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Ridin' or hidin'???  //   Friday - May 26, 2006

Riding. It's what I've been doing a lot of lately and when I haven't been riding I've been real busy otherwise. Just throwing out a quick explanation in case anyone is wondering about the lack of updates here. Too much riding since the last ride report to catalog it all, but there are a few highlights I'd like to hit.

Stretching way back, almost two weeks ago some of the local ladies were doing a "Ride Like A Girl" ride at the Shed. No dudes allowed, it's a good chance for the girls to get out in a testosterone free environment for some trail riding. So, at the same time I put together a ride with some of the women's counter parts. My ride wasn't "official" and it didn't have a name, although I guess you could call it the sausage ride. Anyway, we had a pretty decent group and did a tough loop that included trails in the south part of the Shed and Gambrill State Park. Plus I got in pre-ride bonus mileage by biking from the house to the lower portion of Gambrill, then taking the Gambrill trails out to Hamburg to meet everyone else. Legs were feeling nice and tired by the end of the day. Shortly after we were done we got hammered with thunder storms. Good timing for us.

DC boy Markie Mark got himself a new job and I thought it may be his last ride at the Shed which would not have been good considering we didn't ride his all time favorite trail, the Salamander. Luckily I convinced the old Wednesday night crew to make the trek up to Fredrock in the middle of the week for a farewell tour. As soon as we arrived the sky opened up and nailed us good, heavy rain but it passed rather quickly. What it did was make all of the rocks out there, which happens to be what most of the trail is made of, a slick and slippery test of skills. It was a good time starting from the Sand Flats and doing Salamander to the Thurmont overlook as an out and back, giving Markie one last ride on this trail in both directions. Daylight is really lasting a long time and we got out just after dark. Followed up with a visit to brew pub to refuel and toast Mark's departure.

So, just where is our favorite Brit off to? He's heading out to Rockford, IL to do whatever it is he does in the research lab. If you are out that way and have trail info send it my way and I'll pass it along. Markie may be a bit high maintenance (carry an extra energy bar for him) and wear some ugly bike clothes, but he's a good riding partner and always up for the long rides, so can some one please adopt him out there? We'll miss ya champ.

Move forward a few days and I get to ride with one of my earliest rider buddies, TJ, back from my BMX days. I've known him since elementary school and rode many a miles with him in our younger days. After college he hung up his MTB since he got bitten by the surfing bug and moved out to CA. Not to long ago he built up an SS, kind of 26" BMX style and has been digging it. So, I kind of forced him to go out and hit the trail with me. It had been 10 years he said, but I promised we'd go easy. Rode Schaeffer Farms, buffed out dirt with no real tech stuff except for lots of log piles which he was nailing. He wound up doing great, we put in a lot more miles than I thought and his skills were remarkably sharp for all of that time off the trail. It was good to hit the dirt with him again after all of these years, I'm hoping he was stoked enough to go out and hit up some of his local riding when the waves are flat.

Wednesday hit the Shed/Gambrill with Billy from San Diego who just moved here. He's been visiting out this way a couple of times over the years and I've showed him some of our local goods, now he'll have to start committing them to memory since he's a resident. Good ride, decent amount of climbing and we got in a solid 2 hours of rocks on a week night, hard to beat.

Last night rode Little Bennett with my wife, Jo and Ricky. Fun time in a park that sees very few users on a day that hit 80 degrees F. Summer is almost here! The girls have really been showing a lot of improvement in both fitness and skills. It's cool to see them digging the trail and pushing each other.

And in between all of the above were a bunch of other rides including one at the old stomping grounds of Patapsco. That followed a work day where we had 23 people come out to work on a new reroute the park has designed. Thanks to all of the people who came out to help, we made some serious progress.

Hope everyone is getting in some trail time, it's Memorial day weekend here in the US which means most people have 3 consecutive days off. Go ride.

If you are looking for something to do in Mobtown this weekend, Bike Jam is going down. Me, I'm staying local and logging a big ride Saturday, then hitting some other riding Sunday and Monday.

- riderx


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