Saturday, October 29, 2005



The Tidewater Mountain Bike Challenge is Sunday, so I went up early for a pre-ride. It's held on private property and only available to ride 2 days each year. This was my first ever MTB experience last year and it kicked my butt. A combination of no skill, no lungs/legs and seeing a bad accident made me bail after a little over a lap.

The course is 4-5 miles with all kinds of challenge. Steep ups/downs, roots, dives into creek gullies and across narrow bridges. To ride this fast you have to hold on tight and stay off the brakes on all the downhills, even then you'll have to grunt a bit to make the next peak. The course for me at best is seriously anaerobic. Areas to recover are virtually non existent aside from a 3/4 of a mile stretch after the finish line. The section around the finish line is wide and BMX style with 4 or 5 nice jumps. This makes it great for spectators. There was a nice new log obstacle that was easy today (much easier on the 29er), but I'm sure will be tough by the end of the day tomorrow.

Rode a lap on Salma, then a lap on Gabby. I didn't quite have the momentum/right gear on the 2 tough hills on the geared bike, but the SS just rolled right on up there. Was very happy just to clear the whole trail on the SS. I WAS gassed on some of the climbs and stopped twice to catch my breath, but I'm really getting to like the SS thing. If you ride off road and haven't tried it - you NEED to! Conversation after the ride:

Me: The nice thing about riding a single speed is you're never in the wrong gear.
Geared rider: Yea, but you're never in the right one either.

And therein lies the TRUTH!

Later in the evening we all went to a private slide show/presentation by Jonathan Devitch of Epic Images. He's a local guy who's been on the pro cycling tour traveling the world to get great shots. It was very interesting to hear about the trials and challenges of a world class photographer photographing world class cycling. His calendar would be a great Christmas gift for any cyclist you know!



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