First ride in 9 weeks

Back in early June I developed what I have self-diagnosed as tendinitis. I had started off the season’s mountain biking hard, switching from the easier trails to the more technical ones earlier than usual and going much harder on them then I usually did. This is my 7th season riding since buying the used Giant I still ride from a friend at work. I started off the season heavier than I’ve ever been since I started riding. This in itself is cause for concern, but I have also slacked on doing any kind of core strengthening exercises and I realize now that I was riding very heavily on my hands since my core muscles weren’t strong enough…

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First ride of 2013

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.

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Great weekend

The weather was stunningly beautiful with highs of only 70, a cool breeze and clear skies.  I started off with a morning ride at Glacier Ridge (PDF map) where I finally was able to get in the entire track (including all the black diamonds).  I was pretty slow, it took me nearly two hours but I stopped a lot and was taking it easy so I wouldn’t be too tired to tackle the next black diamond.  For lunch I took the family up to Port Jeff which was having a “Green Fest“. We picked up some wraps at the Tiger Lily Cafe on High St.  I’ve always wanted a house right on High Street – one of those old 1850s era shipbuilder homes.  We walked down to the park to eat at one of the picnic tables by the bay, then we played in a drum circle for a while and caught a little of a jam band (Chris Fury) which was awesome. I had promised to make up for my solitary ride by taking my youngest out on Father’s Day so we headed over to Cathedral and rode for about an hour.  I introduced a few new sections of trail, but mostly we cruised around on the roads.  The afternoon was dominated by an outdoor Warhammer Fantasy Battle pitching my Dwarves against my eldest’s fledgling Skeleton army, followed by a barbeque with shrimp and kabobs.  Made only a short call up to dad since I was mid battle – bqueing, but I’m sure will make up for it soon.

Post Irene Ride at Cathedral

Had to stay really late fixing up some server issues after the storm so decided to go in a little late this morning and ride instead. I don’t know what I was expecting to see back on the trails after the hurricane, but it was pretty bad. In places you couldn’t tell the trail from the underbrush, in others the trail was fine but then suddenly I’d come upon a fallen tree that had to be clambered over or around. I counted 17 trees that will require serious chainsaw work or a re-route of the trail around it. It took me an hour and a half to do the 10 miles (all black diamonds and optional trails) where its usually about an hour ride. From time to time I was catching the telltale whiff of decomposition – something I didn’t think about ahead of time, but was obvious in retrospect since the little critters were caught out in the storm with trees and branches were crashing around them. I didn’t see any little corpses, but wasn’t looking too closely as navigating the post-apocalyptic bike trail took most of my concentration.

First ride of 2011

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!