Experimental music, photography, and adventures

Training for epic

Monday, October 9th, 2006

I rode a total of about 33 miles over the weekend, in preparation for the Epic ride, which is next Sunday.

On Saturday, Dave and I rode all 3 trails at Brown County, including the new portion of the Hesitation Point trail. Dave was keeping a pretty quick pace — so I was pushing myself more than usual, but I think that’s for the better.

The North Tower Loop was pretty easy, and I did better than ever on the Aynes loop. Not only did I make it up the rocks I cleared for the first time on the previous ride, I also cleared the rock gardens following them, which I had never done before. I didn’t clear those rock gardens in any intelligent way — I pretty much just powered over the rocks — but at least I made it! In the future, I need to figure out a better line.

I sometimes forget how awesome the Hesitation Point trail is. There are so many fun switchbacks, dips, climbs, etc. The wooden bridge on HP is pretty awesome, too. I have mixed feelings about the new section. Overall, the new trail is amazing — it flows well, even though it’s fairly technical, and there are some pretty unique parts, like a strongly-banked turn where you really need some good momentum to get through.

However, there are some logs you have to jump, and a bunch of rock gardens or large isolated rocks. Since we were climbing, and I was already pretty exhausted from riding the whole trail system, and I’m not that good at technical stuff like that, I had a lot of trouble and ended up walking at several points. On one of the ones I attempted, I screwed up and crashed, hitting my leg on my bike frame pretty hard. It still hurts.

Over time, maybe I’ll learn to love those rock gardens, but I’m not sure. They break up the flow, and other than those, the trail flows incredibly well. These rock gardens are truly works of art — well-designed, well-built … but trying to ride over what basically amounts to a pile of rocks just isn’t very enjoyable for me.

I think we finished the whole Brown County trail system in about 3 hours.

On Sunday, I rode at Nebo ridge with Dave, Ken, and DJ. The Nebo Ridge trails were in great shape. Some parts seemed a little more rooted than I remembered, but that could have just been the fact that we were going faster than last time. The trails were quite dusty, which I wasn’t really expecting. I’ve never seen the Brown County trails that dusty, and Nebo wasn’t like that last time.

Nebo Ridge is so much fun to ride — once you get past the first couple of miles, it’s really just a roller coaster ride. There are climbs and descents, but overall, you’re pretty much flying the whole time.

I wanted to come back on the trail instead of Combs Road, but everyone else wanted to do Combs Road, which is the way things will go at the Epic. I thought about going back on the trail myself — which in retrospect, I kind of wish I had done, but I did get to see where the Hickory Ridge trails are this time, and the ride back was pretty good.

Overall, even given a 30 or 40-minute detour to see the Hickory Ridge trails, we finished everything 10 minutes faster than last time. That means we rode Nebo 40-50 minutes faster! Pretty damn good, if you ask me.

I’ll need to do more training this week. I am thinking that I probably won’t ride tonight, or at least won’t ride for too long, as my leg still hurts where I banged it on Sunday, and I could use some rest anyway. There may be a night ride at some point — if so, I’ll definitely need to buy some decent flashlights.

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