Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Tour de...


After work I headed out to a trail that I'd never ridden before.  I had put off riding here for a couple of reasons.  One, parking had been an issue, so I was trying to figure out the best/safest place to park to ride here.  Two, and probably the biggest reason, these trails are heavy in the freeride domain... so I wasn't sure what there would be in terms of xc.

So my exploration of Vietnam turned into a 3 hour tour... yes, a 3 hour tour a la Gilligan and the Skipper.  3 hours with only half of that including riding.... SUCKFEST!  And it wasn't due to mechanicals, it wasn't due to impassible trails... it was due to a "guide" who was a self described "expert rider."

So here is the question... when should we ride with riders we meet on the trail, and when should we say - "yeah no thanks"?

As I hit the trail I felt good, and although the trails aren't really marked and a map is likely somewhat useless, I was not worried about finding my way.  I started up at College Rock and quickly descended into the main trail system (wasn't really looking forward to the climb back up).  I came across the "tour guide" and chatted for a second.  I was ready to take off and explore a bit before heading home to make dinner when he suggested we ride together.  Having never been here I figured, a local would be great to show me the goods... what I didn't realize is that this "expert" rode with an equal time method... ride a little and rest a bunch.  I was DYING!!  Even when I said I should be heading back he still took a plethora of breaks... I would have much rather been carrying a plethora of pinatas hanging from my helmet while grinding up rocky singletrack for 5 long miles... but no.  Instead I was stuck in the middle of who knows where with a slow, break time, guide.

He was a nice guy, I will give him that... but the pace was unbearable.  I enjoyed the trails themselves, VERY rocky, pretty technical, and the freeride section was INSANE!!!  But there was enough for the xc crew out there to get some miles in while testing your technical abilities.  I will be back, at a much faster pace, for sure... but I think it will be SOLO.

Join my frustration:
Note: I took the rode back to the car because sooo much time was wasted and I needed to get back home before it was bedtime!!!!!!!!!

Since I missed making dinner I will end this short and go cuddle with Annie while I try to get over the disappointment that has swept over me from the "ride."

Side not... low pressure was AWESOME on these trails.  At one spot while climbing over  rocks I saw my tire just compress almost to the rim (to be honest I was worried it was going to loose the bead) and kept on rolling.  So SWEET!!  So a big THANKS goes out to TJ for offering some advice to make the whole process easy and painless (not to mention saving me from going out and buying specific tires for the conversion).

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