Wednesday, April 29, 2009

April 28th

This date is symbolic because in 2007, Beth and I got married here in Nashville. At the same time, hundreds of racers were riding around in circles for 12 hrs in Fayetteville at the first ever, Dirt Sweat & Gears. (lots of other important things have happened on April 28th like Maryland ratifying the constitution, Mussolini being shot, and America pulling out of Japan.) Beth and I had plans for a lovely dinner at The Acorn, the site of our rehearsal dinner but she has caught a bad bug from over-working, traveling and sitting outside in 90 degree weather in a craft tent for 3 days straight. (don't worry, we're pretty sure it's not SwineFlu) So she is feeling miserable and not at all in the mood to celebrate anything so what does she do? She stays at home and works (that's dedication) and sends me out to enjoy the day on my bike.... the entire day!

I got up early and made Beth some eggs, toast and coffee and got some things prepared to meet up with some NMB guys for a 10am ride in Carthage, TN. Defeated Creek was the trail choice for this day. This was a totally new trail to me. I heard about it through the board last year when folks posted up pictures and trail reviews but never made it out there. After meeting Lefty Scott and FullSquish at the Mt Juliet exit, we carpooled down to Carthage. What a beautiful drive to get to the trail! Reminicent of the drive to Fayetteville through the farms, except with a more West Virginia hills vibe. We met Rick, the videographer of some great epic films from other local trails and x-coworker of the now retired FullSquish. Secret plans are being made to film a southeast riding video so keep your eye out for a rider hiding in the bushes filming you riding that tricky, technical section where you hope no one sees you fall. (Also in attendance were Mr. Clean Cooper and TVATim)

This trail has it all. What a great gem to find! The trail consists of two loops, a longer 7ish mile loop and a shorter 2.5ish mile loop. There is one long climb called The Grizzly and several fun up and down sections that flow perfectly. Flow is the big word for this trail. You won't find many riders complaining about overly twisty trail or lack of flow. Sure thet rail does wind in on itself multiple times since the plot of land is not very deep and is basically on a cliff side but it's designed great. Supposedly it has the most elevation change of any trail around this area. After riding two laps there I venture that Monty Bell has a bit more cardio climing (in the work-out kind of way) but Defeated Creek has more sustained decents, ala Pisgah style (almost) and great straight flowing sections that you can treat as a pump track.

We took our time on our first lap, stopping a lot to shoot some video and keep the group of 6 together. Close to the end of the first lap, Lefty and I were getting anxious for more miles and a more steady pace so we said our goodbyes and rode off the front. We put in a full second lap with only a couple short stops to reconvene. Man, this trail is fun! It is a little bit of a haul to get out there but if you have the time for 2 laps (or more) I think the drive is totally worth the grin factor. If you are feeling clostrophobic with Nashville trails, you owe it to yourself to check out Defeated Creek and then head to Sewanee the next day to recharge your trail batteries.

Late morning EDIT: I forgot one of the other great parts of the day... FOOD! Lefty and I happened upon a wonderful place called La Villa in Carthage. Being fresh off the trail, we were starving, and this place didn't disappoint! I enjoyed a healthy portion of pulled pork and even BBQ beans while Lefty couldn't not order the house-special pizza. Yum! If you hit up the trail, you better go to this place to fuel afterwards!

The trail fun took up the entire day and it was already 4:30pm by the time I got back home. I checked in with Beth and gave her some anniversary lily's. All was still good. Polo and the Yazoo tap room were on the books for the evening plans but I was still feeling guilty about not spending time with Beth. She again reassured me she wanted me to go and have fun, we'd celebrate a different day when she was healthy. Like a madman I was running around getting one bike put away and another out, getting changed, running and getting dinner for Beth and then heading over to Troy's via the Green Hills post office. (only one in Nashville that is open til 6pm...gotta get those Freshie&Zero orders out!)

Our plan was to ride from Troy's to the taproom as they were open on a rare Tuesday for a Team Green social event. After getting Troy's borrowed cranks on my bike once again, we were off. Troy hooked up a rack and paniers to his Kona and was hauling all the polo stuff by himself. I offered the use of my chrome bag but he already had the system dailed in. It worked great too, even had room left to smuggle a growler for some polo hydration. The tap room was bumping big time. Lots of smiling faces with equally happy name tags. Dunn, Garth and Bloebaum were in attendance as well and Mel and her friend showed a bit later. Unfortunately we had to cut the fun after just one Hop Project (#14) and get back on the bikes to head to the polo court.

We snaked through East Nashville finding the path with the least elevation gain, or at least most gradual. It was a slow ride on the streets with Troy pushing a lot of weight but also a very easy gear on the singlespeed. Once again the weatherman had it all wrong and the weather was perfect for a ride through town. It was actually supposed to storm most of the day but it never materialized.

We only ended up with 4 players for polo so it was an offensive slugfest but still amazing fun. Who would of ever thought that riding around a playground on bikes with ski-pole mallets and a street hockey ball could be sooo much fun. (oh yea Justin did) We had some great games, great conversation, great beer and some nice sippin' from the flask. Troy and I had a long ride back to his house but it continued to be a great night to be riding. I was thinking how lucky I am the entire ride back to have such a great life.... a day spent more in the saddle than in my desk chair or my truck, a loving wife who loves for me to do the things that make me happy and great friends to share it all with.


freshie (and zero) said...

Awww - that's why I married you. You're just so sweet and adorable! Oh, I mean hot and manly. Thanks for helping me hole up in the house all day - I needed to hide myself from the world!

cornfed said...

congrats you two!!!

Hope it's not swine flu, ya know from that pig that was at your house warming party. (do you read these 8ball?)

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