November 21, 2011

Trek Mountain Co-op Ride 2011

As the end of 2011 neared, I wanted to hold another Trek Mountain Co-op Ride. My plan was to have a night ride on the GORC trails on the campus of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. The problem was I was still recovering from a bad tailbone break and was really worried about crashing. I mean I can crash in the daylight, like I often do, but there is a much greater chance of me crashing in the dark. Because of that I decided that I should probably stick with a ride in the daylight.

I know that this time of the year is crazy for me and I’m sure it is for most other people too, so I decided that an early morning ride was best. Then we could stop for breakfast after the ride and everyone could still make it home with their whole day still in front of them.

At 7 am, we met at The Cyclery and Fitness, our favorite bike shop, and discussed how much air to put in our tires. Lucky for us, it was a really nice Saturday morning, and I mean nice, it was 50 degrees at the start of the ride and it was the 19th of November. Me and my gang of spandex adorned Mountain bikers headed out for some great single track riding. We had riders from all walks of life, all ages, singled, married, moms, dads, and of all abilities, expert to beginner. A few of the women were worried about being too slow and not skilled enough to ride with the gang. A few of them almost didn’t come, but I talked them into it. What is really funny is that they were all great, they tried everything and there were no crashes. In fact, I was a bit jealous, I wasn’t that good when I started mountain biking.

When we got to the trailhead, there were 4 more riders waiting for us, that made our group 14 riders in all.

We made a decision on route choice and sent the faster guys up front. We started riding through the single track that, by the way, was really in great shape, everyone riding at their own pace while grouping back up at trailheads.

The whole ride in 5 minutes, it’s almost like you’re there!

We had so much fun, we all challenged ourselves with the better riders giving advice to the newer riders on how to ride through the tougher technical areas. We all tried to ride over a large stack of logs, I know in the video the logs don’t look that big, but believe me they were much harder then they look.

About half way through the ride, Russ had a flat front tire. The thing is Russ recently cut his finger off and changing a tire with a pin sticking out the end of your finger is no small task, So Mark and Dan helped with changing the tire. What I found funny was if you notice in this photo, it was the GIANT that had the flat, not the TREK.

With the tire fixed we all headed back out to the hard trail so we could hit loops 5 and 6. When we got to the trial we waited for everyone to come off loop 4, as everyone rolled out of the single track, we noticed that Russ didn’t appear. We were quickly concerned, we didn’t want him crashing and messing up that finger, plus if he got hurt, his wife might kill me for talking him into this whole mountain bike thing. Mark rode back, and in just a few minutes rolled into sight again, Russ had a second flat on the back tire this time, his tire had been snake bit when crossing a creek bed with some concrete blocks in it. Where he flatted, he was on a part of the single track that was just a short bushwhack up a hill to a road. Russ decided that he was getting a sign from a greater power to get off the trails and he was not tempting fate anymore, so he pushed his bike to the road and had his son pick him up.

We felt bad for his luck, but not bad enough to go home with him, so we rode trial loops 2, 5 and 6 then headed back to town for some much needed breakfast. We lined up in Panera, and got frightened looks from the other patrons, it seemed as though they had never seen a spandex adorned mountain biker gang before. We had some great food and great conversation.

Russ even showed up, only not on a bike, but in his truck. He even pulled the splint off his finger and showed us the pin sticking out of his finger and all the stitches, it reminded me of Frankenstein. I almost felt bad whining about my tailbone hurting after seeing that. Well, not that bad, I still whined, in fact even today I’m still whining, go ahead call me wimpy.

Oh yeah and Mike W. told me that for a small fee, he will sign a release for me to use the likeness of him in my blog.

Thanks to everyone that came out to ride, it would not have been such a great ride without you. Thanks Trek for providing breakfast, we appreciate your support of the mountain biking community!

1 comment:

  1. This is the perfect blog for anyone who wants to know about this topic. You know so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I really would want...HaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a subject thats been written about for years. Great stuff, just great!