Thursday, October 30, 2008

Trail Maintenance Day

Any input from you guys about scheduling a trail maintenance day?
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

just sick and wrong

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.

Sunday Ride w/ Jason

Jason and I hit Corby and the GSC mid-afternoon today. I was a little off from hiking and he was kind of tired from lifting, so we just cruised. He did a few of his signature stops for me in the middle of some down hills, and even in the middle of a couple uphills, just to keep me on my toes since he was leading today. I promised him that if he did it again, I was going to plant that 29" wheel in his ass. Joking, of course - I know it wouldn't fit in there.

It was very windy, so much so that talking was difficult over the noise in the trees. There are some branches down, and we were definitely keeping our eyes out for falling objects. Need to get out there with the chainsaw it looks like.

In the Brownie trail, we were cruising along and a deer jumped off the trail in front of Jason. At that moment I looked over and saw two more deer right by the trail. We slammed on the brakes and all three of them just stopped and looked at us. We were less than 10 feet from them and we all kind of just hung there and stared at eachother. They were not scared and infact they started grazing while we were stopped there. I got a picture of them, but of course it kind of sucks.

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 Day....

With a feeling that things might make sense for awhile. I wanted to cement that state of mind, so I decided a hike at River Breaks was the thing. There are three trail systems at River Breaks, I have been on one, so I thought I might try one of the other two.

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 pond was so calm. Crystal clear and peaceful. I sat in the grass for a little while, watched the dogs chase a snake, and just thought about things. The sun was so warm - fall warm though, the kind of sunshine that is working real hard to be warm for you. It's a losing battle though, soon the sun won't be keeping up and the snow will be flying. That's okay too though, I'm looking forward to that stage again. Something different. Hang up the bike, pull down the skis. I hope we get some good snow this year.

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.
Saw one thing that I have never seen before... Walked for awhile with a "cloud" of lady bugs. Apparently those little bugs swarm and migrate or something, cause there was thousands and thousands of them, all moving at just a bit faster than walking speed, and me right in the thick of it. Really felt like I was part of something there for a minute, something larger than myself for sure. Just kidding, it was just a bunch of bugs, but it was pretty weird and I felt kind of lucky to see it.
Till next time....

Friday, October 24, 2008

Have you ever....

Lost control for just a second. Hit an immovable obstacle. Then fallen to the ground?

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?

While you were down there, did you find something that you weren't looking for? Something that made you think about perspective and how it can change everything depending on which side of it you reside? Did you ever think about luck? Did you consider that nearly any situation where luck is involved has an element of good luck for one party, and bad luck for another? Truely, the rabbit's foot is lucky for the hunter - but the fact that the hunter now possesses the rabbit's foot is unlucky for the rabbit. Did you consider this as a constant through life?

As you pick yourself up, and dust yourself off - maybe look around and think about the give and take; the ebb and flo; the birth and death that is constantly surging forward and pulling back all around us. Think about how as you gain, others lose; then when you lose others will gain. As you climb back on your bike, think about how small these things are in the scheme of things, but how they also might have an unintended, or unexpected impact.
The rabbit would never have comprehended that he might have had an impact on your life. Maybe his bad luck was your fortune this time as you ride away with another perspective that you would never have gained if it weren't for his loss.
To all those who lost someone this week (there were many around me)... I'm sorry for your time of pain and sorrow. Please know that you are all in my thoughts and prayers. Maybe with some luck a little meaning will come from what probably seems like senseless loss. I hope so.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Girls on the Girl Scout

Ok, I all wanted was to get in one last lap around the GSC. I had been riding for an hour or so and was coming off the Brownie trail and decided it was getting a little bit cool out but thought one last good lap through the GSC would be just the ticket to finish off my ride.
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

Clinton Lake next Saturday?

Met Lance yesterday at GC trails and he offered to drive several interested (he has Suburban said he can carry 6+ & their gear) out to Clinton.

Posting this early will hopefully give some of us opportunity to plan for it.  After tentatively setting these plans I ran into Jim S. and Craig H. and they both seemed interested.  Lance, I plan on going so call shotgun!    ;0)-

BTW... I know it's last minute, but me and out of state friend will be hitting Landahl around 3PM today.  If anyone wants to hook up, you can call my cell.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

thursday ride

i would like to ride thursday night after work. i can probably be there around 5:30 with a little bit of luck. that leaves about 1 hour until dark. i will have a light with me, but it has been a whole season since i used it, so who knows how it will work.

any other takers? night riding is always more fun with a group...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

"Four Guys Who I Thought Were My Friends"

Is how the Crookster describes the start of our Sunday AM ride. He should never have crashed in Corby North. We were having such a good time we just rode past him. We didn't know he was unconscious. How can we be held responsible for him waking up in such a state with Missouri's finest woodsmen keeping him company.

Just kidding. The Crookster went down hard in Corby North. Too fast on the off camber curve that has knocked so many over. He rode that slide like a champ though. I was right up his ass and that freak of nature thinks so fast that he started crab walking off the trail as he was still sliding and bouncing on the ground. For my part, I locked up those BB5s (yeah they lock up sometimes) and did my best not to steam roll him. It would have been nasty if he hadn't of moved out of my way, cause when I finally stopped both wheels would have bounced over him.

So after the wreck the Crookster pretty much looked like the swamp thing with mud and shit hanging all over him.

Then we all stood around and made fun of him. TOUGH LOVE. (shit, I better never, ever, ever, wreck in front of anyone again - or if I do it better kill me).

So we kept rolling with just a couple short stops along the way to b.s. and catch our breaths.

Afterwards, the Hippie had a coronary, which was fun for all of us. I thought I would immortalize the moment, although I missed the part where he was digging in his pants. Dammit.

It was a good ride, and a good morning. On the way home Hoppe and I hit Karnes hill with some vengence. At the top he mumbles something about being able to get a good workout on the road with a single speed. I wasn't really listening, as I was trying not to pass out.... I did notice that ole zippy wasn't even out of breath when he said whatever it was though. So Jason, what are you charging for your hits? You just want to let me borrow your blackjack and I'll do the dirty business myself.

Kidding again, of course. Keep it coming, the faster the better I always say. MAKE IT HURT!

More Photos from Week...

Glad Lansen beat me to posting about yesterday's ride... he's such a poet & doesn't know it.
I really enjoyed the diversity of riding in the bigger group.  Lansen sure did get me going in that last half at Sunbridge... didn't know I could fly over some of those double logs... definitely got in my zone. 

This past Sunday took my 11 year old, Elijah, on his first mtb trail ride using my GF Cake... that's right, he's taken over my shoes & bike... and that's fine with me.  I am most proud that he used the eggbeaters and didn't fall over once!
BTW, that same weekend Rusty took his two oldest boys on same trails and Greg Goat took his daughters riding... future MTBers?! 

Had to take picture of Ed cause this Wednesday we rode together with Dustin and didn't know he could hold a solid/strong pace through woods (thought he only did Trials stuff)... got me so pumped that I found myself pushing & cheering him on like if he was in a race.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Saturday AM Ride Recap

Had a great group this morning. Fast, steady, smooth. We hit the Corby North, then to Brownie, then to GSC, then to Krug, then through Sunbridge. Great morning. It was beautiful!

Randy led us through North, at a nice steady pace. Jason led us through Brownie, and besides taking a bad line and leading me off the trail, was very smooth. Hoppe took the front through GSC, and with some heckling from me really turned it on a couple times. Of course Rusty climbed the big hill on the other side of the creek at Krug.... Everyone else walked it. The Crookster led us through Sunbridge for part of the way at some pretty high speeds along the shelf. That may have been the fastest I had gone in that section. Then I realized I was going to be late to the Pumpkinfest Parade downtown, so Jav and I ripped out the rest of the way in Sunbridge, not sure what the rest of the group was up to but we hit it pretty hard I thought.

Anyway, by the end I was feeling pretty good about the morning. I felt like I got to follow pretty much everyone at some point or another, and it was good. Got to hear some of my favorite old stories, some new ones, and we started making plans for future adventures. Randy made some filthy jokes, I think Javier made a pass at me, and I'm not sure but I think Rusty might have won another $100 hill climb challenge. It was a good ride.

Coming out of Krug, I noticed that the trees in Sunbridge are starting to change colors. Right now they are still kind of dull, but it is going to be a good year for color, I can tell. I hope to be posting some good pictures!

Thanks for the great ride guys! Lets plan to meet at Corby again Sunday... 8:30AM sound good?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

New Recruits

Rusty inpecting the newbies... Larry, Tom, & Nick and their new bikes from Forces.  I'm betting Rusty will give preference to Nick since he was the only one with 26" wheels.   ;0)-

Fun chatting with these guys and sounds like they have been riding quite a bit lately and already met some of the regulars.  It's great to see more new faces on the trails & look forward to riding with ya!

PS... Nick, Lansen lives just 3 houses west of yours.

PPS... thanks to whomever took out that big trunk on GS trail... and now there is another on Brownie trail, near the parkway road.  Rusty and I cleared some smaller stuff that must have blown over from the weather earlier this week.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Did You Know...

...That the Sunbridge Hills have magical powers. Sometimes when you can not find peace, you can go there and peace will find you. When you cry out for guidance, something hears you and provides you with clues to what the right path might be.

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.

You feel the energy of this place. It has at least partially recharged you for now.... Until the next time.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

GSC This Weekend

Rode GSC this weekend a couple times. It was great. Went at kind of a weird time on Saturday and missed the group. Sorry guys. On Sunday, hooked up with Jason and cruised through the camp.
Saw some interesting bugs. First a Katydid - Then a Walking Stick in my spokes. Weird, huh.

Wrecked my bike and took some dirt on the chin. Too fast, too rocky, too off camber, too little skill for the conditions - then I bit it.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

heartland race for next year

I spoke to Craig at Heartland Race he says that they are pumped to have us next year. We next talked about what kind of race, enduro or XC we are throwing it around. I talked to Cameron Chambers who said he wanted to come up and ride the new trails.