Today witnessed the confluence of two mountain biking groups, one from Rockland, the other hailing from Bath, ME. For those of you from southern, milder climes, this was an excellent but frigid, day to be riding bicycles in the woods. The record breaking rains in Maine this year have left the trails and backwater sodden and swampy, but today, after two full days of sub-freezing temperatures, the ground is frozen enough to allow bicycles to stay on top. It was only 15 degrees or so outside, with a bit of snow was on the ground. As Eric and I drove to Bath, ME, we knew that once we were moving along and churning out revolutions, we’d stay warm enough to have a good time out there.
The ride started from the YMCA parking lot in Bath, ME at 10 AM. In addition to the cold, there was a steady refrigerated breeze inducing a deeper wind chill to the already shocking experience. The only way my toes and fingers survived the ride was with chemical heat packets inside my mittens and winter riding shoes.
The ride was made possible my MeGaTex’s own General Tso, AKA Steve Kilburn, who knows all the trails in this area like the back of his hand.
Steve is the fastest, most athletic mountain biker than I personally know. He picked out a 12 mile ride that took us over rocks, pine needle, and bridges to places that even hikers wish they could experience. We rode alongside tidal inlets, bays, and coves, up and over hills and dips that we always fun, and when we came down a steep cliff face it was challenging beyond my imagination.
I was really pleased that nine Bubbas made this ride under these cold conditions. It’s not the type of thing normal people would even consider. There was treachery wherever you turn.
I myself forgot that you can’t make a turn on smooth ice, and went down hard on my left hip early in the ride. Nate was right behind me, but couldn’t stop , so my body served as a bumper for his own front tire while I was lying on the ground. Much later, when I was flagging, I took a fall off a bridge. Well, not really a bridge. It was a ice and snow encrusted 2 x 6 elevated over a small stream, a situation that would be challenging to stay on in dry conditions. I ended up doing an endo- the rear of the bike pivoting over my hear while I was busy cushioning a face plant with my heavily mittened hands. I was wrapped up in the bike, while the rear wheel was jammed under the bridge. Nate to the rescue again.
This was a ride 99% dominated by testosterone males, with one skewed Hoser (Forrest Carver) wearing shorts. A shout out to Amanda was well, the only female that all of Rockland and Bath could muster, who graced us boys with her impressive strength and biking skills. Later at the Cabin, she made my day complete by bringing along the littlest Hoser, three month old Evan. Tso said he’s mostly laying down still, but at least he’s pumping his legs and working out- ready to join us sometime in the future.
Here’s the map of the ride.
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