Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Dirty Duo and the PBE

It was a pretty good weekend on the cycling front.

Saturday morning, I met Jon Conley down at the bike rental place on the jail trail. The idea was for us to head out and hit all of the Dirty Dozen hills, since neither of us were able to make it last weekend.

The weather yesterday was definitely not as favorable as it was the day of the actual event. We headed through town with cloudy skies, temps in the low 30s, and light snowfall. A far cry from mid-40s and sunny.

For whatever reason, there was tons of traffic heading through town. A taxi pulled out right in front of me on Smallman in the Strip District. My knee-jerk reaction to flip off the driver was foiled by the fact that I was wearing my lobster gloves.

When you only have three fingers on the entire glove, the whole middle finger thing loses some of its effect. Probably for the best. Flipping people off isn't very nice, even if they did see you coming and decided to pull out in front of you anyway.

The ride up Center was no problem, and Ravine wasn't too bad, either, but by the time we got to the top, the snow was coming down a little bit harder and the roads were getting pretty wet. I felt my rear wheel start to slip in a few places as I neared the top of Ravine.

Jon's feet were freezing, too. With those things in consideration, and taking into account that Berryhill would be cold, wet, and mossy, we decided to call it a day. We head back down Ravine and back into town. So much for completing the Dirty Dozen.

I probably wouldn't have made it through all thirteen hills anyway. Aside from the cold and wet, my left knee was giving me considerable grief by the time I made it home. Most likely because I has basically taken a week and a half off from riding while waiting for my finger to heal. I really should have at least been riding on the trainer in the basement.

Today, Robbie Sedgewick and I headed out for the Twentieth Annual Dirt Rag Punk Bike Enduro, held in Emmerling Park, over in Indianola. It's an eleven stage race/event, with most stages punctuated by beer breaks. Alas, I forgot to bring an extra vessel and was unable to partake.

The riding portions of the day were pretty good. Muddy. Extremely muddy. With huge puddles all over the place. Still, it was fun riding, and I'm sure the bikes enjoy getting caked with mud, even as the derailleurs became so clogged that they were simply no longer able to function (Robbie's single-speed didn't have that issue).

I'd never been to Emmerling before, but apparently lots of motocross racing happens on those trails, so there were some pretty deeply rutted sections that were fairly ridiculous to try to ride through.

There were a number of sections where I had to walk the bike through an area like that, try to get back on and clipped in (with pedals and cleats also enrobed in mud), pedal a few strokes and then run into another rutted section. Either that, or there'd be a big log in the way, and I'd have no momentum to even consider trying to ride over it.

A good time, though. I'm glad I went, and I'm glad that Robbie was able to go, since there weren't too many other people who were there that either of us knew. I'd have to say that I'd have rather done more riding that standing around at beer breaks, but that's a big part of the whole thing, so I'm not asking for any changes or anything like that. If I go next year, I'll have to remember a vessel.

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