Stumpjumper Day

Flowers were surreal on the flatland trails.

Stumpjumper Day.  I think that has a nice ring to it?

Maybe it should always follow Independence Day, like Boxing Day follows Christmas.

I spent the first Stumpjumper Day riding my early model Stumpjumper up the long grade to the Galbraith towers.  It was a busy day on Galbraith, but most on the road were going up so I just took my place in the slow procession.  This vintage bike really does not have the super low gearing that most of today’s bike do, so getting to the top was a little tougher than usual.  We did manage to pedal the whole trip, with only one or two tops to shed layers, but it was a grind.

Before I even pedaled out of the parking lot I noticed that my front brake was making that terrible honking sound that cantilever brakes used to make, however, determined to hit the towers I justified that the noise would go away on it’s own, I would adjust it at the top before riding down, or worst case I would walk it down.  The noise did not ease up, nor go away, and I didn’t have a “vintage” wrench to fit this vintage bike, so I crept off the summit making a terrible “hurt animal” sound and hoping I was going slow enough for the rear brake to skid me to a stop.  Then, I remembered an old trick of packing dirt in between the pad and rim.  I know it’s not really good for rims, but it worked and my now silent front brake performed as well as it ever did, which is not so much.

Further down the hill I discovered that the Three Pigs trails were closed so I set my sight on Dog Patch which is a mild trail with just enough roots & rocks to be fun.  The Stumpjumper did a fantastic job on the trail and I felt an ancient familiarity with this rigid marginally braked bike from yesteryear.  It was a nice ride.  From Dog Patch I wandered through several trails in the flat lands, Mole Trap, Lone Wolf, etc, all of them perfect for the Stumpjumper and I.

First annual Stumpjumper day properly celebrated with a ride and ended at the parking lot with a shout out by someone who recognized an ancient Stumpjumper.

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Garin

Poor as my writing might be, I still like to write. I’ve written a blog or two in the past, but at one point or another they each became a chore rather than a joyful pastime. C.S. Lewis said, regarding writing, “Write about what really interests you, whether it is real things or imaginary things, and nothing else.” I will be following Lewis’ advice so this blog, which bears my name, will remain a joyful pastime. Hope you like bikes.

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