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Go Here and Read  //   Thursday - April 30, 2009

A little reading to keep you busy...

Bolivia biking. Isn't that where Butch Cassiday and the Sundance Kid wound up? Looks like a place worth visiting.

The future of Baltimore Biking. Let's hope cycling in Mobtown improves, it sure has room for it.

Issue #1 of XXC Mag is out. Looks good from my perspective. Check it out.

- riderx

Heat up, beat down  //   Tuesday - April 28, 2009

On Wednesday of last week we headed out to the Watershed with some of the Frederick City staff. They wanted to see how our trail work was going for the new piece of the Catoctin Trail we were building. We had been rained out the week before, had heavy rains a day prior and it wasn't looking so good when we left town for the trek up to the ridge. By the time we finished hiking up to the trail it started to sleet, then we were greated with a few snow flurries. Bizarre since it did not seem cold enough for that, but strange things happen in those woods and wild weather and temp changes tend to be the norm. Luckily the odd weather passed quickly. The City workers were impressed with the work we had done even going so far as to call it a "work of art" in an email to their colleagues the following day. This, of course, made us stoked. If you want to help work on this piece of art we've got another trail work day scheduled for May 9th at 9:00 a.m., meeting at the Sand Flats parking lot.

Photo by S. Spearman

By Saturday the temps had risen to the low 90s and the month of April was looking like heat wave records might be broken. I headed out for a long ride with Jay feeling like the legs were dead for some reason but figuring they would come around. Friday's ride and been shorter and with 4 flats between 3 riders there was plenty of rest and recovery time, so that wasn't an excuse for the legs. Friday's happy hour might have been a factor though. We dropped elevation from the Sand Flats start and bombed south towards the clear green pond on a chute of rocks, roots and dirt that keeps you on your toes at high speed. Erosion has created a toboggan type run forcing tight lines and a keen eye to keep it together, avoid flats and rail every line and jump. It's a fun, fast run and a good way to start the day. From there the route turns back up as we had a series of climbs to lead us to Hamburg Rd. and beyond to the Lawnmower trail.

Things were going good, only felt a little off as far as my climbing legs went and when we crossed Hamburg again to head north I let it rip as we dropped off the high point and started and extended descent on the blue trail. Bob, weave, launch here, rail a turn there, things were going good until the front wheel briefly lost contact with the trail in a turn. Not sure if a rock rolled out from under my wheel or the wheel just bounced off of it. Regardless, when the wheel came back down a combination of traveling at a high rate of speed, the tire failing to hook up and the handlebars slighly turned created a crash and burn situation with me feeling like I just got sacked by a linebacker. The impact hurt more than the abrasions and I sat dazed for a minute of so before Jay came upon me. With nothing obviously broken (other than my pride) I remounted and continued on, pedaling my broken body at a slower pace than before, not for safety's sake but because the body was not longer operating at full power. Pedaling on is good in these situations though, it stretches those tight muscles and doesn't let the pain settle in as much as it could if you were sedentary .

We worked our way back towards Sand Flats, then east towards other parts of the north end of the Shed, descending the new blue trail we've been working on before cutting my planned loop a few miles short due to time constraints. By the time we returned to the parking lot the body was feeling more battered from a couple of spills on big rock moves that I failed to complete. It's been a while since I returned from a ride feeling in that condition, but if you don't wreck once in a while, don't draw occasional blood, you probably aren't pushing yourself.

Sunday was another scorcher and given my aching body I was looking for a road ride to stretch and spin. Julie and I decided we'd bike out to Boonsboro to catch some of the Greenbrier Challenge MTB race. It's a pretty straight shot out there but it's one hill after another as you head west up and over Catoctin Mountain and then up and over South Mountain. It was hot on the road with little shade and the venue itself had little shade to offer as well. Trees are blooming pretty well in Frederick at 300 ft., but add 1000 - 1500 ft. to that and the ridges around here are a few weeks behind. We hung out and watched some of the races, took a bunch of pictures and then headed back pretty much in the heat of the day. Plenty of climbing on the return route, but less than the trip to the park, the trip was a good workout and the body felt better than expected after Saturday's beating.

The full set of Greenbrier Race photos can be seen here.

2009 Greenbrier Challenge

- riderx

Titanium Lugs? Single Speed? Disc Brake?  //   Sunday - April 26, 2009

Wow! Belgium Knee Warmers shows off an incredible piece of bike art. by Bruce Gordon. Great photos, great write up. Go check it out.

- riderx


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