Earlier this week, Emily and I headed West near Dayton, OH to visit former WVU Cycling President, Gef Moy. While there, Gef insisted we do a Wednesday night MTB TT called Fast Laps at John Bryan State Park. It was about 8miles of single track in Bryan Park. The course was amazingly well maintained. Very twisty, narrow, smooth, hardpack single track that reminded us all of NCSU racing. The 3 of us being were rather agast at the assertion by the promoters that the thing couldn't be scored/timed without the timing crew which were using RFID chips in the number plates, but I had never seen the system, so I was curious. It seemed to work fine, except that they had to corral the finish line down to about 5', which isn't a big deal for a TT, and possibly even a MTB mass start finish. I was very impressed with how the event turned out, with more than 50 people showing up. Registration was simple and quick: register, get a number and you start in that order of your number-no 'start list' needed. Entry fee was $5 for members and $7 for non. There were no prizes except for the kids, but there were some snacks, drinks and free magazines. Gef was disappointed with his results, and Gunnar had to rub it in later on Facebook, pointing out that he lost to Betsy's crippled brother. Excellent event, and I'm actually considering trying it out, maybe at White Park.
The weather has been gorgeous the past two days, how could you not want to be on a bike!
I got annihilated in the hammer ride yesterday and blew up w/ a hr of 203. Held with the pack till Taylortown Rd or thereabouts. Legs seriously felt like they locked up and I was in the most pain I've been in for as long as I could recall... I called it quits and bailed back. Spun on the rail trail and Aaron's creek to try to get my legs to stop hurting... they didn't.
Today I was supposed to do the Wamsley fast ride/slow ride with Emily but after working all day I passed out for a nap and overslept the meet time. Whoops. Sorry Emily!! I decided to head out on the roadie and explore Kingwood Pike, I always looked at it on maps and such and wanted to try it out, but no rides ever ended up heading that way. I thought some long sustained climbing would be nice to loosen up the big guys and warm up the diesel fuel. Safe to say that this is my new favorite ride in town. It's like Snake hill, but much more constant. Hardly any traffic and amazing views. Lots of green open fields and great condition pavement. Rode out to where I could see Masontown and Reedsville then headed back for an amazing 10 mile long descent and a race against daylight all the way home. Wouldn't mind hitting it up on the Tuesday nigher if the group that shows is interested. We could also come back on Summer School instead. 26.7 miles and 2,800ft of climb for the entire ride.
Today, Lemma and I set out at our slow pace to do what is now officially her longest road ride ever --the unopened interstate loop. We didn't want to go all the way out to the new exit past Point Marion and have to ride 119 back, so I figured we could go underneath the recently built bridge down onto Morgan's Run Road like we used to before the built the bridge. Apparently you can't (well, they don't want you to) do that anymore. The once gravel/dirt road is now filled with grass/plants/large drainage rocks, complete with a barbed wire fence at the bottom. So Lem and I did a hike-a-bike and threw our bikes over the barbed wire, and then crawled under the fence where the big rocks were placed since they left a fairly large gap for us to fit through. During this adventure I lost my bike computer (we found it though!) andddd got a flat (but my tires loosened up enough that I can FINALLY fix flats without any help, so that problem was solved pretty quickly), and other than that--there is good news. There was a freshly paved road on the other side of the fence that goes right down to Morgan's Run Road! I'm assuming that to get to it we just need to go slightly farther on the road that has the short, steep hill (great description, I know) and it will put us on that new road. That means that even once the interstate opens/they actually start doing work on it, that ride can live on! yayyyy! And plus, now we can just do that if we'd rather not add on the extra miles,hills, and traffic in PA. The rest of the ride (along with the hike a bike) went smoothly, except for the fact that right before the new University High, they have the road completely torn up/graveled, so that added another adventurous part to our 35+ mile journey. After the school busses and Fed Ex trucks kicked up endless amounts of dust into our faces, we made it past the "rough road" thanks to our mtb skills, if you could call them that( haha). And returned home in one piece. All in all, good ride--sweet tanlines.
While hanging out with Bala because I have no internet, he talked me into racing WVMBA this weekend. So Bala, James, and I mooched a ride from Shawn on the crazy long twisty 2.5hr ride to Spencer to hit up this course that I don't think any of us had ever done. On Saturday night, Bala and I cut my brake lines to shorten them, and after 3hours I still couldn't get them bled well, but they were...lets say OK. The WVU crew all signed up for Sport class, and Bala told me to block for him, so thats just what I did, being the first into the woods, then falling over the mud. Bala took a HUGE lead, something like 5-7min, while everyone bitched that he should move up. I slide around on my CrossMark tires wishing I had more knobs. Around 3/4ths way through the race, I was sitting in about 3rd, and caught Bala pushing his bike uphill. Ready to hand him tools/tubes, I was agast to see he was just tired, hungry and dehydrated. Apparently he didn't know he was in for 18miles of pure muddy, narrow, twisty, single track. I wasn't much either, but since I was "sandbagging" I my tank was full enough to finish in 3rd, with some very tired triceps. Overall, the course was great, race was great, we all had a fun time and left with some bloody spots on arms and legs-just like a MTB race should do to a body.
Jimmy posted a ride today at 2pm. Elliott and I came along. We decided to do Cheat Lake to Pt Marion, apparently Elliott had never been to the unopened interstate. Jimmy was telling me all about this new construction over there. When we got there, they were working and had turned what used to be mushy gravel into hardpacked clay. Jimmy and I chatted while riding along, watching the workers watching us. Then one of the workers said to us, "You buddy back there fell down". We turned around laughing as we Elliott was stuck on his side, having falling in the wet clay and was unable to unclip. After 20 seconds or so, I yelled back to hurry up, and the worker then yelled "Get up buddy, you ain't hurt". But Elliott was hurt, his pride was damaged as he had gotten dirt on his team kit and his team bike. But we rode on. Near the end of the ride, as we were nearing the hospital, Jimmy and I said we were going to get on the sidewalk instead of riding on 705, but the cucumber didn't hear. He ride along the side of the walk for a bit, until he decided to try his luck with a nice 4" deep groove, plenty wide to consume a wheel. Jimmy and I both got to see him drop in with some speed, ride a bit then flip over onto the sidewalk. Pride badly damaged, front wheel took some damage, but he did scrape his shin up pretty good, so he'll get some pity points from the girls.