26 March 2012 - 8:33A Weekend in the Woods
Gone are the sunny days and summer like temps of last week, now it’s back to where we should be for this time of year, gloomy and in the 40s and 50s. I had a free Saturday afternoon, but little motivation to ride. I was going through warmth withdrawal, but somehow, I managed to rally.
Stowe Town Loops “officially” opened this weekend, despite how evil the parking lot over at iRide looked. I opted to pop into the trails the back way, through Bears. I was very surprised to see just how dry the trails were. Nary a mud hole to be found, and only one puddle. Seamy and I tooled around the woods for about an hour, enjoying every second of trail.
I opted to ride Rambo. Having sold my bump taker at the end of last fall, I rode fully rigid, and with my “training gear”. When I’m not riding trails, I run a 34×19. Normally, I run 34×21 on this bike, but that is too spinny on the roads that I ride during the off season. I was quite taken aback at the apparent ease at which I was able to make the climbs. Normally, I’m coughing, wheezing and sputtering my way up the hills, but this time I was able to easily stay on top of my gear, and power over the roots and rocks. And there aren’t really any big hills out on the Loops…
I’m not going to lie, it felt really good. I’m going to keep that gear on my bike for as long as I feel I can keep turning it. I’m really glad I made myself ride.
Sunday was a different story, wet, drizzly, and kinda chilly. A bunch of us Waterbury folk had made plans to go and do some trail clean up, knowing that the second half of the weekend was not going to be the nicest day for riding bikes. About 6 of us headed into the woods with rakes and loppers, and set about the arduous task of cleaning up the near 15 miles of trails on Perry Hill.
I chose to hike up Rasta Man, one of the oldest and most ridden trails up there. Having an abbreviated schedule for the day, I hiked up and raked as far as I could go, before bailing. I just gotta say I love wool jerseys. In fact, I was decked out in all wool, knowing I was going to be breaking a sweat and standing about in the rain. I managed to stay pretty warm the whole time, despite being soaked.
On my way back, I saw this evil rock.
I’d never noticed this before, mostly becasue whenever I’m out this way, it’s summer and the leaves obscure its evil gaze. It peers over a particularly tricky section of trail, one that has sent me to the ground several times. Now I’m on to it.
I’m going to get back out there this week to finish what I started. In the meantime, bikers should stay off the Perry Hill trails. The State has not yet given approval for MTB use, and as it is their land, respecting their policies is good for everyone. They are out there surveying the trails and general condition of the forest, so it would be wise not to jeopardize our privileges. That isn’t to say you shouldn’t be out there, in fact, there is still much to do. If anyone wants to lend a hand, let me know and I can point you in the right direction.
Up next, that rant I was threatening.