Monday, November 17, 2008
Sunday in the Temple of Singletrack
It's beginning to look a lot like winter.
Thanks to the recent snow, the main Hillside trails were busy Sunday with skiers, ski-jorers, hikers and fat-bikers. I joined five other riders on the new trails built this year by Singletrack Advocates, and we spent two hours riding tight, twisting trails with a very narrow sweet spot. Choose a slightly bad line right now, and you'll end up in loose sugar snow that'll either stop you dead, or toss you on your ass.
It was a leg-ripping blast, despite a half-hour spell in which I forgot how to ride a bike. I was blowing steep climbs and tight turns, and even a couple of straight sections. I felt cooked, and my brain started shutting down. When complete incompetence takes hold, it's a hard habit to break.
I finally got a chance to wolf down a frozen candy bar that had been riding around in my Camelbak for a couple of weeks, and the connection between my brain, hands and legs was somehow re-established.
When we got back to our starting point and three riders headed home, Mark and Darcy wanted to tack on some distance by heading down to ride Speedway singletrack. My body screamed "N0." But my brain screamed, "You need the longer workout, you fat ass," so I gulped a Gu and went with them.
It was a hoot. An exhausting hoot.
A great mountain bike ride requires some suffering; a few stupid mistakes; mental recovery; moments of perfect, blissful flow; and fun partners who push you farther than you would go on your own.
Three hours of snowy singletrack. A pile of sweaty clothes. A glass of wine. Legs that don't want to move once they hit the recliner.