Last nights P-ride was a good one, a little weird but fun as usual. A good crew showed to ride; Pyro, The Manimal, Coletrain, Cliff, Gabriel, Billy and Farmer. I had a bit of anxiety about the ride happening due to forecasted temps going from 80+ on Monday to near freezing Wednesday night, and a 50% chance for rain. Well the rain came in the a.m. and did not even come close to even knocking the dust of the trail, and the temperature was 54 degrees when we rolled out, nearly perfect for a good ride in the dark. It felt cooler than 54, like 44, but we were all prepared and stayed plenty warm.
Tonight was a special night for Pyro. He was breaking in his new Single Speed. I am overjoyed that he built-up such a sweet ride, and is psyched to escape the distraction of gears (at least for his 'winter training'). Six out of the eight riders tonight were running one gear, a glorious thing indeed. Four of us were still in recovery mode from the BTepic race over the weekend, and were dragging ass but still having fun. Coletrain was being his usual impatient self and seemingly annoyed with my choice of routes, kept saying 'lets go' and 'can we get back on the normal trails'. Well, I like Coletrain and enjoy riding with him, but this is my gig and I was gunning for an adventure. The Manimal was in the same adventure mode and when I said 'Ya wanna try some new rogue/vague/un-rideable shit'?...and he was all in.
We deviated from the home loop to find ourselves lost in the middle of nowhere. I was not lost, but no one else knew were the f&%k we were, and that's just how I like it. Some of the 'trail' we rode was nothing more than a faint line in the tall grass; sometimes not even that, but the kind of trail you just Use The Force to navigate.
Leading the ride, I always try to call out any dangerous obstacles to those behind me. I think I yelled 'log' about 3,879* times last night. I also mentioned as we crested a short but steep climb that there was a double log on the descent that was a sure thing if you were into OTB (Over The Bars). I guess Pyro was game, because he took a good dive, denting his helmet pretty good as his head impacted the earth. This time I did not laugh. I had done the exact same maneuver the day before. OTB at night but no injuries. We continued on our wild path of craziness, moving faster and faster until I too took a good spill. My front end washed-out on me on a left turn. I too went OTB. I remember things going slow-motion. My face impacted the dirt, just past a large rock. My bottom lip felt stretched down under my chin as my lower teeth acted as a bulldozer; scraping the surface and filling my mouth with debris. I thought for sure I was going to be pretty f&%ked up, but after spitting for a few minutes I realized that I'd only scraped up my face and inner lip a bit. Nothing to keep us from continuing our crusade.
We pressed on and eventually, after what a few of the fellas said 'felt like we would never stop climbing', we reached some fast, flowing and familiar single track. At this point Pyro was claiming to be ready for beers, so we headed back to the Pirates Lair 'the shortest route' to toss back a few around the fire. The short route to me always means the shortest way via the best trails. We hit the ridge trail that the Manimal and I like so much and made it to the Lawrence climb minutes later.
The four of us who had raced over the weekend were hurting, or at least I was, and the climb back up to the house seemed oh-so-painful. The hoppy beer that Cliff had brought was a fine treat to finish off a good 18 miles of riding, and the fire was warm and cozy. Pyro yelled from afar that he was leaving, and I thought WTF, he said he wanted to get back and pound beers? Oh well... The married life will get you at times. Understood.
Thanks for coming out to ride fellas. Good times as usual. See you next week.