Experimental music, photography, and adventures

Thanksgiving ride

Saturday, November 24th, 2007

It’s been unseasonably warm here but all that changed on Thanksgiving. I woke up Thanksgiving morning to find temperatures in the lower 30s and a bit of drizzle. It had rained some overnight and was sprinkling a bit. But I checked the ground when I walked Rob and it seemed solid — we shouldn’t have any problem riding. I got ready and drove to the state park to meet up with Dave.We were dressed appropriately but unfortunately this means feeling quite cold at rest so we got going quickly and before long we were much more comfortable. But the trails were completely covered with leaves. If we hadn’t been familiar with them, it would have been extremely difficult to figure out where the trail was. I don’t think I’ve ever seen these trails so covered with leaves. The leaves add a lot of rolling resistance and make it impossible to see roots and rocks in the trail.

The real problem, though, was that the leaves were wet and destroyed our traction. We rode pretty conservatively so our wheels wouldn’t slip out from under us and got through the whole North Tower Loop without incident. The Aynes climb was tougher than usual with the leaves slowing us down and making the steeper parts of the climb very difficult as our rear wheels kept spinning as we rode. But we got to the top and as usual took a breather.

It was the kind of day I’d often just want to sit inside, overcast and cold and drizzling. A great day to stay in bed all day. But it felt so good to be outside and enjoying the fresh air and a quiet ride through the woods.

Dave asked if I wanted to take the lead on the descent, which sounded fine to me. The first part of the descent is the hardest, with a lot of big rocks and eroded trail right on the edge of a ravine. We made it through this section but it required intense concentration and a bit more care than usual. At this point, I thought we were pretty much home free and let loose on some fast flowing sections. I went through an off-camber turn and felt my wheels starting to slip out from under me. I dabbed and managed to keep myself upright. A few minutes later another off-camber turn got me. My wheels washed out and I wiped out, laying my bike and my self down to the uphill side of the turn. I wasn’t hurt but I got a little frustrated with my mistakes.  The same exact thing happened yet again a few minutes later, really taking me by surprise as I was riding pretty slowly at this point. Dave said it looked to him like I pedaled too hard coming out of the turn and while I’ll bet he’s right, I was surprised by just how little traction I had. I didn’t have any more problems after that and I wasn’t hurt, but some damage was done to my pride.

2 Responses to “Thanksgiving ride”

  1. Sarah Says:

    You and your damn pride. I leave you alone for a few days and you start taking all sorts of tumbles. Probably becasue you didn’t know what you’re riding for …

  2. furiousball Says:

    I bet Rob couldn’t have taken that turn either without wiping out either. It’s cool man.

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