Friday, September 5, 2008

Solo Ride

Sunset at Sam's Grave
Sunset at Sam's Grave,
originally uploaded by sincainflickr.

Last night I was suppose to hook up my buddy Jay for a ride through Loch Raven but he ended up getting sick and had to bail. I was thinking about the ride most of the day and was already getting ready when I got his message, total bummer. Looks like it was going to be a solo night.

It was a bit hot which usually isn't a big deal but wow was it humid. And in the woods it was even worst. And when it's humid I sweat.. and when I say I sweat it mean a TON. It will actually pour out of my helmet when I have my head down and the wind is going through the vents. It's like I have a faucet in my helmet, yeah for me huh?

But this was the first time back at LR in a month or so, we've been hitting up Patapsco lately and wow does it make LR seem so much easier. I've been riding here for over 10 years and know all the trails so I was thinking I'd take an all single track adventure since I was going to be going solo I could take my time and hit some jumps I usually pass when we are cooking along in a group.

I usually drop in on Seminary Road and then head up to Provident Road, hit the quick loop at the top of the hill and then cross the road again and start heading back. Double track runs through the middle of LR and then up to Prov. If you are hitting the Singletrack you will Cris cross the double track numerous times. Down by the water you have some technical sections with roots and tight corners. In the middle you get some longish climbs with a few steep section to keep you honest. A few stream crossings and then it's to the top, just some more climbing out to the road. But once you get to Prov you've done most of your climbing and it's some good downhills to look forward to.

Last night was a first for me ... I saw a Watershed Ranger. I've hear of them in hushed tones. Secretive figures that only a handful of people have seen and lived to tell the story. They watch from the bushes... you don't see them. They see you.

Ok .. well that's not that true but really I have never seen one before. This guy rolled up in his "watershed" truck. Parks on the side of Prov Road. Gets out and eyes me up .. all the while walking sideways and heads down into the trail. Just seemed weird to me. I don't know what he was doing. Only thing I could think of was that it was close to sundown and he was trying to enforce his rent a cop like powers to keep you out of the woods. I don't know if that's what he was doing but it didn't stop me from hitting the speed loop and then dropping back in for my ride back to Seminary.

Last night I had that feeling of being one of the fast guys on the mountain. I'd see people on the double track, pass them, go off into the single sections, cut back and pass them again. Sometimes in the same direction sometimes in the other.

I felt pretty good last night, strong on most of the climbs and fast on the downhills. It was a good change from the last few rides where I felt like I was forever in O2 Debt.

As I was coming back the sun was setting behind the trees right as I got to Sam's Grave ( Sam, a good dog. As it's written on a headstone that's been here as long as I've ridden here ). There is a little bank down to the water.. I took a few minutes to check out the scene. I figured Angela would like to see it so I pulled out the iPhone and took a snap or two.

On the way back I saw a few people just heading into the trial, I hope they had lights. They were losing light quick. Got back to the car and still felt pretty good. Loaded up and headed out. One of the best things about going to LR is on the way I get to stop by Arbys.

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