Monday, January 29, 2007

0 for 2.

Twice now I've set out to do a sweet MTB ride with a fiesta of singletrack and twice now fate has intervened... and given me the shaft.
Just to be clear, I did do a lot of singletrack but most of it was uphill. Fate didn't bother to intervened until I had done all the climbing and was juuuuuuust about to enjoy massive amounts of singletrack descending.
Here is the lowdown on numero uno and numero dos:

First John and Brooke and I set out to do a pretty long MTB loop, about 70 miles and 9000 ft. of elevation gain. Brooke knew from the beginning that she would turn around before John and I headed back.

Brooke and John at the White City ruins.

This is cool because you can see quite a few turns of the Merril trail.


Rode it! (I take full credit, even though I would've stopped if my finger hadn't slipped off the brake lever...)

I asked some poor teenager if he could take a picture of us, and when he agreed I said "Thanks, do you have a camera?"
He looked crestfallen and said, "Oh, no. Sorry"
His parent's busted up laughing and I felt kind of bad so I said that I was just kidding. He took that to mean that I was kidding about him taking a picture and started walking away.
When I told him that I really did have a camera he came back and snapped a shot. I'm surprised he didn't take a close up of our feet. Or his thumb.

This was a kind of neat shady area.

It got progressively colder and I finally came around a corner at a pretty good clip and found myself riding (barely) on ice! It was too late to stop, I don't have much experience riding on ice but I'm pretty sure I would've dumped it if I'd tried to brake.
John "We have ice in Minnesota" Mc Keen makes it look easy.

It was pretty much down hill from there but John had sprained his wrist earlier and decided to opt out of the singletrack so our ride got cut short (still 50 mi. though) and we rode down on the (totally exposed, freezing cold) fire-road.
Okay, so I was bummed to do all the work and miss the singletrack but....

I planned a new ride with the Helen's/Subaru/Fisher team and figured I would make up for that last time with an epic singletrack bonanza!

The team heading up.

Wrong again! After climbing up lower Merril and the Lowe toll-road, out of Valley Forge and up to Clear Creek, it started raining on us at the EXACT moment that Papo got a slice in his tire at the top of Strawberry Peak.
We booted it (and by "we" I mean Papo, everyone else just stood around) and finished Strawberry in the freezing cold and rain and...
Once again, after all the "work" was done and it was time for my anticipated "singletrack-bonanza" I was outvoted 3 to 1 and we came down the same exposed road, only this time there was rain to add the the freezing cold.
I still think the singletrack would've been warmer but I will agree with the opposing argument, which was basically that the rocks would be wet.


guitarideas said...

When in doubt go the fire road! You have to admit firs road are there for a reason, they are the easy way to go in a tough enviroment. They are give you some room to go fast downhill. Try go fast downhill on singletrack? Hello cliffs, hello big rocks, hello big tree roots and hello dangerous drop offs.

Lyle said...

Yeah, but......... HELLO singletrack!