Thursday, October 23, 2008

PA trip part 2

Pennsylvania was a blast we had a good time even though we had a couple of culture shocks. I actually wasn't surprised we've been there twice before I just thought it made for a little better story for my fellow readers. Saturday Dustin and I headed over to a nearby town to a different trailhead in search of a little more elevation change.

The trail started out climbing right of the bat, a nice way to get you heart rate up early, no warm up. We climbed for a bit and then just descended right back down to where we started. Hmmm.... I hope there's more to this than just repeating this cycle over and over again. We started the climb again in search of something different. We did have a map but none of the trails were labeled well and the graphics were less than stellar.

Dustin had been here once but he wasn't exactly sure what was the best route. We reached the top played around in a bowl for a couple of minutes and decided to follow a new trail. We came into a power line clearing on a ridge that had some spectacular views minus the powerlines. PA has obviously not experienced the drought we have here in East TN and the colors of the leaves on the trees were amazing.

We hung out for a bit snapped a few pics and looked over the map for something a little bit more interesting. As we stood there in the trail I heard a familiar sound of bikes flying down the trail and they were coming directly at us. I yelled for Dusting to get off the trail just in time for 4 riders to come flying past us. I suggested we grab they're rear wheel because they obviously looked like they knew where they were going.

It took us a minute to catch them and after a few minutes of riding with them I think they realized we didn't have a clue to where we were. They stopped introduced themselves and we asked if they cared if we followed them around some. They said sure, the more the merrier.

Come to find out they were the guys responsible for the trailbuilding.

All four of them were riding all mountain bikes that had quite a bit more travel than Dustin and myself. They took us on a sweet ride traversing the mountain all over the place. On the last decent I quickly realized that these trails were built with big ole squishy bikes in mind. I was going way to fast for the terrain and what I was riding. I was literally on the edge of crashing and burning and I could see a series of jumps ahead. I grabbed a fist full of brakes and did my best to gracefully slide off the trail in an effort not to get ran over by the folks behind me.

When we finally reached the bottom the guys told us they were impressed with our skills since we had never been there. One of them had crashed so hard earlier that week he couldn't remember anything afterward.

We thanked them for the guided tour and loaded up the bikes. On the way out one of the guys took us by a park where the were building a skills course complete with a pumptrack. The had some pretty sweet wooden structures but they still had alot of work to do.


Tomorrow Melinda and I are going to load up the Pancake shack and the dogs and head down to Haw Ridge just outside of Knoxville for the 12 Hours of the Hill of Truth mountain bike race. There has been a lot of smack talk on a certain forum and some blogs. I can't say I've not been guilty of it as well I usually try to refrain from it but oh well.

I've been checking the weather a couple of times a day to see if the rainy forecast will change. With the drought we've had for the past 2 years the trails could definitely use the rain. They have been dusty all summer. I'm just not looking forward to setting up camp in the rain. I haven't had my light out all year and just like a slacker I decided I had better get them out today and check them out to make sure they won't leave me stranded during one of my night laps. So far so good, they been burning for an hour and a half with no charging since my last night ride this spring.

Seriously though, good luck to all the riders in our club it should be a blast as always rain or shine.