Major rain hit us recently giving new meaning to the term "April Showers". If you are on the East coast of the US you know exactly what I'm talking about. It's thrown a wrench into my normal riding schedule and given me an excuse to slack some the last 2 weeks. Less riding, less mileage. Sure, people say it's good to rest once in a while, but my lungs seem to be feeling it.
With the many inches of rain that fell Sunday and Monday I suspected the trails may still be wet so I opted for the fixed cross bike and a combo of gravel and pavement. Andy and I met at the base of Sugarloaf Mountain after work and got a 20 mile ride in before dark. A large portion was gravel littered with mud holes and rough surfaces brought on by the recent rains. Kept things interesting and fun. Luckily Andy is always up for a challenge as I routed us down a pretty much abandoned dirt road that is split in two by a wide (several car lengths), over the hub stream crossing that was cold and swift. Nothing like a little mid-week adventure biking to keep you sane. The route more or less circumnavigates the base of the mountain through rural farmland and rolling hills. Beautiful countryside for a ride. At the end of the ride Andy dragged me up to the summit of the mountain and dropped me like a sack of wet cement. My tires felt like they were inflated at a measly 30 psi (they weren't); I felt sluggish and like I could not get on top of my gear. He tried to make me feel better by pointing out he was running a smaller gear than me, but that still didn't account for the fact that I felt less in shape than 2 weeks ago. The descent is like a mini Pikes Peak with a series of tight switchbacks. I almost lost it more than once when Andy passed me, freewheeling while I was fixing and giving chase. Some of those turns sneak up on you quick and quite a few corners have gravel lining the edges to keep you on your toes. All in all it was a good way to spend the Wednesday ride.
OK, this is the time of year where I start beating the drum for trail work. After a rough winter and plenty of rain already this spring, the trails can use a little TLC. Saturday a bunch of us spent most of the day working at Greenbrier State Park. Sunday April 29th will be the first spring workday at Patapsco State park. Meet at the Avalon pavilions near the rock climbing wall at 9am. Avalon always needs some work, it's a park that tends to hold water and is the most popular MTB trail system in the Baltimore area. Come out and get some trail karma built up early in the season.
The day prior, April 28th, my wife will be leading a women's only ride, billed as "An introduction to the Watershed". It will be a casual pace (racers stay home or keep yourself in check) that will be on intermediate to advanced terrain. If you are a lady and you've been intimidated by stories of how hard the Watershed trails are, this is a good place to start. You shouldn't be a beginner, but the route is one of the easier ones with less climbing than most and it's just the right thing to get your first taste of riding up there. The ride is part of the Ride Like a Girl series and is sponsored by The Bicycle Escape. See The Bicycle Escape's website for full details on time and location.
Big Time? //
Tuesday - April 17, 2007
So, maybe you noticed some new links over on the left. And maybe you've wondered just what it's all about. Factory Team? What's that? Well, here is the O-fficial explanation that's been distributed world wide to important media types. Consider yourself informed.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: Jojo Maralit firstname.lastname@example.org
Single Speed Outlaw Announces 2007 Grassroots MTB Team
Frederick, MD (April 17, 2007) -- The e-zine Single Speed Outlaw (www.singlespeedoutlaw.com) has launched a grassroots mountain biking team for the 2007 season. Based out of Frederick, MD and known as the Single Speed Outlaw Factory Team, they will promote mountain biking and trail advocacy throughout Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Washington DC. In addition to mountain bike racing the team will work with local organizations in building and maintaining trails as well as leading rides for their sponsoring bike shop, The Bicycle Escape. Other sponsors include Harlot, Clipper City Brewing, Serfas Optics, Kenda Tires, Deuter, Chrome, and Carbboom Energy.
The team consists of a wide range of cyclists who ride single speed bikes. Members range from cyclists with over 15 years of mountain biking experience to those who have been involved with the sport for only a few years. Additionally, nearly half of The Single Speed Outlaw Factory Team roster is made up of women.
Team photo by Jason Stoner. For more information, contact Jojo Maralit at email@example.com. Additional team information can be found here.