Sunday, January 23, 2011

Both Ends

Mike and Andy on Drunken Sailor
We had no idea what conditions would await us today. Sure we knew it would be chilly (20° at ride time). But what about the trails?

It turned out they were just about...well...perfect. If you have ever seen machine groomed trails at a XC skiing facility, then you have a sense for the trails today. The single track was 12-18" wide and well packed. Grip was 8/10. The only real problem was a couple of frozen stream crossings (and a frozen Camelback).

We had to ride in a narrow envelope. Downhill or off camber turns had to be ridden flawlessly, and straying even 2" off any of the single track would shut you down in a hurry. It took almost 2 hours to do the Lakeside Trail and Bonus Loop, but we must have seen 15 other riders out there, and at least 10 of them were grinning ear to ear.

Wide Section of Singletrack
We rode without mishap until we left the safety of the single track to visit some ice fishermen. Ice fishing at Marsh Creek is nothing like the scene in Minnesota. Here it amounts to a lone fisherman or two sitting on a bucket in the middle of the lake staring at a hole in the ice, probably wearing a pair of electric socks and sipping from a flask. Very Zen but...  Anyway when we spotted a pair with a special hut/yurt type thing, power auger, etc we decided to investigate. There was just enough snow covering the ice to make it ridable, or so so we thought until one rider went down. Hard. Instantly our mountain biking instincts kicked in and we laughed as hard as possible without going down ourselves. Eventually we inquired to be sure the victim was OK. I've been on both ends of that - laughing at someone else's misfortune, and laying there in agony listening to the laughter from others. I guess we've seen enough crashes - none of them life altering - so we can afford to be light hearted about it.

Hopefully it stays that way.


  1. "Wide Section of Singletrack" is a great picture!

  2. Well then you would have REALLY appreciated a picture of a NARROW section of that single track. I was just too busy trying to stay "rubber side down" to take any pictures...