Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Puppy Sprints, Trail Conditions, and Awesome Biking

I haven't been just sitting around icing my shoulder while I wait for surgery, I've been running and riding the trails every chance I get! I can run 5 miles or so before my arm starts throbbing and it seems I can mountain bike all day without a problem... as long as I don't fall doing either one of those things.

The local Ossipee River Trails are seeing a lot of use these days! They are perfect for 5-6 mile runs. I've been running in the evenings, while Kevin walks our puppy, Scout on the trails. I catch up to them at the end and finish my work out with "puppy sprints." Growing pups aren't supposed to do long slow distance, it's not good for their bones and joints, but sprints are just what they need and crave. Scout and I run wildly down the trail for 20 or 50 or 100 yards, over and over again. He decides when to start running and doesn't give me much warning, then he decides when to stop and gives me even less warning. When the session is over, after 3 or 10 or 25 sprints (pups are unpredictable) he slows to walk and blocks the trail in front of me to signal that we're done.

The Ossipee River Trails were hit hard by Tropical Storm Irene. Kevin spent a lot of time and has River Run completely cleared. He has also removed all the big stuff with his chain saw from all the other trails. I'll get out there on my day off this week and start throwing branches and debris out of the trail. It seems funny to me, but "Horsey Sue" has been riding her horse up and down River Run over and over again since it is the only trail that is completely cleared. Wouldn't you think she'd leave the horse at home one day and get out on the trails and do a little work so she could get back onto the other trails quicker?

This past weekend Kevin and I rode both days on the Kingdom Trails in East Burke, Vermont. It was a little challenging getting there with parts 302 and parts of the Kanc closed, but we managed. The trails had seen a lot of flooding, but only a few were still closed and the ones that were open were in great shape. They really have a good thing going there. If you've never been, picture a quaint little town that revolves around mountain biking. On the weekends, the parking lots are full, people are riding mountain bikes up and down the streets, sprawled in the grass beside their bikes, changing clothes, loading and unloading bikes from car carriers... I was over whelmed when I first went there. But, once you get onto the beautiful flowing trails, you don't see many riders at all. With over a hundred miles of trails, there is plenty of elbow room. This past weekend, we talked about doing some of the lift assisted downhill riding at Burke Mountain, but ended up staying on the cross country trails. We just have so much fun on them!

Toward the end of our ride Sunday, the sky started getting dark and we could hear thunder in the distance. We started seeing lightening zig-zagging down onto the nearby mountains and the wind started picking up. We rode out of the woods and started heading up Darling Hill Road toward out vehicle...and so did everyone else. It was strange to see all these mountain bikers emerging from the woods and fields and dirt roads and head up the hill. I looked ahead and saw a line of bikes as far as the eye could see, and more and more were joining the line as we went. Kevin and i started picking up the pace a little because the storm was coming. We were merciless as we passed rider after rider. Kevin took off on me half way there. With an approaching storm, it's every man for himself! We made it back and got the bikes loaded just as the torrential down pour started. I jumped into the truck, but then decided I might as well wash off some of the mud. I got out and stood in the icy rain. It was coming down sideways because if the wind and it scrubbed me clean in no time. I didn't last long out there, but it felt great!

I have two more weeks before I have my surgery and will be out of commission for a while. I'll get all the biking and running in that I can in that time!

1 comment:

  1. Great job getting out there! Good idea to have fun before you are out of commission.