Sunday, April 10, 2011

Can't get it out!- Lake Hope

     After an insane week at work which included major issues as well as a 48 hour West Coast trip to LA, I was desperate to get a ride this weekend.  The problem was that the weather just wasn't cooperating as much as I would have liked.  It had rained on and off most of the week, and the temps were not getting to where we would have like them to be in order to start drying out the trail.  Additionally, we haven't ridden in over two weeks so I was concerned about endurance and the effect the conditions would have on my legs.
     Decisions were finally made and we decided to head two hours south to Logan and ride Lake Hope.  The thought was, that it would be somewhat drier, and a little more "flowy" than Mohican.  If you have not ridden Lake Hope, it is a series of 3-7 mile loops that all tie together which allows the rider to hit the best of the segments and actually ride them in either direction to get a couple different perspectives.  There probably is about 24 unique miles of trail, but given the layout, it is sometime required to hit the same piece of trail couple of times which enable you to get more miles in.
    After careful examination of the trails, we had our trip mapped out and we set off on our quest.  Although the trails were fairly dry, we realized right away some adjustments were made.  Tire pressures reduced a bit to provide a little bit more traction and we were off again.  Most of the trails were in decent shape, but we did run into a decent amount of downed trees and brush.  Several times we dismounted to build "log bridges" just so other riders wouldn't have to dismount as much as we did to get over some of these fallen logs.  
     The first 15 miles were not bad, and I actually felt pretty good.  However, after a quick lunch break, things just didn't return to normal.  Legs started getting tired quicker on the climbs and the ridge rides, and even the awesome downhills started to wear on my body.  About 4 miles into to second segment, the first mechanical failure of the day hit.  Believe it or not, my clipless pedals malfunctioned, and I actually could not get my shoes out of the Candy EggBeaterMallets!.   Not a good thing when you are getting tired, climbing hills and fighting wet conditions.  As we attempted to repair pedals, a nice thunderstorm rolled in and started to dump rain and a little scary lighting on us.  Needless to say, it was time to get the hell out of the woods.  I got back on saddle, with shoe stuck to pedal and limped the next mile out of the woods to the service road and headed back for the truck.  A nice hilly 3 mile ride back the dirt road in the big ring did the trick and we called it a day.  
     All in all, a good day, although a little shorter than anticipated.  We had some awesome downhills with some sweet jumps, had some reasonable climbs, enjoyed some good laughs, got wet, and most importantly realized that anything could go wrong out there and we should always be prepared!
    I wonder what will the next ride will bring?
Lake Hope Stone Furnace

Pre ride service

Marc getting up after fall

note the shoe hanging from the pedal! 

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let er rip, tell me what you think!