The temp was in the 20’s with a 10-20 mph breeze, when I woke up this clear, sunny morning, putting the actual wind-chilled temp in the teens for Church of Two Wheels with the Bubbas. I stuck chemical toe warmers into my aged Northwave Winter bicycling boots, squeezed into two layers of wool on top, under my Pearl iZumi shelled jacket. Last time I did this ride, there were five of us.
Today there were twelve- all the regulars plus two new guys on fat tire bikes, Carl on his Surly Moonlander, with the 5″ tires, and Walter on his Carver framed test bike from Bath Cycle. Here is a picture of the difference between the Moonlander’s fat tires and my Pugsley’s ( right). Ian was riding his Salsa Mukluk, another great fat tire machine with an aluminum frame.
I’d like to mention the initial climb. After leaving the parking lot at the Rover garage on route 90, the trail starts up an abandoned and eroded road , where it travels 1.9 miles to the top of Mt. Pleasant, with an average grade of 7.3%, and 755 feet of elevation gain. It’s a bitch, but I did my best climbing ever, at one point staying in the saddle after I passed three guys who were walking up.
Nelson even shouted, “Climbdog!” after me as I ground my way up over the leaves and rocks.
The Pugsley’s aggressive tread Nate fat tires grip well, and are worth the extra $$.
Once on top, the usual ocean overlook was being blasted by the arctic wind from the west, so we rode over to a more protected section of ledge.
We then bombed down from the top to what we call the Three Way intersection. It’s pretty technical in sections, with drops over ledges and some icy patches to dodge, not to mention the thick cover of recently fallen leaves that obscure some of the hazards that lie underneath.
I was descending at the rear of the pack, nursing my aching forearms, when I came upon trouble. A half-dozen guys were at the edge of the woods and the downhill, tending to a “Bubba down”, who turned out to be Steve. His front end hit some obstacle, at speed, and smacked him into the ground. The side of his head had a couple scratches, and his helmet was intact, and his tights were ripped, exposing some nasty red exposed skin. He was a bit dazed, and took a good 15 minutes before he was able to get up and on his bike. Incredibly, he chose to ride with us, rather than return to his car, which was less than a ten minute ride away from this point.
Steve is an excellent rider, past Maine Sport racer, and someone who
“hardly ever” makes mistakes.
The hawk seemed OK in the parking lot afterwards, but there was a post on Facebook this morning from Rigger indicating that the Hawk experienced ” a pretty good concussion and can’t work for three days…and that he should be fine with some rest.”
Good vibes to Steve and his eventual return to Bubba Church, next time.