Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Betty's Back!

    So I met up with Dirty Bert tonight at Chimney Rock around 6. He's always so dependable...not like Warren who comes up with a ton of excuses or Crash who goes to the beach and nurses her poison ivy. E Daddy got a kid and an entourage to worry about, and Java...well...he's Java. One never knows when he'll come riding.

    Anyhoo, we started the same way we always start. Over the bridge, into the small creek, and up the first tight incline. We headed the way we went last Thursday with E and Warren. Man—one storm and 5 days makes a helluva difference. The wood plank bridge shifted and a couple of planks were missing. We kept going, cut through the park and back into the woods. Lots of other girl riders out there tonight. DB made a point of bringin it to my attention, but puhleease...there is only room for ONE Betty.

    When we got down by the river, some young buck on another Cannondale Jekyll came down and showed off for us. A couple of older guys came down from the other side and across. What a friendly bunch. It's folks like them that make mountain biking such a pleasant experience. LOL.

    At this point, we turned around. We weren't really in the mood to climb that much. We tried to find another trail before crossing back into the park. Instead, we found lots of rocks, lots of mud and I found lots of thorns. I won't be surprised if I get yet ANOTHER flat. See DB's blog from last Wednesday for details.

    Back to the parking's only 7:50. So not time to go home yet!! We trekked across the street. By this time, my shins are beggin for mercy. My clipless haven't come in yet—I ordered them over a week ago—that guy on eBay is SOO getting negative feedback. So anyway, with all the mud, roots and rocks in that place...I've had more than my fair share of shin bangin. Just think about how great it feels to have a sharp piece of aluminum smack you in the shin when you're pedalin hard—it is NO FUN and it's hindering my ability to wear skirts!!

    At the top, we saw a couple of fox. It's nice to know I wasn't the only fox in the woods—ha ha, just jokin. I took a picture, but I of course waited till the last possible second, so the fox was already disinterested and headin back into the woods. Oh well, next time. I also took a nice picture of DB's blood...lucky!!

    There's a wide creek there that was pretty deep due to all the rain...Hey DB has a great idea—let's go through it! We went through—phew, we made it. Now it's time to turn around and go back through. DB makes it across, pedalin hard, but he makes it. My bike by this point has sooo much gunk in it and my gears are slippin all over the place. I can hardly pedal because of it, so I'm thinking going through the water will clean it up a bit and make things a lil easier?? I should be so lucky. I'm almost to the end, so what do I do?? I get stuck in some mud, lose my balance and put my right foot down. Right down into about a foot of water. YAY!! I love when that happens. One soaked foot later, it's time to get back to the lot.

    Now it's 8:25, that's more like it. In the lot, I ran into the guy that tuned my bike last Thursday from the bike shop again—Fancy Frank is what DB called him. I think he was feelin a lil left out and like I'm gonna forget him and the rest of the group, and run off with Frank and his riot gear—clad clan on his weekly runs at CR, but I don't think so. Although, I will have to bring my bike back to the shop for Franky to fix. After all, I can't keep up with my boys if my gears don't shift!!

    I got home around 9:30 to see that Warren and E text messaged me while we were riding, bustin my chops about mountain biking, telling me it's gay and inappropriate...THEY RIDE!! They're just jealous cus they spent the night in some joint in Hoboken with Java watchin Langhorne Slim belt out lame tunes, when they coulda been riding with me.

;) betty
...Thanks Betty for contributing to this wonderful, well read blog with her view of mtn biking and i'm sure there's plenty more you can write.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Welcome To Mud Fest 2006 !!

from left to right: db, betty, warren and edaddy.

    I got the usual crew last week to ride. The weather felt great until we started to ride, then the sweat began. I can't recall a summer where I have sweated as much as I have, this summer. I look and feel like I just stepped out of the shower.

    Speaking of a shower. From all the sweating, my helmet smells. I once washed the helmet pads in the washer and ripped off some of the felt of the pads. Yesterday i read a blog about someone getting rid of the smelly helmet by wearing the helmet in the shower. Just lather up yer hair with shampoo and then put the helmet on and proceeded to rub the helmet, side to side and back and forth on yer nogging and then rinse. YES, i did try it and the sweaty smell is gone. AND if I happened to slip in the tub, well at least I know I wouldn't have had a concussion but can u imagine the sight, if someone found me on the floor.

    The crew was assembled. There was no farting around, get the helmets on, gloves, camelback and lets go! We started around the lake and up into the forest, across the wooden bridge that spans across the swamp and up the hill (I'm surprised i got up it!), rode behind the yards, up along the fence to the road, across the road, past the baseball fields, thru the grass and chasing the rabbits, down the rutted hill and thru the stream, up the rocky hill that continually climbed and then thru the slop fest of mud. CR doesn't drain well, it's a sponge wit water and these mud puddin' puddles were thick and sloppy. Warren, my newest gurl rider was complaining about the mud and rode or walked around them, avoiding to get mud on his bike and skirt.

    I finally got betty to go down the OS hill, in fact edaddy went down, i think four times. we all got a pic snapped so there's proof. that hill is steep near the top, more doable on the left side. the right side is doable but it has more rock & root to negotiate which can be distracting. i tried the right side, more fun i think and a blast when the back tire bounces over the rock and you feel like like yer doing a baby size nose wheelie.

    It was a great ride. It felt like a Saturday ride where we were out all day but really we were out for 2.5 hrs. not bad for a weekday and for the amount of trails that we covered. Thanks for the great ride, edaddy, betty and warren.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

The Curse of the Rear Tire...

    Riding at Mercer you need extra protection for yer tubes. I have flatted here, more times there than any other park. In order to ride here, you do need heavy duty tubes and a tire liner like this. Yes, it's expensive but if you wanna change yer tires less, than it's worth the money.

    Betty & I rode Mercer tonight. It was a good time, nice weather, cooler and still early, we had plenty of time. She needed the floor pump, for extra air in the rear tire but the tube released more air than what went in. I personally HATE changing the rear tire. There's so much you need to watch for, where and how to get off or on the chain, watching the rotors going safely back into the capliers, aligning the dropouts to the wheel axle and all by doing this with 2 hands! Anyway, I changed the tube for another slime tube and after 10 minutes we were ready.

    So we went out of the parking lot, across the marina, thru the woods, around the back of the tennis courts, thru the mud, on the road, across the wooden bridge, back on the trail, thru some thorns (bad idea), over a log and then she kinda flatted. I mean, her tire was low, you could tell but I figured, pump more air into the tire and it will be alright, i hope. We began again, so it was over the roots, thru the mud, onto the fire road, over a bridge, over a log, over another log and this time she had a real flat. This time, i changed the tube. Pumped that dam tube up until my arm hurt (my pump sucks) and prayed to god it would work this time and IT DID! Back on the bike, over a bridge, over several more logs and back out on the fire road to the boat house. I think at this point our legs were covered in mud, sweet!

    In all it was a great ride despite the tire changing which was fine because it gave me good practice to change that dreaded rear tire and it didn't take so long each time I did it. Thanks, Betty!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

My Trail Wish List...

    There's 1 month left for this summer. I know september can be as hot as June but the way these seasons go, we'll skip the fall weather and shoot right into the november weather.

    I have put together a wish list of places that I would like to ride before the year ends. Originally I was going to say the summer, but with 1 month left, it's going to be difficult to hit all of these spots. So here's my list...

  1. Allamuchy: been ther a long time ago, maybe I'll got and watch the 24hr race.

  2. Diablo Freeride Park at Mountain Creek: not that i'm a big freerider nor have the skill to ride the skinnies but to be able to rent a downhill bike, wit full pads and helmet for 100 bucks. it beats spending over 2k for all of that and not liking it or not doing it often, (poser).

  3. Estell Manor Park: i'll go when i'm at sea isle and bring lotsa bug spray.

  4. Hubber Woods: i have been there a long time ago, i remeber the fine sand in the turns but i ignored going there because Hartshorne was closer, bigger and better. i still like hitting the smaller parks as well.

  5. Mahalon Dickerson: been there 2 summers ago and raced. i wanna go back, i didn't have enough time to stop and look at all the beaver dams.

  6. Ringwood: i've been there about 3 summers ago, lotsa rocks and technical riding AND very easy to get lost. but i do remember it's a place where i broke my steel frame.

  7. South Mountain Reservation: yes, these trails are illegal, but i hear hikers never seem to mind as long as you are polite and yield to them and i also know a local bke store's team trains there. this is the place where i donated alot of blood to, back in the day and it's one of the best in the area.

  8. Waywayanda State Park: i heard it's big and beautiful here, so we'll see.

  9. Wissahickon Valley, PA: lots of technical climbing, descending, roots and rocks. it sounds like fun!

  10. Fairmount Park, PA: i heard it's another great trail but i need a local who knows the park.

  11. Blue Marsh Trail, PA: it was voted one of the top 10 trails in the US some time back. it's not very technical but fun to ride nontheless

  12. am i missing any???

    So we will see how many i can actually hit from now to the end of the year. i have a few loyal friends that will share my experiences there and hopefully one of us can remember to bring a camera!

happy trails,
dirty bert

Monday, July 17, 2006

A repost of Mercer

    I don't live that far from Mercer County Park and I read alot of negative reviews about this park. I think if they just peddle harder and ride faster thru the trails, it would be a challenge. Try not to dab thru "Handlebar Forrest". I think a lost a lot of skin on them trees, it's very, very twisty thru them trails, there about handlebar width, if that. The trees are mostly 3 inches thick, so you could forcefully bang your handlebars thru them. Although this park may not have any steep downhill sections to please the downhillers, but the trails are fun and not boring at all. There are enough log and stream crossings and trees to avoid hitting to make for some fun riding. Beware though, there are tons of deer. I have seen at least 20 in some spots and a dam herd (maybe 30 deer) crossing the road, for a split second you'd think, yer driving thru the safari park at Great Adventure.

    THANKS to SMART for maintaining this park. I have joined them, this past year to give back to one of my favorite riding spot. Give back and do trail maintenance at yer one of yer favorite riding spots.

happy trails, (corny, huh?)
dirty bert