Night Rider

Since the trail has been cleaned off and easy to follow, we decided to do a night ride on Friday. I arrived early and did about 2.5 hours of trail work before the ride. I worked the section on Serpentinas from the top of the hill towards the bottom. I canted the trail a little in the turns so speed can be maintained. I mostly made sure that there weren’t any off camber sections. I got 6 turns done and after 2.5 hours of work it can be ridden in about 10 seconds. But before it might have taken 11 seconds. Eventually it will be sweet. I met Scott at the parking lot at 4:00 and we headed out for a quick loop before the main ride at 6:00. I will say that with the cleaned turns and the new tires I was having a great time carving through the woods. The new berms worked well which makes me want to work some more. We met Tim at 6:00 and headed out for a full loop in the dark. It was a really nice ride, kinda spooky and quiet but fun. The temperature was perfect and it was really dark with no moon. Not something I will be doing on my own but with a group it was enjoyable. I’m guessing we got in about 17 miles. Scott and I sat in the parking lot to look at the stars and he saw several shooting stars. It was almost romantic.

Saturday I dragged myself out in the woods again. I did 6 or 7 more berms before giving up for the day. It’s hard work and I was worn out in about 3 hours. I rode it a couple of times and I think it will work out well. The berms aren’t big but they are enough to hold you on the trail. There were two more turns to go but they were big turns and I was beat. While I was pushing my bike through the woods I found a deer stand. It’s real close to the trail and the access road. Also I scared up an large owl carrying a dead snake. And I saw four huge hawks frolicking in the tree tops. Nice.

I got sucked in to the ‘Cycling the Silk Road’ videos this week. I caught myself looking for panniers and small cook stoves on the Adventure Cycling website.

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Published in: on February 27, 2011 at 9:03 am  Leave a Comment  

Time Trial/Prediction Ride

What fun! I’m usually not one for racing anymore but I do like to know where I stand amongst the other people I ride with. And I was obligated to race since the trail was my idea. Anyway, I met up with David of the Forest on Friday afternoon to discuss whether or not to put up a kiosk or just stick with a sign. We decided stick with a simple sign for now due to the ongoing vandalism to the Florida Trail signage and kiosk. My previous contact, Woody, quit his job and moved to New Mexico leaving David sorely lacking in personnel. David seemed overwhelmed but I guess he doesn’t have much choice. We also walked the entire new trail from top to bottom and he was impressed with it. We chatted for about two hours and then he was off. I stayed and worked a couple of corners on the new section although I don’t think they worked out as well as planned. Tom Ledew pulled up when I was getting ready to quit and we chatted for a while. He’s also happy with the way the trail has turned out. I like that lovin’ feelin’.

Saturday I went back up to the trail after stopping off at the shop to pick up Billy’s leaf blower. My back has been ruined for about two weeks but I told him I would give it a try. It’s a backpack blower so that was what made the whole thing possible. I started at the top of Serpentinas and walked about 2.5 miles before it ran out of gas. The blower cleaned trail like a dog cleans a dirty dinner plate. I went back to the car and used the rest of the gas in the can and started on the rest of the trail. Dave, Galen and Asian Joe scared the hell out of me when they passed me as I was blowing but they gave me a thumbs up for my efforts. My goal was just to do Serpentinas but I eased off on the blower some and managed to get all of Porcchop and almost to the end of Junebug. At that point I was achy but I stashed the blower in the woods and headed back to the car. I gobbled a sandwich and drove to the gas store and filled up the can. I cleaned the rest of Junebug, all of Lupine and all of the new trail (now named the Red Rock Trail). I ran into the guys again and they said the blower made a night and day difference on the way they could keep up their speed. That was another reason why I kept going. I walked close to 15 miles and it felt like it. I finished up with the paper plate arrow signs for the time trial.

Sunday I lounged as much as possible until it was time to go to the beer store. My plan was to hit the Pensacola Bay Brewery for a couple of growlers of their beer for prizes at the time trial. My bad as they don’t open until 12:00 on Sunday. I didn’t want to wait so I grabbed a six pack of Sam Adams Noble Pils out of the fridge as a prize. I was hoping to win it back but it was not to be. I got to the parking area at around noon and people were trickling in. An honest to God motorcycle gang showed up and the tension seemed to rise as the leader walked (or gimped) over to us in his leather jacket and chaps and spurs. He was friendly enough though and after I read the back of his jacket I realized they were just out for fun. The gang was called the ‘Fugawi Tribe’. They did smell bad though. The cops showed up just as we were getting ready to start and I can only imagine that someone called them when they saw the biker gang loitering about. I’m sure he was confused when all he found was a bunch of lycra clad mountain bikers. The time trial went very well even though I didn’t win. It was a prediction ride and I predicted 59 minutes but I got an amazing 53:11. It’s amazing because I haven’t been riding and all the trail work I did the day before. Eric did a great job of cooking some chicken for sandwiches. I think most people enjoyed the day and maybe the trail will get a lot more use now. Next weekend I plan on working some berms into Serpentinas.

Published in: on February 21, 2011 at 6:04 pm  Comments (2)  

Practice Loop

We rode a practice loop last weekend which consisted of Steve and I riding fast enough to get ahead of Sean and Carlos to clear the trail of deadfall. The windstorm did a number on the trail but we cleaned up a lot of it.

Published in: on February 10, 2011 at 7:41 pm  Leave a Comment  

New Map

New Map

Published in: on February 3, 2011 at 6:59 pm  Leave a Comment