Monday, April 23, 2007
I could not wait till friday. A sweet three day weekend, and a roadie to Virginia for the first race of the year, for me, and the Baker's Dozen Endurance Event. I was stoked on the fact that I had never raced an endurance race before, and was also getting out of town for the weekend. I threw a bone out with some flesh left on it and the Dutch Eagle swooped down to join me on my trip. We packed the Blazin' Blazer, hit the grocery store, and "blazed" on down to VA on a beautiful April the 20th. Got there early enough to hit the register and get a lap in before it was time to hunker down. The race was on an old farm with huge mounds of cow shit lurking about. Waking the next day, there was definitily more people showing up and the weather was crystal. Rolling around I ran into some friendly faces and new it was going to be a good day on the bike. The start of the race was interesting. People blasting off the front. Me being a good sport, I joined in for a little to warm my legs up, but indeed it was going to be a long day in the saddle for me. I settled into a good pace and rode strong. I kept a good flow, only taking quick breaks to refuel. Being such a nice weekend the folks rolled down to hangout and do some antique shopping in the area. My mom never saw me race and was really excited. She was urging me to keep eating, cause my body needed it. She was right. As the night fell, I conitnued riding with great form and was hoping I wouldn't slide out on some bigass pile of cow shit that seemed to be harder to see at night. Also, the Jaeger swillin' Dutch Eagle was keeping me on my toes with his Col. Angus anticks. I rode my ass off and ended up just out of the loot, 4th place, in the solo singlespeeder class, but did walk away with a sweet raffle prize. Some badass 07 XTR shifters that will look better for sale on ebay than they would on my bike. In traditional fashion, a bunch of fellow racers and event organizers drank by a huge bonfire till the wee hours of the night to recover from the long ride. Looking at the sky, a nice falling star sealed the fact that I did ride strong for my first race and am looking forward to more rides in the coming months. They might be called races, but its all about riding your bike.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Sunday, April 15, 2007
There is always a calm before a storm. So they say. Yesterday proved to be somewhat calm compared to the weather in NEPA as of late and the weather on the way. The plan is to leave Werner's in Conyingham, ride to Bloomsburg, and stake out some different terrain on the return trip. The group was small with myslef, Werner, and Dean. We headed out around 11. The day could not have been any sweeter. Rolling smoothe we hit Bloom about 40 or so miles in. We decided to skirt around the town and head back east. On the return trip we hit the town of Nuremburg. Sounding like the name of a Nazi concentration camp, we agreed that the ovens were probably broken at the pizza joint, and headed down the mountain to have one of the greatest hoagies in NEPA. At least the wrapper said so. After refueling we headed towards some more beasts and psuedo-beasts. Climbs. When road riding in NEPA most of the ride is climbing of some sort. Cruising back up tower road on the backside, safety breaks insuede, and we descended towards the valley. We rolled the valley for some time heading towards the final climb of the day, Nescopek Mtn. At about 65-70 miles in this climb was going to be fun. Reaching the base of the climb is a climb in itself. After hitting the top we rolled back to Conyingham with just shy of 80. Seizing the day was achieved. Now, time for some rain. Happy Spring!
Thursday, April 05, 2007
Sunday, April 01, 2007
After sorting it out with the Eagle of Deutschland over an extended phone call on friday night, we surmised a trail epic for the next morning. Nesquehoning loop would be first, refuel somewhere, and then ride the strip mines and hookup onto the Pisgah ridge. I left my house at 9:30 and grinded the rail grade to meet Scott, Werner and Griz at Redner's Market in Nesque. As we rolled out from there it was sleeting and pretty cold. We climbed to the top of the ridge to meet Dean at the fabbled "box fan" trail intersection. The air was smokey and he was, of course, fixing a flat. We rolled at a brisk pace out past the water tank on the lower, oh so sweet single, aand climbed to the top of the ridge and rolled back towards Nesque. The trails on that ridge are my favorite. People who have sampled will probably agree. Almost at the end of the ridge, Dean rolls up and said he thinks he broke his fork. Looking at it for one second, we agreed it was totally blown. Dean bailed to his house, grabbed his other bike and met us with the water and food at the link between the Nesque ridge and Pisgah. Only Dean would bail on a ride to grab his spare bike to finish the ride. A true lover of the two wheels. While everyone is slaving at work, Dean is maintaining the local trails and riding everyday. He is a true endurance rider to say the least. He might not be on the front with a fast pace, but he can outlast most riders any day of the week. With a refuel, the weather starting to shape up, and Dean rollin' we headed towards the Pisgah ridge. Turning our way through the strip mines, Dean and I were trying to hookup to what Dean calls "the critical link." A point in the strip mines that is a hike-a-bike right to the singletrack. Sure as shit, it was right where we thought, and we proceeded to ride the Pisgah ridge back to Thorpe. The Pisgah ridge is some super technical riding. I feel lucky having it as my home turf. After exhausting all of the singletrack on Pisgah at a decent pace we were back at my place in Thorpe around 5:00. Not a bad day in the saddle for a spring fling.