All, to add to quick report by Rob – it’s hard to keep track but I think we had a total of 19 riders come out for true Descenders “classic” route to Mussey and Pamo roads. We had two new riders – John and Marcus joining us, both very strong riders. It was also my first time riding with Bryan Taylor – who was doing super-strong pulls all day. On any ride you can hear a number of european accents – in our relatively small club we have representatives from Britain (2), Ireland, Scotland, Germany (2), Ukraine and perhaps several other countries that I am forgetting now.
Eric R. was late to start and was chasing us – unfortunately for him the pace was pretty quick as we went up 67 (he finally caught us on Mussey), and Hodges was riding ahead as he was recovering from illness (flu?) – we caught him at the top of 67.
We started with amazing patchy cloud cover that was quickly burned off as the sun came out by the time we reached Ramona.
We had a number of flats – one at the bottom of Mussey and another on approach to Ramona. I also manage to drop my chain at some point. These split off the group into two, but we re-united at Pamo again.
Normally we ALL stop as a group and wait for the flat to be fixed, but I would like to propose that if a rider has a flat in the beginning of out-and-back section (on approach to Pamo, or on early section of Old Julian, Mussey, Double-Peak etc.) – the group should reserve the right to NOT stop, and keep going. The rider who flatted can simply fix the flat and start riding towards the group and turn around as soon as they see the group coming back.
Even though it may help if another rider stops and helps make the flat tire fix, everyone should be completely self-sufficient in this fairly simple and commonly needed task (have CO2 inflator/cartridge or functioning pump, spare tube, perhaps a patch kit, levers, etc).
Even if a flat happens not on out-and-back section, the group should consider an option of keep riding easy tempo for a few (3-5) minutes and then turning around and loop back to the site of mechanical – this should give sufficient time for a rider to fix the flat, and does not require everyone to stop and stand around and wait.
Some photos are attached, more photos are at: http://goo.gl/Av1mwJ
You should have come! Oleg