I thought I had been done with this place for the 04-05 winter season but I was wrong. Not gonna lie, its not my favorite place to ride. I just hate climbing while working to avoid rocks, but it also gives back more satisfaction when you reach a goal.
Peter had advertised this as a MORE casual ride so I figured I'd be safe as far as the pace. Its not that the knee is really holding me back as far riding, but my lack of activity lately has me in pretty sad shape. It was a real good turn-out. I think the number was just about right for a ride. I finally got to see GAZ, I think thats who he his. I've been reading about an Irish guys bike building exploits on the MORE site. I think he was there, if that wasn't him someones riding around with a really bad speech impediment. The normal crew was there, Peter, David, Denis, Jason, Wayne, Chris. Somebody help me out here, I think the guy on a 29 surly was Julian, and there was one more. Don't know his name but he's driving a mini-van. Anybody help me out here?
Today did mark a first for me. My first trail flat. I couldn't believe it! Others got flats and slowed the group down. Not me. But sure enough there it was. I'd never changed the tube on the 29 before and it was a good thing David was there to give me a hand. I didn't have a pump but did have CO2 that I'd been carrying around forever but wasn't sure if it would work on presta valve. It did. I think I'm going to practice changing the tube on those rims before my next ride. If David hadn't been there it would have taken me 30 minutes to get going again. It could have been worse. I could have been Denis, he had 1 trail flat, and then it was flat again when the ride ended.
Overall I was trying to play catch up with everyone most of the time. My endurance is about shot. The only thing that made me feel half way decent was a good size log across the trail. While David with his do or die attitude finally cleared it after 3 or 4 tries, and Wayne got it in 2 attempts, I was able to clear it the first time. But in all honesty, I'm pretty sure my 29 wheels played more of a role than my technical ability. Logs just seem smaller with the big wheels.
I did have a few mishaps. One involved the bad knee but I didn't do damage to it. It got bent back farther than normal in one accident but no ill after effects although it scared me a little at the time. I also managed to finally destroy my first pair of tights.
Overall a great day. I couldn't help bumming myself out though on the way home. Thinking back on the ride and the day and remembering I'd be out of the loop for probly 3 months. Oh well. I'm damned glad I got this ride in.