Thursday, August 5, 2010

epic adventures at the watershed

The problem with a great trail system on the east coast is that often it's a bit too easy to get lost.  In Utah, the theme is pretty simple, you go up along the side of a mountain, you go down the other side, rinse and repeat.  You get on the bike and GO somewhere.

Where our terrain is a bit more limited, we don't go anywhere.  Except in circles.  Little loops, connecting one trail to another, figure 8's, all within a handful of square miles.  It took me a while to get used to this and find my way around our local haunts.  But even my cat-like sense of direction (and sense of distance/altitude) still fails when we're somewhere less familiar.

Like Frederick.  Ah, Frederick.  The trails are fantastic. Rocky, steep, mostly rideable.  And completely unmapped.

I've been out there 3 times so far this year.  Not enough.

Trip 1:  Mazz, Shea and I.  We got ridiculously misguided, ran out of water with more than an hour left of riding, and I broke my Sidi's.  Yeah, really - I hit a rock with my crank (a common occurrence) and the sole separated from the upper.  Total ride time was at least 3 hours longer than we'd planned on.  The awesomeness of the riding might've been overshadowed by the complete and total bonk-tasticness of the afternoon.  38 miles in 7 1/2 hours.  In May.  Ouch.

Trip 2: Mazz, Marc and I.  We only got a bit lost, and made it back to the car (and Mexican food) about 1 1/2  hours later than anticipated.  But this relative success was partly because we stuck to some of the trails with blazes in Gambrill.  Mazz did a header over a log at least once, Marc cussed him out for riding his singlespeed up stuff that our geared 29ers thought should be walked.  Good times.  And margaritas and Mexican afterwards at Poblano Grill.  Perfect post-ride food.

Trip 3:  Shea and I.  We couldn't find our intended (new to us) parking spot, but found it by bikes after parking at a popular one.  Total ride time: 15 minutes longer than planned.  No kidding.  Of course, we stopped and some really nice guy named Dave made sure we went the right direction on one of those little gravel roads, but this must've been a record.  Oh, and that counts riding the steep ass hill my coach wanted me to start on and dropping through some phenomenal new singletrack.  I rode hard and started to flow, even through the rock gardens.  Shea even said he was almost at his race pace following me through a smooth spot.  Cool.

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