Earlier in the week I was afraid that this weekend was going to be a washout. With standing water in the yard earlier in the week I thought even if the rains subside by Friday the trails would be a mess. Fortunately the skies did clear by Friday morning and Melinda and I rounded up the dogs to scout out the mud factor. We were not surprised to find everything saturated. I hoped for a semi dry day by Saturday at Bays so I could at least get some riding in.
Saturday morning I got fueled up with pancakes at the ETSU cycling's fundraiser breakfast. Actually I gorged myself on a ridiculous amount of pancakes and enjoyed the company of some the crew.
Determined to ride, we made a plan to meet at Bays Mountain and I wasn't surprised when only two other hardy souls showed up. Eric, Sean and myself did our best to pedal up Azeala which at the time looked more like a river rather than a trail. If you ever want to know how not to build a trail, look no further. The only thing that kept Azeala from being any worse was it's sand based soil.
Once we trudged up through the flowing creek we finally came out onto dry land. The rest was a great ride, the single track was almost perfectly tacky. There was of course the usual mud holes that are located at the bottom of the fireroads but we're used to that. This is mountain biking and to me if you're a true mountain biker you ride all the time, not just when the trails are dry, the skies are blue and the birds are chirping. If you can't handle getting your bike dirty every once in a while maybe you should stick to the pavement or find another sport.
Thursday was Melinda's birthday and when I asked her what she wanted to do for the weekend her answer was, take me mountain biking. Although the weather was crap in the Tri-Cities a few of us snuck over the mountain to Asheville and were awarded near perfect weather and riding conditions. I'm a firm believer that you should get out and ride when you can, you never know what the conditions will be. We drove through an absolute downpour coming over the mountain only to find beautiful weather on the other side. Mother nature was smiling down on us Sunday.
Although I'll probably never own a downhill rig, I love seeing things like this pop up. Trek is obviously testing prototype 29" downhill bikes. I've always heard there will never be a 29er downhill bike. I say that's crap, I love it when the old school none believers are proved wrong.
Don't forget this weekend the IMBA Trail Care Crew will be rolling in town to put on a trail building workshop at Bays Mountain. I'm stoked about the opportunity although it has been alot of work on the officers at NTMBA. I think it's well worth the effort, there will never be enough trails.