Monday, November 4, 2013

End of Year Party: Part 1

The Year End Party was Sunday, and it was great!!  An awesome amalgamation of the Tarheel Trailblazers and out sister club, the Dirt Divas.  So much awesome awesomeness happened that I am preemptively splitting this post into two.  Part 1 - the trails, Part 2 -  the events/party.

Before I get to far into this thing I must say that Annie attended the event with me.  Her assessment of the situation - great time!!  My brother, who did not attend, was feeling kinda left out as he said - "even for a non rider it sounds like that would be a fun event just to check out all the crazy challenges you guys were doing."  You know what?  He is right.  So even for you non-riding friends of riders (or even just a curious citizen) I STRONGLY recommend you get your butt out for the party next year, you won't regret it!!

Ok, to the trails.  So I've never ridden out at Anne Close Springs Greenway before.  The name itself is misleading.  It's not a greenway - they are legit trails, so set your mind at ease.  The "close" part isn't that far off.  It wasn't hard to get to at all... plus, I got to fill up in South Carolina on the way home so I saved about $76.03*.

As we were readying to hit the trails a number of groups were breaking out, beginners, intermediates, and the faster mustaches riders.  I apparently fell into the fold with the faster riders.  And it was a quick pace off the start.  It had me spinning out on the Glow Worm (which made it through the ride seemingly out - slow leak in the rear tire, prolly need new sealant...) as we rode down a dirt road to the trail.  The trails were NICE and the pace was fun... that is until we hit some old road and went up a hill.  For some reason I decided being up in the front of the pack was good for me and I kept pace all the way to the top.  Ooops, we missed a turn.  Back down the hill - this time I pulled up the rear.  I'd about blown myself up maintaining some sort of race pace off the start so I settled in to have some fun.

These trails have everything: roots, climbs, twisty stuff, about 12+ bridges (with about 8 coming within a half mile span) including a sweet suspension bridge, and.... drum roll please - TWO WAY TRAFFIC!!  I've gotten so used to one way trails riding around the Charlotte area that it was strange but exhilarating to hit some two way trails again.  That might sound a bit weird, but for me it brought back memories of riding back up north.  And towards then end, when I was riding alone, it had a very "state forest" type of feel to it as I wasn't quite sure where the heck I was going!!  (except for the fact that the trails had markers, with those little cell phone squiggly boxes that bring you to websites when you scan them.  I didn't stop to scan them, I don't think I have an app for that, but if they actually bring up a map showing your location then that is THE BEST THING EVER THAT SHOULD BE ON EVERY TRAIL!)  Anyway, people did MUCH better with the two way traffic then I would have imagined - since most of the riders were from the one way Charlotte trails.  Of course, there were a few frightened people, but I did my best to move over and encourage them to keep coming - which most did happily.

So why was I riding alone at the end?  After the downhill back to the correct turn the group kept the pace up.  I had two riders behind me and as we were getting dropped by the group, I found that I was dropping them... I didn't think I had the legs/lungs to catch back up and hang on to the group so I settled in at my own pace.  Soon I came up on two random riders that I was happy to trail for a bit.  Then we hit up with a group of Dirt Divas - at which point Good Guy Greg (the sweeper) caught up so I regrouped with him and head off ahead of the Dirt Divas.  Soon I was out ahead all alone and came to an intersection without any clue as to where to go, so I waited.  We hooked back up and G3 gave me a run through of the trails ahead and we were off.  We hit some climbing so I again opened up a gap.  I came to an intersection and wasn't sure which way to go, but I was enjoying the trails so I didn't really care - I just went.  I eventually figured out how to get back, I was out for about an hour at this point and I didn't want to leave Annie all by her lonesome for too long.

When I got back it was time to get changed, crack and beer, and see what kind of fun was going on.  You'll have to wait until tomorrow to hear about that stuff from me - but I'm sure someone else out there in the internerds will be talking about it today - I'm looking at you TheMutt and Dicky.

*rough estimation based on the numbers my fingers struck on my keyboard 

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