It occurs to me that if I take my gopro camera on every ride and make a movie out of it I will be out of hard drive space and bored all my friends to death soon. When the new is gone from the camera I’ll probably go a long time between videos.
This Saturday a few of us like minded individuals met up at “Land Between the Lakes” to do a mountian bike ride. It was 30 miles and 5.5 hours which is my longest mountain bike ride ever and felt about like doing a century on the road. I made a video, here it is.
I also wrote a report, here it is.
Ride Report – All True
We knew that Freels was going to be on the ride but what we didn’t know was that Mark “Maverick” Salis and Paul “Master Blaster” were going to be there. If you don’t know who Paul is just check your local race listings and look near the top because this guy dominates the 26er class. We were a bit late so we dispensed with the pre-ride pleasantries and dove directly into the breach. Paul took point and laid down a pace that was guaranteed to make children and weaklings cry. Luckily our entire group was composed of veterans and accomplished new comers, the pace was within our zone. We were blessed with unbelievable December weather and trail conditions, nearly bone dry earth, 50 degree temps, and trails unscathed by the heavy tread of hooves.
With Paul’s insidious pace I was beginning to show signs of weakness when we got around to the sisters. I couldn’t clean the climb and watched Paul and Eli ride away from me. The final mile would see me switch to survival mode and I found myself bringing up the rear several seconds behind the main group. We finished a lap of the Canal Loop in about 1.5 hours including at least one sizeable rest stop and a couple of regroupings.
Fortunately for me Paul had to go so Eli, Freels, Salis and I continued South on the North South Trail at a more manageable pace. Salis broke off from us shortly to do trail maintence and then it was just the Gatekeeper, Freels and I. I held up the group several times to try different camera angles with the gopro I’ve been playing with, but we had to stop when one of natureï¿½s most majestic creatures graced us with several flyovers, an entire family of bald eagles soared over our heads and across the water near Hillman Ferry campground. It was a sight to behold.
We found our way to the infamous Dick Cock trail and before long turned around for the return journey. After a tough climb I started cramping, Freels gave me a couple Tums and almost like magic the cramps went away and never came back. Despite his benevolent nature Freels was struck with misfortune when he lost a cleat screw from his shoe and had to ride in without unclicking his left foot. I only caught the end of it, but he avoided a high speed endo when he bumped his handlebar against a tree and started to pitch forward. He grabbed a tree and absorbed all his forward momentum. When I saw him he was nearly horizontal hanging on to a tree, the man has mad skilzorz
At Hillman Ferry Road I tempted the group with a an easy 2 mile paved trail back to the welcome center but my stalwart companions would have none of my weakness, we soldiered on and made some tough climbs on our way back to the N/S Canal junction. We met Salis near where we departed and he looked lost and confused. He said he had been riding in circles for 3 hours and couldn’t find his way back to the truck. We started to call 911 but then revealed it was ruse and he’d already been to the trailhead and back. Maybe we should change his nickname to “Joker”
I was relieved to see the parking lot and get off my bike 5.5 hours and 30 miles since I left. According to my Polar I burned about 5500 calories and my best estimate is that I consumed about 1850 at that point. I kicked myself when I got home and found a half eaten Cliff bar in my jersey. I really needed those calories. Another one for the history books, great ride, my longest mountain bike ride ever and fastest lap of the Canal Loop even including the stops.