Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Don’t Go Chasing Waterfalls/ My Goose Is Cooked

I’ve been caught up with all of my vacation stories lately, which didn’t really give me time to mention something pretty significant that happened. A few weeks ago, Little Miss Sunshine and I teamed up with some of our local Charlotte riding friends for a nice little trip to the DuPont State Forest. This would be our first time there, so it was nice to go with people that have been there before. We headed west, towards the beautiful North Carolina Mountains.

When we finally arrived at our destination, we got everything ready to go. I brought my full squishy bike, Goose, along for the trip. I chose the squishy action because we were riding in the mountains, and I wanted to be comfortable. The Big O isn’t really built for comfort, although it probably would have fared just as well (or better as you will later find out.)

The rest of our crew was getting ready too:

We started out on a trail called Burnt Mountain, which was a long climb on some really cool, smooth rocks. The good thing about the climb was the fact that you had to ride some sweet downhill to get out. An immediate reward after a climb is always the best. Here, Little Miss Sunshine takes the nice downhill action with a smile:

Eventually, we came up to a creek crossing. There were two ways to cross, and one was obviously easier than the other. Here is local rider RodFoot taking it like a pro:

Here’s our pal Terry demonstrating the normal way to cross, which the rest of us did:

After a little more trail riding, we came up to the most beautiful sight, the Bridal Veil Falls. It was well worth the trip, as you can see in these photos:

Little Miss Sunshine and I had to cut our ride short (I’ll tell you about it in a minute), but the rest of our crew continued on. On the way back to the trailhead, LMS showed us how skilled she is on a mountain bike:

Not to be outdone, I hat to hit one of these cool rock features too:

DuPont is an awesome place to ride, and I can’t wait to go back. If you’re anywhere near Western North Carolina and you’ve never been, then shame on you. You should tell your boss you’re feeling sick, head home to grab your bike, and get on over to DuPont right now. You will not regret it.

So, why did we have to bail on the group? Well, as I was climbing up a hill, I noticed that my bike felt extra squishy. I knew I had locked out my Fox rear shock, but I reached down and hit the lever again just in case. That stiffened things up a bit, but something still wasn’t right. I stopped at the top of the climb to investigate my extra squishyitude, and I noticed this:

Shit. I’ve broken plenty of skateboards in my day, but this is the first time I’ve ever cracked a bicycle frame. The damn thing broke right where the top tube meets the seat tube, and I didn’t understand why. My seatpost was down into the frame well past that point, so I was confused. To reference the title of this post, my Goose was cooked. Since I’m such an awesome bicycle mechanic, I tried a little trailside repair action:

Of course that didn’t work, so now I had to figure out how to get my beloved Goose in rideable condition again. Since it’s nearly impossible to properly repair such a thing, I decided that I would contact Diamondback for some warranty service.

When I talked to Diamondback, they said to take it to my local dealer. I didn’t know what to do, since my favorite shop closed down. Wait, what? Yeah, as you may have noticed, the link over there to the left for Middle Ring Cycles is gone. They mysteriously closed, and I heard that another shop opened up over there under a different name. I tried to call to find out what happened, but I never got anyone to answer. So, I had to find another local Diamondback dealer. I asked around, and the Dirty Party Cycle told me about a shop he visited recently, and he said the service was great. In fact he went there for a warranty issue for his Raleigh (the parent company of Diamondback by the way), and everything went silky smooth. I headed over there the next day with my broken Goose, and my tail between my legs.

So, what happened? Well, since I went on a little long today (and for the sake of dragging it out), I’ll save the conclusion for tomorrow. For now, I’ll just tell you that I was a nervous wreck, wondering if I’ll ever get to ride another full squishy Diamondback again. I still have The Big O, my 29er, but I kind of liked having two bikes to choose from. Will Diamondback tell me to piss off and buy another bike? Will I be back on a Diamondback Sortie 3? Will I get a different bike? Will the next bike be named Goose, and still be my Wingman in the Woods? So many unanswered questions. Tune in tomorrow to find out the conclusion to this horrible tale.

No comments: