Monday, September 27, 2010

Runnin' on Empty

We drained the tank before we even got there. Cruising west on the turnpike and the trip computer saying zero miles remaining in the gas tank. This was to be a harbinger of things to come.

We did find a gas station with about -7 miles (that's negative seven) in the tank and made it to the Allegrippis trail head around lunch time. We geared up and hit the single track agreeing we would leave it ALL on the trails. All of it.

And let me tell you, The Army Corp of Engineers and I.M.B.A. made it easy for us to drain the tanks. Many miles of sweet undulating single track on these hills surrounding Raystown Lake. They are all about flow with plenty of rollers, tabletops, and seriously bermed turns so no excuse for using the brakes.

At about mile 12 we made our second mistake of the weekend (not bad), riding Sidewinder backwards. Many of the trails are meant to be ridden in one direction (CW/CCW) and clearly we were riding this one the wrong way. And we were getting really toasted.

But somehow we managed to scrape out another 18 miles. It was just too good to call it quits. Admittedly the last five miles were pathetic but necessary to ensure the tanks were bone dry. And it gave me a lot of time to think about riding 30 miles of single track, every day for 5 days, at altitude in the Rockies, which is how I plan to celebrate my birthday next year. Thankfully even my oxygen deprived brain realized that it was the pace, not the distance, that had buried us (and maybe the single speed bikes). I still think it's the right bike for Allegrippis but we could have ridden more efficiently with gears. For the record, we logged 30 miles in 3 hours 15 minutes elapsed.

Having accomplished the primary goal of this weekend trip, we then began the hunt for a hip bar with a beer selection, great grub, and some good bike mojo. After swinging through Rothrock Outfitters to see a Big Dummy and get a rundown on this year's Dirtfest, we found ourselves in post-ride Nirvana at Boxer's Cafe:
  • Hip - nice combination of mountain bikers and Penn State coeds gave it a great vibe. Cute waitress with dreds was a nice touch.
  • Beer - Spaten by the half liter
  • Grub - Great menu (for me it was chef's salad, mushroom and swiss burger, side of fries)
  • Bike mojo - Cannondale mountain bike hanging over the bar
After solid day of riding, a monster feast, and a liter of German beer there was only one thing left to do. Head to camp, light a campfire under the stars, crack open the coolers, and finish the job. And finish it we did.

Almost. Because we were able to squeeze in one more ride Sunday morning before the long drive home. It was not a barn burner like Saturday, and it was downright painful in spots, but it sure was a fitting way to end an epic weekend. Great weekend, and I am still feeling the glow 36 hours later.


"Go Big or Go Home"
     -- Unknown


  1. Looks like a great time! Can't wait for my first ride there...

  2. Ride big wheels if you can, and pay attention to the CW/CCW thing (some good cue sheets on MTBR). Oh, and go to Boxers afterwards...