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Snakes of a Trail  //   Friday - September 29, 2006

All I'm going to say is: I'm glad my data was backed up. Made things less painful.

While I've been absent from here I've been laying down the rubber on some good dirt. Got in a good Michaux ride recently, even though there was a fine drizzle most of the day making the rocks slick as grease. Fall is here and the days are getting shorter, more rain than usual but it hasn't been that bad and the temperatures seem near perfect lately. Still shorts and T-shirt weather, a little nip in the air when you start riding some days but once your core temperature gets up you are nice and comfortable.

The night riding has started and it's been a fun change. Despite my love of hitting the trails at night, it just doesn't happen in the summer with the long days. I may curse the dwindling daylight this time of the year, but the flip-side is the return of charging the trails with the lights. As Markie Mark would say, "It's magic".

With my HID unit back at the manufacturer for service I've been running a single 15w unit for a few rides. Wow, switching back to something like that really reinforces how good the HID setups are. They are a lot of money, but deals can be had and if you are logging a lot of night riding I highly recommend searching out a deal, turning over the sofa cushions for loose change and doing anything else you legally can to obtain one of these.

Wednesday night a few of us were out after the sun set enjoying the fine weather and even better singletrack. We were weaving through some twisty technical singletrack. Things were flowing, I was in the lead and got a little gap on the others: bobbing, weaving, over logs, over rocks, getting my groove on with the slight downhill trail. I stopped at a widow maker so I could warn the others when they approached and shortly after I hear Mike further back on the trail calling out to me. I couldn't make out what he was saying so I reversed course and headed back until I heard him say there was a rattlesnake on the trail. Now, I know these things are up here, but I hadn't seen one yet. The trail was about two feet wide at that point and bordered by rocks on either side. He was coiled up big and fat right in the middle of the trail with his rattle working overtime. I can only imagine that I though he was a rock as I flew past with my wimpy little light and I must have slid through one of the little gaps between him and the rocks. Cool to see that on the trail so long as he's not sinking his fangs into me! Mike snapped this picture with his cell phone camera which, coupled with the lighting, explains the quality of the picture.

So, that's been my excitement lately. More good riding on tap for the weekend, hope you've got some lined up too.

- riderx


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