So You Think You Can Ride?

I got my hands on a 1980s issue of Bicycling Magazine (thanks Old Man Graka). The date on it is April 1980 and for the most part, it includes articles about road-riding and rad  advertisements, like this one.

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But the magazine also happens to feature a story about (what at the times was) a relatively new sport called mountain biking. And for the riders in the story, that’s literally what they planned to do – take their bike and go to the mountain.

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It’s not pretty. Roads are rocky, suspension is nil, and the whole thing feels like one grand experiment. For all intents and purposes, their main goal is to take whatever 2-wheeled steed they have handy (or can Frankenstein together) and find out if they can get it up and over Pearl Pass – a 12,700 ft. summit between Crested Butte and Aspen, Colorado. At the time, this meant 40 miles of rough road and river crossings, where the only gear talk you’d hear might be about one-speeds, balloon tires, and bailing wire. From the looks of it, helmets were optional, jeans were encouraged.

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I share this all for three reasons. One: to pay homage to our forefathers (and mothers). Would we even know what berms and flow and disc brakes were if it were not for their sacrifice? (Not to mention Strava and spandex, but I digress). Two: because next time I think the hill I’m riding up is hard, I will imagine I’m riding it in jeans on a single speed from the 1970s and I will stop being such a baby. And three: because it friggin’ warms my heart and makes me smile to see this motley crew  just out for a good old fashioned, fun-filled adventure. The article calls the riders “clunker aficionados,” but I call them, goddamn visionaries.

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Wild Ride

Hey all, if you haven’t heard, there was a recent bear/cub sighting in the Toilet Bowl vicinity of Post Canyon. We also came across a dead goat on our ride yesterday – right near the base of Seven Streams. (Anyone know if that’s connected to all the signs about a cougar sighting?) And this morning we passed a runner who warned us of the infamous attack owl…We’ve got a great, wild place in our backyard – so be prepared to share the trail, with all walks of life.

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Julie and I were a little rusty in our wild animal preparation for this morning’s early ride – but we did our best. I’ll be Googling “what to do if you meet a (fill in the blank with a wild animal)” before our next ride. But feel free to weigh in (Jocelyn, I’m looking at you.)

 

 

Post Canyon

I’ve actually not ridden my bike in months, I know, horrible. We’ll deal with that later. For now, in case you’ve not worked on/donated to HRATS projects, here’s their latest newsletter with updates about new trails – and trails that are currently closed. It’s a drag to have trails closed, but respecting those closures is important for all of us. So go explore some new routes and do what you can to help rebuild damaged trails!

Fall Post Canyon Work Parties and other News

Hello Everyone,
The first HRATS Post Canyon work party is this Saturday Nov. 4th at 9:30.   Meet at Family Man.   The last work party is Saturday Nov. 18th.  As always there is a lot to be done our beloved trails.   Please come help make them better.   There is a job for everyone.

New Trails
There are two exciting new trails being started this fall.

Craig Spaeth is spear heading a trail called Eldorado.   It will be a beautiful trail that traverses from Middle 8 Track up to the trails above Bins Hill staging area.   It will be a fantastic way to climb to the upper sections of PC.   It will also be for those wanting a mellower way down.

Eldorado will also include a beginner section that traverses from Middle 8 Track down to the bottom of Upper GP.   This will give riders the opportunity to ride 8 Track as a fairly easy and short loop.  A well needed addition.

Also, Gary Pasch is putting in a 3rd line at Extended Play.   It will be a trail that starts well above the other Extended Play lines and creates a playful way to do Extended Play without mandatory air.   We expect it to be very popular.

Both trails will require community support with work parties and donations to pay for machine time.   So please be ready to give both in the spring……..Donations can start anytime though!

If you see Craig, Gary or any other trail builder around, please thank them for their hard work.   Buy them a beer if given the chance.

Lastly:
Thanks to everyone who stayed out of closed areas during and after the fire.   Unfortunately, many did not and our community took a credibility hit with the county.   Please remember that the county controls the trails and we should respect that.

Mitchell Ridge is now open.   The top half is basically a road, but ridable.   It will be improved in the spring.

Kingsley is closed for upgrades to the reservoir and the camp ground.   Please stay away from Kingsley.   The County is making it a better place for everyone.

Also please stay off closed fire line areas.   The riding is not good and the county is often working in those areas with huge machines.

I hope everyone had a great riding season and is ready to help our trails.

Take Care,
Tim Mixon
HRATS President
hrats.org

Team In Sanity – ride #1

Apparently hot toddies and junk food are not good preparation for riding your bike. If they were, I’d be kicking your ass after a long winter of hard training. Alas, spring has sprung, the sun has shone, and dammit, I need to get back in action. Maybe you do, too?

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Beat the crowds and start your weekend off right. (Tomorrow) Saturday morning ride with friends! Load up your bike and meet at Post Canyon trailhead – (the bottom) at 8 am. Wheels up at 8:15. Runners welcome too! (damn them for always going faster than me up Heart Attack Hill!). All speeds and skill levels should come – hikers, too.

And even more important…we’ll be snapping a few photos up at Family Man to post on social media and show our support of this amazing place (it’s on the schedule for potential logging. Read a well-done explanation here.)

Keep an eye out for future Team In Sanity rides – early mornings, nights with lights, and epic weekends that’ll keep you sane.

 

 

 

 

Reality, check.

Well, I am sitting in our truck, on the side of the highway. I’ve run out of gas. And with the exception of the car-shaking-semi-trucks that pass me every so often, this situation is very much like the day I wrote my wedding vows. Which was also on the side of the road, in our truck, while waiting for help.

Today I’m waiting for my riding-buddy and dear friend, Jos, to arrive with a can of gasoline. And much like that day before my wedding, when I was stranded on the side of the road in rural Oregon, it’s the kind of thing that can really throw a wrench into your plans. Unexpectedly, an errand that was supposed to take a half hour is going to take 3. Or all the things you thought you’d get done before lunch are going to have to wait until after, or until tomorrow. And then, maybe you get grumpy or pissy or stressed, because now all this time is going to be wasted. And I should probably cancel that dinner with friends to make up for lost time. Or, how am I gonna get it all done?

When I’m mountain-biking, these moments usually come when I’m zipping down a hill, feeling the flow, hitting all the kickers, and then SMACK. I’m on the ground, knee sliced open, all bruised up. And I get up wondering – well shit, where the hell did that come from?

It’s easy to see these times as the abnormalities in life. When you get knocked off your bike and you didn’t even see it coming. And so it makes sense that we often do whatever it takes to avoid them. We plan and consider and then carefully guard whatever route we see in front of us. Because it’d be totally scary to ride a trail if you could never look ahead and see what twists and turns were coming!

The irony is, that when I’m in these very moments – little ones, like running out of gas, to big ones, like losing loved ones, that’s when I really understand that we never truly see the path ahead. I realize how normal it is to get knocked off routeAnd that even though this makes things more scary and harder to control – it’s reality, so I’m damn well gonna embrace it.

After all, that’s the only way you can fully appreciate seeing a friend, running down the side of a highway, gas can in hand, smile on her face, as she comes to help you out. Now that’s what I call a friggin’ knight in shining armor.