I can appreciate trees. Their size, their strength, their beauty – and I appreciate them even more when they’re uprooted and horizontal in the woods. They are much easier to ride after they’ve been downed by strong winds.
The next time you find a nice tree-ride, give that tree a hug for providing you with some fun.
Yesterday it rained, snowed, and sleeted so everything is encased in a thin layer of frozen slush. The next couple of days are supposed to bring more of the same so I figured that I’d get in some form of riding.
It was 26º F and pitch black out, but my new lights and multiple layers of lycra, thermal underwear, and Gore Tex, were doing the job. I only did 10 miles on gravel path but it was worth the potential frost bite to get out on the bike.
A fox ran across the path about 10 yards in front of me. There was also a pack of giant Yeti running through the woods. It could have been that the frozen leaves made some deer sound really big, but when you’re riding alone in the woods at night they might as well have been giant Yeti. Besides, my bike lights caught their beady eyes peering from the trees. They were Yeti – and not the cool blue kind from Colorado.
Warren and I went for a ride at Bear Creek. They do a lot of work building and maintaining mountain bike trails there, so if you get the chance, check it out. Be sure to pick up the free trail pass from the hotel.
The climbing was especially strenuous for some reason. It must have been our fast-paced hammering up the technical rocky, rooty, steep single track. Or we’re out of shape.
Toward the end of the ride we were heading back to the parking lot and took a trail that I haven’t taken before. A few inches off of the trail we noticed some caves. Knowing how great SPD shoes are for spelunking, we started to explore.
One cave only went about 30 feet down, and 50 feet deep. It was about 30 degrees colder inside. There was a log lodged near the ceiling where small, bioluminescent squirmle-like creatures were hanging.
The other cave was probably about 75-80 feet down from the top. It was too dark and far to see, but when we tossed some rocks, it sounded like there was a deep pool of water at the bottom. We were surprised that there weren’t any barriers or signs around the caves (yet). On the trails, there are 8 1/2″ x 11,” neon green, laminated signs warning of bridges – probably the flatest, grippiest, safest surfaces on the mountain – but nothing around these 80+ feet deep, loose-rocked, squirmle-filled, pits next to the trail.
It was a great day of riding and cave exploration.
Sometimes it’s quality, not quantity, that can make a ride great. My “BMX friends,” Warren and Chad, are always fun to ride with. Even if we don’t do an all-day 30 mile ride, we still have tons of fun – without the post-ride cramping.
Here are some highlights:
As we started toward the trails on Spring Mountain a red tail hawk was taking off with a rat in its talons.
Chad was kind enough to be the boulder-jumpin’ guinea pig as he showed us some new trails and stuff to jump off of.
Chad was also kind enough to bring a bag of carrots on the ride. Not for us, but for Avie (Avalanche), the goat that lives at the top of Spring Mt.
I bailed after a rock drop and sent one of my shoes floundering into the woods.
There’s a decent jump-to-flat at the bottom of the mountain to play on. We battled each other going for the longest distance.
Even at almost 43 years-old I’m still innovating jump variations. I pulled a perfect one-shoe-er when my foot pulled out of my shoe which was still clipped into my Crank Brothers Mallet C pedal. Extreme.
Warren went for a big boost over my bike seat and rode a killer nose wheelie to g-turn. His bike should be out of the shop soon.
Props to Noah and the guys who have been maintaining trails at Spring Mt. Good stuff.