Wierd warm weather brings me teetering to the cusp of 2016.
I can’t ever remember riding my mountain bike through the midcoast Maine woods and waters when it was this warm. It’s sweet calm today at fifty-seven degrees, windless, with blue skies.
I ride bikes with a regular dozen and a-half of local mountain bikers- The Bubbas. We’ve been at it for thirty years, riding year round except for hard rain or most snowstorms.
This time of year, riding might involve the whole gamut of weather from dusty dry in the summer, to a winter like last when record breaking feet of snow made the snow-covered trail more difficult to move through. In typical winters, multiple layers of lesser snowfalls thaw and refreeze, resulting in a much firmer tread underneath.
It’s my first pain free ride since October 6, the date of my first night ride of the cold season. On that dark evening, I pulverized the skin of the top of my left shin when my bike threw me sideways while I was riding across a fairly shallow, but rocky stream. There was a loose layer of freshly fallen leaves obscuring the true nature of the nasty path underneath.
I learned two valuable lessons that next morning.
First, if you need to close a wound, you better get it stitched within an 8 hour window, a medical fact that least one emergency room doctor cited in his decision to leave my wound open. However, I was sent home with with enough really big band-aids, extra gauze, and enough leukotape to fill a paper bag. Second lesson: “Scabs that are really vast, deep, and wide may stick around for almost 3 months.”
There were six of us riding in the Rockland Bog today, with five of us on fat tire bikes and Buck on his 29er. My Surly Pugsley is grinding into its 6th season this spring, and churn it did today, through black pools of thick, cold water with various depths of mud underneath. Here’s an example of a wet area here in The Bog.
At the end of this post, you’ll see this 100 foot bridge in action.
I kept the rubber on the ground today, and rode well enough to get my third best time heading up The Bog Road Climb.
Sometimes it’s wiser to walk than ride. Here’s Craig and Rigger walking a stream today.
On these group rides I often ride behind Rigger.
Rigger is known for steadily getting through mud, tough climbs, and impossibly rocky twists. He sometimes lifts his bike to fly when he launches off a ledge’s lip on a steep downhill.
Signing off with a video of Rigger and Craig riding that bridged section that Chris McKearney built so well.
Eight to twelve inches of snow is predicted tomorrow. While the terrain will be dramatically different in a whiter shad of pale, we’ll definitely be back at it again. Soon, I hope.