Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Mount Chuckwagon

Waiting waiting waiting for some plans to come in so I can actually do my job. Spending a lot of time accumulating samples and various crap relevant to the new project, getting utilities sorted out, etc, but that doesn't a full day make. The newspaper is a good friend these days.

I've got the mountain bike bug pretty hard right now. We did a lot more of it when we lived in Rhody. There were good trails close by and we knew them well. That's a huge thing for me, as I kind of hate getting lost. There's a line between adventure and pain in the ass - not necessarily a fine line either. I love the adventure that the trails provide, differing with weather and season or sometimes other factors. Your own fitness and feelings on a particular day draw different demands and challenges. But just plain having no clue where you are blows. You feel like you have to be defensive and more externally aware than you'd be otherwise. The 100 yards in front of you become less focused and you're always sweating the big picture. Exploring is an investment that definitely pays off, but I haven't found it to be a quick return. All of which is a long winded way of saying that I haven't ridden Patapsco enough to consistently figure out how to find the parts that I really liked when I rode them with some people a few years ago. Also, the drainage at Patapsco is heinous. It takes forever to dry out to where you think you aren't destroying the place and need to rebuild your bike to boot.

Schaeffer is another place I've been locally, and it's fun. There aren't really any super challenging sections, but it's fast and it's fun. Next to impossible to get lost, but that's because it's not that big. I think the drainage there is way better than at Patapsco, which is key during the rainy season.

Wakefield seems similar to Schaeffer. I liked it. Didn't get to a lot of the good stuff since I didn't have a ton of time there and made a costly navigational decision early on. The good side of that was that I found some secret stash type stuff south of Braddock Road. Definitely plan to spend more time there, especially since I'll be local to it for work for the next several years. I've probably done my last Greenbelt thanks to the new project's location, but I hear this Wednesdays at Wakefield is rather fun.

Depending on who you ask, Fountainhead is either money or "eh." I hope to make my own decision on that soon, like this weekend maybe. It sounds like it's probably up my alley - fast but a little technical and you can't get lost. Supposedly it's also pretty much all singletrack which is nice.

Hopefully Mr Meter Man, Mr UPS Man and Mr Window man show up soon. I have to get to another site and a yard in Rockville ASAP.

Elizabeth Furnace sounds really rocky but fun. I keep hearing about how easy it is to get lost and how the penalty for such is rocky hike-a-bikes that go nowhere. This Bear Wallow part sounds pretty cool, as does the orange trail. The blue trail and Signal Hill sound like a good option for people who wear body armor and have insane skills. Definitely plan to get there sometime.

Gambrill and the Frederick locales sound nice, but rocky. Coming from New England, I know about rock gardens. Maybe they are comparable here, maybe not. One way to find out.

Definitely going back to Sherando before too long. There's a lot of super sweet riding there and the road riding is a perfect alternative when the trails are bunged up with mud. We researched the lodging options out there since the Wintergreen thing was super cushy but a bit too much cake for a regular deal. A group could put together a really reasonable and high quality trip out there. Going to work on that.

Then there's always Lost River. We're headed there after New Years and plan to make the dirt a priority. Not on our road bikes though. The novelty of road bikes on dirt/gravel/rocks/non-pavement has long since left the building. Double that feeling now that I am actively maintaining 2 road and 2 mountain bikes and neither of us is super tolerant of bikes that don't work very smoothly.


TerribleTerry said...

Shoot, sounds like you need to throw a cyclocross bike into the mix...then of course you'd need a pit bike.

I need to get a mountain bike sometime. Every time I borrow someone's....I break it :-(.....

Chuck Wagon said...

no cross bikes!