October 2012 Archives


I headed out to Pine Point today on a 12 mile ride. It is a flatter trail than my recent rides into North St. Paul and the three or four steep grades on the horse trail have recently been "paved" with loose bank gravel, and the crew has carved swails across the grade to redirect rainwater. In other words, they've given me several good excuses to dismount and walk up those grades.

Not far into the ride in a section where the horse trail I was riding was close to the paved bike trail, the male of an oncoming couple blurted out his version of the typical quip, "he lost his other wheel!" He said it twice just to make sure his partner heard. Sheesh. These inane comments don't usually bother me, but today I was just wishing that folks would be a little more creative, or just keep quiet. It is always the guys with the stupid comments, too. I find women are surprisingly supportive in what they say, as if they are cheering on one of their neighbor kids playing soccer ("oh, good for you!").

The trail has two long bridges over county roads that have a decent grade up and down, and it was on the steep uphill approach of the bridge over Manning Trail Road that a guy on a bike approaching me from behind said, "Quit making it look so easy". That is absolutely the nicest quip I've heard while riding. I thanked him, not just for his comment, but for saying something thoughtfully supportive. What he didn't realize is that, in fact, that part of the ride on a paved uphill isn't really that hard compared to undulating, loose dirt with hoof divots on an uphill grade with fallen branches, but hey I'll take it anyway.

Fast Feet

oct 14.jpgIt took me a while to get out of the house this Saturday morning and get out to the trail. I think I was a bit wary after my last ride where I had two or three pretty hard falls trying to get up hills. I really don't want to beat myself up, but I still want to get out on the trail. Eventually I gathered everything, hopped in the car and got out there.

The Stillwater boys cross country team was finishing their Saturday run about the time I drove up. It was hard to find a parking place, but since they were finishing their run rather than starting, the trail wasn't crowded. With the light rain and cold October temperatures the trail was nearly empty. First thing I noticed was that I was riding rather fast compared to other times this summer. I suppose it is the running. I worked on turning quick circles with my feet, similar to what I used to do on the track at the Jr High. The trail had been groomed with bank gravel on the hills. This is better than sand, but certainly looser than the packed dirt that was there previously. This time instead of trying to get up the steeper hills I rode as comfortably as I could through the bank gravel and got off when I was stalling. I took two good tumbles that had me rolling and once more was glad I was wearing the 661 shin and knee guards. They've saved my knees several times this year.

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The fall colors are past peak, but still it was a very nice ride. I'm a bit sore tonight after the tumbles, but happy to get out and shake off some of the fear from the previous ride. Here's a video coming out of the tunnel under Highway 36.

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This page is an archive of entries from October 2012 listed from newest to oldest.

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