Wednesday was another stellar ride, the rain has been gone for over a week, most trails are dried out and the temperatures are sweet. Had a solid six pack of riders for the fast run this week split evenly between SSers and shifters. Did the same pain inducing loop as last week, only a bit quicker. Lots of climbing, lots of great downhills. Thought I may kill myself trying to stick with Donald on his Santa Cruz full suspension as we plowed through rock gardens at high speed. Somehow I managed to stay alive and avoid any flats. Felt really good on the climbs, a few more weeks of this loop and it might even feel easy (ha, ha, I doubt it). We had Eric join us for his 3rd ever SS ride and he hung like a champ, this is a tough ride for the seasoned one speeder. All in all we had a solid group.
Getting ready to head down to Douthat State Park in Virginia where the trails are supposed to be sweet as candy. Weather forecast is looking good, should be right nice.
If you are going to be in town make sure to hit up the last spring work day at Avalon where some tune up will be done on a smoker downhill to keep in from becoming a rutted mess. Meet at the Avalon pavilions at 9:30am on Sunday, full details here.
Get your rock on //
Tuesday - April 12, 2005
Wednesday night single speeder Tall Todd (of Drunk Cyclist fame) will be rocking out at the Black Cat in DC. His band The Routineers will be opening for The Kills, so get there early and check them out. And buy the man a beer too. He was part of our contingent that was on Capitol Hill fighting for more trails.
Wrapping up a week, because time flies //
Monday - April 11, 2005
Busy days and nights mean pulling together a lot of stuff into one post. With a scheduling conflict going on I decided to shift the Wednesday night ride to Tuesday. I hate to break tradition and all but getting my ride on was most important. With the turning of the clocks giving us extra daylight and reports coming in that the trails were dry we switched tactics from the tarmac to the dirt. Marky Mark was forced to ride my spare single speed and was reintroduced to the pain associated with it.
With four of us showing up and me feeling the need to start amping up the riding now that spring has arrived, we headed out on a loop I've dubbed the Assault on Avalon. I bill it as one of the toughest loops in Patapsco that includes most of the best downhills and some of the toughest climbing without repeating any of the trails. Kind of a "best of the best" ride. As the days get longer and the pack gets stronger the plan is to be able to knock the whole thing out on the Wednesday night ride. But not tonight, the daylight isn't there and neither are the muscles. The first half of the ride is the toughest as far as the climbs go and we knock that out plus the tail end of the loop. The day is warm and the sun sets like a glowing fireball on top of the tree line as we descend to the dam. Spring is here and it's good to be on dirt again.
Wednesday night a few of us head to the big city for a pre-summit meeting to get organized for the 24 Hours of Washington DC. The meeting takes place in an Irish pub and the food and beer tab is generously picked up by Salsa. Being close to the nation's capitol means we have a strong contingent of MD people, seven of us total.
Thursday the mountain bikers get cleaned up, the guys with ties, girls in skirts/dresses and most of us look professional enough to fool the Congressional staffers we meet with. The most important issue all states are focused on is getting the House version of the Transportation Equity Act passed. This includes the most money for the Recreational Trails Program which is a great funding source for building new trails. If your local groups haven't tapped into this, do some research and work on getting some. Other issues we (Maryland) hits on is alternative Wilderness designations that allow bikes in while keeping the bad stuff out and working on getting the bike route back in the plan for the Inter County Connector. Overall the meetings go good and most of our representatives are on our side. We meet with reps from one Senator and four Representatives. It's a long day but we've got a good group, the sun has been out all day and we head to a post summit happy hour at Capitol Hill Bikes for some beers. I bail on the dinner afterwards, run for the train back to Baltimore and wind up biking home in a warm rain as the spring storm arrives at the same I do.
Snuck out Friday evening with a few tools and cleaned out some clogged up drainage that was causing trail flooding at Avalon. Didn't take long but it had a big effect. Lots more needs to be done though, stuff for a good sized crew and several hours.
Saturday I head to Fairland regional park about 10 minutes from my work to do some trail work. Never been there before but they've been cutting trail in here the past few years and a perimeter loop is almost compete. Six of us do bench cutting for 5 hours and I'm worked. About 200 yards of new bench cut when we are all done. We ride the park, hit up all of the new trails and bush-whack through where things have been flagged for the rest of the cutting. We basically have the dirt to ourselves, no other bikers and a single hiker as I recall. Yet another nice day out.
Sunday the temps get near 70 and I spend a few hours on the local trails with Jay and Mike. Things have dried out nicely overall except for the usual trouble spots. Start the ride like Tuesday's but add more mileage since we've got more time.
Lots of trail work/advocacy type stuff lately and I'm feeling a bit burned out. I wish I could do this to pay the bills, but that isn't the way. Luckily I'm heading south on a bike trip this weekend and will miss the last spring workday at Avalon. If you haven't made it out yet this year, come on out, there's already a lot of work to do with this wet spring. We are planning things right now and should be addressing the Soapstone branch that leads in from the Park and Ride. The workday is on Sunday, April 17th at 9:30am, meet at the Avalon pavilions.