Day 3 - Carson Pass

Jay sent me off with a bellyfull of scrambled eggs and advice to aim for Cooks Station as campsite for the night.  Sorry Jay, but the Mule En Rouge and I have to haul a little bit more than that.  I stopped for snacks at Cooks Station and pressed on.

Begin the day of mechanical failures.  From Cooks Station, it was a grueling 6 hour, 55km climb over the peak of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, through Carson Pass, at 8600 feet (look for the video of me about 1000 feet from the pass, hopefully I can get posted to YouTube from here).  

To begin my equipment woes, one of my waterbottle holsters snapped.  I think one of the bolts holding it to my front fork had come loose and had worn through the metal.  I gave up on the holster, and didn't cry over the lost grams. 

 

I'm beginning to take issue with some of the products I left Toronto with...

I'm beginning to take issue with some of the products I left Toronto with...

When I reached the peak, I realized my first tube had been punctured.  Bound to happen, and provided me with a good excuse to break and rest my poor little legs.  

After the peak, I was exhausted.  I tucked into my drop bars and sought the first warm bed.  I was fortunate to find the Woodfords Inn, in Woodfords, CA (http://woodfordsinn.com).   I highly recommend the place to any poor cyclist climbing the Sierra Nevada.  The owner was extremely nice, and even drove me to a local diner to get dinner.  

 

Unfortunately, just as a pulled into the parking lot, my front derailleur chain popped out, seemingly related to the pulley system leading to the front derailleur.  A third equipment woe in one day...well, I was too tired to deal with it that night.

 

 

 

All my griping about these breakages and the monstruous climb shouldn't mask the fact that it was a beautiful ride.  I passed through a variety of vistas en route - the El Dorado forest was particularly striking.  Very reminiscent of Northern Ontario Forests.

 

 

Early on in the ride.

Early on in the ride.

 

Near the peak.

Near the peak.

All in all, and looking back (from when I'm writing this, the 10th), Day 3 was one of my tougher days, both because of the climb and the equipment trouble.  However, I have a feeling as though I have passed through the crucible, and may now proceed into the desert.