Monday, August 20, 2007

Ad Nauseum.

Okay, I have been riding but I haven't been posting because how many times have I ridden the big loop and then posted about it? More than once. We just get lazy and don't like spending money driving all over tarnation when we have great trails practically in our back yard. So yeah, we've been riding the local loop pretty often and it's still great and challenging every time. Lately we've taken to riding it counter-clockwise which, even though it's the same trail, down becomes up and up becomes down and it's freshly challenging even though it's the same old trail. Funny thing - I can ride rickety bridges if the yawning chasm is on my right side, but not so much on my left. Most of the obstacles that freak me out are man-made, which is pretty funny. Big jaggy river rocks? No problem. Narrow but sturdy plank bridge over a ravine? Big problem. It's all mental, but still. Don't love the bridges or ramps.

So, here's a quick run-down of what we've done lately:

Last Saturday: Big Loop. I honestly don't remember a lot about this ride, but I think we had fun. I do remember that I finally, finally nailed a difficult switchback climb in Forest Hill that has always given me grief. Hmph.

Last Sunday: We went to Powhite where there are approximately 800 trees down from the last big thunderstorm. We soldiered on, though neither of us were feeling super-fantastic that day. It was a relief to go home. One cool thing did happen during that ride - we heard a tree fall! If you are in the woods and a tree falls, your ass will hear it. It shook the ground, y'all. We went and found said tree (it fell across a particularly fast section of trail, natch) and it was rotten through. I'm glad not to have been under it when it fell.

Tuesday: Big Loop, counterclockwise. I was very shaky riding Buttermilk Heights West to East (see above) but had a grand time riding the Northtrail back to the bridge for a change. I felt GREAT during this ride, which was so nice. I love it when my spring and summer riding pays off into fall. Love it.

Yesterday: Big Loop again. See above. Highlights include meeting the cutest Welsh Corgi, ever. His owner is a friend of Kenny's and also a mountain biker. It was a solid ride.

Shout Out: I just want to send my good wishes and fast healing to my friend Matt who has a bad road bike crash yesterday. Rest up and take care, Matt!

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Hot As Balls, that's why.

A quick update person missed me! I've been on vacation the result of which has made me feral and unable to concentrate on things like work and writing. And other stuff. It's also hot as balls out so there hasn't been much riding at all either. Kenny and I went out early last Sunday and two hours later we though we were going to die. It went like this:

ride ride ride climb climb climb. Stop. Pant. Drink. Pant. Sigh. Moan. Drink. Ride ride ride. Lather, rinse, repeat. It's bad. Today the heat index is going to be 109 degrees. This is patently unfair but I guess that's what I get for living in the south.

While on vacation we did get in a couple of good rides slightly further afield - we went to Poor Farm Park and spent a couple of hours on our hardtails getting the shit beat out of us, but it was fun and fast. Hurty on the back, but so so fast. At one point while riding a fairly sketchy downhill section I heard a rider behind me and when I braked a very little bit to slow myself down on a particularly crumbly section he yelled, "No braking!" because apparently he was riding WAY TOO CLOSE. Yeah, even bikers tailgate. I snarked back, "Gimme some room then!" and he backed off. Later he apologized quite nicely so I let him live.

Later that week Kenny and I packed up the bikes and drove out to York River State Park which has some incredible trails. The terrain is quite a bit different than at home - much more hilly but in a fun roller-coaster way. If you go across the street to where they hold the Tidewater Challenge this roller-coaster thing gets way out of hand and isn't quite as much fun. Actually, I think that's a private course, which is just as well. It's freaking hard. We spent a few hours at York River and had a grand time, as the weather was still behaving itself at that point. Now, not so much.

So that's it for now. Probably no bike stuff until this weekend because heat stroke just ain't my thing.