17 November, 2007

Global Warming?

it's the 17th of november and i just got back from a 3h screamin' off-road ride with my homies. maybe the accelerated warming due to man is delaying the usual cold fronts and precipitation totals associated with november, but jeez-i guess i'll take it for now. met hez-chilly, alec, kenny, kevin, and johnx2 at the lower parking lot at white ranch this morning for the long loop workout. it was the moab group part two. you know what the nice parts of the moab trip was for me? it's mostly the conversations we have going in-between rides; and post-ride debriefs. usually billy and i walk from the hotel to downtown and back and our spectrum of topics hit the range of nutty to spiritual to downright man-gossip. it's a good mix of personalities i'm telling ya! it was really nice seeing them again, and to ride, it was dee-luxe. if i was a snotnose twenty year-old competitive cyclist, with no familial or temporal obligations this would be another perfunctory ride (because i'd be riding 4 days/week), but most of us are married with pumpkins or in a committed relationship, so to congregate for the main purpose of riding, it truly is special (dare i say: magical?).
it was chilly so i left the leg and arm warmers on. alec led the way to the whippletree cutoff. he seemed to be going quicker than his usual pace, so he's reaching a new, physiological plateau. poor kenny was battling a fever and a rush to get home to finish painting irene-his 500 horsepowered volvo wagon. you should read his blog. check out links i frequent. there's actually two climbs to get to the backside of white ranch-to a trail called wrangler. so, after alec's legs say to the group wassup now, i guess it's billy's (legs) turn to say wassup now 'cept a wee bit louder. today, he was an exceptional cleaning machine. holy mackerel, it was like he was busting a textbook display on how to clean obstacles. it was to impressive, needless to say, watching billy pass me when i dab'd. on the backside i missed john (from moab) and kev take a digger. it's a pretty technical downhill where you have to thread the needle pretty carefully. the tree roots are all off camber and there's always a tree directly across big boulders. so if you take a bad line, or slide on a root you're going to be doing an impression of the human pinball. sometimes the collisions are elastic, sometimes they're not. drag. it's common courtesy that when i crash i would like to see somebody crash as well-at least for the free entertainment value. the other john crashed as wel and when we waited at a trail junction his knee was a nice, streaming crimson. i guess it's officially a ride now...
when we finally cross the upper parking lot and descend back into the lower parking area, kev takes off. it's mostly a fireroad down so the lines aren't too sketchy but boy the babyheads just flat out suck for hardtails. kev was supersonic but i was determined to keep him at least within three or four car lengths of yours truly. if there weren't any hikers i swear we would've broken our pr's down the hill. kev was launching off the little bumps and clear about 20 or so feet of ground everytime. it looked like fun so i did the same except i didn't bunnyhop (compress both my arms and legs) as aggressive as kevin, cleared about the same distance over the ground, but didn't get the cool, visual gap between tires and ground. nutty. at this point you never mentally think about crashing, only watching the person's line in front of you. kev takes some nasty lines and gets away with it seamlessly because he has a dual boinger as well as skill(s). i still have to thread the needle ever so often and it scrubs my speed (boohoo!). at the last creek crossing, it's billy, kev, and me. once the posse reforms, billy says, "you know the secret of the rock garden?". i say, "you hit it fast." truly that's 90 percent of mt biking. you hit the obstacle fast enough so that you roll over it; plus, low speed crashes hurt. a lot! so at the rock garden, billy picks his way while i dab. so now it's kev, billy, and me racing to the last cattle gate. billy hears me bearing down on him and he kicks it. i yell, "get him [kev]!" kev hears this and kicks it twice as hard and that's how it finishes. no one passed nobody. it was a great ride in the company of great people. like the saying goes: the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. this groups elevates everybody else socially and physically. can't beat that...
afterwards alec and i bust a lunch in morrison. he eats a meatball sub; i, a phat piece o' greasy cheese pizza washed down with mt. dew. did i mention this ride was the shizzle?
the title picture represents the speed this group has whenever somebody gets a wild hair in their (downhill) a$$ (read: kev).