7.10.2013

The Cabin John Trail... I have just been reminded of my favorite trail... THE ONE I JUST RODE THAT DAY!


this is a "ride report" that I started a few days back
started... need to finish

as per usual
it will give it a glance and then I will hit PUBLISH AND POST

The Cabin John Trail
www.more-mtb.org
www.montgomeryparks.org

today I woke without a plan
no plan... nothing pending on the "things to do" list
no mini adventure on bike, on foot, or activity involing summer had been scheduled
and my boys are away at sleep away camp
so... I really woke with nothing to do

well...
there is plenty to do
the basement and garage area always in need of cleaning
each and every one of my bikes need to be tuned/repaired... and there is laundry... there is always laundry... and the yard... yes, there is always the yard

the yard?
well... yard work is for people whose hobby is gardening
gardening is not my hobby... while-yes I enjoy working in the garden... I would much rather ride my bike


so... when I say "nothing to do"
I mean... nothing pressing
the gutters are clean and blah blah blah
so... I had nothing pressing to do
pretty much free to do as I choose

I woke up slow... not late, but slow
drank my coffee and left out late to walk the dog after trying to rally some people to join me for a mountain bike ride
radio silence...
people were already riding or ignoring my call out to ride

I figured some people were riding the Patapsco 100
got word from Cargo Mike that he would be playing bike polo
some chatter about road bikes on Beach Driver
but no takers on my offer to hit some local dirt

so...
I left out to walk the dog without any firm plans
walked the dog on a route where I avoided water
as it is the start of the month I finally gave Didg the dog his tick medicine
a medicine that has a 24 hour window where the dog should avoid water
so we avoided immersing the dog in water
avoided water and sought out other dogs for doggie interaction

it took a while but I ran into another person with his dogs
well... with his dog and his neighbor's dog
although the dogs were not entirely engaged in play
the dogs played well enough
Didg ran a bit more than he would run if he were just hiking along side of me

while the dogs played I talked with the human
extending my walk with the dog in an effort to extend the opportunity for the dog on dog exchange
as well as enjoying the human to human contact
Didg did find some mud puddles but I was able to keep him from getting to water

returning home to find that there was no break in the radio silence other than a few mentions of road riding in Rock Creek and whatnot
so...
more texting, emails, and checking the list serve
even put out a message on FACEBOOK

I wanted to ride but lacked the motivation
my heart just was not in it
had a window of opportunity
but was not making any effort to harness that window
so... I futzed around the house not making my garage or basement any more clean
sure... doing a few loads of laundry
but not feeling motivated for much more

ah...
it is frustrating to lack the motivation
especially with a window of opportunity like this
so... I tried to make the best of it
tried to get someone to help me find the desire to get on the bike

again I tried contacting people
reaching out to the usual suspects
hounding an old friend in town
open to almost anything

did a cut and paste of a text message to handful of people on the smart phone

needing to make something happen so I grabbed the Loaded Longboard that Coffee Shop Dave just pass on to me for my boys to get an idea what this thing does
actually CSD gave me TWO LOADED LONGBOARDS
but I would only try riding one of them

rather than trying to go "downhill"
I figured it would be best for me to get a feel for the board on flat before I put myself at risk at speed
as I am not much of a skateboard
as skateboarding is far in my past and I was not much of a skater "back in the day"

so... with a backpack on my back I took a short march through the woods taking an immediate path to the bike path in Rock Creek Park where I planned on pushing it to the Police Station on Beach Drive and then turning it around
the walk was not far and soon enough I was slugging down the water and Gatorade I had packed in my bag
then cruising down the bike path at a mellow pace

past Pierce Mill and then to the section of road Beach Drive is closed off to traffic
ran into another Joel who had recently left DCMTB which brought up the question "why?"
which became a bit of a riddle

then my brother rolled up as well...
who was also riddled by the other Joel's explanation as to "why" he no longer rode\raced with DCMTB
we tried sorting that out

time was slipping by and my skateboard was not moving forward
these guys had already done their "rides" for the day
I was still looking forward to mine... although I was not sure what it was going to be

so... I asked my brother to pull me on the skateboard in the direction that we were both heading
the other Joel and my brother Marc soft pedaled their bikes as coasted along on my skateboard
my brother questioned the benefit of my lazy man's sport but abliged me with my desire to coast up the road that is only slightly uphill... not hill... but... oh, you know what I mean

at the Park Police Station I let the cyclists roll forward while I turned it around and cruised back
the Loaded Longboard cruised beautifully
I felt that the trucks would need to be tightened if I were to take the board at speed
but questioned the notion of the tighter trucks with my body weight versus the weight of my boys
ah... another riddle

how to get the board set up for two very different body weights?

the mellow cruise back was much faster than the push and pull heading out
before marching back in the woods I finished my Gatorade and also my water when I put the skateboard back onto the outside of my pack
then hoofed it back through the woods to home
once home I was greeted by the dog and the same radio silence I had left

there were no takers for the ride
there were all sorts of responses
people saying what they did or what they were gonna do
but no one saying "heck yeah... LET'S RIDE!"
nope.... I was solo... solo and lacking the motivation

although I lacked the motivation I had the wherewithal to have the understanding that this is the weekend
and well
on the weekend there is the opportunity that will not exist on a weekday
toss in the kids being away
and well
I had to take this opportunity whether I felt motivated or not

various mantras popped into my head...
NIKE's JUST DO IT and my personal IT IS ALWAYS BETTER ON THE BIKE
to name a few

so I poured the last half cup of coffee and started to get my self psyched
tried avoiding distraction
the computer and its book of face must be one of my greatest distractions in my life
so I avoided sitting down at the computer

while swapping pedals from one Niner to another I noticed the dust cap missing on one of the pedals
started trying to pull another dust cap off a Time pedal that is not salvageable
but soon found that this was taking an excess of effort and an excess of time
so... I snagged another set of Time pedals off my road bike
leaving that dust cap issue for another day

good to be consistent with pedals
helps with shoes and helps with repairs and useability

grabbed a bag...
shoes... socks... shorts... shirt... gloves... glasses and helmet
then...
pump... multi-tool... 29er tube...
check... double check!

tossed two water bottles with water and one with powder mixed Gatorade and I was mobile

in the car for 25 minutes and suited up in two
I was on the bike and rolling on dirt in just 30 minutes from my front door
FANTASTIC! FREAKING FANTASTIC!
what had been my hold up?
why do I not head to Cabin John more often

Cabin John has changed a bit since it was a regular routine of mine
there have been a few re-routes
and much of the trail has gotten wider and more buff
but all in all...
Cabin John was much how I remembered it

a few of the legs have been removed...
but some of those sections were so short that they were hardly worth hitting

I rode moderately fast
was bummed not to have the dog or anyother companion with me
riding alone is fun... but riding with others is usually better
but was also pleased not to have the leash-less dog mentally tethered behind me
Didg was overdue for his flea\tick medicine so it was fine that he was home and away from the water so it was a non-issue anyway

I rolled at a pretty good pace seeing only a handful of people and one other biker
pretty much having the trails to myself

while searching for the last leg of the Cabin John Trail I ran into DCMTB teammate Brian Poore
Brian was in the park with his son Jack
Jack was loving it!
we chatted as Jack ran around the park Matchbox car in hand

I am plenty familiar with this park... as I still take my somewhat older boys to this same park with its various slides and climbing structures
and of course its mini steam engine train
we talked until the steam engine whistle blew and Jack heard its call
Brian pointed me in the right direction and I got to hit a section of trail that I had ignored over the years

as it turns out that whole section has been re-routed
no longer chasing the creek
that trail runs a nice flow
much more "flowy" than the rest of Cabin John

lots of Cabin John is an effort that calls out for a little muscle
short almost steep roller coaster climbs that send the rider up and down and around each turn in a very 12 hours of Lodi Farms sort of way
it is really a great network of trails for being as close to the city as they are
I was smiling

yes... it is always better on the bike
often I do not feel like riding
but once I am on the bike
I know that is where I should be

after rocking the end of the Cabin John Trails I started the "back" of this "out and back"
when I got to the loop section that is usually the candy part of the "lollipop" loop I worked a few different concentric circles
maybe a few extra loops as I am not as familiar with how to exit the loops as I was once

as I got onto the stick of the lollipop wind started to blow and the sky started to get dark
a storm started to blow in
limbs even started falling from the trees

some of which fell on the trail causing me to have to stop and pull them to the trail side

my pace was good
I was enjoying the cooler breeze

it was funny...
although I raced the storm back to the car
part of me was let down that I did not get rained on
as it would have felt nice to have a little natural shower
not a golden shower,  but a summer shower

yes... I beat the rain
which meant I had to climb out of my sweaty gear and get into my street clothes with my body caked in a splattering of mud
the bike too could have used a wash as well
figured that would happen on the drive home
but that did not happen either

when I got home I rushed to walk the dog
trying to get him out for some exercise and a chance to poop before the rain came
had to jog half of the two mile loop to beat the rain
rain started to fall
but no so great that it got me wet under the canopy of trees

back into the house and I threw together some dinner
more curry goulash and then some grilled salmon
and of course... it started to rain as I stood in front of the grill
then it was time for some recovery drink
and when I say recovery drink... I mean cold beer

a cold beer... lots of water... some chocolate milk... and more cold beer after that first cold beer was finished
the Salmon was fine... although I do not really care for salmon... but I cook it because my wife like it

the curry goulash was awesome

great day on the Cabin John Trails
great to be reminded how awesome and how close these trails are

the trails had a number of trouble spots
some puddles that should have been dry
some puddles  that should be remedied with re-routes, boardwalks, or some other trail builder solution











3 comments:

rednow said...

Nice write up. I was wondering what happened to you after you rode into the storm...

rednow said...

Nice write up. I was wondering what happened to you after you rode off into the storm...

rednow said...

Nice write up. I was wondering what happened to you after i saw you ride off into what later bacame the storm...