Sunday, April 15, 2007

Blue Man Catastrophes

This ride, things started going wrong long before we even knew we were riding. I paid a visit to my eye doctor last week. Instead of letting me stick with my tried and true contacts, he gave me the “latest and greatest.” When I put the new “all silicon” contacts in, I could tell they were weird but I went with them anyway.

I pulled into the Harbison State Forest’s front parking lot, pulled off my back wheel and struggled with my chain whip and adjustable wrench trying to loosen the gear. I wanted to put the cross country gear on and I just couldn’t get enough leverage to make it budge.

Barret arrived shortly thereafter and I asked him if he would help. I was holding the wrench while Barret leveraged the chain whip when all the sudden the pin holding the chain on the whip broke. There was a loud “ching” and I prayed that neither of us lost a finger but the gear still wasn’t loose.

I made the short drive to Harrell’s Bicycle World and showed Paul what had happened since he was the muscle behind the gear as I had him work on the bike the day before. Of course, he was able to easily remove the gear with one slight tug.

That was the start of the poltergeist ride at Harbison. Monty, Joe, Barret and I were all there to witness the beast at work. After I was able to subtract a couple teeth from my ratio, we were headed off down the trail.

A short warm up loop commenced, as Barret and I just let Joe and Monty do their thing in front of us. We were headed around the outer loop when I decided to cut everybody off and take the lead on my favorite Harbison downhill. We were flying down the trail negotiating one of the last turns on the downhill when I blinked. Both of my new contacts shot out of my eyes when I blinked. All of the sudden I could only see as far as my handlebars, I veered off the trail into the woods as I could feel my right contact on my cheek. So as I braked with my left hand, I grabbed the contact with my right. I was able to save the right one and I had another backup in my pack.

Yes, that is three Saturday’s in a row now. At least this time it wasn’t a stick in my eye. So I will let the doctor know that silicon is for breast implants and not contacts. I was able to work both contacts back in my eyes and off we rolled.

I had a secret mission for the day. I wanted to try and clean all 3.5 miles of Spider Woman’s hellish singletrack. I had never done it on the Drunken Monkey before. I wasn’t really feeling all that great as Barret and I dropped in and I said “This is going to hurt.”

The first mile and a half is fast and fun with lots of tight corners and couple quick ups to keep you honest. Then you come to the inner loop. The inner loop basically goes straight back up the hill in less than ¾ of a mile. The end of the climb is super steep and I gave it everything I had to get to the top. I was still struggling to get my breath as I rolled down the short flat section on Inner Woman. Bombing back down the inner loop, I knew I had to give it my all on the rock garden to conquer the Spindly Woman that day. I took it slow on the ramp up to the rock garden and then I started bouncing my way around her rocky upward sloping switchbacks. I made a three second track stand twice in two of the switchbacks but somehow pulled it out to the top. I was elated when I got to the top. All I had was about a half mile with one steep section left.

I came out of Spider Woman a new man. Sure I was sweating like I had just got done running the Badlands 100 mile marathon and my legs felt destroyed but I was happy. I put my bike down and started doing my “happy dance” in the middle of the trail. Right in the middle of my dance, I looked down the trail to see a Father and his young daughter walking up the trail. I sat down in the woods slightly embarrassed from my antics while Monty laughed hysterically at me. Then Barret said something to the effect “Doesn't anybody realize what is happening in my life right now?”

Barret had been bitten by the poltergeist as well. When we took off from the parking lot, his saddle bag was un-zippered by the beast. Then the dragon like beast managed to steal every possession out of the bag along with his car key and place them at random spots around the park. To make an even longer story shorter, we finished our ride with another outer loop and after many phone calls and a couple exorsism's through the woods by Barret, he found his key on the trail. The beast was only teasing him this day.

It was a sweet thirty miles and thanks to Mr. P for the after ride beverages.


Palmetto Solo said...

Hate we couldn't meet up yesterday for a ride. Burn I was thinking of a team effort 2,3,4 or 5 whatever.

jpelton said...

No problem with the beverages. How was the ride on Sunday. Obviously you did not die from any falling trees.

I am interested in the Burn team if you will have me and my geared bike. We can let Jonathan ride the first 3-4 hours and drink the rest of the event. We need to grab Monty and maybe one other as well.

Squirrel said...

SaWheat write up:)


The Goat said...

It was a switch I tell ya. Friday the 13th skipped a day amd went to Saturday the 14th. Kuntz, SingletrackPig and I had all sorts of weird stuff happen to us to. Look for the new story on my blog in the next couple of days. Freaky Saturday: Blood, Rocks, Roots n Laughter

namrita o'dea said...

Awesome :)