Thursday, October 13, 2005

Urban Cross Practice

sycamore trees, federal hill
Originally uploaded by johnok.

Last night I did a solo 'cross practice in the neighborhood.

I have a couple of parks nearby that offer some nice terrain with hills, steps, and paved paths.

First up was a quick stop at Port City Java for an Espresso revive myself after a day sitting behind a desk. After a warm-up spin on the road out to Fort McHenry I cruised over to Riverside Park.

I worked on a bunch of different dismounts and carries to the amusement of the crowd watching the adjacent soccer match. I used the soft sand on the baseball diamond to try some tight turns at speed. It's a cool feeling taking your tire traction right to the edge.

Some of the local kids took a break from whatever nefarious activity they involved in to chuckle at the lycra-wearing freak jumping on and off his 10-speed. Thanks the Eminem look.

There's a nice hill that I was able to use to practice riding off-cambers and controlling rear wheel slides. That was a lot of fun and should be good prep for Granogue.

While doing this I noticed a cloud of smoke coming from the fence surrounding the pool. The neighborhood lads had created an effigy using old clothes and leaves. It was attached to the fence and lit on fire.

I was impressed by the creativity. The fire department was not. With cops and firemen rolling into the Park I decided to move on.

I made my way over to Federal Hill Park and did some loooooooong, steeeeeeep runs up the side of the hill shouldering my bike. Man, those were brutal, but with Granogue on the horizon they needed to be done.

Check out the photo for a peak at the hill. It's broken up in the middle with a ledge and sidewalk. From the bottom it's about a 30 second sprint on a steep pitch. Toe spikes are pretty much mandatory.

I have a love/hate relationship with City living, but the good mostly outweighs the bad.

Next season I'll have Rockburn Park right out my backyard. I'm planning on setting up a primo stealth cross course.


Fort James said...

Heh, Heh, Heh
He said "FORT".

Chris said...

yeah! how's that for some good CX MOJO?!