11 Dec Riding

After last weeks whine-fest about how I’ve not been riding, I’ve been doing quite a bit better this week.
Sunday was a north and south foothills singlespeed day with Marc. As usual when riding with Marc, it was fast and painful, and probably the first of many such rides to come as we try to develop some fitness before Old Pueblo.
The highlight of the ride was having simultaneous double quad cramps, leaving me lock-legged, straddling the bike in the middle of the trail, whimpering for mercy from my traitorous muscles. Appearently, I need to hydrate better, and beer doesn’t count. Then in the middle of my agony, an lovely lady informed me that I was in the trail, as she easily rode around me since the trail was very wide and actually took a couple of routes at that spot. Just one of three interactions I had on that Sunday that made me dislike other people. It was a beautiful day though, I couldn’t believe how warm it got.

Then on Monday we had our innagural Monday night shop ride. After spending the day watching it rain from inside the shop, with the mountains totally socked in clouds, it was promising. I had to nearly pull Tony’s teeth to get him to go, as it was looking pretty grim weather wise at 6 when we left the shop. But as we drove east, the weather just kept getting better and better.
We had a few different people say they might meet us, but I think the rain scared them all away. So it was just Tony and I for this one. We parked at the gate to the Embudito trailhead, and did the standard (to me at least) north foothills loop that does a big counter clockwise circle, leaving off the last out and back that takes you to the water tower. We forgot to charge Tony’s light until about 4pm, which we found out wasn’t enough time. So very quickly his light got so dim that he opted just to ride without. Fortunately it was kind of a bright night, and between that and Tony’s mad skillz, it didn’t slow him down that much. It was fun for me, as I savored what will likely be the one and only time that I kicked Tony’s ass on a downhill. It wasn’t close to being a fair fight, but I’ll take my shots any way I can get them.
We’ll be doing it again next week, 6 at the shop of 6:30 at Embudito trial head (top of Montgomery). Hopefully it won’t be raining and a few of you will come out to join. If you don’t like driving, I will have a few spaces in the battle wagon to drive people up with us. Then I’ll be driving home after, I live near the shop so I can drop off any where around there, or maybe just back at the shop.

Last night was my big riding adventure, as I finally made it out to the BMX track for practice night. Danny made it to. As promised, it was a good time. Most of the people there were really just practicing their gate starts, and I quickly learned why. It is really hard to track stand on a little twitchy BMX bike up against one of those gates, while trying to watch the timing light. About half the time I would loose my balance right before the light turned green, and I’d have a foot on the ground when the gate dropped. This isn’t the way to get the hole shot.
The track itself was nice because you can roll everything, which I did. Had there been any mandatory doubles to jump on the track, I probably wouldn’t have shown up at all.
I was, however, starting to flirt with the idea of jumping one of the easier tables. I’m pretty sure I have the skill, as usual for me it’s just a matter of sacking up and going for it.
I did several laps on Tony’s 4x bike (26″ mtn bike with gears), a Formula Cruiser (thanks Vince) and a Formula 20″. After a couple of laps with the 20″, I actually liked it the best, much to my surprise. Despite being much twitchier, I liked the acceleration of the small wheels, and the shorter wheelbase made it easier to keep the bike on the ground through the rollers and rhythm section, which was good since I was quite intent on staying on the ground.
The track is reportedly getting torn down next week and rebuilt, for I believe the first time since it was built. This will be cool to see. I’m glad I made it out on the old one before it was gone. Definitely planning on making it out again. As usual, I was nervous to try something new, and then once I got there, had a blast. If anybody feels like joining, practice is usually on wednesday nights at 6pm, and they have loaner bikes and helmets at the track. Just show up wearing long pants and long sleeves. The track will be closed for the next couple of weeks for construction though.

So I’m doing a little better at actaully riding bikes this week. I’m spending the weekend up in Santa Fe with my family, and I’ll get some sort of a ride in there, depending on trail conditions. So if anybody wants to pedal around Santa Fe on Sunday morning (hopefully in the dirt) let me know.