Wednesday, September 19, 2012


So in my list of things to catch up on the other day I get to knock out 3 at once here.

- I "crashed" riding on Thursday, and it felt GOOD!!
- I have newness on the HiFi which has exponentially increased my speed* - addressed
- I rode my new favorite (albeit temporary) trail
- I have a space dedicated for all my bike stuff - pending... - addressed
- And this sweetheart (picture posted below original list)

On Thursday I got out a rode a local trail that will soon be no longer.  

I have one question, and one question only.

How is this not the best, most talked about, most popular trail in the Charlotte area??

I am completely heartbroken that this trail; a rooty, rocky, feature ridden, flowy, keep your heart rate rising trail is soon to be lost.  It was just a down right fun trail.  

My first lap I somehow missed the A and B trails, which in my humble opinion were some of the more fun trail options out there.  I don't even know if I hit all the options in the medusa head of a trail system out there... but I do know one thing.  I had one heck of a fun time ridding what I saw out there.  

The strange thing is, that even though I missed the A and B trails Strava seems to think that I hit the "entire trail" on both of my runs... when in reality both of my runs were different - knowing that I missed A and B on the first run.  No matter.

This ride was also the second ride on the Arch EXs and again, no disappointments.  The trail had me working the corners, throwing the bike around and over the trail... just getting into it!!  Got me back to riding again.  Back to pushing my bike all over the trail, pushing myself to not just coast (as much).  Getting back to that edge - of pushing to your limit, seeing just what you can get out of the trail, the bike, and yourself.  Staying as mentally sharp as you are physically.  It felt great.

Before my ride, and actually during it, I was thinking about the fact that I hadn't crashed in a long time.  Sure, I'd caught a handlebar here or there, but that didn't cause an catastrophic debiking... so no crashes.  And the question popped into my head: is that a good thing?  Are my skills improving to such a degree that the lack of crashes is indicative of such?  OR am I riding too safe?  Am I not pushing myself enough to ride at the edge of total speed, skill and thrill - pushing to the limit of almost out of control?  

I would have to say (sadly) that it was the later.  That I haven't been pushing myself as of late.  That the tight and twistyness of these southern trails have been enough to create an excuse to slow it down and not really push the limits of tire on dirt in these switchbacks.  

Well, the streak ended and I crashed.  The first was a handlebar caught cutting through a tight squeeze.  It was on my second lap, and I can't be quite certain of what the largest contributing factor was: speed, fatigue, or mental lapse - but in the moment I read it as me pushing it.  The second crash came towards the end of the lap as I was climbing up a rutted climb and the front wheel went a bit squirrely as I powered my way up.  So much so that as the front wheel rose to the right of the rut I couldn't keep balance and I tumbled down.

Again, not a horrible crash - and this one more likely fatigue induced.  But again, fatigue at a slower speed would have likely caused a stall and not a crash.  Sounds weird maybe, but I came up off the ground not only with some blood, but with a smile.  What was my old saying??  "It's not riding if there isn't blood."

evidence of the crash and the tragedy of the trail closure
Some randomness of the trail:

This is sort of spooky... I couldn't see any evidence of an old house in the vicinity....

Any local legends for this one?

And between laps, and after I was done, I was met by the friendliest trail mascot I've met.  Her name was Minnie and I believe she lived across the street from the trailhead - she seemed to come out of nowhere when I stopped to switch water bottles.  She knew how to sit and was more than happy to drink from my water bottle when I was heading out.

I'm going to try to remember to bring some treats and a bowl next time I ride here.  I'm not sure exactly when that will be, but I hope to AT LEAST ride one more time out there before the trail closes for good on October 1st.

If you are local, I hope you've been getting your fill out at Poplar Tent.  If you are close-ish, you better make plans to get your ass on the trails.  If you are in New England... well show your local trails some love, and never take our trail access for granted.

No comments:

Post a Comment