Sunday, January 20, 2008

2 posts in one day ? !

Ok, So no pictures or power files, but the ride today was worth writing about. All everyone is talking about is the cold weather this weekend in the East. Yesterday Cara and I did a soggy, snowy miserable 90 minute MTB ride in Bent Creek where we plowed through several inches of crusty snow before getting soaked and heading back to the car. Not too fun, but a decent strength workout nonetheless. With the temps below 30 and the forecast for even more frigid conditions sunday, the ride outlook was pretty bleak. Just before we headed out we ran into some friends who were planning a nice long off road ride up the Mitchell toll road and down heartbreak ridge. Of course I said I would go....that is now my hometown ride.....we were to meet @ 12:30 sunday.
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I think it was about 12 or 13 degrees when I headed out the door. At first I thought I was overdressed, but then I realized I had a tailwind heading over to the meeting spot. Turns out all but 2 other riders bailed...too cold for them! So it was just Marv Masson, Trish Stevens and me. We hit out to climb for over an hour on what were to be interesting trail conditions. I was afraid that we would get wet, but the snow was not melting, so we had mostly crunchy good traction...way better than expected. there was plenty of ice as well.. but not too much trouble going up hill. It was cold...oh yes it was cold, but we were in no huge hurry and stopped to warm hands and feet numerous times on the way up. The snow added resistance to the ride, but at times it actually made riding up the rocky toll road on the hardtail even smoother that usual. As we topped out near the Blue Ridge Parkway and turned onto upper Heartbreak I was a bit worried that the slippery conditions would make the downhill treacherous....and man was it cold up there over 5000 ft!
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As it turns out the downhill conditions were AWESOME. It was super fun riding on the crusty snow. There was very little ice and where there was not snow the trail was dry.....it was so different from any other time I have ridden that trail...it was a blast. By the time we got down to Old Fort we were all actually feeling plenty warm for the trip back up the climb to Black Mountain. I made it home after being out close to 5 hours. Sure, we didn't break any speed records, but we didn't freeze to death either and had a great time......
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Just goes to show that if you are prepared for the conditions...both with the right gear, and the right mental outlook...even "challenging" conditions can be a lot of fun to ride in.
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a2

3 comments:

Cara said...

sounds a lot better than 1.5 hours on the trainer!

D-Dub said...

andy:
my toes get cold just reading about this ride. sounds like you had a great time!

Stephen said...

hey, if you ever have room for a red headed single speeder on these group rides, I'd love to tag along.
Thanks, Stephen J