Yesterday I participated at the trail maintenance day at bear brook State Park in Allenstown, NH. I hate volunteering for things and then finding they really don't have much for me to do when I get there. I was assured by Kevin that this would not be the case at Bear Brook. He was right.
The project for the weekend was to replace 3 bridges on the Beaver Pond Trail. About a dozen people, (mountain bikers) were on hand for the work. My job was to haul lumber out over the trail. Construction started on the farthest bridge out, probably about 3/4 of a mile down the trail from where we could get the lumber by truck. I started out carrying fairly heavy loads, but as I fatigued I carried a little less of a load. Carrying the lumber over a rough trail was exhausting,but a good hard workout. I hadn't gotten a run in before leaving for the event, so each time I dropped my lumber, I ran back. I figure I ran about 8 miles total. It was a beautiful brisk clear morning and the trail was very nice for running.I really enjoyed (and exhausted) myself.
After about 4 1/2 hours of steady work, we stopped for the day and had pizza for lunch. Then it was time for "the ride". Great, I hadn't saved anything for a mountain bike ride. Two women, who had also spent the morning hauling lumber, said they were going to ride slow and easy,not with the rest of the group.They advised that I join them.I was more than willing. But I was assured by another(whose name I will not mention)that I could keep up with the larger, (much more experienced) group. I did my best and managed to trail the group for a little while,but started to fall back and felt like everyone was waiting for me. It didn't help that I was completely exhausted from carrying lumber all morning, add to that the fact that these people had been riding for years and I am a beginner.I started to get pretty frustrated after a while.
At one point, when the group stopped to let me catch up,Kevin asked,"are you tired?" I snapped, "that's the stupidest question anyone has ever asked me!" I meant that as a YES! I guess Kevin understood, because he told the group that we were breaking off. The two women who had set off for an easier ride came up behind us and we rode with them the rest of the way,over some very beautiful and fun trails. My mood was immediately improved when I didn't feel pressured and rushed anymore. I actually loved almost the entire time I spent riding,only feeling irritated for about 10 minutes total.
The ride was followed by socialization, eating, and drinking around the campfire. It was a very fun and productive day. My body is feeling it today! Hauling lumber is something I might have to work into my daily routine. Just think of the strength I could build!