Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Just your basic ride report.

I finally got out of the local woods into the semi-local woods for a bike ride. I went out with Tony the Tiger, he on his V1 Sultan and I on the SS Jabberwocky. Unfortunately, my camera died the death of a thousand grains of sand at Bootleg, so I had to resort to the internet for my pics of the journey. The images may not be exactly what we saw, but the spirit of the journey is totally accurate. Any bike ride is, after all, a grand adventure.

We began our journey by being suitably equipped. Having the right clothing makes a huge difference in the success of any big ride. The sailor hats are for the long climbs and are fabulous for keeping the rising sun out of our eyes and I cannot say enough good things about the wool jerseys and long cut baggies. For the downhills we donned leather helmets, of course. Both of us are experimenting with the fixie/hipster phenom, so you may notice the alternate bars. So far, so good.

We had enough food for the day, including a nice balance of protein and carbs using the 'real food' approach to endurance riding (say no to Powerbars). We believe in the 4:1 ratio, so we had 4 times as much food as any one person needed. Perfect.

We also had a map. The GPS unit is nice, but it is no substitute for an up to date map. The world is a big place, after all.

We began at the base of a pretty big climb and it was a lot of work on the SS. Soon enough we had risen above the valley floor and got a good look at where we had begun.

The ride took us into open grasslands and changing temps. I am always amazed at how the local mountains can surprise me with new and different looks depending on the time of the year.

We also began to see some native wildlife.

It was hunting season and the forest was full of folks looking to score a freezer full of venison. We were lucky enough to catch a couple of sportsmen returning from a successful hunt.

We also rode past some locals who seemed to be ready to accept all the trail users that day. It is nice to see that attitude with all the trail/land conflicts that we are involved in. You can see the open, friendly looks on the faces here. Not shown is the "Say No To More Wilderness" bumper sticker on the family car. A nice touch, I thought.

Back on the trail, we kept climbing into the old growth forest. I am pretty sure it was old growth cuz I sure was feeling my old age as the day's mileage grew. There was some traffic on the trail, but we followed the old adage of 'yield to the uphill driver of the horse wagon' and everything was fine.

We ended up climbing a bit higher than expected and the winter seemed to be more real here than when we began. Our wool clothing proved to be a real benefit here and the sailor hats were all we really needed to avoid the blowing snow.

Mountain bikes are an amazing conveyance. For a simple weekend jaunt in the country, the 4 hours we spent riding seemed like a true adventure. Hopefully next weekend I can really get out of town, but if not, there is always the local stuff like this, and with a bit of imagination, you never know what you will find.

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