Lael passes Brush Mountain Lodge in the night, takes food to go. Photo courtesy Brush Mountain Lodge via Bikepacking.net.
Lael rolled into Steamboat Springs this morning just in time for the bike shop to open. Orange Peel is one of the most notable shops in Colorado, in part due to its association with Kent Erickson who founded Moots in this space. Kent has since sold Moots, which is now housed in a larger facility just out of town, and after several years out of the business he is back to building custom titanium bikes in a small work space adjacent to Orange Peel. The bike shop resides in an aging structure which resembles a tea pot.
Orange Peel provides expert service to Divide riders and racers annually. As Lael was walking out the door, one of the employees asked is she wanted any Orange Peel schwag, if she would support the shop on her ride. She peeled off the hardened wool Patqgonia socks I sent her in Canmore, and replaced them with a fresh pair or black Orange Peel threads, with smiling orange faces on the back side.
The mechanics replaced Lael’s chain and brake pads, and checked the bottom bracket for wear, which is still spinning smoothly since being replaced in Canmore just over a week ago. I’ve come to learn that the SRAM PF30 bottom brackets housed in plastic casings are not the best choice for a long, demanding ride. If dealing with a PF30 bottom bracket in the future, I would make an effort to order a Wheels Manufacturing or Problem Solvers unit in a machined aluminum casing. Assuming the aluminum fits tightly into the frame it should reduce the risk of creaking, and should resist warping the bearings if the BB shell is a little out of round, the most common issue when speaking about “manufacturing tolerances” and press fit bearings. It isn’t good when you install a fresh cartridge bearings and it feels rough, yet it felt buttery smooth outside of the bike. That bearing will not have a full life.
Lael rolled past Brush Mountain Lodge last night. Kirsten was there to talk and prepare some food to go. A few minutes later, a smiling photo of Lael appeared on the Bikepacking,net forums as she hurried up the mountain. Brush Mountain is one of a few backcountry lodges along the Divide that provides exceptional support to Divide riders and racers.
I bought a $400 round trip ticket from Anchorage to Tucson, to arrive in Arizona on Friday and return on Wednesday. It is hard to spend my hard-earned dollars on a quick round trip flight to the SW– without a bike!– but Lael has earned it and I’m happy to be there to meet her. If you want to see Lael laugh and cry at the same time, come see us in Antelope Wells. I’ll be in Silver City for a few days, not sure if ABQ is in the cards, although we may be back through the area in another month of two.
Follow the yellow LW bubble on the Tour Divide 2015 Trackleaders page.