Friday, August 6, 2010

Kettle Moraine State Forest

The weather cooled off a bit yesterday. And, the humidity dropped - actually a comfortable day. A bit windy, so headed to the Kettle Moraine State Forest, North Unit to get my dirt fix.

What ended up getting fixed was my bike - more on that later.

I checked the Wisconsin State Parks web site and noted that Kettle Moraine is a unit of the Ice Age National Scientific Reserve. As such, my National Park Service Senior Pass was honored. Saved me the $10 vehicle fee. Still had to pay the $4 bicycle trail fee.

From the Forest Headquarters, it was down to New Fane trails area. Rode the 1/2 mile warm-up loop. Mosquitoes were nasty so stopped at the car to spray bug juice. Off on to loop 2.

Heading into that trail, it seemed that there were more "baby head" rocks on the trail. Lots more than I remembered from November. I know the trail is new, so all the rain this year might have exposed the rocks.

Pedaling up a hill, I quickly remembered that the Fuel EX7 was having shifting issues. Was skipping the chain the last time I rode it (back at Tsali). I should have headed back to the car, but kept on riding. On to Loop 3. The problem was getting worse so took a short cut back. 1.7 miles in my ride the chain broke.

Hike-a-bike back to the car. Now, I had ridden 1.2 miles into loops 2 and 3, but walking back on the hiking trail took me 1.7 miles to the car. Of course, the mosquitoes a swarming over me. Was a miserable walk back.

Once back to town, called a local Trek dealer - Grafton Ski and Cyclery. They said they were not too busy and could look at the bike. Replaced the chain and adjusted shifters. Told me the bottom bracket bearings are going bad.

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