Sunday, October 9, 2011
Sure, summer promises endless days of awesome riding. Early morning sunrise rides. Short sleeve sunset rides. Beers on the overlook. A seemingly endless supply. Hard to beat.
But autumn beats it. It's not even close. The cool and dry weather is perfect for long rides, and we're in pretty good shape after a long summer of riding. The sun is intense but stays low on the horizon, creating dramatic shadows in the woods. The sightlines and views improve, and the leaves are like colored confetti covering the forest floor. The sweet smell of the leaves is intoxicating, and the knowledge of winter just around the corner adds a tinge of urgency to every ride.
This autumn morning I woke in the hills of western Maryland near West Virginia. After coffee I slipped out of camp for a couple of hours of awesome single track east of Accident. The trails here are spectacular - plenty of climbs and descents, rock gardens, great flow, massive stands of pine with a thick soft blanket of pine needles on the ground, deciduous forest packed with vivid oranges and reds, and stunning farmland vistas. It was heaven. Or church. Not sure which but that's what it was.
"Cycling is like church-many attend but few understand"
-- Jim Burlant