Monday, July 28, 2008

pedaling or trail work?

Let's just say you don't feel like biking on Wednesday. What you really want is an upper-body workout instead. Or, maybe your sweetie is all bummed because you're going riding & he really wants to do something constructive and meet cool people. Well girls, do I have an answer for you!

It's a trail work party on the new singletrack! Be a part of the finish work crew to make our new trail a reality.

pssst, I hiked it today. It's going to be fabulous. It's in a beautiful location, professionally designed and built. ***Singletrack Advocates reminds us to not ride it until it's announced that it's open. But here's a sneak peak at what I saw on my hike:

The STA site will tell you all you need to know. Please also remember that we still need some funds to assure the trail will be completed as planned. If you can contribute - and if your workplace makes contributions - please consider helping out. To paraphrase the NSAA: singletrack doesn't fall from the sky.
This youngster said she'd stay out of the way.

posted by rose

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Warmer at Hillside

Wow, what a great ride!

A BIG thank you to Corinne for going to the flattop trail head to turn unsuspecting Divas around!

Katherine led us on a terrific, 10+ mile tour of FNBP. The 12 hardy divas who showed for the ride were not disappointed! The trails were wet and we were muddy and happy as we rode the horse rutted trails of Hillside down to Homestead, Coyote, up Viewpoint and then back up Homestead and around Service. Whew! The group voted for a big finish with the big hills on the Hillside Lit Loop but a mama moose and her calf had other ideas! She looked like she was not messing around! No worries, back to Coaches' Cutoff and to the trail head where we decided to have our after-ride festivities at Jo-Ann's despite the lateness of the hour. She and Adam(Thanks!) welcomed our mud-speckled faces and we chowed down on Truffles, banana cake and watermelon, sharing a bottle of wine between all of us.

What fun!


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Change of venue July 23

Due to the cold and rainy conditions, we're changing the ride location from Glen Alps - Powerline Trail to Hillside Trailhead in Bicentennial Park.

Same meeting time - 7pm, lower elevation. Bring a rain jacket and a towel.

posted by rose

Monday, July 21, 2008

skills part II

Six of us gathered at the Hilltop parking lot on Monday evening for the second part of the skills clinic. We had some light sprinkles early on then went over skills like: trackstanding, getting over obstacles, riding in wet conditions and other tips. Then a short trail ride that included some rooty singletrack and some fun hills.

We made lots of noise as we pedaled through the trails which we had all to ourselves. With so few people out there, we wanted to be sure the bears heard us and knew we were heading their way. We didn't see any bears.

By the time we were riding on Ridge Loop, rain was coming down and we were still whooping and hollering... it sounded more like a cattle round-up than a bike ride. One rider pointed out that we aren't normally encouraged to be noisy. It feels good to just let it out sometimes. Yeeeha!

Rae set her bike on the ground before it started sprinkling. Here's the stencil it left.

posted by rose

Thursday, July 17, 2008

windy night at kincaid

Despite rain on the east side, thirteen riders gathered at Kincaid Park on Wednesday evening for a ride that took us into the woods, onto a few bits of singletrack and over to the Sisson Loop. We encountered strong winds, tall grass, a covey of ptarmagin and a young moose more stubborn than us.
After a few of us skidded to a stop and started backing up the hill, Hannah, Darlene & Mary Kay

Bullwinkle looked at us, crossed the trail and decided he really just wanted to relax on the side of the trail. We backtracked away from him and did manage to finish the Mize Loop and the rest of the ride with no other wildlife encounters.

Thanks, gang, for bringing cookies, trail mix and tea. Thanks also to Hannah's dad, Tim, for taking the post-ride group shot. You can see by Lori's skirt just how windy it was!

posted by rose

Monday, July 14, 2008

skills & pedals

Kudos to the fine group of women who attended this evening's skill-building clinic. After covering shifting and braking, we went over climbing and descending tips, then tackled the climb from the Hilltop chalet up to the first switchback, and back down. I was impressed with how everyone took on each challenge, from overcoming their descending fears to learning to do a front wheel loft.

Now each of you have something to practice before next week! We'll build off what you learned and actually include a trail ride.

On another topic:
This evening, someone brought up clipless pedals. Sometimes these words put fear into cyclists' hearts as they imagine themselves tumbling over in a struggle to release themselves from the contraptions. Of course, those are the stories everyone remembers. But for mountain biking, after learning them, I think they're a great way to go. Why?

1 - you've got the power - the power to climb - because you have not just the downstroke on the pedals, but also the upstroke. If you use clipless, you will make more hills.
2 - you've got control - because your feet are attached to the pedal, they won't easily slip off on a rocky descent or rooty singletrack.
3 - you've got no hang-ups - this is in contrast to toe clips - the clips & straps that people often have on their pedals, but which they sometimes don't clip their feet into. When not clipped in, the clip can drag and get caught on roots on the trail.
4 - you'll use bike shoes - and bike shoes give your feet more support because they're stiffer. Less fatigue results.

If you've got an opinion about clipless pedals, feel free to post it here.

posted by Rose

Thursday, July 10, 2008

9 July 2008 Biking near to Near Point

Ten of us pedaled out of the Prospect Heights trailhead on the trail to Near Point. Somewhere along the way Dawn caught up with us. We talked quite a bit about bears but saw none. Very few other people were out on what Bonnie called a "nice evening." Ah, some of us would only say "nice" by this summer's standards ... but some of us were comfortable in shorts (until the bugs found us) and even Karen shed her jacket. In the end, it was just great to be outside and spinning the gears.

Mary Kay, Katherine, and Jennifer at the turn-around