12.16.2006

missed yoga... went to fountainhead instead


this morning I was slow out of the gate
got up with plenty of time to go to yoga
yet for some reason brain was just not waking up fast enough
grantman spilled my coffee as I was introducing them to the Mario game on N64
man I needed that coffee
everymorning I need my coffee
some afternoons I need my coffee

N64 may be a little advanced for the two and five year olds of the world
but five year dean is advancing and understanding the game on a basic level
at times he finds it frustrating as can be difficult to manitulpate as well as difficult to figure out
it is only a video game... yet there are lessons to be learned
the cumulative nature of it all is rather fascinating
our assistance is not always helpful

the inlaws came over in the early am while I was still trying to figure out my day
they are in town visiting before the holidays
yoga had been my initial plan.. but that got the axe
turns out lisa had a trip to the national cathedral on her saturday agenda
apparently there is this fantastic creche exhibit at the cathedral
as much as I know I would enjoy this cultural exhibition
I really felt like I need to get on the bike

yes... the bike would be a good option
the weather is amazing
itching to get on the bike
was not really riding the mountain bike much in the fall
trying to get more comfortable on the crossbike
refreshed to be back on the fat tires with the flat bars

scanned the brain for who may be available for an afternoon at Schaffer Farms
thought about Chris Redlack
thought about Chris Clark
called clark and got the machine... then focused my attention towards calling someone without kids and a more flexible schedule
then thought about cargo mike
made the call..
as it turns out mike, aka coach, and max were headed to Fountainhead in Northern Virginia
they were generous enough to invite me along
or should I say
they were generous enough to all me to invite myself along

there was no real rush to get out on the trail
there were more people to meet and a bicycle to borrow
we met some folks at the bike lane
as I was tagging along I kept the best possible spirit
at the bike lane I ran into a number of people I know from the local races and got to catch up

the time in the shop was fine
it was the classic club house feel
which I enjoy
but the issue of my small window of opportunity was in the back of my mind

eventually the final rider had shown up
and the bike lane demo bike was ontop of the car and we were driving the final miles to Fountain Head (MORE page)
by this time I was checking my watch and doing some math
there was the final drive to the trail, the ride, and the drive home
it had me knowing I was going to arrive home late
it was already late and I was still not on the bike
I tried to keep it positive
we arrived at fountainhead
apparently riding on this day was not an entirely original idea
the roads were lined with parked cars with bike-less roof racks
the park itself is closed while the trails are open
having the cars park on the road leading into the park

the final preparations were made as people guessed at how to dress on such a warm mid december day

it was time to ride

it was a large posse... six is my present count
a few guys with a connection to revolution bikes
a few guys with a connection to the bike lane
and me...

mike was on a single with front suspension
max was on a squishy demo bike that was unfamiliar with him
blake was on a rigid single 29er... so was jonathan
joe was on a pretty orange gunner 29er single with front suspension
and I was on my rigid karate monkey single speed
had max not had crank issues it would had been singles across the board
in fact... when I approached the day I had assumed that Max and Mike were going to be on their fixed gear mountain bikes
but... I think that they prefer the fixie for the flatter courses than Fountainhead
places like Rosaryville are their destinations when they ride the fixies

everyone seemed pretty familiar with the trails, except for me
it had been years since I had been to fountain head... several years
my confidence felt like it had been years since I had been on dirt
when it had only been a few days

the trails start with action almost immediately
things go up
then things go down and again
then this up and down is repeated

the terrain reminded me of so many dan comber races
the path was well beated
very few rocks
but a fair amount of roots
everyone seeme a little more comfortable at speed than I was feeling

the pace was good
with all the singles on the trail the pace had to be moderately fast
as the single is dependent upon momentum
it was not race pace... but it was not a snooze either

the trails fed into a flat section along side a creek
at this point there was a set of man made teeter totters and some logs for riding
I sat back and watched
the teeter totter is something I have only seen in videos
and honestly... I do not spend too much time watching that sort of video
everyone cleared the teetertotter without issue
jonathan got squirrelly on the thinner of the two see saws... but mastered it on the second approach
blake and cargo mike were looking pretty stylish on the log ride
each of them stalling and lauching off with finese
again I still watched
then
after checking things out
and hearing a little explaination of how things worked I gave it a shot
as they had said... the wide teeter totter was really no issue
I rode the teeter totter a few times to gain a little more confidence
but did not even try the more narrow version
partially because I it was time for us to get back to the trails
partially due to my apprehension about falling

we got back onto the trail and sort of paired off

blake and mike rolled off ahead
jonathan hung with me
and joe and max stayed in the back
max cursing and questioning the notion of the doublebanger
as max is a bit of a minimalist

the pairing worked out well
although I am sure that my pace was holding jonathan back
as I just met a few of these guys there was plenty to talk about as we meandered through the woods on our bikes

we stalled and regathered a few times
late in the ride joe got a flat and we gathered as he fixed it
feeling anxious to spend my time hanging around when blake offered to run a short loop
cargo mike and I took him up the offer
when we returned their was still more chatter and repairs being done
so blake and I rolled around antoher section
when we returned from our second bonus loop we saw the area vacant
the posse had vacated
we had been separated from the group
which was fine
as blake and I each had to get back to our families at home

it was an awesome ride with some talented cyclists
the conversation was good
it was humbling to see how technical the other riders were/are
or maybe it is more accurate to say that it was humbling to see how technical I am not

either way it was great to get out on the bike
make some new friends
explore some new trails (well... not new or new to me... but a serious revisit)
as well
as learn a few new tricks

now if I can only learn to get my bike off the ground
I am such a land dweller
that cat blake caught pretty little airs over each and every obstacle we approached

although I had my camera I did not take any pictures
no pictures of the folks at the bike lane
no pictures of jay, or joes doing the bike shop thing
no pictures of david crouse hanging at the club house
no pictures of the various employees doing wheelies around the store
no pictures
no pictures on the trail or in the parking lot
no pictures of blake or mike riding the log
no pictures of max scratching his head looking at all the squish and all the gears on his demo bike
no pictures of jonathan or others smiling after riding the teeter totter
no pictures of everyone gathered around joe as the flat gets repaird
no pictures of the pack smiling and screaming down the downhills
no pictures
no pictures except for the pictures in my head

hate this... I edited this entry last night
went to PUBLISH and POST
it did not load
so my edits of last night did not remain
my edits of last night were forgotten

as I drove out of the parking lot I called home
the wife was not irrate with my late return
yet is is not cool to take advantage of her flexibility
next time I ride with these guys I need to make sure that we are all better prepared

after the call was made I saw a convoy of cars headed towards Fountainhead with bikes ontop
it was obvious
but I think I saw Ricky D and Joey P along with a slew of many others


1 comment:

gwadzilla said...

I was tempted to head to Schaffer or Fountainhead today
but...
never managed to get any structure with my day
a good nap as my younger watched the only kid at home.... he napped so I napped
hiked a section of the melvin hazen
then cooked for an old friend in town from alaska
then we took the dog out for a night hike
I wore my headlamp like a green horn city boy
my friend from alaska preferred the dark