This is the 4th of a 4 day ride weekend
14,359 feet climbed
7th (and 8th) fastest descent of Keeler
On Friday my Serfas racing saddle broke and I rode about 12 miles on the left rail to get home, which gave me a painful saddle sore on the left side. I pampered it as much as possible in between rides and sat carefully on the saddle. I used copious amounts of Badger balm as a Chamois cream. Today it is completely gone.
The replacement saddle is a Selle Italia Max SLR Gel Flow, which incorporates a much stiffer sub straight that the cover is stretched over, and there is padding between the leather and sub straight. The Serfas was a thin layer of cover (pleather? leather?) pulled over flexible plastic, riding on titanium rails. It sounds painful, but the springiness of the sub straight made it the most comfortable saddle for me yet. This much more expensive, and much heavier Selle saddle is not as compliant, but is a higher quality seat, and is working out pretty well.
As I climbed a certain Ridgefield hill coming South my intentions were to avoid the unpaved descent on the other side that I have avoided all summer. (Bald Hill Road). I have had zero flats, so that says a lot. The elimination of the Unpaved Hunt Lane on the backside of Keeler, and the elimination of this subsequent unpaved area has obviously made a big difference to my tire and tube wear. The Hunt descent is probably the most destructive thing one could do to their road bike while remaining upright. I will not be riding it again.
Well, instead of avoiding it when I got there, I ended up hitting the unpaved section at full bore and then slowing down to a crawl over the more destructive materials. That worked out fine until I reached the pavement and discovered that my camera had dislodged once again from its mount. This area is really rough, and I was pissed that I had changed my plan and tackled the unpaved hills. Now I had to retrace them.
I retraced the whole thing, climbing aggressively up the steep, rocky dirt hill to the top. I figured it was worth making an extra effort to get to it before it got run over like a rock. I reached the point where I had turned it on but found nothing in between. No camera in site. I was starting to get worried. I took it really easy on the second pass up and down the treacherous road, and finally found the camera. It was within ten yards of where I discovered it missing, at the very end, where the dirt meets the pavement. That’s right, I re-rode the worst part of the ride twice for nothing. That got my juices pumping for the smooth road descent, so it served its purpose. And its the extra 3 miles added to a typical Keeler 50. It also took my final average speed down substantially.
This is the first steep section of Keeler; still my favorite climb. It is newly paved, and it is truly a pleasure. The traffic is very minimal and the houses are on large plots of land with lots of nature in between. The new pavement also made the decision to ride back down Keeler over riding down unpaved Hunt an easy choice.