05 April, 2007

Riding during the Weekday

it's always a treat when you get to ride your mountain bike during the work-week; and, it's a super-deluxe treat when you get to ride with your chums. it's the usual suspects again: hez-billy and alec. we were playing lotto with the forecast today. there was a 30 percent chance of a rain/snow mix after 12 o'clock. leaving aurora, the weather was getting cloudy. by the time we arrived at the east access of mount falcon, it was snoop dog's favorite type of precipitation: drizzle (and ehfing cold to boot!). alec and i were parked at the trailhead parking getting our cold weather gear on when billy finally showed up. by then, the rain was falling more steadily with bigger drops. not good.
once we started to climb, we warmed up real fast. alec is pretty athletic but he's on a major learning curve with his bike (i.e. he's still becoming one with his ride). at the start of falcon there are some pretty daunting erosion barriers in the form of heat-treated-pine-fence-post looking things nailed to the ground with re-bar. some are a couple of inches off the ground, where others are at least a foot or so at the middle. alec has decent chameleon technical skills where if he can see someone clean a technical spot, chances are, he can too. for the high-off-the-ground erosion barriers the best way to hit them (and to stay on the trail because it aint cool being a fred and widening the trail) is at the ends. billy's super clean and he rarely dabs so he and i clean the first third of the barriers and we encourage alec to hit this particular one on the far right. per billy aka mr. clean, the technique to clear these things is: once you get the front wheel over, synchronize your dominant foot-pedal at the 12 o'clock position while the front edge of your rear wheel contacts the barrier, simultaneously. you then finessely downstroke the pedal while moving your dic* forward. okay. here goes alec... front wheel goes up-it's looking good-dominant pedal's situated at the 12 and the rear tire's in place. yup. pedal stroke's coming down, rear wheel initially grabs then while the pedal's at bottom dead center, it doesn't clear the top. all inertia to punch over the top's gone and he goes backward. unfortunately, too, his handle bar greets his gravity aided thoracic cavity. basically he's punched on his breadbasket by his handlebar and the wind's knocked out of him. once he gets his breathing back, we're on the saddle. this is billy's second or third hard ride this season and my fourth. we reach the top-the covered picnic spot-close to 45 minutes (not bad) while alec gets it in a respectable sub-hour time (remember he's a newbie). it's snowing once we hit the top. billy and i talk about our lack of fitness, comment on how non-cyclists can't even understand how this ride in particular can be cathartic/spiritual, how un-fun our inaugural ride at falcon was, and how this is going to be a great jumpstart for the upcoming season while we wait for our intrepid alec.
we head out next for the parmalee trail and it's turning surreal. nobody else is up here, snow's coming down and there's this huge hush when it's falling, and we're enjoying each others company on the bike nonetheless. incredible. after descending parmalee, billy and i decide to make the uphills a power workout by keeping it in the middle ring. we're dying on the first, and on the last one billy passes and i'm gassed. for history's sake we check out the walker family ruins and (to make it more of a sensory overload) some poacher askes us if we russled up any grouse on the way up (wtf?). he looked like the unibomber dressed up like the zodiac killer. things were getting too surreal at this point.
by this time some cloud cover's moved in and i'm freezing. incidentally we're all wearing at least two layers up top, have our leg warmers on, and are sporting the closed, full-finger gloves. there's nothing worse than having cold toes and we're facing the descent now. the descent was glorious, no dabs, no flats and i was feeling one with the yeti. everybody made it down without involuntary soil samples and it was close to nightfall. what a righteous ride. if it snows until saturday, hez billy and i don't care because we rode twice, hard, this week between snowfalls. ah yeauh boi!!!! life is pretty grand at this point and tomorrow's friday...!!!!!!!! have i mentioned today was a good day?

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