Tuesday, December 31, 2013
So happy I got the chance to get another ride and with soft legs I went for Crandalls for a good spin. I heard snow was in the forecast and got out as soon as I could which was right when the snow hit. It styarted to flurry on my way to the spot and picked up along the way. I got pedaling and found that the leaves and the new snow made things very slick. This was going to have to be a cautious ride. Atrmed with SS it made for some tough sections but determined at every obstacle. I felt a bit taken out of my legs but I still had some steam to put out. It was hard to see with the snow hitting my eyes but it made for a truly inspiring environment for a bike ride. I was tiring quick, Crandalls is a pretty demanding in the climbing category. I really enjoyed that ride and will not soon forget it, I hit all the trails and found myself at my car wanting more but worn out. Heading home the snow stopped and the next morning I headed out to go snowboarding at Stratton with some good friends. Standard East Coast crap conditions were present which made it suck but I made the most of it. Wind, low light, maybe 50% trails open, cold and crowded.
Thursday, December 26, 2013
Wow, so after waiting for the snow to leave so I could get my first ride on dirt in two months took too long. The rain cleared and so did the 60f temperatures which was crazy but left the trails just perfect. I set off for Case on Tuesday and was happy to be pedaling my way back up the trails. It felt pretty great to be out, shortly though my lungs and legs caught up to me in the first few minutes but not too bad. I was armed with my one speed and no suspension which has always been my go to bikes. Also I just put a fresh set of nevegal tires on the ol Raleigh. I love new tires, they grab trail so awesome. I did feel more rolling resistance than from WTB Exi wolfs. The sun was out and this was going to be a good day. I Hit the town line licker and then I guess another trail I have not rode yet called Smooth and then a sweet trail called Smookey. These new trails are a great welcome to the beginning of the ride since they are fun and most importantly new trails. Then it was off to Shank Juice, this being my second time riding it I forget just how much work this trail is, by far it's the longest single connected trail I believe, about a 18 minute heck of a fun trail. After done with that I was feeling my legs giving out but not completely. Down Tinti trail where that good old euphoria ran into my veins. Ahhhhh thats the feeling I have missed. Rode down to the reservoir where I took a minute and soaked in that view and joy it was being out on the bicycle. Up Misty, up NUT, then an easy peezy ride back up to the lookout and then home free. I was pretty worn by the end of the ride but what do you expect since it was a first ride in 60ish days. Loved being out there and can't wait to get me some more. Supposed to ride today, probably Crandalls, then snowboarding friday up in VT and then hopefully some more biking Saturday. life is good.
Sunday, December 22, 2013
Remember back in October when I was on a good ride when I started to feel terribly ill. Well I got really sick, the most sick I have ever been actually. I had a nasty fight for a few days with a rocketing fever and all the fun things involved with it. After a hospital visit and suspect of flu out of the picture, I became concerned about a case of Lyme or other tick borne illness. I was slow recovering so my Dr. put me on a round of Doxycycline to cure what might be Lyme. This was actually the reason why I was cut short on riding this fall, I had to remain off the bike for two months. For a few weeks after the sickness I was getting daily dull head aches and my head was foggy and I was short of breath. These were concerning side effects of my sickness that led me to really think something else was going on here. A blood test was ordered on a follow up visit and when I finally got the chance to get a blood test drawn I did. After weeks of no response the results did finally come in. I was slightly relieved when Ehrlichiosis a tick borne disease which was found in my bloodstream. I got sick to my stomach thinking of one of those horrid creatures actually got a taste of my blodd. I have always found them and peeled them off before they ever get a taste. Well apparently one at some point did get a taste and it was a lone star tick. They carry this disease and whether or not my sickness was 100% caused by the tick is not certain but all the clues and symptoms certainly point to it! A month after the ordeal I was slowly getting rid of the after symptoms and very thankful my Dr put me on antibiotics so I was able to rid the bacteria before it got more serious. I've said it once I will say it again, I wish we could move these awful creatures off our planet. I have six more months to go without getting a tick until I move to a tick free zone of Utah. Leggings, spray, frequent checks will be more of a routine since I want to nothing more to do with these creepy crawlers. In the mean time I will squash them with my fingers in joy when I come across their path. Tuesday the ground should be clear and a windy deep freeze should be in place calling for riding conditions, so close!
Friday, December 20, 2013
Snow still blankets the forest but warm weather is here and RAIN IS COMING! That means whent he weather moves out Monday temperatures plummet freezing the ground for what I hope to be Christmas Eve riding. Hope for me please I am dying to ride. However with the snow I have been able to get out and really enjoy my sons second winter, he took to being on the tube and had a great time. Next trip out we plan to ship him down some mini hills.
Friday, December 13, 2013
Well the crap hit the fan on Tuesday as we got our first dose of snow, I could not have been more pissed since after 2 months off the trails winter came just a few days before my time to ride. What am I to do, I can't control the weather, I kept telling myself that I remember the tough winters in Utah where the off season was mandatory 4 months. Here in CT it is quite easy to never have an off season, as I found out. I was pretty mad at the world for a few days but got some relief when I heard word a local rider made do with conditions in skinny tires. So with not very high hopes I planned to ride Thursday. I chose to set off for noon to get the most warmth and light. I really stirred my mind thinking of what I should wear for the 22F conditions I would be in for a few hours. When it was all said and done I wore some old ski thermals and my race face DH pants and up top I wore a t shirt under a rain jacket. I had a barclava that I rolled up to turn into a thin hat under my helmet to keep my ears warm. This was my best attempt to keep my body prepared to keep in the heat on this ride which I succeeded. I parked at the Pond lot at Case and began to climb what was now 2" snow. I had my dog in hand and was enjoying his company as he pranced around the snow. It was tough going, but I just kept on, I was in the granny and had to keep myself on the seat which just ain't my style but I made my way up only having to stop due to my un prepared lungs. When I reached the top I had to walk with the bike as I found fat tire tacks from my friends the night before. Once on top I was able to finally reach flat ground, this was nice, I was able to finally just pedal and not be so tense getting through the snow. I followed the fat tracks to Smookey, I have not ridden this trail before and looked for it last time I was at Case but failed. Once again I had climbs my bike could not handle, traction was just so little to be had. There was a slight breeze that blew pixie dust off the trees and sparkled adding a dose of euphoria to the scene of frozen woods. WTH was I doing out here, I was obviously the only person to have ventured on skinny tires into one of the most populated ride locations, I chalk it up to the fact that most people had a great fall riding season unlike myself. But on with it, things were rocking and rolling and for the next 20 minutes I had a remarkably good time. Ended the trail at the fire road where I crossed the river and my poor dog had to take on water that immediately froze to his feet unknown to me. That is until I made the horrible choice to take shank juice. Oh what a terrible idea, I hiked most of it until my dog started to stop on the trail and gnaw away at his feet. He stopped a few times before I went to him and took a look at his feet. Imagine if your hands and toes were being spread as wide by ice chunks and that was how my dog felt. I was so sad for him, I cleaned off his front paws with a tire lever and the rest I bit off with my teeth. It apparently did not help much. I was so desperate I bailed to the power lines and then back down to the same stream. Things are far different and slower moving when your exhausted from trudging snow on unfit lunged uphills. By now I was terribly miserable cause I could ride nothing but downhill and flat ground. Took some trails I thought were best but painfully slow hiking every inch of uphill on foot. Bentley was having a hard time the entire way. When we did finally reach the top of our ride, it was one more downhill and I was so happy to be ending this nightmare soon. When we did reach the car all I was concerned about was getting my dogs feet into some heat. I wish I had heeded my wife's advice and have stayed close to the car cause I absolutely screwed myself. What was planned to be maybe 90 minute ride turned into double that. The ride was unique and fun at times but the slow moving uphills and my dogs condition were not fun. I don't think I will be back out there anytime soon since 4-8" snow is coming our way tomorrow, sucks for now but it will get better.
Monday, December 9, 2013
Snow is forecasted for Monday night and I hope to heck that we don't get any of the 1-3" of snow the news said, I almost lost my cool when the weatherman uttered those terrible words. It is going to be very cold this weak which means whatever we get probably stays with us. Let's see what happens when I take the guns out Thursday and get back on the brown horse as I plan to!