Getting tired of reading about Syllamo yet? It’s prettymuch a way of life in the wintertime- the creek is low, the leaves are getting packed in, and the rock gardens are always prime. I had set my alarm for 5am New Year’s Day so I could get moving to meet up with Ryan & Matt, who’d left the previous morning since they hadn’t had to work. However, I ended up awake at 3am, so I decided to get out of bed and go early.
The non-existence of traffic at 4am is wonderful.
I arrived at the cabin sometime around 7:30, had 2nd breakfast, and we were on the trail around 10. We started out on the yellow trail (hadn’t done that one in a while), and moved on to the blue trail. We were all on singlespeeds (32×21 is a good gear out there. Matt brought a 32×20, but was willing to “compromise his sexual integrity” for a 21t) Ryan destroyed climb after climb (and had a flat or two) while Matt killed the rock gardens. I was somewhere in the middle.
Ride time was somewhere around 4 hours. Matt and I (both on rigid forks) were feeling pretty beat up by the time we reached the final climb up from highway 5. Back at the cabin, it was a battle for hot water when everyone hit the shower at the same time. The remainder of the evening was spent eating pasta, grazing on Oreos, and drinking beer (though, I didn’t partake of the Natural Light). Matt pretended that he was Burt Reynolds (you’ll have to find that one in the gallery below)
Sunday morning, everyone was moving slowly. The mood was vaguely reminiscent of the long-ago Metro Volkswagen training camp where we’d all wake up exhausted, but no one would admit that he or she didn’t feel like getting on the bike and riding like hell. The guys weren’t feeling anything epic, so we stuck to the green and orange trails, which took a little less than 2 hours. I decided somewhere on the green trail that I was going to ignore all pain from the previous day and channel the Honey Badger. I bombed down a couple of the Orange trail descents, which was good for figuring out what was possible with the rigid fork (though possibly not so good for the wheels I just built. The damage gets surveyed today). The moved earned me exhaustion and a random nosebleed.
There are still parts of the trails that kick my butt, and sections that make me walk, but those are getting fewer and further between.