Thursday, August 26, 2010

There's No Crying In Mountain Biking!!!

The organizers of the upcoming race might disagree. And after riding just one lap of a course that may become a well known race, three or more laps may leave you doing just that. Crying for mom and reaching for your little wubby to hold back the tears! This is a good course though. It’s local, it’s different, and has a little bit of everything. Singletrack, doubletrack, hills, sand, and more hills. Plus, there is plenty of room to pass or be passed. Which is good. I just hope the grappling hook I’m going to bring will land on the rider in front of me and help drag me up what will be soon famed as “Crybaby Hill”!

For some readers, a short introduction is in order. I’m Charlie, commonly known on the trail as Action Chuck, a nickname that has sort of stuck since the days of the Pier Restaurant. It came from the creation of a humorous comic book series one of my co-workers drew up…ahh the good old days! Anyways, I started riding with Team Terpening late last year, and I am happy to have become part of the group. I used to ride quite a bit in my younger years; I took a rather long break, and in the last 2-3 years I’ve been hitting it more seriously and T2 has helped ramp up the friendly competition to improve myself. Not to mention the advice and encouragement to join a few races…I’m still recovering from my first Ore to Shore!

Back to singletrack, Action Chuck wasn’t the only one tearing up turf on this adventure. Chris, New Chris, Rob, Pete, Bobbie, Joe, and Cheryl rode along. While Cheryl wasn’t joining us for the Crybaby course, she set herself an amazing accomplishment on this very ride. In her first real year of mountain biking, tonight she rolled the odometer over to her first official grand! That’s right; my girl turned her wheels enough to ride 1000 miles so far this season! She would also have you know that she did it all on her Paddle Pedals…if anyone knows how hard it is to climb WITH clips, you’ll know that her miles were well earned! Congrats Cheryl! (fist bump) Or should we say Action Cheryl?

On the other side of the trail, our lap started casual. A short jaunt from the NCT led us to backyard of Nubs and onto the Crybaby course. Chris and Pete were leading the way and leading the charge. Joe, Rob and I were trailing their knobbies. New Chris and Bobbie were right on their tail. Not far from our entry point to the Crybaby, we were rewarded with an awesome downhill singletrack that soon spilled out onto a sandy maintenance road which rolled down the bunny hill and past the lodge. Rolling around the next corner we met our first hill. Rob and Joe took off in a powerful first climb that dropped the rest of us; I tried to hang on, but Action Chuck’s legs had no action on this day.

For the rest of the course I watched their tires roll further away into the distance…but especially so when we encountered Crybaby hill. THIS mini-mountain is surely what the course was named after. I think instead of aid stations here, a couple of Kleenex stations might be more appropriate. Maybe a towrope?! Thank goodness for the granny ring! The remainder of the lap was peppered with hills, fast corners, and enough sand to keep you awake should the oxygen become a little too thin. The Crybaby will tease. You see, as soon as you crest one of the small hills, another hill can be seen in the distance…so mentally, you prepare to climb. However, once you roll over the hump, the hill you thought you’d be climbing veers left or right, and then you get to climb a completely different hill; sometimes harder than the one you were prepared for! After we flattened the hills, a quick jump back to the familiar NCT got us back to where we started. Great job to Rob and Joe, (fist bump) they were tearing up those hills and makin’ it look easy! Despite the screams our legs sounded off, everyone agreed how cool this course actually is.  Pete is enthusiastic about signing up for this one, and my guess is the rest of us will be riding this home course and even a few will be bringing it home!

Upon arriving back, chairs out and clothes changed, we joined for a few post bicycle ride beverages (insert PBR plug here), Rob’s traditional pretzel sticks, and good conversation. It was a beautiful night for a ride, and as the dark surrounded us, Mother Nature felt it necessary to cool us down a little. No wait. Actually, a lot. We’d have done well to build a fire! We were shivering messes out there. But as mountain bikers, it’s all part of the territory. The finishing touch was the setting sun tinting the clouds a beautiful pink color for all of us to enjoy. Good times and happy trails…see ya next week and start thinkin' about bringin' yer lights!


WPG said...

Well done Charlie. Good ride report and a great photo.

SARGE said...

Fist bump to you Action Charlie, a true pleasure to read your post.