Monday, May 25, 2009

This weekend I mixed it up.

Alright, so Friday and Saturday I worked, and didn't do anything. Sunday I started to do laundry, but decided it would be better to call the Snarski and go do some trail riding. We met at the Golden Eagle and shuttled Alder Shoots. While normally this is one of my favorite rides, it proved to be scarier than hell. When I called Snarski I stipulated that we should use hardtail 29ers for the ride. Let me tell you, when you are used to riding a trail with eight inches of travel front and back, three inch wide tires and a nice slack headtube angle, nothing else will do. Don't get me wrong, I still hard fun, but I walked several sections, including the bottom of the initial rock garden. We we got done, we decided that one trail wasn't enough and that in the spirit of spring we should try the much talked about Secret Trail.

Snarski obtained his knowledge of Secret Trail through continual harassment of some kid who drew him a map over the course of several days. I think the process took a bit because anyone under the age of twenty needs reminders to get things done, and partially because it took him that long to remember where the hell the trail was. Although the trail head is nicely tucked away, you'll know when you get there, largely because of the laminated sign nailed to a tree that says "Secret Trail". The sign at the bottom of the trail is a much nicer wood carved job that makes me wonder if someone decided that carrying a large wood sign to the top of the trail would be just too much trouble. At any rate the trail is excellent. It is a little rooty, with just enough choke points that it hasn't been torn up by ATVs. Some of the choke points are especially sneaky in that they immediately follow one another. Although I haven't done a large bit of singletrack riding, I'd say it is probably the nicest bit of trail I have been on yet. It is the kind of trail you could cream with a five inch full suspension cross country bike and completely slay with a six inch travel all mountain bike. Which reminds me, I need to get one of those, or both.

So today I decided I would take a road ride. I haven't done an actual road ride in like two years so I was a bit nervous. I was happy when I finished. When I walked in the door I realized I had actually done the loop in what was probably my fastest time ever. Pretty incredible considering how out of shape I feel. I had a realization then, riding rode gives me a feeling of satisfaction when I am done. More so when I have a hard ride and less so when I drag butt the whole way. Mountain riding is different, I can lag a whole ride out feeling hung over, but if I clean a hard line nicely I get immediate gratification. If I have a really good mountain ride, I feel awesome the whole time, not like I am suffering and trying to accomplish something. I think I prefer having my speed limited by the trail and my skills rather than my aerobic fitness level. Which is funny, because I'll still probably ride road this year.


Reese Hanneman said...

c'mon, it only took me ONE entire day to draw the map....

Unknown said...

My commuting "satisfaction" varies directly with the speed and direction of the head/tail wind. I am Homer Simpson on a bike with a headwind, but I am Chuck Norris with a nice tailwind.