Dirt, Finally!

I finally got out on the mountain bike, with others from Passion Trail Bikes. It seems like forever that I’ve been thankful to get out on the bike at all, even if it is the road bike. I guess I can’t slag roadies altogether, though, since on top of having fun my last couple of road outings, the road bike has at least given me some small level of fitness. With that, I was able to enjoy today’s ride without completely destroying my cardiovascular system. Of course, other riders are also feeling the early-season, lots-of-rain effects, so the slower group helped me survive intact too.

Water Dog is in remarkably good shape, given the weather. It’s only been a couple of days since the last rain, too. There were a couple of trouble spots, but nothing too bad, and the great traction that was available in the rest of the park more than made up for it.

One spot that really is unfortunate is what we used to call “Tony Hill”, which is officially Chaparral, just below Elevator. It’s always been a nightmare, environmentally–steep and rutted, with poor drainage–but as a fun trail, it’s been mutilated.

Last season, the bottom of it fell partially away where water is forced across the trail and down the fall line. A new bridge had been built there, which stabilized the sketchiest part. Late in the season, someone (I assume the city) completely sanitized the upper portion and really made a reasonably challenging section pretty weak. But they didn’t really change the grade, nor did they add additional drainage, so water still flows down the trail. Now that the rains have hammered the area, this section is rutted again, and the bottom (before the bridge) is a total mess. Once it dries and crumbles, I think it’s going to be worse than before, but less fun. Too bad.

But that’s too much bitching about a small disappointment from a fun outing. The weather was impeccable, and it was great to get out.

Back at Passion, the post-ride food was sashimi and other Japanese treats, put on to benefit Japanese affected by the earthquake. The food was good and the cause a good one. And the Silicon Blonde on tap is always a great way to end a ride. Good stuff.