To help celebrate a bday, Lithodale worked up a route in the countryside of Oldham and Dave and I joined him for the planned 53m or so. I put some fat Paselas on the Crosscheck for a different kinda ride (the Bleriot sure is "slow") and Dave brought the 'bent. All-in-all it was a very pleasant ride, with some livelier tempos than Dave and I experience and some especially nice scenery down by the river in Westport and along Pattons Creek Rd. I spied a particularly promising mixed-terrain in the guise of Kidwell Pike (pic to come later). After our store stop we headed back home with Dave's ankle bothering him, but even with the short cut we achieved a solid 45m, 5 more than my age. I like that tradition and think I'll try to do that in the future.
I did experience one (really 2) unsettling moment on the ride, with a bad batch of brake disease. Ever since a near-miss in the Indiana Knobs this summer I've been a bit skittish on screamer downhills. Our first big descent occurred descending into Wesport, KY. For some dumb reason I took the lead without thinking that Dave also out-descends me. Well, as I neared the first key lefty bend I feathered the front brake- the rear pad was basically toast, which may have contributed to my problem- and the front end started to shudder prominently. Without any rear power I was balancing slowing down enough to make the turn while at the same time trying to keep the front end under control. I made the bottom but it sort of freaked me out. I guess I have visions of large SUVs in the front of my mind, right at the apex of a tight turn. Yikes!
All things being cyclical, we found ourselves later on 1488/CovingtonRidgeCutoff, which as a rather straightdown steep descent. This time I experienced the same front end brake shudder. And still, the rear brake was useless. It seems as brake pad or rims started heating up, or maybe just as applied more pressure to keep from careening out of control, the front pads started grabbing. Now I had shudder and grab. At one point the pads actually locked up while I descended at at least 30mph. I let go just in time but by this point I was ready to piss myself. I was also unenthused in general with the squirrely nature of the Crosscheck on a longish road ride. I guess the wheelbase is rather tight due to its 'cross nature and I wasn't comfy with how twitchy it was. I was wishing mid-ride that I was on the Bleriot, even though it feels like a pig for "Dale" rides. A great day on the bike, but w/ Dave's ankle and yet another near-death experience on a descent I'm going to have some demons to conquer.
p.s. I took the Crosscheck into C'ville for a brake check. I usually futz around with brakes myself, but I want a professional answer.