My enthusiasm for writing has diminished over the past few weeks, but I'm back. I'm still unemployed and always looking for leads. Sometimes, though, I need to get away from it all and explore what I love most... riding my bike in the mountains, camping, and chillin at a campfire. While everyone was sitting at their desks or working in the field this past Monday and Tuesday, I was camping on Tillman Road, riding all day, and sitting by the fire sippin from flasks at night.
Sunday (Nov 9, 2008) marked my last race of the season - and thank GOD! My friends, I have been slackin like nobody's business. Riding maybe once or twice per week and not pushing hard...at all... The Twistaed Tire MTB Race showed expected results: I have slowed down a lot, but I can still crank out the laps. I pulled out seven laps (roughly 52 miles) in the Enduro race, which was good for 14th place. Somehow, I held onto the 3rd place overall spot in the VORS series - good for a sweet Salsa jersey and riding cap. Francine held second place - good for a sweet JetBoil system. Our team, Richmond ASR, held second overall team - good work!
So, after the race and festivities, we headed home and I packed for my Monday trip. I met up with a riding buddy, Russ, on Tillman Road (part of the SM100) at lunchtime on monday. We set our tents and headed up Heartattack Hill to Wolf Ridge for a sweet 15 miler before getting the campfire and beers out. My legs were pissed, but the rest of me was all about it. The Wolf Ridge descent revealed some awesome things happening out there - TRAIL WORK! Apparently, SVBC and JMU are working together to reroute the lower (super steep) section of the trail. It looked like the re-route would add lots more super fast singletrack!! Keep your eyes out for this section.
Tuesday, we decided to ride the road up to Reddish Knob and take Hearthstone Ridge back to camp. The ride up was great! My legs cried and moaned... but it was only a 2,700 foot climb over nine miles! I had no idea. At one point, we saw a "6" painted on the asphalt. We decided that we had climbed 6 miles at that point. We were wrong. We still had 6 miles to reach the top. ouch! It's cool though, I love a good long climb.
One of my favorite climbs that I remember was on the Continental Divide Route (toured it in 2002) in Southern Colorado. I was riding with my friends Pascal and Rebecca, and I broke two spokes about "nine miles in". I ended up sending them up the mountain saying, "I'll catch up". The day's ride was to encompass a 4,000 foot climb over 20 miles and then rollin around in the uplands for another 20. So, I turned around and headed back to the town that we had just left to get a new wheel. After four hours, I had returned to the spot where I'd left my group. Then I killed it. I climbed for a loooong time, and reached the top only an hour or so behind the group. When I reached the camp, they were only there for about a half hour. Good times. Did I mention that I love a good long climb?
Back to Reddish Knob:
We Arrived at the summit around 1pm. Ahh yes, my legs were hurtin soooo good...
The best thing about the climb? The view from the top was great, but the dessert was even better: An 8 mile, 30 mph screamin blur! We were flying down the mountain so fast that the blurred trail looked like a bobsled course! What a great trip! Thanks for hanging out Russ. Can't wait till next time.
PSP for Sunday - anyone interested?