This past Sunday was going to be excellent weather. Highs approaching 40. I packed up all my junk and headed to Yankee Springs to meet up with some friends for a loop. The tentative plan was to ride a lap of Yankee, then a short course Barry Roubaix. In theory it sounded like a plan.....in reality....well.....not so much.
When we started it was about 25 degrees or so. It was Jay, Tompkins, Stewie, Summer, J. J., Charles and I in our group. Off we went. Right away.....I got dumped out the back but Dan S. stuck with me because he was on his Surly Moonlander. That bike is like a tank...but another story none the less. I knew it was going to be rough, but the cold air in my lungs was not helping anything. I just rode my pace and figured the rest of the group would be waiting up ahead somewhere.
Even after a decent month on the trainer in January, I am still showing effects of not riding much the second half of 2011. Legs felt like crap.....3 miles in....yippee. I knew I would struggle....but I wasn't going to quit. If it took me 2 days to get around there I was going to finish.
The fun started when Dan and I caught the rest of the group. We regrouped at the bottom of a "trench" climb that is just a sign of what this trail contains in the remaining 7-8 miles. Tompkins was on his SS so the green light was given to him.....in a very amusing and strict sounding "get the ___ moving!" lol. Even though I was suffering....the fun was just beginning.
I love riding at Yankee because it gives you so many different terrains and difficulties. Roots, rocks, sand, hills, small drops, stumps, log jams, and off camber descents match up with the switchbacks and flowing sections. After regrouping yet again the conversation went downhill.....and I am not sure if my eyes were watering from the 20 degree temps....or from laughing so hard. I won't get into all of the topics.....because it was surely a "you had to be there" moment!
The turn towards the trailhead is always my favorite section of the trail. The beginning of the end is signalled by a steep blast up a mat covered climb. Thankfully Tompkins was standing there to give me a much needed "boost" to get up the hill.....and then an additional "boost" when I about half way up. Thanks Dan! Made it....then the 4 or so miles back are fun with some still challenging climbs.
Made it. Not going to talk about times....average speeds....number of stops or anything like that. Just know that I am thankful for teammates and friends that are willing to wait up for a slow guy like me. I know what I need to do.....and that is what I am going to do.
"GET THE F--K GOING!"