Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Dirt Wednesdays

With the start of first grade, for the first time since my son's birth I will have enough time to do legitimate mountain bike rides on my Wednesdays off. Unfortunately, starting this year, the school chose to let the kids out an hour early on Wednesdays. At "back to school night," the principal blathered on about better test scores being the reason, but I fail to see how this hour per week matters one bit. So they can get home an hour earlier to watch TV? Because you know that's what most of these kids are going to do.

Anyway, that missing hour makes a long ride an exercise in planning and execution. Today I rode conservatively and made it back to the school with time to spare. I'll keep stretching it out and seeing just how far I can ride in my time window.

I chose to ride from Lake Natoma out past Folsom Lake because it's the shortest drive from the school. Once I reached Granite Bay, I did a couple laps on the race course which means . . . I rode over the Rock of Destruction. Twice.

When I first rode the area again in July of '08, I actually walked over the rock. The flashbacks freaked me out. I hadn't been back until today.

When I rode over it today, the rock came and went so quickly that I almost missed it. After rolling over it, I thought to myself, That's it? You crashed on THAT?

In the 17 months since I broke my wrist on that little obstacle, the legend of its difficulty grew in my mind. In my memory it was a sheer 20-foot drop with a nasty rock garden at the bottom, something better traversed with a freeride bike than the rigid single speed I was on:

. . . a deep chasm that would eat many riders alive.

In reality it's just another feature on a pretty easy trail. A granite boulder, maybe six feet high, with a gradual decline and easy exit chute. On my second time around I had to stop on top and take a picture. Much ado about nothing:

In the end I put in a solid 39 miles and had a good time. It was great to get out and rail some singletrack on the single speed, and feel the deep fatigue in the legs that only a single speed can give you. Until it starts raining, Wednesdays are going to be fun days.


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