Bonking My Own Loop
Went up to the mountain today to do my big ass 40 mile loop with Aaron and Don. Dudes are super fast (I am not), but it's still always nice to ride with them.
You would have never known it was November on the mountain if it wasn't for some snow here and there and the fact that the trees were balder than a super models anorexic buttocks. The temps were warm and the sun was bright, what else could you ask for?
Well I guess I COULD have asked for a little more power to get through the leaf covered trails that were sporting a thin to thick layer of mud underneath and hidden rocks everywhere. Damn, each new section was sucking power from my legs like a Vegas hooker.
If you look close you can see two tiny specks off in the distance. That's Aaron and Don. They are still riding with great fitness left from a season of XC and a fall with numerous cross races. I on the other hand was riding the low of a fall spent curled up with too many beers, too much cheese, and an open and fully drained can of Suck®.
On the way up to North Woods on Tunnel Road I heard Don scream something back. I had now idea what he said, but something in my gut told me he spied some undies on the road. So as I pedaled up a steep ass, 20% plus grade at 4 mph, I of COURSE felt the need to put a foot down for the express purpose of adding to the Western PA Roadside Undie Photo Collection.
These were some big ass Granny Panties. Damn! Some full figured gal is out there right now lettin' her junk air out real good. I just don't get it!
Aaron was running out of water so he took advantage of some snow patches to add some H20 to his CamelBack. This I allowed, but put my mud gobbed cleated foot down when he wanted to fill up his pack in the stream along Mountain Streams Trail. I reminded him of the large amounts of deer, bear, and horse shit that is surely in the streams water and that he would be flirting with a night or two spent hovering his skinny ass above a shitter.
Fill 'er up.
Coming down the mountain via Mountain Streams hurt. Eeesh. The trail was completely covered by leaves, big honking hunks of rock underneath and sticks just waiting to rip a derailleur off. Don had no problem hurling himself down it on his newly acquired Salsa El Mariachi rigid single speed. It was f*cking impressive as hell!!
Once at the bottom things started getting a bit worse. Parts of the trail drain poorly and were made even worse by the tire sucking 9" deep hoof prints. Damn, parts had me giving it all I got (and that ain't much!) to go 5 or 6 mph on a false flat. It was demoralizing.
By the time we started the final climb of the day on Camp Run Road I was spent. My back hurt from trying to power through all that mud, I was out of water, and out of gel. I still had 3 to 4 miles of climbing ahead of me. Don and Aaron were heading up and out of sight. I Bonked with a a capital B. I've done this loop before in dry conditions with little problem. Today, I was unprepared for the effort that I would need to put out, not only on the climbs but even on the flats. I only took two bottles and 1 gel flask. It's sad but true. I bonked on MY loop. Fail.
I actually had to get off and push for bit. It was pathetic. I've never walked more than a few feet of this climb before. I've never been so happy to reach the Fern Mountain "mountain community" a sight that usually saddens me. But today I was just happy to know that only a mile or two of forest road separated me from the xB, some water and a place to sit my tired ass down.
40 miles, 4:40 of ride time, but the ride was probably closer to 5+ hours with stops. I'm pretty sure D&A could have done the ride in about 3+ hours for sure. Seems like they dug the loop with the new additions, and had a good time.
I was hurting by the end, hurting bad. But it felt great and was a blast. And like I've said before, this time of year every ride on the mountain is a gift. Soon those spots of snow will be more numerous, and in the form of "blankets", and the temps will be as cold as a gaggle of witch tits.
Stopped on the way home for some RC, some water, and a lack luster pepperoni roll. Then hurled my muddied, tired ass home to see B-Man and Wifey, drink a couple Stouts and cook up some Mexican grub.