Luke’s home for a quick visit and some rides in the Shawnee National Forest. He called a ride at Rice Hollow, one of the low down dirtiest trails in the forest. Ten of us met up at High Knob for the adventure. Luke lead us out of the parking lot of the big high speed decent with the nine of us on his tail. It was about all we’d see of him for the rest of the day.
On the first turn Luke and another rider were out of sight, Eli declared they’d made a wrong turn and would eventually come back, after a couple of minutes when they didn’t return. We followed their tracks for awhile until our spirtual leader said that it’d be best if we just skipped Rice Hollow all together and ride some actual fun trails.
It turned out to be one of the most fun rides I’ve done in a long time. We rode an excellent mix of technical challenge and high speed fun. Glenn had been leading for most of the ride keeping things moving at a brisk but gentlemanly pace, he comes up to ride with us a few times a year and when he does it always blows my mind. There are lots of times when I ‘m following someone up a climb and they’re kicking my butt I’m like, “I’ll get em on the downhill,” or sometimes when you’re riding with a dude on a BIG HIT bike and they’re bombing every downhill I’m like, “I’ll get em on the uphill.” With Glenn I’m just thinking, I’m happy if I can ride fast enough to see him.
After one fast section of trail I was nominated to be leader, I took the bait and started railing. I was approaching a fairly big log and started braking then bumped over it. I gassed up again but was thinking, Glenn wouldn’t even have slowed down for the log. On the next turn I felt my front tire slip just a bit in a the loose dirt and I announced, “I don’t have health insurance, and pulled off to return to the rear of the group.
I experimented today by “Going Alpine” as Elam calls it. I left my camelbak at home and just took 2 water bottles. I did go as far as to strap a tube to my saddle. I figured why carry tools, a pump and 70 ounces of water I’m not going to drink. Even though a camelbak isn’t all that annoying, it felt really good not to have it on my back. I only drank one water bottle and never needed any tools. Most of the guys I ride with carry enough stuff to rebuild their bikes in the field so I think I’m good.
On the last mile we ran into Luke who had taken his lucky victim to Rice Hollow where they walked a bunch of goat paths. We rode out together and I was happy to see the vehicles. Happy I hadn’t lost any skin, happy my bike didn’t break, and happy to be feeling compeltely spent after a good ride. Thanks for calling it Luke!