Sunny and beautiful today, no excuse not to go out, although it was slightly cool.
Mr. Tiny and I took the opportunity to get in some outside time, went for a walk to take care of some errands, and he requested we bring the ramp to the park. That's my boy.
Doesn't take a whole lot of convincing here, "What, you want to go ride bikes? Where are my shoes?"
So he's riding his Strider and doing "BMX tricks", as he says.
He prefers this to his 12 inch bike with an actual drivetrain. He can ride it, but he likes to roll on the Strider.
Had the opportunity to get in my 1st singletrack of the season, which is somewhat tragic, really, considering that it's now April. Sparkfriend SPEEDYDOG rails the trails all winter long on his fatbike. Me, I'm not that hardcore.
I endeavored to ride reasonably and my riding was tentative, due to the fact that I still am a bit gun-shy after coming off a 6 month off the bike injury.
It was colder than I had planned, and when I rolled into the parking lot, there were already a lot of guys there. I think there were 13 or so riders, and the vibe from this particular grouping of riders was...serious.
We rode on trails in the park I have never been on in 13 years. One of the guys mentioned that he hadn't rode there in 6 months, and when he came back, there was maybe 10 miles of new trails he didn't recognize, at all.
Groups would split off and rejoin, depending on the section that specific riders wanted to do. I followed a group on to a section that someone called "Gaddafi". Another person opined with a straight face, "Try not to fall off the low side off camber, and if you do, yell real loud so we can find you at the bottom."
The guys who wanted to rail that section went first, and all I heard was a "Whoop!" and the guys in front were GONE. Mad skillz, as today's kids would say. These guys were Jedi, for sure.
I felt like a farmboy shooting womp rats in Beggar's Canyon back home, not even Padawan style. Just kidding, but the guys who rode well, rode VERY well. I was behind a guy on a fatbike who went for it and ninja turtled it on his backpack after eating it on a dangerous switchback. I saw that, said aloud, "I can't hang." and walked the section. No shame, when the room for error is nil and awaits 40 feet down.
There was a log skinny, and I saw 2 dudes clean it. It was sweet.
At that point, the sun started going down and those without lights waved off the rest of the ride. Those who had lights proceeded on as dusk transitioned to twilight.
We hit some ramped log crossings (I walked them) and a big drop to a skinny. At some point after the drop to skinny, I try to get back on and "Oh snap! That's that." my chain disappeared. The one guy thought I meant I dropped my chain, nope, it wasn't there, snapped and fell off. We backtracked and found it lying near the skinny.
We climbed an embankment, jumped a metal retaining fence with our rigs, and I alternated between pushing and coasting when going downhill to the local hot dog joint where DW and tiny dudes awaited. We were going to have dinner there, but the place was a zoo and hopping, so thank God she came to get me. The original plan was for me to ride home.
I got in the car, and DW says, "Why do you smell like a pond?"
I couldn't smell myself, but remembered that as I followed the rider on a cyclocross bike (who almost snapped off one of his brake hoods in a nasty crash), I had the opportunity to do my first stream crossing.
DW related a story to me that I smelled like what she remembered growing up as a kid in Illinois, after coming in from playing outside at the pond.
The weight training legwork is paying off. I could see it in how I climbed. I probably still am keeping my tires at too high pressure, mostly because I think I'm heavier than I actually am now. I can probably afford to drop pressure another 3-5 psi without pinch flatting.
When I started my health/fitness journey, I would never have been able to ride like I did today. The payoff, is WORTH the long term effort. Think years, not months. A guy who I rode with must've been in his 60s, and he was out there on the trail doing the same thing we were. I want to be able to do that down the line. It's important in regards to quality of life.
Don't put yourself in a position where you say, "If only I had put in the time before." Do it. If for no other reason, than you will be able to do what you want to do and your body/fitness/health won't be an impediment to your goals, and frankly, unadulterated fun!
Your goals are worthwhile! Go hard!