Dead Battery, A Good Ride and Trail Gnome Debates
Got me some dead batteries. Thankfully the dead batteries I speak of are my digi-cam's batteries. I forgot I left them in the charger a few days ago and now they are kaput. Then I used regular AA batteries, and they lasted about 2 uses. Time to go fetch a couple more rechargeables. Damn! Oh well I guess I'll just have to take less pics and ride faster now?
After a great ride on Sunday I decided to take all of Monday off and get a ton of work done on the mag and around the house. Issue #3 of XXC should be ready to drop next Monday.
We here in WPA continue to SOMEHOW avoid rain. Something is amiss! I guess my "drought dance" worked. Cool! Now I don't feel like the fine I paid for public nudity and lewd behavior (it was part of the drought dance!!) was all worth while. So with fine weather I was drawn to dirt like a junkie to bag full of smack and a box full of needles.
Got 16+ miles of single track in and think I might have got but a couple specks of mud on the Dos. Good times! I continue to feel strangely good on the bike. And I don't really understand it. I weigh about the same as late last season, but 10 pounds heavier than 2 years ago. My diet is probably worse than it has been in years past (that means I eat too much meat, too much cheese, and enjoy a few too many craft brews) yet I feel like I have way more power and endurance right now. WTF? Had I known this before I would have been riding with a keg on my back and gnawed on cheese dipped turkey legs instead of gels at races. Hey, I'm not bitching, I'll ride this out as long as possible before I inevitably collapse in a pool of my own human suck.
Even with good legs, I continue to waffle on my race plans for the rest of the season. There are many choices. Doing some means missing others, but doing others means saving cash, but doing some means maybe going against what I said this season was gonna be all about for me. I guess it's sort of my prerogative since I'm the one doing the pedaling (read: suffering), and really there is no WRONG choice, they all equal miles on my mountain bike and THAT is the point.
Mentally Debating The Work of Trail Gnomes
I had this strange inner debate with myself and the Trail Gnomes today. If you're local don't take this the wrong way. I'm neither supporting or bitching about various trail work. Just making some observations. I can adapt, learn to ride shit, or change loop directions, not a big deal. Just making some observations. Folks can draw their own conclusions/opinions/etc.
I've been riding the trails at Boyce for years now, as I rolled down one trail I noticed that a Trail Gnome completely removed a few roots that were about 2" high. Which means they were pretty non existent. I thought to myself how strange that seemed. Why take the time? Even on 26" wheels they would have gone unnoticed to all but the most novice of riders.
Then I rolled on a bit further on the trails that are behind the baseball field. These are some trails that I MUST get there to clip back. It's riding blind through about 80% of them due to the vegetation. As I approach a false flat, that gets progressively steeper there is a new well constructed log pile at the top of the climb. Since it's at the top of the short grunt of a climb and I wasn't expecting it, I had no real energy to clear it. I guess coming DOWN the hill it would be sweet and add some speed, but going up it becomes a bit of a flow-kill. Again, not bitching. Now that I know it's there I can adapt, and be ready. But I will admit to not understanding hacking out small roots and leaving the larger stuff to ruin a trails flow. This is now the 3rd newer (2009) log pile to be a the crest of a hill. Maybe I'm the only on going UP on these trails? Ha! Seriously I think most trails there are ridden in both directions by folks. There should probably not be a right or wrong way to ride a loop. But what do I know?
Last observation: As I get to the section that most locals with know as the Pretzel Loop, I ran into some sort of trail work crew. Matching T-shirts and all. I've seen them a few times in the past week when they were trimming some trail bush. I thanked them and rolled on. Today as I ran into them again I noticed they brought out the big guns and were hacking apart every log on the loop with axes and raking the trails. UG! Trimmed Trail Bush = Good! Trails void of all thing technical and raked = BAD!
So you see I find myself in a strange Catch 22 debate in my mind with the Trail Gnomes. There seems to be an odd Yin/Yang going on amongst them as far as what's being done, who's doing it and to what extent. As a rider and trail user I'm not sure at what level I need to be, or should be involved. Hey I want the trail bush cut, hell I'm willing to do it. Yeah, I love when a big tree blows over (a daily occurrence at Boyce) that most often the tree is removed and the trail opened up. But I also don't know how I feel about Operation Devastation on some of the single track? The trails at Boyce are by no means that technical. The most technical trails have man "enhanced" obstacles (log piles, etc.,) or become technical due to slick mud, erosion, roots etc.,.
Anyway, that's my inner Trail Gnome debate. Pro/Cons on both sides. With me riding happily in the dirt no matter what.
Finally got around to ordering my Mountain Feed Bag today. Went to check out and noticed that they use PayPal for their ordering. So I logged in to make sure that it was set up proper with my correct cards, etc. and SWEET DAY IN THE MORNING! I had a chunk of cash in there! It's like the Feed Bag was "FREE". Except not. It was $30 plus S/H. Anxious for this thing to come, 'cause I gotta tell you I've been riding "pack free" lately and LOVE it. Two bottles, seat bag, and jersey pockets have been great. The Feed Bag is gonna open up some opportunities to even race XXC races packless. At least that's the plan. Then again, the result COULD be the whole "me, collapsed, pool of own suck" thing. But it's worth a try.
Oh well, weather looking sweet for more riding tomorrow.