here’s Greg on the planter wall:

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And here’s Greg and Jeff in a game of chicken:

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Oh, Greg landed the drop there when he intentionally jumped off the wall to avoid the Jeff.

Re: Memorial Day Weekend ride, SARS

I’ve posted some up in the “Misc. Seattle Riding Club” gallery here: http://gallery.unicyclist.com/albuv88?page=3

Today’s shots start with the 9th photo on page 3. There is a blurry video of Harper riding the six-set. It’s kind of funny that the preceding shots in the album are from the last group ride we did on the Samm Trail, a month earlier.

It was a fun ride today. I was wanting to get in a 20-miler over the long weekend, and with the little extension ride that JC and I did, I made it. I’m not so sure about the heavy meal and pint of ale element half way through the ride, but I’m happy I managed to avoid crashing today. Other than a failed initial mount attempt after the pint, I managed to get on and stay on pretty consistently. This despite solid attempts from both JonM and Harper/Irene to take me out.

Jeff Sloan got someone to take a photo of the core Coker group at the park with the big, walled planter.

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Jeff also got a shot of us porking down at the Red Hook Brewery. He claims that his Coker is attracted to and cannot avoid breweries.

What kind of “game of chicken” is this? From the pic it looked like Jeff was a “sitting duck”, er chicken, and it would’ve been an easy win for Harper.

Oh, well, I guess that’s why he’s still riding skinnies in his late youth: sensibility.

Hey! Jeff was off his Coker, getting ready to toss it into the brush, and attack me barehanded at that point. I had to jump. Besides, in our group it’s always important to own the stunt and then film the biff.

It was a very impromptu game of chicken. They were both riding the wall and didn’t notice the other person was riding the opposite direction until they met.

It was pretty cool to see Greg and Jeff making the 90 degree turns on the wall while on the Coker.

I enjoyed visiting with everyone on Sunday’s ride. It is true; my legs were a bit shaky from Saturday’s ride around Bainbridge Island. Here is the only picture I took during the ride. I posted two of Jeff Sloan’s pictures and my one picture on my blog here.http://unirene.blogspot.com

imgp1900 greg on stairs.jpg