Thursday, November 20, 2008
This is actually a picture of White Rock Mountain, but it pretty much describes the conditions of my mountain bike ride. My favorite trail at Devils Den State Park was far Rockier and rough than it has ever been. The Huricane that passed over the state a couple months ago ravished many large trees as they layed across the trail about every 20 to 50 feet apart. The trees are huge and not just a technical challenge, but several were at chest level or full of limbs and debree. Aside from the extreme number of small to large jagged rocks on the trail, everything is covered with leaves which hides any true line that might present itself. Because I haven't ridden a mountain bike in a long time, or at least the technical sections I use to ride, I had to walk several sections because they were too dangerous or the trail was blocked by large trees that had been blown over and ripped from the ground from their roots. As I rode on, my mountain biking instincts began to come back and my technical skills were not that bad. However, because I was riding a borrowed bike that I was not use to, and that seemed to sag the bottom bracket too low for rocky conditions, I found my pedal hitting rocks and I just didn't feel set up for some of the more challenging and scary spots, so I just used good old common sense and hiked the scary sections. I got some really good down hill experience where my balance and forward scanning came back into play, but I felt I needed to be extra careful being away from medical help if I needed it. If I get a mountain bike in the future, it will definitely be a full suspension as a hard tail would have beaten me to death. Very hard work out. I felt strong and my endurance was good, but the trail was too rough and needs attention. Besides the very cold north wind, it was a glorious day to be out in nature and on the bike.