As luck would have it, the monsoons let up over the weekend just enough to get a couple of quality rides in. The need to ride has gotten to a fever pitch around here. It has rained hard at least everyday, making most of the trails sopping wet. This is driving many of us out on our skinny tired bikes.
Saturday began with torrential rain in the morning, but sun and big puffy clouds in the afternoon. M2 and I tried our luck, and set our sights on App Gap, one of the bigger paved climbs in the area. I have talked big for years about doing this ride, and I was hoping that Saturday was the day. My schedule was free, and I had nothing else going on.
Seems like Ma Nature had other plans though. After destroying the hill up and over Duxbury Mtn (big ring), and super cruizing along Rt 100 to Waitsfield, a big ugly dark cloud rolled over Roxbury Mtn from the east, and is was not looking good. Big drops started to fall, and we took shelter under the covered bridge in town. It rained HARD. And there was thunder and lightning. M2 and I discussed our options. I consulted the doppler map on my iPhone, and saw that the big red blob that was dumping gallons of water on us was headed to the same place we were.
It didn’t take long for us to decided that a mountain pass was not the right place to be during a thunderstorm, so once the rain diminished, we headed back the way we came, and did an extended version of the ride I did on Wednesday. Not necessarily a ride fail, more of an objective fail. The good news is that we rode back in warm sunshine, and we lived to fight another day.
Unlike my Garmin, which after 5 years has decided to stop working completely. I guess 5 years is good, considering my track record with consumer electronics. I’ve had 3 digital cameras, 2 iphones, 3 ipods 5 heart rate monitors and 2 laptops.
Sunday it decided to not rain. Mandy and I headed out to Pine Hill Park in Rutland to see hoe the trails were fairing there. Because of the rocky nature of the terrain, and the way the trails built – they are well armored, and they tend to dry very quickly. We found only a couple of mucky spots, and had a fun time tearing around with Seamus the dog.
While we were getting ready, I heard a voice “George Wisell?”. I looked around, half expecting a relative or the police, because only those people know how to pronounce my last name properly. Turns out it was Nate, a reader of the blog, and a local to PHP. Nice to meet you.
We rode for about 2.5 hrs, and hit a good portion of what was there. I love riding Pine Hill, as it is so singlespeed friendly. The climbs are manageable, even the technical ones, and the downs are so fast and flowy. The only down side? Bugs. The skeeters were super bad, and stopping meant that you would get swarmed.
Got some footage of Mandy, who is riding strong right now. Much stronger than I am, but she rode her bike all winter, and I sat on my ass and got fat. For some reason this got cut short, as I was editing the video and watching the Cubs/Sox game, and not paying much attention to the computer. Still managed to get the good stuff though.
And I got to have a singletrack experience with my new Ergon GS1 grips. I LOVE these grips. They are like a cross between the comfort/performance GP series and the racier shape of the GX series. They are way more comfortable than the GXs I had on there, I think because the grip has a bit more girth to it, and the paddle portion is a bit softer.
We finished the day out with a trip to the Village cree-mee stand in Bristol, before heading over the App Gap back to home. Apparently, cree-mee is a VT term, that no one outside of the state knows about. They are awesome BTW. First one of the year!