This was a weekend of firsts, again.
First time at the Black Hills Park, first time on the Hoyles Mill connector, and first time using a camelback.
Peter put togather an "epic" that was to start at Black Hills at 11:00. He and Denis actually started earlier at Schaffer farms and met rest of the group.
Black hills was a nice enough ride in itself. A few descents with a little debris, rocks and roots to make it interesting. That first 30 minutes must have of warmed the bikes up because the group had a shit load of mechanicals. First it started with Maj, then Chris. While they were tinkering with loose bolts, Denis’s bike developed a flat, then a torn sidewall. So we head back by the trail head for some minor maintenance. On the way back Denis takes a spill and breaks his rear derailer hanger. This isn’t his day. Peter, being the mechanical ace rigs up Denis’s bike as a single speed so he can continue. Something that I didn’t think could be done to a full suspension bike. It actually worked pretty good. Denis was riding in the back with me afterwards and he seemed to be doing pretty good. The worst problem he was having was with the derailer coming loose and flopping around.
We get on the Hoyles Mill connector and head on over to Schaffer farms. I think the connector just runs between the 2 parks. Theres a little bit of pavement, some field riding, and some singletrack. You get a little bit of technical rocks thrown in, but nothing to worry about. The biggest obstacle is a stream crossing. This is a "big" stream. It was easily crossed but you do get your feet wet. It wasn’t a problem today, but I’d think twice about doing it in the dead of winter.
We did various loops around Schaffer. The only other time I had been there was last summer. It was while my knee was still healing so I didn’t evan try most of the logs out there. This place stands out in my head as having a lot of logs to jump over. I had my one small tumble of the day. I was going over a small pile of logs. They looked easy compared to some of the stuff I had already been going over. I don’t how it happened but when the front wheel came down it shot to the left and over I went. Bent my rear hanger a little bit but peter helped me get it aligned back up right. I’m paranoid as shit when trying to straighten those back up. I just know I’m going to put too much "oomph" into it and snap it off.
We lost Denis and Chris sometime about halfway around schaffer. Denis had enough singlespeeding and chris had pinched a cable and was having problems shifting.
Although this was my 2nd time out there I still couldn’t show you around there. I was just grinding away following Pete.
By the time we left to go back to black hills on the connector I was getting pretty cooked. The other guys would leap a little bit ahead on anything technical or ascents but I’d always by able to catch up on decents or straightaways. I was just following Maj and Jason with no idea of how much farther we had to the trail head. At one point my legs started cramping and I was going to have to stop. With my pride, the last thing I wanted was to have to tell these guys I had to stop. As soon as I was about to stop pedaling, Jason pulls over, drops his bike and starts beating the shit outta his leg. (Leg cramp).
I was SAVED!
Jason was the pussy, not me.
(Man I know I’m going to pay for that remark).
I was beat by the time we left.
That night I had some of the worst leg cramps I have ever had.
Can’t wait to do it again.