Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Down and Dirty.

I don't think it's a rash decision to go ahead and declare that this summer will be the Summer of Dirt.  What does this mean?  It doesn't mean that I plan to go sans a shower June - Sept, nor does it require that I employ my own personal dustcloud a la Pigpen.  It does mean that I'm going to get back to my roots in mountain biking, or at the very least some significant dirt on the road tires.  Pretty simple.  Battenkill was a good first step...

We'll start on May 7 with a little ride called Mule Hell-Roubaix in southern Virginia.  Then, on Memorial Day weekend, I'll hit up the Wilkes County singletrack with a co-ed team for the BURN 24.  That's gonna hurt.  Lots.  After that, it's time to plan some epic (did I just use that term?) rides in Pisgah, Boone, and the Brushies.

Why dirt?  Why now?  Well, my road fitness has brought me to a place where mountain biking is actually fun and less difficult than it was before.  Not to say I'm fast on the dirt, but the legs are less of a problem compared to the technical skills and upper body strength I need to work on.  In a way, it's a new (old) challenge that keeps me in shape, less frequently on major roadways, and in the company of the homies I like to ride with - they are already way ahead of me and enjoying the dirt scene.  I'll probably still shave my legs. 

I'm heading to Virginia this weekend for a little Easter R&R with the in-laws, but will hopefully get a ride in.  The original plan was for a 50+ mile spin from the homestead to Williamsburg, VA, but I think rain will keep us from doing that...unless I can convince the fatha-in-law to don a rain jacket and make it a REALLY epic (there's that word again) ride...

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Farewell to Arms.

Battenkill done and the seduction now fading, I returned to riding just for the sake of riding today.  I had to, actually, as the new City Loop Mafia kits had arrived in the mail.  It is well known that you can't leave a new kit sitting around for too long, lest it spoil. 

Mitch and I rolled out of Winston around noon.  It was surprisingly chilly, but by the county line we were plenty warm.  We took a direct route to Pilot, catching up and spinning the hills.  On the slopes of Jomeokee, we caught a small group of cyclists, offered greetings, and kept going.  Mitch adhered to his ritualistic duties and enjoyed a Mellow Yellow at the top (the Mt. Dew machine was busted).

We pushed a little harder coming home but we were never really in a hurry.  This was a perfect ride to follow the frenetic Battenkill. 

Next up?  Mulehell-Roubaix and then the BURN 24.  Gonna be a fun spring!