Pledge to ride your bike more and get a chance to receive some booty. Well, I did it and what do you know, I scored. New Belgium brewing has always been embraced by bikers because of their flagship "Fat Tire Ale". But it definitely goes deeper than that. They sponsor numerous cycling events and related activities and their Team Wonderbike is a little program encouraging people to get on their bikes and ride more. I got lucky and wound up with this sweet Chrome bag. They keep beer distribution tight to insure freshness, which means getting their beer on the East coast is next to impossible unless you bring some back from a trip out west. Can't blame them for wanting to keep the quality high, it's just a bit frustrating for us who live here.
Off Road to Athens finally came to Baltimore last night, which seems kind of strange since the guys who made it are practically local (DC area). Then again, B-more seems to be the blue-collar stepchild of the area. That small complaint aside, the movie was really impressive. The filming and production were top notch and the flow was really good. It captured the emotion of the riders well and the ride shots made you want to hit the dirt as soon as the movie was over. It also gave me some new ideas for future MTB trips. The DVD is out, but if you can catch it on the big screen while it still has a few more showings, I would make every effort to do it. I have a hard time believing there are any cyclists who would not enjoy this and I would venture to say that many non-pedalers would find it equally gripping and entertaining. Good stuff.
Tales from the Trails //
Monday - March 13, 2006
Good riding this weekend, no doubt about it. Saturday hit the trail with my lady, her first ride out for this season, not all of us ride all winter long. Pretty amazing, it was hot, sunny and like a summer day. Unreal weather for March in Maryland. We headed south to check out Little Bennett, a park in Montgomery County. I've never been there and have heard some mixed reports on it. My expectations were not to high, but we were looking for some laid back terrain to get Julie back in her MTB grove. I have to say, I was pleasently surprised. I'm not saying this is a mecca or some destination that you'd drive a long way to, but the trails were a good mix of cinder fire roads, wide dirt and single track with a little bit of technical spice. There was a bit more climbing than I expected, not that it was massive or anything, but enough to keep things interesting. The best part of the park though, is it's size and remote feel. It's the largest park in Montgomery County and seems to have very little users. Couple this with the variety of terrain: fields and various types of wooded areas and you quickly feel like you are miles away from the encrouching, bland suburbia that is quickly knocking on the parks back door. Next time I can see packing a few beers and a lunch and having a mid-ride picnic. Best thing about the ride though, was to get out on a ride with my girl on a fantastic day, deep in the woods.
This park has a lot of potential for a good network of trails to be built. I know some people in our local MTB advocacy group MORE are pushing for it and now I can see why.
Sunday I headed to the Shed with Ricky d to do a little trail recon. The weather got a bit more March like: chilly and gloomy. The weather people blew the forecast again as they were calling form more summer temps with brief showers at dawn. Well, the showers hit early and then off and on all day. The temps were reading 54F when I left the house and you can consistently knock 5 degrees off when you get up to the Catoctin ridge. No matter, we had a good ride and as soon as we hit the first climbs you warmed up quite a bit. Some of the rocks were slick from the morning showers, but the trails were just damp enough to give a bit of tack in some spots. Good stuff, it's tough to ride those trails and not finish with a smile on your face.
More rain in the forecast for this week, but Off Rode To Athens is playing at the Charles Theatre in Baltimore on Wednesday, so you can get your bike fix there. Will it sell out? Not sure, but I'm not taking any chances, I've got my tix, how about you?