Friday, July 13, 2007

Dusty Trails and busted Bikes

So, the less said about Mudtown the better - suffice to say I wasn't the only miserable British biker there at that time. Felt sorry for some of the guys who where only there for the weekend, and had to make the most of it. I just retired to my apartment and chilled (drunk beer, listened to music and read philip k. dick books). Lots of guys I spoke to where looking for a different resort for next year, Morzines lack of maintenance and high biker density putting people off.

The highlight for me was falling head first into a swamp on the Chavannes downhill in Les Gets and breaking the peak on my helmet - how I laughed :)

Anyhow, arrived in 2 alpes to glorious sunshine and dusty trails. Did the blue rated run on the Pied Moutet side (No.9) 4 times. A fabulous track, super smooth, a few jumps and steep drops but generally about speed (no rock gardens and no braking bumps either). Its 3.5km long and drops about 440m, fasted time was 6m:30s, average speed therefore ~32km/h or 20mph. Fastest I clocked was 31.9mph :) (just call me data) - on the fourth run I had a spill, one of the flat corners (i.e. not bermed) I hit a little too fast, was getting tired at this point, weight all wrong and the back end span round and I went down, all happened quite fast (GPS shows speed of 30mph at the time!!!) - no lasting injuries, my knee guards have a nasty gouge out of them and another jersey ripped.

I also got this shot of Pic Blanc, this is where the Megavalanche starts from. I have circled (badly) the lift at the top (3300m high) that is pretty much the start of the race. Hopefully, it then continues down the other side of the mountain, as the side that faces 2Alpes is nearly vertical:

One final thing before I head off to get my 6 day lift pass - I noticed oil coming from the seal at the top of the left leg of my Totem forks yesterday after the runs down the blue. Arrrggghhh I cried, thoughts of having to get a new pair sent over passed through my mind, I really don't want to use the Enduro now the VP-Free just rides so well and the forks are awesome. Anyway, a quick phone call to Tim Flooks - master of all things Mountain bike suspension put my mind at rest - apparently the seals on the Totem aren't too great, they get bunged up with mud (Morzine mud in my case) and dust, causing them to bulge and then leak. Tim said don't worry about it short term, but you may want to remove the fork lower legs and clean the seals up, then replace the oil.

The only problem, says I, is that I don't have the correct weight oil (15wt), only some Fox Float, and some Fox Suspension fluid. No problem says Tim, mix them 50\50 and put 20ml in each leg, job done! So a job for later is to do that (removing the lowers is easy, just remove the allen bolts from the bottom of each leg (ones also the rebound adjuster) and drain the oil. Then tap gently and slide them off, holding them upside down so that any muck near the seals falls out rather than back into the leg) - Big thanks to Tim for the info - check him out for your shock servicing needs at
DIY fork servicing here we come....

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