Monday, April 20, 2009

Sunburns, dirt, dogs, and sprints...

This is how I spent last week. LeBam was out of school so the fam headed south back to KC for the week. We hung out with some old friends and I got to ride all the places I miss so much. I got sunburned on the first day down there - I forgot what it's like to not where arm and knee warmers. It was the best vacation that I've had in some time, and the first non "race vacation" the family has had in some time.

This is one of my favorite signs, it still makes me laugh every time. It is the reason I first wanted a small digi cam to take on rides with me. You just never know what weird stuff you are going to find out in the country.

Crusty first introduced me to gravel road rides. I think roads like this are what I miss riding the most since moving to cheeseland. There is nothing quite like making the turn onto a nice gravel road, dropping down a gear, and just floating through the soft stuff - it brings a smile to my face just thinking about it.

They have had a bunch of rain in KC so most of the gravel was packed down quite a bit, but there were still plenty of spots where loose gravel was lingering. I can remember a few times turning onto one of these long gravel sections right after they laid down fresh gravel - nothing makes you pucker up quite like hitting loose gravel at speed.

The trail gnomes down in KC do an AMAZING job of building and maintain trail in the area. There is all kinds of XC trails from smooth and flowing to rocky and technical. One of my favorites is Rim Job at Landahl Park. It will make you sharp and keep you honest about how good of a technical rider you are, let's just say I was a little rusty in the handling department.


More Rocks.

Lots of exposed limestone on Rim Job. I didn't take as many pictures as I should have to do the trail justice, but I was to busy having fun. There are quite a few of these exposed outcroppings that you ride up, over, around, and through on the trail - it's a blast. Although there was a time when it was my least favorite trial in KC, funny how some experience and saddle time can charge your opinion of a trail, it used to kick my ass all over the place almost as much walking as riding. There is so much to ride, but time and weather constraints kept me to just one day and a few trails. I need to take a MTB only trip for a week, I could ride somewhere different every day and never leave the metro area!

I don't think he's trying hard enough...

Crusty and I hit up some Roller races on Friday night, it was tons of fun. $5 to race and more swag than I have seen at a race in a long time. I came away with a set of Surly hubs and a Jethro Tule not bad for First Place, I would have just taken the satisfaction of beating Crusty - the hubs are just a bonus.

The final showdown. This was our first race of the year against each other - not a good way to start off the year Crusty. Is his defense, he had some beers (I couldn't drink anything after the first race I thought for sure I was going to puke from the effort) and had to race one more heat than me (that's what he gets for not posting the fastest heat time), but a W is a W and I will take any I can get.

Got to ride with Crusty and G-Love on the most assbackwards route I think I have ever been on - thanks G-Love.

I also got chased by 6 dogs during the week, one of which was a wiener dog. I have never been chased by a wiener dog before, I was amazed at how long he chased me. After I realized what it was that was chasing me I slowed down a bit and he just kept coming. Most dogs will give up once they realize they aren't going to catch you, but this little guy just kept coming. I only had one close call, but it was enough to remind me how much I hate being chased by dogs when riding solo. I don't mind the dogs when I'm riding with others because there is always someone slower or less attentive than myself.

Lots of riding, dinner with old friends, and some R&R just what the family needed.

Now that I am back, I am going to make a serious effort to vary my routes this year, it's getting boring. I have pretty much ridden a variation of the same few road routes since moving to Wisco three years ago - it's time for some variety!