Not actually my first since I did go out with my youngest for a short trip around some of the main trail last weekend, but the first serious ride. It’s been so much colder than normal for so long now and I usually don’t start taking the bike out till its at least 50F (I never got a winter kit together and well, I’m lame). I procrastinated all winter and didn’t get a new bike so I’m still on the 2002 Giant and I realized yesterday that the rear brake was rubbing against the disc. Turns out *both* rims are bent now and the rear brake assembly must have taken a hit because it was all out of alignment.
I finally got out to Cathedral last weekend. I was pressed for time and had to go earlier than I might otherwise have so when I left it was still only about 50 degrees F. I haven’t done really any work on the bike which is now 9 years old (I didn’t get it new) but I was able to inflate the tires and go and didn’t have any technical problems. I haven’t done any work on me over the winter either though so I wasn’t quite sure how I would do. I managed to do most of the first 3 black diamonds (successfully climbed the first 2 of the killer hills in the back but then skipped the last one after ending up leaning on a tree breathing hard at the top of the second) but then skipped all the rest. The only reason I made those hills was the sweet bed of mulch they’ve laid down on them to slow erosion. My goal for that day was to do as much as I could in an hour and while I felt I could have done some more BDs as I kicked by the entrances to them, I was so slow (and winded) that sticking on the main trail for the rest of the ride filled out the time perfectly. There was a lot of dead wood cut and laid out along the trail indicating how much trail work had to be done to open this year. All told I only did about 7 miles, but it was great to be out on the trail again!
The girls enjoyed their introductory ride at CP yesterday, but I still needed to get my own ride in. The skies were threatening, but the weather maps looked like I’d have at least a few hours before anything serious was to roll in so I suited up and headed up to Rocky Point [map in pdf]. This was my first trip over to RP this year and I didn’t intend to do the whole thing. If you do every single black diamond and optional West Side loop its something over 20 miles which for me is a 2 hour ride. I skipped the West Side, did a few of the black diamonds (the Moguls and Campsite), then bailed down Firestone Road for a total of 11 miles in 1 hour 10. The trails at RP are nice and smooth track, without roots and you can get up serious speed at some points.
Firestone Road isn’t a fire break – its a road that was used on the RCA property to connect the main powerhouse building of Radio Central with a smaller building to the North (currently only marked by a small area surrounded by a chain link fence with a Hazardous Materials sign on it). When I was younger…
Biked Cathedral Pines tonight again since it looks like rain may dampen any bike plans for the weekend. Odometer read 9.6 miles total with all black diamonds, and did it in 1 hour, 7 mins. That may seem slow, but its my best time this season. Perhaps that last ride at Glacier Ridge helped me man up a bit!
Left work a little early yesterday with some planned time off and faced a dilemma when I got home. Although my job isn’t physically demanding, I usually come home exhausted. So the choice of stopping to pick up beer and sit on the couch and watch Netflix was compelling. Thankfully I decided to ‘man up’ and hit the trails instead. My last trip over to Cathedral was so disappointing (due to the RV party) I was worried that it might even be worse this time since its Memorial Day weekend. Usually I like to get my times a bit better at Cathedral before I tackle Glacier Ridge (PDF), a set of single track on the side of Bald Hill, because its a challenging ride and you really need to be alert or you can get hurt. Doing Glacier Ridge un-prepared and tired is not advisable. But it wasn’t too hot out, there was a nice breeze, and leaving work early meant I still had plenty of afternoon sun so as I suited up I began to get that exhilaration that comes with a good ride.