18 September, 2010

Friday night ride(s) with the Homey Trinity

Last night was night riding night. Hez-chilly, Kev, and I--aka the Homey Trinity--rode last night. We were all sporting our lighting systems. Night riding is an whole body exercise in proprioceptive, self-control. What you take for granted day riding is what you need to be extra careful for at night. Scanning is of the utmost, not just of what's ahead but the hidden obstacles out of the range of the lights at the ground level. The cool thing is when your visual senses are on high alert, the watts applied to the legs via the neuro-muscular systems seem to go on autopilot. It's like powder skiing sort of-you see the contours of the snow ahead but your feet are currently submerged in the snow out-of-sight. Day riding gives you a commanding view what's coming up because everything-including peripheral vision is illuminated; night riding has a distinct cut-off created by my handlebar mounted L.E.D. system that creates a distinct visual boundary (e.g. the distinct cut-off H.I.D. car headlamps create at night-especially on curves). The ski adage: don't look that way or else you will (go that way-i.e. don't look at cliff boundaries) is especially fitting for night, mountain bike riding. Due to the dry conditions the boundaries of the trail (i.e. the sharp cutoff before you go careening down the mountain) are sketchy and super dusty. There was a couple of times I eyeballed the loose stuff on the edge of the singletrack too long and sho 'nuff my nearly bald front tire broke traction and I was heading down a slippery slope. I had to physically bunny-hop (or shift my whole weight via body english, gran mal-style) my bike back on the singletrack so I wouldn't biff it at low speeds.

When it was over it was very, very satisfying. 2.25 hours of pretty solid riding, probably 1200' feet of climbing? The weather was excellent and seeing the surrounding areas all lit up with a 360 degree panorama at the apex was surreal. The quarter-mile drag strips at Bandimere was lit up, as well as the motocross track made it seem as if we were overlooking a miniature train track setup. We all concurred that living in Colorado is a damn, beautiful thing!


lowcountryrover said...

Ah Damn! Do you really need to keep saying how great it is in Colorado? n Huh? I am in San Diego this week and I have thoroughly enjoyed the dry cool air. Soon, soon my friend friend, you will find me in the west again!

...it's me!... said...

I hope so brah! I'd visit you if you moved Lake Tahoe (just a suggestion)!