Monday, July 4, 2011

Mohican Quickie

Fourth of July weekend continued to provide great opportunity for some sweet riding.  After my 26 miles I put in on Friday, four of us from the Back Room Coffee Racing bike team got together and took a trip up to Mohican State Park.  At the time of our departure, we were getting dumped on pretty good by rain, but we decided to take a chance and make the hour 20 minute drive up north to see what we could get into.  2 cars, four guys, and hopes for a nice ride.  Since we had two cars when we got there, we decided to shuttle and do 15 miles, instead of the entire loop.  The rain was still coming down off and on, and we thought it would be muddying up the trail a bit.

Of we went, with me in my usual spot in the rear.  With a start at mile marker 15, right out of the gate we got into some sweet riding through pine forest.  Believe it or not, it was actually fairly dry and really really fast.  It was fast right up unto the road crossing at 19, where we had to cross a wooden bridge coming out of the woods.  The wood on the bridge was like Ice and Rob crashed out big time, actually breaking shifter, as well as clips on his shoes.  After 10 minutes or so of makeshift engineering, we got back on the trail and started up our first real climb.  To be honest, I was still feeling pretty damn good, and was rolling pretty good.  I wasn't keeping up with Kato and Rob, but I was hanging in strong with Mark.

Ride kept going and we finished the first 9 in good time, dodging the rain and thunder all the way.  Since it was rainy and humid, I was having some troubles with the grips, and actually they were spinning on the handle bars, which made it a little tough to hang on.  Again, we did a little more engineering, and decided to make the mile and half climb to start the next 6 miles.  Pace slowed down considerably here, with Mark really struggling on the hills.  Again, I was still feeling pretty good, and kept pushing him along.  Completed the climb, caught up with the other two and we moved on through the rock gardens around mile marker 3.  Let's just say I hate this section.  Just too technical for me, but I got through it!  With 3 miles to go, we cranked it up a bit and hammered home to the finish.  Nice downhill to finish, with some technical bridges and a few jumps.  All in 15 sweet miles and that would have been awesome, had we stopped at 14.99 miles.  As I came out of the woods and into the parking lot, some kids in the woods yelled out and spooked me a bit.  I locked up the brakes and all hell broke loose.  Next thing I know I am all twisted up in nasty little crash next to the parking lot.  To quote Kato, "that can't be good"!  Well fortunately, no major damage, little tweeks on the front tire and brakes, and back in business.  I guess a little blood never hurt anyone!

I guess I learned a couple valuable lessons today.  First, I simply cannot ride as fast as the others. Second, bridges are slippery.  Third, tie straps and duct tape our a must for any tool kit.  And finally, keep concentration to the very end!  Anything can happen!

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