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Feast of Trails  //   Friday - November 25, 2005

So many things going on lately that I've felt a bit like Poe's main character in A Descent Into The Maelstrom. Shoehorning rides into all of the other things going on means less reporting here. I only throw that out there to explain what some may see as fewer posts recently. The way to keep insanity at bay is to make sure you are riding. Remember that kids.

Saturday morning we were busting ass getting some projects done around the abode when I got a call from Mike who was back in town from Germany for a T-day visit. I knew he was coming back but hadn't even considered when he would be arriving. He was looking to stop by and with an afternoon ride already on the books it didn't take much work for me to convince he to join me on the trails. He didn't think he was going to get a ride in on this visit so he hadn't brought a single thing with him. Luckily I've got enough spare crap around that I could outfit him from bike to shoes to helmet and we were off.

Trails were in good condition, buried in leaves and hiding little surprises. The weather was pretty mild once again and we were out in shorts soaking in some late fall sunshine. Got to show Mike all of the new work that's been happening on his old home trails. We pushed out a solid, steady ride and rolled out of the woods right before sunset.

Sunday saw over a dozen people show up for the trailwork day and put in some hard labor hours. Big props to all who showed up and left with sore muscles. We helped the park's trail crew finish a sweet S-turn reroute. We built a big berm in the first turn that let's you come into with a good amount of speed and rail right out of the bottom of it. Tasty stuff. Afterwards a bunch of us saddled up and took advantage of another great September day. A fun ride that saw Julie attempt new (to her) technical stuff and tackle a good chunk of it. I was impressed.

The early work week had us get hit with a high volume of rain so we played it safe for the Wednesday night ride and hit the pavement for some pre T-day carbo-loading downtown. A chilly start as temps had dropped once again. First stop was to be a bar in Federal Hill with a solid selection of micros but it changed hands recently and the taps aren't as good as previously. That meant one and done and then we suited back up and made our over to Fell's Point where we knew we could find a serious beer collection. We settled in to beer heaven at Max's On Broadway where they have over 60 beers on tap and dove right into most of the high octane offerings. The weathermen got it right for once and we got a nice little snow storm that made for a fun ride home.

T-day: There's an annual Turkey day ride at Avalon organized by Trek Manager "Poz" that brings out huge numbers. Despite it starting a mile from my back door I always miss it because of some T-day thing I'm doing. This year I figure I can make it. With a foggy head from the previous night's beers and no gear together I consider bagging the 9am start time and going out on my own. Instead, I suit up and get to the start 5 minutes early. There were probably 50 riders there and the plan was to break off into groups. I do a double take when I see Les and Elk, two single speed hammerheads I know from the Philly SS rally. After rolling in with the group for the first mile, Les, Elk and I peel off and I give them the tour of my local stuff since it looks like the whole mass of riders is going to stick together for the first hour and a half. This proves to be a wise decision since we can rock the trails at our own pace. Last night's snow has melted and made the leaves slick meaning two wheel drifting in the corners is the norm. Other than dropping my chain twice, the ride was near perfect. A quick post-ride nip of the flask Elk thoughtfully brought along and I'm off to fill my belly with Turkey and potatoes.

- riderx


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