Sunday, May 31, 2009

Irons In the Fire

I am travelling next week so I thought I'd put a couple of irons in the fire to ensure the week is not a total loss:

Night Ride - Riley and I were discussing the idea of a weeknite night ride at White Clay. If your gut reaction to the idea of mountain biking at night is "no thanks" then I encourage you to read this short article entitled "how night-riding is like hotel sex." It seems pretty accurate from my experience (and is entertaining to boot). We do have some loaner lights available - a good set costs about the same as a good hotel room (funny coincidence) so you may want to try some out before buying.

Philly Bike Race - The biggest single day professional bike race in the US, the Philly Bike Race will be next Sunday (June 7th). The men's race is 10 laps between the Art Museum and the Manayunk wall. A few of us are making it a family event and riding with the kids to Manayunk to watch. This is an awesome kid-friendly sports spectacle and very cool bike scene. If you get there early, you can see the first few laps, grab a sandwhich, and be home in time to watch the finish from your air conditioned living room (we did this last year and it was pretty hot).

That's all I have for now. Time to saddle up and try to burn off a mild hangover...


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

More Fun Than a College Freshman

I took my 18 year old nephew out for his first mountain bike ride this weekend. He made a good showing for himself, especially considering he hadn't ridden a bike in over 3 years. He took the customary trip over the handlebars on the Lakeside Trail and made the obligatory "this is a pretty good workout" comment as we crossed the dam. I think he finished with a new respect for his geezer uncle and appreciation that you don't have to be a college freshman to have a really great time (although based on his Facebook page, it really helps).

Monday morphed into a local ride, solo or so I thought until I hooked up with a friend at the boat landing. We proceeded to TEAR UP the west side of the lake at a pretty good pace (for me, anyway). It was a really sweet ride, I was outside of my comfort zone, and my 29er felt just awesome. Really, it did.

I have a great quote to wrap up this blog entry. It's one I've been saving for a while and it sums up the feeling I had for maybe 45 minutes today. One of my goals for this summer is to get to that "place" more often, and to stay there as long as I possibly can...


"It's freeing, the sense of detached awareness found only on the best mountain bike rides. I'm no longer me. I'm a rolling ball of intent. Ride over that rock. Go wide on the curve. It's hard but there's no place I'd rather be. There's no place but here. No time but now."

- Don Cuerdon

West Side Story

I have been pounding the heck out of the east side of Marsh Creek Lake lately (Lakeside, Sole, and Bonus loop trails). Why? Because they're awesome and the Lakeside trail (a masterpiece in my opinion) makes it so much fun just getting to the Sole Trail and Bonus Loop. Oh, and the sun rises over the lake just as I arrive at the Lakeside trail. It's magical.

But today I thought I'd spin around the west side for a change and wow, what a pleasant surprise! I had forgotten the many sweet trails on that side. In an hour of riding I managed to hit the Eddie Trail (see picture), Sidewinder (down), Quarry Climb (up), Entrail (both ways), the Babyheads, and the Rocky Climb (up, up, up). And there are still a myraid of trails I didn't hit like the Bobsled Run, O-Positive, and the maze of trails that drop from the ridge down to the Brandywine creek.

We'll be back at it in 10 hours (6:00am morning ride is queued up).


P.S. I have a friend who hasn't been riding in quite a while. He was a pretty avid biker (night rides, winter rides, etc). I bugged him recently about getting back into the flow with the morning rides. He said that he "doesn't set alarms for exercise." Me either. I'm worried he may be heading down a slippery slope. Please keep him in your thoughts.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A Better Way

Here are some more morning ride pictures for your viewing pleasure. I will happily share these pictures all summer long because frankly I can't think of a better way to start the day. Actually, I can think of one and if that's the reason you missed the last five morning rides then congratulations, keep up the good work. But if not, and the result of my picture taking penchant is you looking at a bunch of cool pictures with your morning coffee then I think you are missing the point (or maybe I need to take better pictures).

Anyway I am curious where we stand on this:

1) If I took better pictures then you would be on board 200%

2) Need an earlier start and return (this is doable).

3) You found the only better way to spend the morning, every morning (congratulations)

4) You are happy to live your life vicariously, keep the pictures coming

5) None of the above (please elaborate)

Don't be shy. Let's hear it.