Wednesday, September 26, 2012

big south fork: the beauty, the carnage and the video

It's been a few days since we got home from our trip to Big South Fork and I'm already missing it. I've been to Big South Fork a couple of times previously but I had ever been allowed to ride the trails we rode this last weekend. The park itself is beautiful and the campground is very nice. No harassing park employees and no silly rules. Several miles of trail that were previously only open to mountain bikes during the weekdays, the Grand Gap Loop & the John Muir trail, have recently been opened 7 days a week. One of the park guys even lead our ride stating that this was the biggest group he'd seen yet. Big groups can be good and can be bad, good for having company and camaraderie but bad for a fun smooth ride on singletrack. Thankfully no one was trying to keep us all together. As the trail wore on we all split up and did our own thing, everyone seeming to have a great laid back time.
Periodically we would exchange pleasantries at break points and scenic overlooks but other than that we just rode and enjoyed the heck out of the trails we were on. The fast people worked there way to the front, the people just enjoying the ride were somewhere in the middle and those of us who were stopping taking pictures and sampling a bit of the honey were in the back. Not to say we didn't ride fast we just took our time and sucked it all in.
Rewinding a bit, a few of us arrived early on Friday and decided to kick things off with a pre-ride on the Grand Gap Loop that afternoon. I had packed the GoPro last weekend with intentions of filming but left it at the campsite on Friday. Somewhere about midway through the ride we came upon a tight squeeze between a giant rock that jutted out about shoulder to head high and a tree. Right in the middle of this mess was a smallish rocky downhill section thrown in just to keep things interesting. I was 3rd in line going through and I watched Jody & Todd clean the section but when it came my turn I was more worried about clipping the giant rock in the trail than the rocks I was riding on.
Unfortunately my lack of attention to the trail sent me flying over the bars and landing face first onto the trail. As my bike flipped up backwards, it and me rolled off the trail and down the hill into a mess of leaves and roots. When I stood up the first thing I did was make sure all of my teeth were intact as they took a serious blow to the trail which was obviously just a small amount of dirt covering alot of rock.
Other than a little blood, some nice bruising, most of which I would find over the course of a day or two I was good to go. One thing that did bother me was that I didn't have the GoPro with me to capture it all. I climbed back up onto the trail, did a bike & body survey, spit out all kinds of dirt and got back on the bike.
Saturday, I made sure I had my GoPro on and filming when we hit this section. I wasn't sure if I wanted to ride it and I never really got the chance. One of my buddies in front of me took a bit of a spill in the same section. Luckily he wasn't hurt either and luckily for everyone else I got it on film. His crash wasn't nearly as bad as mine but I asked him for his permission to use it in my video and he agreed.
We got in 20+ miles alone on Saturday and had a great time, the trails were smooth, buff and fast with just enough rocks to keep the guys with big squish happy. The scenery was probably some of the best I've seen in a while, it ranked right up there with some of what we saw out west. Even the small amount of time we spent riding the gravels was scenic.
This was Ocho's first camping trip and I'm pretty sure he enjoyed every minute of his time there. I think he's going to be a great camping dog and when he gets little older, a great mountain biking dog. He's already getting the hang of running off leash at our local trails and staying with me.

Normally when he gets quiet for a while I know I need to check on him because he's likely into some kind of trouble. On Saturday afternoon, I caught him licking on an empty beer can that had been smashed. I'm not sure where he got it but I had to snap a picture before taking it away from him. I will admit I was a little proud.

I skipped on posting any of the photos since they're all over the box already. Enough talk, onto the video, I will admit it's a little on the long side but I couldn't bring myself to edit anymore out of the footage than I did. I apologize in advance.




Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Amasa Back - the video

Finally! I've been slacking on getting the rest of my Utah video footage edited but I refuse to throw in the towel. I've been doing them in the order which we rode them and that saves my favorite for last.
This trail, Amasa Back was mostly jeep trails so when we were gearing up for it I wasn't really excited. My visions of jeep trails were MUCH diffrent than what we actually rode. This ride ended up ranking right up there with my favorites. It was pretty much an out and back with ridiculously awesome views. We climbed for a good hour or more to a peak that was crazy cool and then descended back down trying to stay upright on our bikes.
I'm impressed people take jeeps up some of the stuff we rode. The terrain was a bit more than my puny xc bike could handle, I would've been better off with around 6" of travel but I managed.

Up next and hopefully not 3 months down the road, the Porcupine Rim trail.

Monday, September 17, 2012

the weekend off and some trail dog training

What was supposed to be a laid back restful weekend with no plans turned into a great weekend of riding. I had hinted around to Melinda that there was a ride in the works on Buffalo for Saturday morning but she wasn't interested. I didn't want to commit to taking off for the day and leaving her at home alone to deal with the dogs by herself, I say the dogs, it's mostly Ocho. Late Friday evening she made a ride plan of her own so I was good to to go on Buffalo.
The route plan was to head up the newish Pinnacle Firetower trail to the top and climb up into the firetower and have a refreshing beverage. That was accomplished but only after the crowd cleared out. We have a bit of a tallboy can crushing contest amongst friends that basically goes like this. Crush a tallboy can and see who can get the can to crush down the straightest without shifting.
My attempt atop the firetower, probably my best one yet, even Anthony was impressed. Rob, not so much, he informed me that it needed to be a 22 oz. not a 16 oz. Sheesh.
Anyway after some much enjoyed refreshment we decended down the Buffalo/JC side of the mountain via some fireroads, ATV trails and singletrack. It was good fun, some downed trees were moved, some crashes were had and some blood was left on thorns by all.
After all the good downhill fun was over we proceeded to make our way back to the top via the fireroad slog of a climb. It's been a while since I've done this climb and I forgot how much it sucked, I misjudged my re-fuleing needs and had to raid my emergency food stash which really isn't much but it got me to the end of the ride and the drive home.
We did get to end the ride on a good note, down the Pinnacle trail at which point I was beginning to bonk a bit. With only pancakes, a clif bar, a gel and a Shift in my belly I opted to sit in the back to not hold anyone up or cause a pile up as I was feeling pretty jittery. It was a great day and an awesome ride.
On the dog front, it's crazy to see how fast little Ocho is becoming bigger Ocho. He's growing so fast I feel like I should be documenting his growth with pencil marks on the wall. The first day we brought him home he couldn't reach Moonshine's water bowl, after a week he was drinking from it with ease
In the truck he's pretty chilled out, we've been hesitant to put him in the back much because he's not scared to jump out the windows. Moonshine, Melinda and I have already begun his "trail dog" training. We've started out slow with short hikes but I have a feeling he'll be ready to chase us on bikes in a few months.
The fall flowers were in full bloom at Warriors last week.

Friday, September 7, 2012

a short post about a dog and a lack of self discipline

I was in the mood to post yesterday but put it off due to the need to get stuff done around the house, later that evening I didn't feel the urge to post anything. Today I half way feel the need to post but I have a feeling it's gonna be half a$$ed. No photos just random discussion, one sided only that is.
I have plenty to share, pics and all just no urge to do so and really I need to be doing other stuff.
Trying to up my running game this week but only 1 run in so far, we have a certain new addition to the crew that demands constant attention. Anyway I am going to squeeze in a run today, a trail run. I'm a little burned out on the bike so I've done more stuff like kayaking and running lately. It's actually been a little over a week since my last ride and I'm cool with that. Another thing I've been off of, my healthy eating, not that I was really that healthy of an eater but the past 3 nightshifts at work there have been an arsenal of homemade cakes and fruit cobblers laying about, sheesh! 3 cakes and 2 cobblers all over the course of 3 days. I sampled every single one of them, a couple more than once.
I've been bad.
So last weekend we adopted another dog, a black lab mix from a rescue in NC. A male, 2 months old with absolutely no training whatsoever. I forgot how much fun it is to house break a dog.  Sleepless nights, cleaning up pee and poop off the carpet, picking up dog toys in every room of the house. It's great though, he's a ton of fun and really cute. Ocho is his name and no we did not name him after any football players. We've had him less than a week and Moonshine and I have already had him out training to be a trail dog twice. This weekend, he goes on his first camping trip, weather permitting. Yeah we're making sure we cover the most important things in his training. Once he gets a little bigger we'll buy him a proper Cycle Dog collar.
More stuff to come as I feel like typing and posting: photos, kayaking trips, pub crawls, new tires on the JET's and of course more dogs stuff. Oh yeah and a primitive back country camping trip this weekend. Should be interesting.