Thursday, September 22, 2011

Snake Charmer...

It was business as usual on a Wednesday Night at the Pirates Lair. The nightly routine went as planned and 8:30 was closing in fast. I walked outside to check the weather, as it was looking like we might get spit on minutes earlier, but all was good. Temps were I'm guessing in the high 50's and the ground was bone dry. Perfect night for a ride!
Peeps started arriving one by one until there were a solid pack of ten ready to roll out on a night adventure in the woods. A train of ten headlamps zooming through the woods is a sight to see, especially on switchbacks with the group spread out a bit; it was just cool to see folks above and below you illuminated by a small white glow. The guest list included the usual suspects; The Kid, The Manimal, Pyro, Sarah, Cliff and rookies Kevin, Gabriel, Justin and Nick.
We added a short section of new single track to our ride tonight, deleted other sections and made a brief stop about an hour and a half into the ride so our ten could become 9. From there we were cruising at what I am guessing was mileage in the mid teens when I got a good 1/4" tear in my front tire. I tried to plug it but the tear was far too big, even for two plugs. Of course I was not practising what I preach and was running a crappy Conti Mountain King instead of my trusted Specialized Captain Grid. My bad! I had to install my first tube in at least two seasons of riding, bummer! Shortly after installing the tube I was trying to catch up with the front of the group when I was suddenly attacked by a rare and vicious beast, known here in the Midwest as the 'Black Boa'.
Fortunately Gabriel and Justin helped me pit-crew style and we had this very tube reinstalled and holding air in minutes and were back riding.
Beer Hill(s) tonight were a bust. Not a single one of our crew made any of said climbs. We did however manage to stick together, have fun and maintain what I would consider a pretty darn solid pace. I was riding the rigid Fixie, and not too well, but managed to keep up...or at least did not get left in the woods.
Some notes on the ride: there are a shit-ton of logs you must hop, a fair amount of climbing and loads of rock to keep you on your game. Yes, at some times we hit some gravel or pavement between sections of dirt, but for the most part the loop is no weeny roast and keeps you guessing.
Per the standard post ride protocol, the crew gathered around the campfire and/or dipped in the hot tub while sipping suds and telling fishing stories until we realized it was getting way to late to be out on a school night. Good times. Thanks for showing up and I hope to see you jerks next week!

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