Monday, April 11, 2011
Man v.s. Incline
Well I guess it had to happen sometime. Eventually I had to stop writing silly posts about thunderstorms and wall paint and go riding and climbing. Yesterday was the inaugural test of the idea. Aaron 'the Doctor' Regberg, Kevin 'the Librarian', Jeff 'the Machine' Carlson and I met at the grocery store yesterday morning to stock up on such essentials as sugar cane juice and baguette for our ride. We were all on touring bikes, but the Doctor and I were the most heavily laden with enough food for two picnics and a rope and rack of climbing gear.
Our objective was Donation Rocks where a local conservation organization, C3PA, was holding a crag cleanup. To get there, we would ride 25 miles with a large climb in the middle, Pine Grove Mountain. I think that PGM is a 700 foot climb. I was afraid as I wouldn't know the difference between 700' or 2000'- they all scare me. Starting the climb, I dropped down to my lowest gear and instantly started doubting myself. Fortunately the Doctor had the cure: we rode alongside one another at a steady pace singing Joan Jett songs. Before long we found the Librarian and the Machine waiting at the top. Then the fun began! We raced down the backside of the mountain in thick fog (see picture) and that momentum and high spirits carried us the next 15 odd miles.
After 6 hours of building trails, clearing brush and getting a little climbing in, it was time to decide. We could start riding back and probably finish in the dark, partially dead. Or we could stay for a barbecue and beer and beg a car ride for ourselves and our bikes back to town. Man that burger and beer tasted SO good! My first combination bike/climb event was certainly a success.