Running Ragged

The Ragged Mountain Runoff bike race turned out well for me. I took a chance on this race, which I last participated in on a rigid-framed Diamondback Apex back in the 1980’s. I remember crashing a few times then, even once while coming straight down the slope in front of the lodge, and I didn’t crash at all this time. Today’s bikes are better, and I am more experienced at staying upright.
Here’s a shot of MeGaTex members Steve Kilburn, Clint Sochulak, and me at the event.

MeGaTex at Ragged

The three of us met on March 28th, 2007 at the Hawk Mountain Shelter at the start of the Appalachian trail in Georgia, and we all ended up completing the AT that season. We continue to hook up for adventures from time to time. Both these men are awesome athletes, and  good fathers and partners in their new families. Anyone doubting the integrity of our younger generation needs to put down the gloom-and-doom newspapers and get out more.
In fact, I had my fastest time up to the top of, and on the descent down from, Ragged Mountain, a climb of 700 feet. Unfortunately the climb is the first thing right our of the parking lot. Here’s the map of the ride. I rode 1 big loop.    I have a hard time with the calories computed by Strava, the App I use to track my rides, and hikes.  I can tell you I burned a lot more than 681 calories on the ride, more like 681/hour!

My tracks

I raced in the Clydesdale class, a unique subset of riders that are over 200 pounds. There are not too many of us big boys (no big girls this year) in this race.
I was really pleased to get second place in my age division, winning a bike light and also winning a gift certificate at the NEMBA drawing for $25 at Graffam Brothers Seafood market and Seafood Shack.

Lately, I’ve been mostly riding my bikes for recreations and exercise. Hiking has taken a back seat to the riding, which is in hot and humid conditions, but with hardly any mud left on the trails here.
Last night, I rode with 8 fellow Bubbas in The Rockland Bog. It was a sweatfest, with 94% humidity at the start of the ride. The numerous roots that extend across and along the trail were sweaty and unusually slippery last night. I like to wear a bandanna under my helmet and I went through 4 changes of them last night, as I saturated each one.
Making plans to hit Vermont’s Kingdom Trails next weekend with the Bubbas. In the northeast corner of Vermont, the multiple-use trail system unlike any other and recently voted as the Best Mountain Bike Trail Network in North America by Bike Magazine in their annual Reader’s Poll. It will be fun to combine two of my favorite things, mountain biking and camping.

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