Sunday, November 08, 2009

Do I still have kidneys?

I bet you thought this post would be about drinking, you can get some kidney destroying (or stealing) stories over on Dan's blog who just recently came back from New Orleans.

No, this is just a short post about a great fall bike ride out at Hamilton Creek. A group from NMB talked about meeting up at 12pm and after sleeping in until 9am, I stil had ample time to get the short distance to the trail and yet still enjoy some rest time. I've been busy with projects this past week at the house. Re-purposing an old chest of drawers with a fresh coat of paint and continuing to work on getting some nasty old wallpaper down in our guest room. Beth and I worked late downtown last night doing a craft show in the Arcade so I was looking for a lazy Sunday.

The weather though these past few days has just been heavenly. Highs in the 70s in November with a lovely breeze? I have tried my best to get out and enjoy it when I can so I got off the couch today to meet up and ride some Hammy.

The trail didn't disappoint, but it did beat me up as usual. I rode with the group, about 8 total, up until we crossed over to the advanced side. Group rides are always hard because there is so much stopping and chatting but at the same time they are fun for those same reasons. It's great to be able to take your time and try different trail sections a few times or watch the lines other people take. I enjoyed catching up with Reed and Chris Holland too as I haven't ridden with them much at all in the past year and they used to be regular riding buds.

I got a little ahead of the group and waited for a bit but then realized that I needed to up the pace and get on home. I couldn't afford to spend over 3 hours out in the woods today so I continued on alone. A lot of the tough sections are easier when you hit them at a good speed and riding rigid, you get beat up a lot more when you drudge along really slowly. Being able to ride my pace helped a lot on the back half of the course. Fall is a tough time to ride rigid too. All the leaf cover hides the bumps and forces you to keep a loose overall feel on the bike. Of course this is how you should always ride, but the rocks and roots just seem to hurt more when you can't see them and you're not ready.

The trail has been through a lot of changes lately too. Lots of reroutes have been added in the past year which have added a lot more mileage to the full loop but also seems to have taken some of the elevation out. I'm sure the overall elevation gain is the same but many of the short steep climbs that were always fun challenges were also fall line trail and were eroding badly. Almost all of them have now been replaced with more winding trail and lots of switchbacks. The trail is still fun but it's definitely not that same Hamilton Creek it was 5 years ago when I first rode it. As many things in life, things need to change. I feel fortunate that we have so many trail options here in Nashville and that every trail is so different. There are almost 10 trails that you can drive to in under 1:45 min and each one offers and unique experience.

So yea, Hammy was fun today and I'm beat. Gonna spend some quality time on the couch and then make dinner for Beth. Get out and enjoy this amazing fall weather if you can, it'll be stupid cold soon I'm sure!

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