Monday, June 8, 2009

'Splorin' with my Honey!

Jesper and I are bearing the fruit of my decision NOT to race this summer. Not racing is intended to allow me the freedom to ride hard and make my own adventures with Jesper, unencumbered by race day commitments, training plans and the motivation to not get injured (now don't get me wrong, I don't intend to get hurt, but I felt the need to dial back my desires to ride aggressively last year out of concern that I would let my team down if I got injured). So, free from these constraints, I've been riding more aggressively this year. This weekend, I also got to go adventuring with Jesper, exploring new and hidden trails.

I can't say where we explored or what trails we rode. All I can say is they were in the National Forest system, although hard to find and intentionally not well advertised. Jesper did his homework online and by asking around. He studied the maps and inserted way points into the GPS. He knew what the topography should like when we were in the right place. Armed with this info, he totally rocked the navigation and found everything we wanted to find!

We rode our SS bikes. I was initially questionable about this plan. This was going to be a lot of ride; over 5,000 feet of climbing and 30 miles if we were able to do the full route Jesper intended. Neither Jesper nor I have logged a lot of SS miles this year, mostly since I have been grooving on my new FS bike, the Safire. I had visions of me walking my bike more than riding it uphill. However, we must be in better shape than we thought. We rode all but the loosest and steepest climbs, which we would have walked even if we were in tip top shape.

The ride started on a forest service road and then cut to a fantastic single track trail on a ridge line.

Single track with views
Parachute Balls from some funky flower

The single track ended, but after some dirt road, we were once again on single track trail. We had been riding for over 2 hours and it had been awhile since breakfast. Time for lunch and an assessment of our progress visa vis the weather.

That was one of the best lunches I've ever had! Fantastic home made sandwiches made on fresh rolls with ham, salami, cheese and avocado. Chased with sugar cookies. YUM!

You know it's chilly out when you take a lunch break and keep your helmet and gloves on while eating!

As we ate, massive thunderheads were sprouting up all around us and we knew from checking the forecast that a front system was coming in. The temps dropped considerably down into the 50s and we donned jackets and knee warmers. Although we really wanted to continue, we also did NOT want to be caught in a frigid, hail storm, hours away from the car. Regrettably, we decided to cut the ride short due to weather and skipped finding the second secret trail we were looking for. We turned around and finished the ride under threatening skies.

Jesper clearing the tree/log pile with ease

Clouds building up as we high tail it back to the car (photo cred Jesper Kristensen)

Our final tally was about 20 miles of riding with 4,000 feet of climbing. We'll be back to find that other trail, probably on some weekend I WOULD have been racing!

Click here for more pics.


Carey said...

hmmm...looks familiar.(:

Pranshu said...


I came across your blog from the FRMB Yahoo! group. These pictures are great! I wish you knew where exactly you guys were so that I could find my way over there!


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