Saturday, November 26, 2005

Serving up an Epic

Earlier this week I got myself and an unsuspecting bystandard into an impromptu epic ride. It was starting to suck a little towards the end, but it's one of those things that makes mountain biking what it is, and it's been quite a while since doing one. Lately with my current lifestyle mountain biking as been in a little protective bubble. I know the trails I'm on, and the race courses are marked and even though I'm dieing a thousand deaths on the race it's not the same thing as being out there with a trail map and that unsure feeling of which way to go.

Keith contacted me via my BLOG. He was visiting family in the area and considering relocating up here and wanted to ride. His sister that he was visiting thought it was kinda weird to go riding with someone you met online. Like I was an axe murderer or something.

Well after this ride I am sure he was wishing he met an axe murderer instead of me. His sister has seen through the purpose of this BLOG. It is to lure unsuspecting mountain bikers to go ride with me and left for dead on the trails.

We were going to ride on my local trails at Brush Mountain. But that Monday was the start of rifle season.
Otherwise known as drink beer, wear camo and blaze orange and shoot anything that moves. I could here the BOOM BOOM BOOM off the mountain that morning. So I suggested going to
Carvin's Cove as they don't allow hunting.

I 'sort of' know these trails and I had a trail map. Famous last words. Sort of is the thing that gets you lost out on the mountain. Sort of like wearing blue jeans while snow mobiling. You know most of the people they find dead from getting lost from snow mobiling were wearing blue jeans.

They have this lame parking pass procedure that required us to go to the boat dock to get a pass. Problem is the good trails are all 4 miles away on a fire road that is downhill at the start but uphill grind on the way back.

So rode out in sub 40 and windy conditions on the gravel road, and started to hit some of the lower trails. He was excited about the riding so I didn't want to disappoint and have him leave here without experiencing some of the better downhills. We climbed the 1000' climb and came down some sweet single track. Actually super steep with 6" of leaves= sketchy.

Mountain biking is like childbirth. Meaning that there is selective memory involved. I totally forgot how far back we were and how long it would take to get back to the road. We finally made it back to the gravel road about 3 1/2 hours into it. Uh, sorry Keith yeah I did say we would be out only 2 hrs. And we still had to make it back to the cars on this forsaken all uphill road.

We got sleeted on and then it got colder and I just wanted to be back at the cars. I started to kick it into overdrive to just get back to the car. I wasn't leaving him to die on the trail, I swear I was just going to warm the car up for him.

I felt bad about being a yahoo with map and leading him astray. But at the same time, this was the longest ride he had ever done, so I felt priveledged to be there as he notched his belt. I can remember the first time I rode 1 hr, and then 2 hrs and then 3 hrs. These are all rides that go towards your life story as a mountain biker.

On a personal note I was stoked that I was able to do that ride as well as I could.
1) I had lifted hypetrophy the day before. Normally my legs should have been toast but they were ticking along pretty well
2) I was sick. Though the cold has now turned into a sinus infection and I have several cold sores in my mouth. Hmmm. what's up with that
3) My technical skills are coming along somewhat. Had a few good log crossings, and downhills. Though later in the ride I walked a lot cause cold and tired does not equal confident for me.

Hats off to Keith for a spectacular epic. He has some serious fitness and some skills cause this was no beginner ride. I would not have done anything like this if it wasn't for him calling me up.

So anyone else who wants to come down here for a ride, just let me know. We'll only be out 2 hrs. or so. Yeah one water bottle will be enough.


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