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Advocacy  //   Friday - October 12, 2007

Don't let them shut down the Continental Divide Trail to mountain bikers. Today is the last day to comment. It will take you 30 seconds to fill out this form. Do it now, you may want to ride there one day.

- riderx

What if summer never ends?  //   Tuesday - October 9, 2007

A couple of events coming up before we get to the good stuff:

  • Still itching to race this season? In Washington DC we have the Monster Mash race going on this Saturday that supports a great cause, Trips for Kids. Getting kids on mountain bikes is a cool cause and my friend and super cycling advocate Scud is putting this thing on and he promises a good time. If you don't want to race, you can always volunteer.

  • If you are on the other coast, the Single Speed Cyclocross World Championship will take place on Nov. 10th and 11th. Details here.

  • Mark your calendars, there's a big trail work day at Avalon (Patapsco) on Saturday October 20th, 2007. Our plan is to cut new trail and reopen the Charcoal trail to bikes. Yep, you heard right, a formerly hiker only trail will be opened back up to us. There is no way we could have something like this happen if it weren't for the huge volunteer hours that MTBers put in at Patapsco year after year.

    The SSO Factory Team will be bringing a keg of excellent micro brew generously donated by our sponsor Clipper City for post trail work consumption. We'll also be doing a potluck cookout: we'll bring burger/hotdogs/veggie options, you bring a side dish.

    I'll post more once we iron out a few of the details, but save the date and look here for starting time and meeting location.

  • SSO team member John G. will be putting on a winter commuting class at The Bicycle Escape in Frederick on Monday October 22nd. Details can be here. You can also check that link for other cool SSO rides like the Photo Ride, some cool women's rides and and fixed gear off road ride put on by none other than Ricky d (hopefully it won't be snowing).

-------------------

Indian summer, that's what has been going on here and we've been soaking it up from the perch of our saddles. Rolled out of work at noon on Friday for a quickly put together sub-24 hour overnighter. Bike was loaded, probably too much stuff, but going for 1 night or 5 entails pretty much the same load minus the extra food. But hey, it's a way to tweak your gear and mess around, one night, 2 days, 100 miles, if you've got too much crap it's not going to kill you. We had a nice group of six and rolled out from Frederick in the mid-afternoon. Stopped at the local Italian grocery store and stuffed a fresh cold cut in my jersey pocket for the ride. Energy food be damned, this is the kind of eating on the bike for this type of trip.

Sub 24 Hour Overnighter - day2

Sub 24 Hour Overnighter - day 1

We headed on fairly low traffic roads in a straight shot south to the Potomac river, 14 miles of pavement, with Sugarloaf mountain to our left and the Catoctin ridge line to our right and farm fields all around under bright blue skies and high 80 degree temperatures. A Friday in October doesn't get much better than this. Once our tires rolled on to gravel we quickly made a right turn on to the dirt of the C&O Canal and churned cranks through the wooded riverside as the sun started dipping in the sky. Beautiful views along the way were highlighted by the rough rocks and churning waters where the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers converge at Harpers Ferry. Two and a half miles past Shepherdstown we pitched camp at one of the hiker/biker spots that line the canal path, exchanged dusty bike clothes for slightly more presentable attire (as presentable as bicycle t-shirts and shorts get - at least they were clean) and rolled a few miles down the canal and then into town for some grub. At Rumsey Tavern we gorged ourselves and kept their beer taps flowing steady. From there we remounted the steeds and found another watering hole, built in the 1790s and serving up Rogue's Dead Guy ale on tap. After putting away our limit we made our way back to camp for a waterside fire before hitting the sack, breaking camp and returning the way we came on Saturday.

On Sunday I had volunteered to lead a Ride Like A Girl ride at Loch Raven. Those who know me know that I have boy bits down below and may be wondering exactly what I was doing leading this ride. It's simple, none of the ladies knew the trails well enough to lead a ride there but I did, so I volunteered. But that meant we had to allow the guys to come too (lest the ladies think I was some kind of perv trying to work my magic on them). However, the guys had to check egos and all extra testosterone at the door (trailhead) for this ride. Early buzz had me concerned we were going to have a large turn out. In reality the turn out was XXXL sized with a total of 48 riders coming out. Wow, that can be a tough one to manage. With a little instruction on how to keep the ride flowing and a few volunteers to help me out, this turned out to be one of the smoother rides ever pulled off. We had zero flats, zero mechanicals and only a few minor scrapes but got to introduce a whole bunch of new people to the fun trails at Loch Raven. I owe a big thanks to those who stepped up to help out.

JoJo airing out Scud  on the big log pile

- riderx

 

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