Last night presented a few hours of dirty revelry for me. Ooooooh boy did I get down and dirty, nasty filthy. Conditions were a tad wet, slick in spots, but quite pleasurable. So satisfying was the experience that I went back in for more, three times to be exact. My stamina was strong even in the hot, steamy conditions. After the second time, a friend joined me. He noticed that I had found the flow and wanted to follow me in. By the time I was done I had worked up quite a sweat.
I laughed at the large, dark clouds approaching from the west last evening and decided to take my lonely mountain bike to my favorite trail system, Saw Wee Kee Park (check out the link, even has a trail map). Saw Wee Kee is good for a quick evening dirt jaunt, the whole system easily rideable in less than an hour. CAMBR, the organization that develops and maintains the trail system, posts trail status on their web site. Last night status was still posted as red, meaning the trails were closed, still too wet to ride. I went there any way as the last status was from last Saturday. Saw Wee Kee always dries faster than the other trails around here. If the trails were muddy, I would turn around and go home for a ride on my road bike. The threatening storms ran out of energy with sun winning out. It was a bit hot and humid, actually perfect conditions for riding a bike. That also meant that the trails would dry out faster.
One of the regulars was cruising into the parking lot from the trail as I pulled up. He assured me that the trails were indeed OK to ride, not ideal, but I would not be doing any damage to the trail by riding. Etiquette is never to ride if the bike is leaving a mark on the trail. Really it is just a common sense rule, as most rules are in my not so humble opinion.
Of course, I forgot to bring something with me on this trip to the trail as I had done a week or so ago. This time I could ride, though. I failed to bring socks with me, so I was riding sock commando. All I had to do was cinch up the straps on my riding shoes a bit tighter.
It felt so good to get on the bike again. My last ride was two weeks ago so I was a bit tentative, nervous that I would be rusty. If I was then I didn’t feel it. That was part of my motivation to ride dirt trails on the mountain bike rather than road on the racing bike. On the road my performance is more noticeable because I know how fast I am going by the speedometer on the bike computer. The mountain bike does not have a computer. Riding a mountain bike is more about skill, even more about fun. Riding the mountain bike was a perfect way to get back after a long period of inactivity.
My typical ride starts from parking lot #2, through the Bobcat and Cat’s Tail, up the Lolligagger to the Jack Rabbit. That is where the real fun starts as the Jack Rabbit offers up some quick twists, turns, drops and rises. From there I take the Devil’s Dip back to the Colossus, then loop back from where I came from. There is now a very challenging trail in between the Jack Rabbit and Doppelganger, so I take that back towards the front of the park where I ride the fast drops in the Concession Stand before riding the fast moving Vertical Velocity, Boulderdash, Screamer, and Anaconda trails. Occasionally I venture over to the Kentucky Rumbler that has a small technical section of trail that is a good warm up. Once I am done with Anaconda, I either loop back into the park or visit the Wildcat and Timberwolf trails, then take a break in the parking lot. When I say that I went back in three times, that means I came back to the parking lot then went back for another loop three times.
If I was a smoker, I would have lit one up when I was done….