On Sunday morning, I attended the Church of Two Wheels. I scraped the ice off my windshield, put the Heckler on the bicycle rack and headed over to Warren, ME to ride up to the top of Mt. Pleasant with The Bubbas. The Bubbas are a persistent group of “over 30 year old” mountain bikers that have been bruising themselves up in Midcoast Maine for decades. Mount Pleasant is the highest point in Warren, ME and affords an extensive view of the ocean and of Penobscot Bay.
I have done this ride dozens of times before, but there is something special about riding a bicycle through the woods in December in Maine. Several things stand out in a winter ride; the views are much more expansive, as the deciduous trees are bare of leaves, but the ground can be frozen, making for a faster, albeit more treacherous and slippery track. Another downside is that whatever mud is left over from the rains is probably going to be there until May, when the sun warms up the earth and the moisture gets baked out.
There are regular opportunities for glory on the ride. One of them is to clear difficult sections, like Nelson Falls. Here is a video clip of Rigger and Steve having at it:
I have been pleased with my riding for the past several months, in fact, I think I am now a riding better than I have when I was a younger Bubba. I attribute the recent improvement to having watched, just once, a DVD entitled FluidRide: Like a Pro. Steve Kilburn ( AKA General Tso) introduced me to the video and it’s hard for me to believe that a one time viewing of just one section of the video should make a difference, but it did. I’m a more flexible rider now, looser on the bike, where I used to tense up and hold my body too rigidly. I also try to keep the speed up, using momentum to move me through places I used to poke my way through.
The upshot is that I had only 1 fall in these less than optimal conditions, and that was after being thrown to the side in a mud rut. Luckily, I didn’t land on a rock, and got back on and kept going.
I’m sore today.