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Biking with the young guys

Thursday, August 14, 2014

I like biking. I am blessed to be able to bike to work (most days) and enjoy taking my road bike out for a lunch time ride when I can. But I really enjoy riding single track on my mountain bike. I have had a few times when I had a good riding group and was able to get in a regular ride, including during my last teaching tour at West Point and my time in grad school.

Since coming back to West Point, mountain biking has taken a back seat to other fitness events and family time (the big kids are not quite ready for single track, yet!). This summer the department had an influx of fat tire enthusiasts, so we found a day, last Friday, when we could go out on a group ride. We ended up with 8, which is large and unwieldy for a group ride, but I was the only one in the group that knew the trails so we stuck together.

We went to Blue Mountain Reservation in Peekskill, NY. It is a fantastic area to ride, but it is a bit technical. Great use of natural log and rock obstacles too. The other 7 riders were all younger (6-10 years younger) and some of them are in very good shape (a few would probably beat me in our PT Test 2 mile run or drop me on a road bike). Even though I haven't been on my mountain bike in a while, I was cruising through the trails and over the obstacles. Most of the younger guys had a hard time keeping up, which was kind of fun for me. It had been about 7 years since I rode there, but the trails came back. There are a lot of spots where you can use the rock outcrops as obstacles to increase your challenge or take the easier bypass. Let's just say that the youngsters thought I was a bit nuts going up, over and down some of the big rock spines and other fun features.

We are already talking about our next ride, which will likely be a Stewart or Goose Pond, both of which are a bit faster and less technical.

Happy trails, fellow sparklers. I am off to our IM frisbee lunchtime game!
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