Wednesday, January 9, 2008

The Perfect Ride?

The perfect ride is something all cyclists search for. That magical ride when everything clicks. Great weather, well maintained trails, good friends, and the abilty to overcome all challenges in front of you, all help to create the perfect ride. Unfortunately, there is no absolute "perfect" ride. What we hope to achieve, is to get as close as we can to this cycling Nirvana. I have a good ride every time I hit the trails, but this weekend was exceptional. It was very close to our goal of perfection. Of course it was not perfect. There were crashes, some slick and sticky mud, and a bit of a chill Saturday morning, but overall, I had a wonderful time on my bikes this weekend.
It started Saturday morning. I met Chris and Allen at peakview park at 7:00 AM. This is after getting home past midnight from a business trip to Kentucky Friday night. It was prety cold that morning, but after getting into the woods you warm up quick. Unfortunately, Chris could only ride for about 50 minutes. So after 5 or 6 miles Allen and I decided we would ride out with Chris, pack up, and head to Falling Creek Park in Bedford. We arrived around 9 and started the race loop. Some of trails have changed because of some clearing going on there, but we quickly got our bearing and pushed on. There was a lot of slippery mud on the first few trails, that introduced both of us to the ground a couple of times. I was riding my newer Fuel, but I was steadfast in forcing myself to ride it like a singlespeed. I never shifted the entire day. We ended up doing 2 laps, for a grand total of 20 miles for the day! Everything felt good, I was climbing well and had no problems on log pyramids or technical dowhills. It was a great day for mountainbiking, so we decided to do it again on Sunday on Candler's.
This time I brought out the MonoFuel. I had some chain popping the last time I rode it with my new design. But, after a tension spring change, It is working excellent again. I met Allen and Jimmy at the Wingate hotel at 2:30. We decided to do our normal 9+ mile loop backwards. That means a long hard climb from the start. Once again everything clicked. I was feeling great. All of the technical challenges were passed one by one. Allen and Jimmy were having good days too. We kept up a steady pace through the whole ride until the end. Then on the last mile or so, Allen and I kicked it up to race speed. It feels good when you give every ounce of strength and willpower to push yourself to the limit and beyond. When we reached the end, I had absolutely nothing left.
This weekend reminds me why I love cycling. That elusive time when the stars allign and you ride for the sheer love of the sport. Good rides frequently come and go. Great ones should be cherished.

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