I hardly knew you my Bandersnatch friend

I’ve posted several ride reports and/or gear reviews for my Vassago Bandersnatch, aka Big Red.  Well, as of last Friday there will be no more such posts, as I sold him on ebay to a really cool career military officer from Fort Benning.  I only got around 8 months worth of riding on Big Red, with a grand total of around 300 miles….not exactly banking the miles, though I attribute most of that to two things: 1) I spent some time running that I might have otherwise normally ridden, and 2) it was a long cold winter here and between the temperature and the short days I just never found much time to get out.

Selling Big Red follows just a week or so after selling Sexy Lady…all so that I could thin the bike herd and replace two bikes with one (a cyclocross bike…hope to have a post on one soon).  Once I committed to selling Big Red, I knew I had to get in one last trail ride.

Two Sundays ago I headed out on a fun little ride on the EBSCO property above Mt Laurel.  I started up Double Oak Way, but ended up dropping my chain when the hill got steep and I had to apply a lot of torque (SS 32×16 you know).  So, I hooked my chain back on and turned around out of fear of it happening again.  I next took the short but brutally steep hike-a-bike up to the ridgetop from Mt Laurel.  Once on top, I did a double-back hill repeat to warm up the legs, and then went on my way towards the southeastern ridge doubletrack that meets up with the power lines.  Along the way I cross paths with some turkey hunters who were on foot looking for something to shoot.  They were really friendly and said they had not even seen a turkey all day, which was a shame because I saw two really large turkeys running wild about two miles back.

Rather than risk getting shot by another hunter who they said was up ahead, I turned it around and took the northeastern ridge doubletrack to the first set of power lines.  Along the way I dropped my chain again, only to reattach it and keep going.  After taking a gel break at the first set of power lines, I started heading towards the next set but for some reason it just felt a little spooky.  Not sure why, because I have ridden it many times over the years by myself, and sometimes even early in the morning as the sun is still rising.  But no big deal, so I simply turned around and started the steady uphill back to Double Oak Way.

Once finally hitting Double Oak Way and reaching the wall-ish steep climb to the top I somehow dropped my chain again….really aggravating.  It finally dawned on me that when I removed my chain tensioner a few days prior to start cleaning my bike to sell it that I forgot to properly tighten it back up.  Once I got the right tension I was good to go for the rest of the ride.

On my way back to Hwy 41 I passed Travis, who was doing some hill repeats on his mountain bike.  I decided to turn around and ride with him for a while, which meant climbing the long hill to the top of Double Oak way for what would be my third time (well, maybe 2.8 times since I turned around a little shy of the high point on my first trip of the day).  Then we called it a day and rode back to Mt Laurel together.

Some ride pics are below, including a photo of some rather large paw prints in the mud.  This is really what spooked me to turn around not long after the first power line crossing.  Strava link can be found here.

IMG_1869 IMG_1871 IMG_1872 IMG_1873 IMG_1874 IMG_1875 IMG_1876


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