The Alpine Diaries – Entry 4

I think I have angered the Biking Gods, or the Spirits of the Mountains. I must have displeased them in some way, for I am being punished. Allow me to explain…

My struggles with severing valves from tubes have been well documented in these Alpine Diaries, on Twitter, and on Instagram. Imagine my pleasure when I found a solution which so far, appears to have worked. This has, however, incurred the wrath of the MTB Deities.

Mean and moody, or to be more accurate, All The Gear, No Idea…

Picture the scene, our plucky hero (me) has finally found some flow and speed, and so, with some misplaced confidence decides to hit the Roue Libre Red run with a bit of pace. At various points along these trails are what can only be described as metal doorframes, placed there I assume to keep wandering cattle of the trails (they don’t work – google Les Gets Cow Gap and you’ll see what I mean). Usually I have no problem negotiating these pieces of mountain furniture. Until today.

The Gate Of Doom, pictured in happier times…

So there I am, hurtling towards this frame (complete with mini cattle grid, I should add), when CLANG! My bars are wrenched violently to the right, and I’m fighting to keep control before the upcoming bend. Somehow, and I still don’t know how, I manage to stay upright. Yup, I’d managed to clip the frame with the end of my bars, sending me on Toad’s Wild Ride… I manage to get to the bottom in one piece, thinking “That was pretty bloody close!”, wash the bike and get back to the chalet.

That was when I discovered the broken spoke in my front wheel. Arse biscuits. Thankfully, the ever-helpful Chris at Jaff VTT was on hand to help me out with a replacement and true for a very reasonable price. I cannot recommend this unassuming little workshop enough. Chris is a legend – I hope I don’t need his services again, but I’ll not hesitate to go see him if/when I break something else…

I’ve got a shiny black nipple. No sniggering at the back…

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