Monday, September 6, 2010

The Hammer

It's good to be The Hammer. But sometimes it can be good to be The Nail.

Three of us rolled into French Creek at 7:20am this morning, and soon had 10 riders saddled up and ready to hit the trails on the east side of Route 345. This would be my first time in the area known as "The Proving Grounds" and it lived up to it's reputation by proving to me that:
  1. I've been riding waaaay too much at Marsh Creek
  2. I can ride some pretty sketchy stuff if I'm running in a pack and going too fast to use my better judgement
  3. ...and my Turner, which I have not ridden much recently (see Marsh Creek comment), is one hell of a bike, devouring miles of gnarly rock gardens and precipitous water-bar drops
The Proving Grounds made last week's ride on the west side of the park look like a boardwalk milk-run.  It dished out a never ending series of burly rock-infested downhills and steep technical uphills that had us (or at least me) white-knuckled but grinning ear to ear. We eventually rolled back into the parking lot around 9:15.

We stayed there long enough to eat a banana, take a wiz, and bid adieu to two riders before the remainder of the group struck out for a "quick one hour cool down loop" that would last more like two hours. One more rider bought it on this loop, which left our attrition rate at 30% - still respectable given the amount of punishment that was dished out.

When we got back to the lot the second (and last) time, our driver quipped that he had just (barely) enough energy left to push the clutch the 47 times it would take to get back home.

I think this Jef Mallett cartoon sums it up pretty well.

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