Friday, May 24

Shaving Off Uncertainty

It's significant to note that it was five years ago today I drove my family west to live in Colorado.  What a strange but amazing journey it's been.

Last night I texted the Demon MTBer:
“You think I should shave my legs for the Horsey [Hundred]?”
He replied:
“I thought of shaving them for Mohican just so for one day I feel like a real racer but so far I’ve chickened out.”
“Mountain bikers don’t shave. BCC [Bluegrass Cycling Club] riders do.”
Demon MTBer:
“Not true. Lots of MTBers shave.  You and I are two of them.”
Well, now that’s not entirely true.  I’ve never shaved my legs.  And despite this being my 40th year on the planet I still only shave my face once a week.  I would wear a Ducky Dynastic manbeard except for I can’t grow one.
I went on to express my concern that if I shave my legs for the Horsey Hundred that the hair wouldn’t grow back before the Mohican when I would like to show coarser legs.  Jeoph seemed to think that if I got mad enough it would.  I’m not sure what he’s heard about follicle physics, but I just don’t think that makes any sense.
My back yard
I’d come down from the mountain just a few minutes earlier, riding high on endorphins from discovering the greater extent of the ATV trail system in the woods behind my house:  4.5 miles out and back.  That was just the beginning. 
I was thwarted by some mud.  Recent rains have made the steeper sections too slick to pedal.  I tried, but failed.  Then I walked up one (that I call the Artificial Gravity Machine) and didn’t think I was going to be able to make it up on foot pushing the bike.  But I did finally reach the crest of the ridge with the resolve that I’d go back and cut some trail to bypass the oversteep 100 foot gain climb. With a nice cut trail and a connector to close the loop on the backside of the ridge I could have a 5 mile lollipop with the stem being quite fun and worth doing out and back.
Artificial Gravity Machine
Then I checked out the other side of the holler.  I’d hiked it before, but last night was the first time I rode it.  There’s a nice 150’ climb up along the Pond (as my family calls it) along the crest of a blunt ridge.  I’m going to talk to my cousin and see if he minds if I cut a trail down into the dark holler on the far side of the ridge.  It could be a nice descent and add another segment to my system.
While it sounds like I might have attained MTBing nirvana the truth is that access is still uncertain.  There was a time when I was younger that I wouldn’t have thought twice about riding all over those hills.  My grandparents owned the vast majority of the land, and I had free reign of it.  But these days it’s been parceled out to uncles and cousins and my grandparents are in their 80s.  Unrelated neighbors have developed some of these ATV trails and I don’t know exactly who they are.  There is the distinct possibility I could piss someone off with my clacking hubs and ramming speeds.  I need to ascertain the situation before progressing beyond the discreet.
I need to do some research within my family and then perhaps some checking around with people on the creek to see if it’s okay for me to ride and build trails all up and over Kaincaid Mountain.  Maybe I need to form the KcMMBA (Kaincaid Mountain Mountain Bike Association).
In the mean time I will train for Leadville by trying to climb some wicked sick old logging roads.
Y'know what I don't recommend? Bombing through a wall of blackberry brambles at 20 mph on a mountain bike.  Your legs sting in the shower afterward.  A lot.  Made me think thrice about shaving my legs for tomorrow.
There is an ATV/MTB trail in there somewhere


  1. Replies
    1. Do what you can, and use the race next week as a benchmark.

      I had to readjust my goals for Wilmington a little bit because of the knee injury. I had some very specific goals. I would still like to hit those goals, but its become more of a yardstick for me now.

      Enjoy the experience. Be smart with your riding. And see where you are at.

    2. Good advice. I really considered doing only the 100k option at the Mohican, but everyone has convinced me that it's "Go big or go home." I'm in it for the 100 mile. Grrr!!!