Friday, June 22, 2007

Good Luck Eddie/Namrita!

Good luck to Eddie and Namrita as they compete in the Cowbell Challenge 12 hr endurance race!! Namrita kicked butt in the recent Burn 24 (on a single speed no less)!

Sweet Mountain Biking

Last week David and I took our bikes to Highland Forest. I've been going there since I was a teenager in Boy Scouts: I've camped there, learned to XC ski there, done orienteering there, hiked there, now I take church youth groups there and Boy Scouts there. Awesome place! So this was the first time I've MTN biked there - it was awesome! Pretty warm day and was worried about the black flies that come out this time of year. Turns out they weren't the problem. Tent catepillers were everywhere. How are they a problem? Let's just say it's best to ride with my mouth closed. The trails had everything: mud, roots, gravel, logs, dirt. It was wide enough to offer some manuvering, but still be a trail.

We went two days later to do the 5 mile loop. This loop was even more challenging - one section had tons of roots - boy those things are hard to navigate! Also learning to ride the trails with clips is challenging! Also saw some wild life, (when I wasn't staring hard at the trail). We came around one bend and there was a sign that said area closed because of Gaushawk nesting. So where do we go??!? We found another trail in the woods and tried that. Came across one of the park workers - he said if you travel alone the hawk will attack. If in pairs, not a problem. We rode on - thought we were outside the area, then realized we probably were right in the middle of it. Riding down one trail a very large bird flew over us - the hawk. I didn't realize something that big could be manuver through the woods! What a great ride.

Vander Camp was something else. Our church as a church retreat at Vander Camp once a year and last year I had done a very little riding. This year we decided to go long. I had heard from the mtb community that this was a great place. The start of the ride was good, until we hit the logging. Turns out the camp had sold 1/2 there property and the new owners were logging. What a mess. We must have walked the bikes a couple miles. When we did find the trails, there were too hard to ride. Maybe the advanced guys can do this stuff: sudden super steep trails, lots of rocks, very narrow passages. We did get to a place where it opened up and we could ride more consistently. Someone had put a mtn bike size see-saw (or is that sea-saw?) - ride the bike up and it tips down. David did it - got to the up side and stalled - fell into a pine tree! Joshua and David tried several times and did get it to work - very amusing!