Sunday, February 10

Chainring Family Outing

This afternoon I got a text from Jeff:
Hey chris "chainring", you and mandy riding?
I knew I needed a rest. I'd ridden pretty hard four days in a row. I had no intentions of riding today. Mandy's dad had talked about riding, and I felt bad to have stolen his boyfriend (Jeff).

I replied:
I don't think so today. Toms out somewhere though
I thought maybe Jeff could find Tom and ride with him. I'd make double amends.

He responded:
Caseys going out. Is mandy interested?
Casey is Jeff's wife. I suspect that Casey may not have known she was riding until Jeff invited Mandy to go with her. He seems conniving enough to pull that off.

The wind had been blowing and not 30 seconds before the text exchange started Mandy said she wasn't going to ride. I read her the last text.

"Yeah," she said. I chuckled. Irony gets the best of you every time.

We loaded up the Giant and Dogrunner and drove out to their place. Jeff had offered to let me bring my bike up to his place for a cleaning. We're still packed up and homeless so it's been hard to maintain the bikes.

Mandy and Casey headed out and Jeff and I "watched" the kids and talked shop. We got the Allez all shiny and he showed us his indoor skate park and the MTB trail they're cutting through the woods behind their house.

Jeff and Casey live in an area that has some mandatory climbing. They can't just take off on an easy ride. Mandy's not done much of the local steep climbs. I was sort of concerned on her behalf, but she was game.

They headed out on one of Casey's normal loops, a 25 mile ride that began with some grinding rollers to a long flat section followed by an ascent of High Rock. Mandy kept apologizing--afraid she'd be slowing Casey down--but in the end they did the loop in a respectable time.

I probably shouldn't share this without her okay, but Mandy ended up walking a little on the steepest of the steep, but there's no shame in that. Pedaling around on this Pottsville Escarpment you've got to build up to the climbs. They're short, but they're steep.

Right out of Rogers Chapel there's a mile long climb with a 6.5% average. It has some distinctly steep cruxes. Then High Rock from South Fork is 1.9 miles with 522 feet of gain, an overall lesser grade, but it has some stoutly steep and thankfully short sections.

They'd been out for awhile when the rain began. I wondered if I should go run sweep, but didn't want to presume the girls would want to be bailed out. They came trudging up the drive shortly thereafter with grins on their faces, having only been rained on the last mile or so.

All in all we had a good day hanging out. I'm proud of Mandy for tackling such an ambitious loop. Those ridgetop rollers on Furnace Mountain are deceptive.

After attempting Cobhill yesterday I was in no shape to ride today, so I was content to just hang out with Jeff while Mandy and Casey rode.

Jeff has signed up for the Mohican too, so we've got the same loose screws in common.

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