Monday, October 4, 2010

Moats, Pudding Pond, and Local Trails

This past weekend we mountain biked at the Moats and at Pudding Pond. Both are nice mountain biking single track areas in North Conway, New Hampshire. The Riding at the Moats was fantastic. The soil is sandy and gravely so the previous days' rain didn't effect our riding at all. We rode for several hours and I loved it!
There is a long half log that sits near the ground in the Hundred Acre Woods at the Moats. I like to think it's just like the ones you see the pros ride over in those mountain biking videos (Alright, I admit it, this one is only a few inches off the ground instead of fifteen feet.) I rode right over it without hesitating (not as easy as you think because I imagine it is fifteen feet off the ground while I'm doing it .) Then Kevin got his camera out and told me to do it again so he could film it. I must be camera shy because it took four more attempts before I got over it again. These little challenges are what I love about mountain biking. When I do an easy little stunt or hop a log or get the bike over a difficult stretch of rocks, I immediately transform from a adult women into a goofy eight year old tomboy. (some would argue that I am always like a goofy eight-year-old tomboy.)
The trails at the Moats are fun and flowing. But there is always a good bit of work near the end. No matter what order we ride those trails, we finish on exhausted legs with a massive uphill climb. Saturday we finished by riding up the Mineral Site Switchback Trail and I swear I hit my max heart rate. I wasn't wearing my monitor, but I could hear my heart pounding in my ears so I didn't need it.
The riding at Pudding Pond on Sunday was fantastic, too. This area is a little more challenging for me. I tell myself it's good for me to ride stuff that scares me a little. As soon as I got the bike out of the truck, I saw that something was wrong with the front wheel. It turns out the disc brake had gotten bent somehow. So we loaded up again and found a bike shop with the part we needed. Kevin fixed it right there in the bike shop parking lot and we were back in business.
We met two male mountain bikers on the trail and one of them was looking at us in a strange sort of way. I thought maybe he had heard me making the little sounds I was making as I coaxed my bike over the crazy rocky narrow berm we had just crossed. (I don't know why the rest of the mountain bikers out there don't make those little noises like I do. I swear it helps.) But it turned out he remembered us from the Vermont 100. Who would've thought? His wife had run there and he had been hanging out on his mountain bike all that day. Kevin and I remembered him and we chatted for a while before moving on.
We rode for over an hour before Kevin's bike broke. His problem was more serious than mine had been and he had to walk it out of the woods. I rode back and forth over the trail (making a pain in the neck of myself, I'm sure) while he walked. Oh well, the riding we got in was fun! He is hoping to drop it off for repairs tonight. Don't worry, he has a spare bike.
I also got some good running in during the weekend. I am happy to report that my running is starting to feel like something I want to do now, not something I have to do. This morning I ran a wonderful 12 miles of mostly trail, including the Ossipee River Trails, the Durgintown Woods Trails, and loops around the fairgrounds and the elementary school fields. I threw in three miles of hilly pavement to see what kind of pace I am training at these days. I have been running only trails for quite a while now. It's easy to ignore pace when I run on technical and/or hilly single track and snow mobile trails. Since I haven't had a lot of confidence about my running lately, I've been staying off the road so I won't know how slow I am! Today, the road running pace was right where I hoped it would be without increasing my effort or heart rate from what I had been doing on the trails.

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