Saturday, January 20, 2007

fun fun ride this morning

A couple of weeks ago the word spread that Fort James and some of the DE/PA crew were coming down for a tour of Avalon. Mel and I immediately lined up Grandma to babysit so that we could join in on the fun.

A big group of us met at the Rolling Rd. park-and-ride. This ride was organized by Trevor and included riders from all over, with many singlespeeders in attendance. I didn't know everyone, but there were a lot of us. Trevor, Jonathan, Dave, RickyD, Jason, Bob, Di, Bernie, Harshman, Poz, Tracy, Dominique, Melanie, Me, and a few others from the local area. Plus, we had a nice group come down from the Delaware/SE PA area: Fort James, Buddy, Ted Logic, Mike, and Randy (I think that was it). If I had all the nicknames this would sound like a fatMarc post. 8-) Needless to say, we were rolling deep.

We met up early to take advantage of the frozen trail conditions. It was cold. Actually it wasn't all that cold, maybe 29 degrees, but it was windy. Standing around in the parking lot the wind was sucking the warmth out of everybody. The upside is that we got moving pretty quickly as nobody wanted to linger and freeze their nuts off. Once we were in the woods it felt a lot warmer since we were protected from the wind. I pity the poor bastards that rode the roads today.

The ride started well and then after about 2 minutes Buddy's rear tire decided to blow off the rim. Luckily he was able to get it to seal back up with a hit of CO2 and some pumping. Stan's did the trick. Once we got rolling again we started climbing. Trevor wanted to show off some of the better downhills at Avalon so that meant hitting a lot of climbs too.

We worked our way over to Hilton/Hilltop. On the way we got to do a bunch of climbing, ride a lot of rocks, and even see Tracy take a swim in an icy creek. That was good entertainment, but unfortunately it meant that she and Poz headed home early to avoid hypothermia. Good call.

I think everyone enjoyed the riding over in the Hilton area. I know I did. Although I did chicken out on the last steep, sketchy pitch down the slope to the bike path. My mtb skills are rusty and mentally I'm seeing endos whenever I'm riding down something steep that has drops and rocks. I guess two cracked helmets in a season will do that, but I need to get over it.

After the plunge down from the Baltimore Co side we rode the path to the swinging bridge and crossed over into Howard Co. Then it was up the fire road and over to the Cascade trail. That's always a good climb and the rocky stuff above the falls is a fun challenge.

We avoided the next nasty climb and instead rolled up the gradual climb up to Landing Rd. and then to the jump trail. I hit a couple of the smaller jumps, but stayed off the bigger ones, but some of the guys were hitting them and having fun doing so.

Coming out of the jumps our group got split up a bit. Most everyone headed down toward the horse farm loop, but a few of the guys ended up bearing left and hitting part of the Ridge Trail. I was with the group on the farm loop. Aside from a couple of guys crashing on one of the downhills it was good.

We rolled back over to the 4-way and dropped down the waterbars at high speed, enjoying a bit of air on the way down. I think we would have been happy to keep riding, but everyone had things to do so we headed back to the cars for a beer.

Many of my mtb rides are solo and I enjoy them, but getting out with a big group like this is really a blast. Nobody's worried about training or any of that bullshit. We're all just out there enjoying the trails and each others company.

I can't think of a much better way to spend a Winter morning and I hope we do it again real soon!

Oh, and congratulations to Chris and Allison Eatough on the birth of their baby girl yesterday!

1 comment:

gwadzilla said...

sounds like a great gathering

I need it to get colder
so the ground will freeze

so I can either ride
or not feel so bad about riding

glad to hear you are getting out on the bike

Patapsco is a good night riding option for me
not a long drive