Monday, January 21, 2008

The Road Less Traveled

My Sunday Plans - Ride in the A.M. Beer, Beef, and Football in the P.M.

Mother Nature's plans -27 degrees, bone chilling winds, and snow covered trails.

Clearly two distinct approaches on how best to utilize one’s Sunday. Fortunately for me, my buddy Steve put together the same itinerary and so we made a go of it. We decided the best approach would be to hit some down hills in the beginning which would warrant our exposure to the elements. Minutes later, the riding turned into a circus act with Steve and I teetering on the brink of death as we slide down the ice covered trails.

Ice Covered Trail

Another rare sighting of a jackass-at-the-top-of-icyhill. A distant cousin to the jackass-in-tree but just as elusive.

Once we gained our composure, we decided to head toward the ledge, which generally makes for a fun 6 mile loop. Today however would be different as the ice and snow weren't backing off one inch. At one point my front tire washed out and I was sliding across the snow like frosty after a six pack of wobbly pops. Steve thought I stuck the landing and held up a 10, so did the Russian Judge, but that dam French Judge wouldn't budge on the 9.

The Ledge...see I wouldn't lie at least not about this

After two hours of riding we decided that we had enough frostbite for one day and called it quits. Both of us had some grilling responsibilities to attend to and of course lonely beers at home that were starting to miss us.

Steve sporting winter perma grin...he could actually be crying here but you will never know because perma grin hides all

3.5 lbs of marinated gametime goodness

Monday, January 14, 2008

Ride On

March 13Th brings Sunny Skies, 40 degree weather, and 3 semi hungover riders still recovering from the prior night's celebration that saw the mighty Patriots crush the hopes of Del Rio and his fallen Jaguar warriors.

The ride begins with some technical single track that at times is frustrating as the riders often need to dismount from their bikes to navigate around down trees and flooded trails. Given their lack of conditioning, the riders use these down times to regain their breath and remind themselves of the downhill single track that awaits them a mere mile away.

At one point, we stop to take some photos of the riding, however the camera apparently is also Pats fan and has chosen to call in a sick day. We did manage capture a single photo of the rare and elusive "jackass-in-the-tree".

The faulty camera is no match for the riders' tenacity and the group pushes on. Eventually the riders reach what they came for - fast downhill single track.

Jim releases a war cry from his $3 knock-off English bell. Angry squirrels take note when they mistake the noise for the ice cream man only to find his sorry ass. Dan keeps the squirrels at bay with a deafening hell screech from his lube deprived rear derailleur (note to self...Buy lube you cheap bastard).

An hour later, the riders exit the forest with shiteating grins and renewed optimism about all the riding that they will undertake in the new year. Jim thanks his trusty Jimmy Dean links for the extra boost of energy, while some of us decide to part ways with the preride Chili Diet. All in all a good day of riding, and more importantly a shorten work day for the awaiting house projects.

Monday, January 7, 2008

1st ride of the season

Sunday January 6th marked the first Mtb ride of the 2008 calendar year. The ride produced a small turnout of participants, 2; however wintertime in New England has a funny way of doing that. We rode the red tag trail in Freetown State Forest, which to our surprise has undergone some serious changes, particularly with respect to tree removal (see attached ride pictures). Fortunately for us, the technical rock garden sections that litter the trail still had plenty to offer in terms of tricky navigation. Upon exiting the trail, we found ourselves a bit lost but we did eventually make our way to the ranger station followed up by a small fire-road jaunt out onto high street. I'm writing this post the morning after with the typical aches and pains that 3 months off the bike brings... but strangely enough I can wait to get back out there next week.

Another picture of the tree loss...

Steve proud to be out riding in January