Friday, October 26, 2012

A Little Bit Frightening

Friday Happy Hour was "a little bit frightening" with Mark leading the charge on his new Karate Monkey single speed.  That "cat was as fast as lightning" and even "had expert timing" ... except for that one spot on The Bonus Loop where it was not so expert.  Not a a reset of the crash counter but definitely honorable mention.

Fortune Cookies and an iPod playing "Kung Foo Fighting" rounded out the christening and festivities for four of us at The Overlook.  And that can of Oskar Blues Gubna Imperial IPA (10%) didn't hurt either.


P.S. Here's one more for the old timers.

Raystown Romp

The Big Ride
Who ever thought nipple-ripping could be so much fun?  Not me, no sir.  At least not until last weekend when we headed to the hills of central PA for three days of singletrack.  The basic outline:
  • 20 Downingtown area riders 
  • 2 cabins on Raystown Lake
  • 40 miles of top-shelf singletrack
  • Food and beer for 40
  • Enough firewood to build an ark (that's $12 in local currency)
Steve airs it out on The Hydro Loop
First let's explore the riding.  The reason we came.  The tie that binds us.
  • On Friday Mike, Mike, and I ditched our bags at The Chalet and went straight to the trail head.  We had driven 3.5 hours for a weekend of riding.  We'd been dreaming of the Hydro Loop for 12 months.

    Tangent: Hydro is an enigma of a trail.  It is straight out of a M.C. Escher illustration.  A quick two mile loop the returns to it's origin but is downhill the entire way.

    We were full of piss and vinegar.  So we chose Osprey for our pilgrimage to The Hydro Loop since is was the most direct route.  Top to bottom in about 10 minutes.  Railing turns and popping ears, we rolled right into Hydro.  Midway through the Loop, Mike spied a beer bottle delicately perched on a tree.  It was Friday and it spoke to us.  Without a word we dropped our bikes and popped open the beers that happened to be in our backpacks.  Friday Happy Hour was secure for another week.
  • Saturday was of course THE BIG RIDE.  Twenty bikers snaking through the forest, down Doe and Fawn to Eagle on our pilgrimage to the Hydro Loop .  It's hard to describe the sensation of riding with a group that big.  The energy is palpable.  The banter is endless.  The pace is fast.  And with that many riders, you never quite know what you will find around the next when Jim washed out at high speed, bloodying an arm and ripping off a nipple.  Luckily with 19 fellow riders to administer first aid and help with the bike we were back on our way in minutes.
  • Kicking back at The Chalet
  • Sunday was more of a recovery ride. Twelve miles of single track on the south side of the park.  A little rockier, a little rawer.  More variable terrain.  Some great views and a smokin' downhill back to the Visitor's Center.
Bikes with properly adjusted seat posts
hiding in laundry room at The Chalet
FOOD of course is a HUGE part of any serious biking weekend.  And at the Chalet, the food theme started with "PO" and ended with "RK".
  • Saturday breakfast included three pounds of bacon.  Saturday lunch was pulled pork sliders.  Sunday breakfast included ham and bacon.  Saturday lunch was grilled pork sausage.  Tough 
  • Boxers Cafe on Friday night.  Bikes hanging from the ceiling and college co-eds sitting in the seats.  A great menu and draft microbrews.  Home made mixed-berry pie.  
  • Sunday morning we discovered Oreos and sour cream.  Calories any way you can get them.
  • The Root.  It's always there, on the rides, around the campfire, and in the center console.  Like an old friend.
And finally the people, the ingredient that really makes the weekend.  Whether you are riding with them, eating with them, passing a bottle around the campfire, or lowering their seat posts, it's the people that make the mojo and the memories.  For example:
  • Kevin and Jason (Chalet Black Ops team) who snuck over to The Cabin in the wee hours of Saturday morning to lower ten seat posts by about an inch.  The next morning at the trail head was priceless and set the tone for the rest of the weekend.
  • The First Floor Queen at The Cottage.  This weekend wouldn't happen without The Queen.  The First Floor one.
  • Suzy.  She brought a touch of class to The Chalet.  She ensured we sat together at the table for meals.  She taught us how to Farkle.  She rode some mean single track.  And she made me laugh and snort beer out of my nose when she sarcastically uttered "is he talking?" as Mike was pontificating around the campfire.
  • The zombies patrolling the dirt road.
  • Eric performs tubeless stress test at the Visitor's
    Center.  Click and zoom in on that rear tire to see the
    displacement.  With tubes that is a pinch flat for sure.
  • Martin, who rode a unicycle - on a rutted pothole infested dirt road - IN THE DARK - to Friday's campfire at The Chalet.  And then home again when a freak weather microburst sent The Cabin scurrying.
"Bacon tastes gooood. Pork chops taste gooood."
     -- Vincent (Pulp Fiction)

     --  Possumrider

Friday, October 5, 2012


Statistics for this week's Happy Hour at The Overlook:
  • Low 70s, sunny, and dry 
  • Nine riders 
  • Two walkons (Kim and "St Pete's" Jim) 
  • One foam-padded bike with Specialized carbon frame 
  • One video shoot with multiple bloopers and out-takes 
  • and more additions to the beer tree (still no repeats) 
By my calculation, that totals up to a perfect 10.


"Every Ride Has A Story"
-- unknown