Thursday, October 30, 2008
I was hoping we could get a good size crew together on Saturday, November 8th (Next weekend)
The GSC could use some bench cutting, more de-nubbing and blowing. We could also stand to shore up the rocks in the small drop towards the end of the trail.
Also some bench cutting needs to be done on the Brownie.
Maybe we could even get Shawn to lay out the extension to the Brownie so we could get started on that later in November or early December.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
I had my first chance to do a cross race Sat at Smithville lake. The day was cool and very breezy with the wind whipping off the lake. I entered the single speed class and just got my butt kicked I only beat a guy on a Wal-Mart bike and he was'nt even in my class, it was sad. 30 min of anarobic sprints is not my strong suit. I hung out a little longer and races 35+ masters race. I placed 13th out of 16, I was still out of my class. There were other groups racing at the same time so I got to beat a few girls too, but some passed me too. Tim Crowley also raced we all had a great time. It wasn't till later that we discovered that I was racing aginst CAT 3-4 roadies. They smoked me on the opens but I tore it up on the dirt turns and technical sections. Pappy Long was there killing everyone of course. All in all I had fun and think I'd do it again if i got a chance even though it was sick and wrong.
Ran into Hoppe out there leaf blowing the GSC. Trail was very smooth and fast where he had been. It was certainly a lot of work, and he should be thanked for his efforts.
On the older trails, fall leaves provide a protective barrier and a regenerative layer. This regeneration will help protect the hills and gulleys from spring rains. Leaf cover will also allow us to ride when it is more muddy. Wet leaves don't stick to tires, wet dirt does.
On the other hand, it does slow down the riding for a month or two. And, leaf litter does increase the risk of bike damage from hidden sticks and rocks - so it is totally a give and take situation. Hell, last year I went through a couple deraillers because of trail clutter. Sucked.
Anyway, this is a point of contention in other areas of the country, and there are alternative viewpoints - but I'm pretty sure it is the case around here. Other thoughts? Trail Hippie, what do you think?
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Started the excursion in a clearing that overlooked a valley, and across to the surrounding hills. Colors are starting to pop, and a cool breeze hit me in the face. Shivers ran up and down me, and I felt really alive for a bit.
I descended a long steep hill, dropping about 150 feet in elevation into the tree canopy. Found a wonderful little stream. Every thing was so quiet, except for the sound of running water. It was a cool dewy moment of watching small frogs hop into the water, and imagining how good that water might taste. I was not brave (or stupid) enough to taste it though. What a simple decision, that could have such dire consequences. Life is like that I guess, funny little decisions all the time that we take for granted, but can be severly altering for what can seem like an eternity. I guess the example fits, cause any amount of time seems like eternity when you have giardia.
Up and out of creek bottom. Another vista, and a surprise - a pond in the valley below. It was absolutely beautiful. Started another descent into the valley.
The rest of the hike was up and down the loess hills that line the Missouri River. At the tops are reminant loess prairies, in the valleys are old growth forest. Both have their majesty. Eventually I started getting blisters on my heels. Funny thing, I have never had problems with these boots, could be a socks thing, or the fact that I probably descended and climbed a couple thousand feet over the course of 7 miles or so. Finally completed the loop and decided to jump out onto the road for a bit to get back to my car quicker. I was torn doing this, I wanted to go back the way I had come, and the pain in my heels was definitely a main focus of my experience, but it was also the kind of bitter sweet, redemptive pain that can last for awhile before it really starts causing problems. I was starting to feel my socks get wet though, and that is not a good sign, so I cut it short and jumped out on to the road for a mile or so.
The road was smooth, and it made me want to get out and do an epic dirt road ride. In the mile or so of road that I wandered, I didn't see a single car or indication that there was another person on earth. Solitude.
Friday, October 24, 2008
After hitting the ground, did you shake the impact out of your head and wait for a moment as things came back into focus? Did you have a new perspective on things, from a different vantage point? A view of the world that you don't usually take. One where you are close to the earth, where you can smell the dirt and the rot. You can see the busy activity of small insects. Did you notice how the fallen leaf litter blankets the earth, protects it, and regenerates what was lost in the spring and summer rains? Did you notice that the colors of the forest are different from down here? The yellows brighter, the browns more earthy, the dusty yellow filtered fall light warmer and more regenerative than it is from five feet higher where you normally see this view?
Monday, October 20, 2008
I headed up the short steep section that starts the reverse loop. Just as I was getting to the top I was stopped in my tracks by the sight of a pair of female butt cheeks about 30 feet or so down the trail in front of me!
Dumbfounded, all I could think to say was "hello". All of a sudden the girl stands up and I see another girl behind her with her pants down also! These girls were both squatted down face to face in the middle of the trail in an extremely close proximity to each other!
When they spotted me they just freaked out and started yelling "Oh my god, Oh my god" over and over. All I could muster was a lame "sorry" and turned around and headed back out of the trail and decided that last lap really was'nt all that necessary.
The common sense part of my brain told me that all these girls were doing was just peeing in tandem on the trail but seeing these two girls face to face so close together with their pants down told me that "common sense" thinking on my part just was'nt panning out.
I'm thinking it must have been some type of lesbian ritual that these two were enacting!
Guess I should have asked but I was a little freaked out myself.
What do you guys make of it?
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
any other takers? night riding is always more fun with a group...
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
As you move up the trail and the Liliger Cemetry rises to meet you, the sun moves behind the small plot. You see a hawk soar over head as you stop to pay a quick respect to those who have passed.
The dogs run ahead, but the animals aren't scared of them today - and you see a racoon staring into your soul from his perch in a tree. What does he see?
A vista opens up at the top of the hill on the overlook point. You can see for miles, to the bluffs on the other side of the river, far away. Things are quiet for a moment, the hawk still circles high above. He calls out and you hear him clearly.
Time to move off the trail and feel the wild earth beneath your boots.
Loose your footing and fall from a cliff. Not a long drop but enough to rattle you. Sit in the rocks for a moment and collect your bearings. Silence falls through the woods again till the dogs come back in to check things out.
Notice some beauty as you sit and think about what nearly happened as you hurtled toward the earth, totally out of control. Would you have seen this flower had you not fallen? Did you fall for a reason?
Keep moving out, back on the trail now. The sun is beginning to fall behind the rocks. Shadows cast long and the woods take on a pink hue. Every thing is soft and gentle. A groundhog peeks out its head and peers at me as I move past.
The sun sets over the far hills. The change in shifts begins. The hawk is gone now, but an owl swoops overhead and announces the shift change. His call is an affirmation that you have stayed too long - but you are not ready to leave.
It's getting dark now. The moon is out. You question your steps at times, but your boots know the trail, and the dogs are surefooted. Just follow their sounds, you will be back at the car soon, but you are not ready to leave even still.