This weekend was a blast; it consisted of some mountain biking, cyclocamping, and going out to Philippi to ride Thad’s Singletrack again. (You know, the WVMBA #6 race I covered)
Laura’s roomate, Amanda, bought a mountain bike over the summer; (probably peer pressure from Laura) and is riding occasionally now. We also had a few other pals come along who rarely ever ride or haven’t ridden in a long time. This has taught me that going fast is easy, but staying back with the pack, and reassuring them on how to control their bikes is difficult, or at least taxing. It is sometimes easy to forget what parts of a trail you had issues with, or how you learned all of those little techniques that allow you to bomb through the singletrack.
Being able to convey those things to other people in layman’s terms without scaring them by saying something like “But don’t go into a really deep, dry rut, since if you oversteer you will crash” will have your bordering on a very thin line… You just can’t say those kinds of things. Yes, they are going to happen, but you don’t want to scare them, yet you want them to develop the skills to still ride with you, and keep the collegiate cycling lineage going. We ended up doing six miles in like an hour and a half. I kept telling myself:
“Stay calm and friendly, don’t scare off the newbs.”
Later that evening, after gathering some supplies and camping gear, Jeff, Laura, and I went back of the woods for a nice little cyclocamping trip. Grant Peterson would have been proud of me, since I came in normal clothes, didn’t wear my cleated-shoes; just my boat shoes, and brought a wool sweater to sleep in. I’m sure his heart would feel warm if he ever read this. Oh, I also decided to bring my cyclocross bike, since I knew I could do all the trails on it, and I could latch on my rear rack to strap all of my camping gear to it. It rocked. I felt like a BA being on a cross bike, going over roots, and hills, and being able to hang with the MTB’s 90% of the time. Good stuff.
We set up camp pretty quickly, and right after that, it became cold. Really cold. Colder than that one ex that cheated on you, then told you about it straight to your-face-cold. What else did you expect us to do other than to sit around a fire, and throw stuff into it while hanging out and talking for a few hours? Check the footage to see the rip-roaring fire~ :D
Once again, the Wenzel tent used was comfy cozy warm, and did its job well. When I woke up in the morning, I tried to make instant pancakes, but the little optimus pan kept sticking so bad it wasn’t funny. I gave up and ate the rest of the trail mix I had brought. I was really missing the conveinances of a teflon pan right about then. Later that morning, we all hopped out of the woods, went on our way and planned on meeting back on Sunday.
After church, we all met up at Gene’s shop to load our bikes and gear. I brought an icebox full of water bottles, and towels; planning to jump in the Tygart River after the ride. I knew the course was going to be intense with Gene coming with us, but I never expected a pentagenarian, let alone someone a little older than that to slay us… without noticing it! His Gary Fisher HiFi Full suspension devoured the terrain, and left us in his dust.
Almost makes me want to get a full suspension… *suppress such thoughts, be a man!* Maybe I should just HTFU and learn how to ride and control my bike.
See how the tables turn? Friday, Kicking ass. Sunday, Ass = kicked.
Gene did help us out a ton on descents, switchbacks, and the rock gardens that I call Indian burial grounds; they’re mounds and piles of rocks built up in order to ruin your pedals when you climb up them. Video below.
Our trip was a success, and we ended up reinforcing our tradition of jumping in the river. It was much colder than it was
on Thursday (Did a reconnaissance ride with Laura), and I can only imagine it will get colder and colder until it is unbearably frigid, and we all get hypothermia walking back to the vehicle. Jeff on the other hand is a competitive swimmer holding records for the state of WV, and whatnot decided to swim across the river, back, and then all the way out again. He is not human; must investigate further.
All in all, this was a jam-packed weekend that really shows that WV is the place to be to have tons of outdoor activities in your backyard. While the scenery and environment was great, going out and doing things with your friends is better. Building camaraderie, and testing each other’s legs through little camping trips or race courses is a blast.
I hope all of you readers get a jeep full of people out this next weekend and plan something great. I’m sure you deserve it!