This term I taught a mountain bike trailwork PE class for school. With the winter lingering forever and the trails still too wet to ride, we had nothing better to do than to build new trails anyhow. We worked on sculpting a really short flow trail right in the college’s backyard. Most of the berms are done, and our next goal is to build further up to connect it to the main trail system! What do you think?
I have been searching for a new mountain bike to replace my 8 year old Rocky Mountain Slayer that I have been riding since I was 13 years old. Finally found a small frame Santa Cruz Blurr on Craig’s List only ridden on Sundays to walk the dog, and have been waiting not so patiently for it to arrive. It has arrived, ready for assembly!!! Now if only the trails would hurry up and dry. Time for trail maintenance in Hanover. Let the riding begin.
Today, we had our first full day women in the wilderness bike trip of the term. Since there were four of us going and a mountain bike club event going we decided to join forces. With four guys and four girls, it was definitely the most gender balanced mountain bike ride I had ever been on!
With such a large group and varying skills, there was a lot of potential for an extremely boring day for some and a hard day for others. Somehow, this didn’t even happen. Everyone was pretty stoked on the speed and the riding was just straight up fun! It looks like there might even be a contingent interested in a spring break bike trip next year!
East coast mountain biking is very different from cycling on the western slope of the Rockies. As you know, Im from Colorado. In the west, the trails are smooth, fast and sunny. The biggest challenge is holding your breakfast in on the way up and holding on for dear life on the way down. Not so for the east coast. Here, you need to make sure that pieces of the bike dont rattle loose as you bounce your way down the trail. And by trail, I mean a swath of roots and rocks that somehow a bunch of bikers all decided to ride down. How they came to that decision I dont know. When it is dry, it is a challenge just making out the terrain features as you fly in and out from shade to complete darkness. When it is wet, or gasp, humid, it is a whole other ballgame you have to fight the fog, roots, mud, leaves, and rocks for purchase. I can tell you how that fight usually goes.
But beyond all of the differences, there is something really incredible about nailing your first technical uphill and pinning your first tight, flat corner.
There is also nothing better than figuring out the quick rhythm of eastern biking, where you can either connect loop after loop for an all-day ride filled with rope swing stops, or catch one of those loops for an hour study break. Once I switched to a lighter pair of Ryder sunglass lenses and could differentiate between forest and trail, the world of east coast biking has been the best type of study break rush ever.