ride it and slide it... a tad slick at rosaryville yesterday

started this yesterday
but did not get it finished

let me see if I had anything worth saying
better yet
let me finish what I was going to say

went to rosaryville today
considered Schaffer Farms... but saw online that
Schaffer Farms is Closed for the Winter!
good thing I did not make the drive all the way out to Germantown to find a closed gate
would not want to find myself stuck in that moral dilemma

made some calls last night and some more calls this morning
nobody was buying into the excitement I had to offer

I was selling things as they are
a guy looking to ride a guy fighting a cold a guy who has been off the bike for a few months now a guy not looking to push things too hard a guy who might cough on you in the car ride to the trails
sounds like a hell of an offer
it shocks me that nobody bought my pitch

no takers on the ride with a sick guy ride
so I coughed it out to the trails alone

nearly caved to the cough and the running nose
but I knew that it all feels better once I am on the bike
with the boys at a sleep over at my mother's/their grandmother's along with a signed permission slip from my wife I had no real excuse not to ride
so I decided that I would head out to Rosaryville

the day started slowly

with no kids swarming around the bed we each stole a few extra winks
once out of bed we lounged about and drank coffee
lisa read the paper as I dazed blankly into nothingness
then when lisa went to walk our black dog brutus
I left out to go riding

the morning was starting to blend into afternoon
arrived at the trails at lunchtime with nothing in my belly but a can of red bull
there was some gatorade in the waterbottle cage that I purchased at the gas station before pulling into the state park
other than that I was running on the fuel that was my midnight snack

to my surprise the lot was not full
there were some cars, but far from full
I have yet to find the lot full at rosaryville
in my limited approaches to rosaryville I have always expected this place to be more crowded

in the parking lot I tried to guess at my gear
went with the notion that it is best to be a tad chilly when standing around in the parking lot
as things will certainly warm up once I start moving
I stepped over the monkey accepting things as they are
did a circle on the pavement to get the feel of this unfamiliar ride then dipped into the woods knowing that the braking does not reflect the technology of the day

sure enough things were slick
not sloppy.... but definitely slick
slick is a skill... not being slick but riding slick trails
it was clear that this day was going to be a lesson in riding slick
memories of Lodi Farms in years past dashed through my brain
early on I was reminded that braking was to be done before the turns or before the obstacles
no time for the panic stop
nothing good comes from locking up the brakes on a slippery corner
had to focus on riding it and sliding it

was not on the stop watch
did not mark my start time
was not so focused on my finish time
was just out riding my bike in the woods
the trails got to be more dry as I got further into the woods
then they got dry and then they got slick again
it was a good mix that always demanded focus

I slowed and stopped to move a fallen tree so that the obstacle was on the straight away rather than the turn
I am confident that the tree will be removed but made if more ridable until it gets zipped by the chainsaw
these trails are pretty obstacle free
it is a very flowy set of trails
the only true obstacles are the tight turns and the limits of the human body
making this log perpendicular to the trial facilitated the flow

Rosaryville is not a frequent destination for my riding
the unfamiliar can be a pleasure
the lay out of these trails is pretty sweet
they managed to develop a deceptively hard 9.9 mile loop
a great cardio workout on the mountain bike

as I was 3/4 of the way through the first loop I was starting to wonder when I was going find myself at the parking lot
I was starting to experience the deceptiveness that I just mentioned

once back at the parking lot I chatted up a father/son back from one loop
dad had enough slipping and sliding
but junior had just enough time for one more loop
I lead for the first half of the reverse loop
pretty much taking it easy
making small talk as we worked our way through the woods

this kid is a freshman at boulder
so we talked about things in boulder,colorado

after making a wrong turn off the main loop we returned to the main trail and I let the kid lead
it could have been my cold it could have been my lack of riding it could have been my being on a rigid single speed versus his being on a geared double banger who knows it could have been my being forty and his being 18 or it could have been my weighing more than a hundred pounds more than him
no matter what excuse
the result is the same
the kid picked up the pace

less chatter more pedal
maybe the kid was sick of my Q&A

we each worked the ride and the slide
me sliding more than him
trying not to sketch

the kid set a solid pace
I rode on his tail for most of the loop until he dropped in on a little dippiditydo
not as focused as I should have been I dropped in off trail
not expecting the rapid drop in vertical I was shocked when I picked up speed and saw myself headed towards a hundred year old tree
luckily I managed to crash into a several year old sapling rather than the old hardwood
from that point on I followed with a greater distance

we worked the rest of the trail at a the same pace
each of us finding ourselves getting squirrelly on the super slick and finding one or two short steeps unsurmountable
we each rode the dry stuff fast enjoying the chance to let the wheels spin rather than slide

back at the parking lot there was a shake of hands and a see ya on the trail

I left feeling good
the stiffness in my shoulders and the soreness in my wrists was a good reflection of my efforts
the legs and lungs felt the efforts of the day as well
the bike was put on the roof just as the clouds let loose with some rain that had been threatening to drop down during our ride

got home before the family returned from their day

IMBA:Rosaryville case study

MORE: Rosaryville description and directions