Once again, the sun graced another Banana Slug Series Training Ride in what is looking to be one of the wettest winters on record for Humboldt County; our good fortune seems downright puzzling. Saturday arrived with what looked more like summer weather – relatively warm, and early morning low clouds with light drizzle. The low overcast burned off and gave way to scattered high clouds shortly after the dozen or so riders departed on the Lone Star Junction Challenge a few minutes after nine o’clock.
With only one exception, all the riders who intended to complete the course did just that. That exception was Sean Simpson who experienced a mechanical mishap on what is arguably the steepest descent on the ride. By all appearances, the carbon rim on his front wheel burned through due to excess heat and failed catastrophically. This caused the tube to blow out the side of the rim and a large segment of the tire peeled off where it failed. Sean maintained control of his bike, was fortunate not to have crashed, and he emerged physically unscathed. Grant Lay saw Sean’s predicament shortly after it occurred and was able to get a cell phone signal while he was still quite a way out. When our support crew caught up with Sean, he had removed his riding shoes, shouldered his bike, and was trudging slowly down the hill barefoot. Despite his predicament, he seemed in good spirits, and surely was grateful it didn’t include loss of skin and blood as a failure like that can easily produce.
Special thanks to Ryan Wiegman for the photos. He came out with the sole purpose of documenting the ride. Thank you Ryan!
In the end, nobody had to fend off any dogs, and everybody enjoyed the ride. All the riders finished with respectable times considering the challenges presented by this route. Without further ado here’s how it played out.
Here’s to hoping for more great weather on April 8 when we ride the Dyerville Loop!