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Black Lion
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Did another solo ride today. I really do love riding with the company of friends. But the beauty of the solo can't be topped. Except this time there was a twist.

Here is the scene.
Got word that my wife would be home a little earlier than usuall, so I instantly stated getting ready. I began fueling my body and my lights in preperation for a long day/night ride. My plan was to basically duplicate a ride that I did with BrianC, J.C, and Mike Z. in the L.W. The goal was to get as deep into the ride as day light would allow before switching to the lights. There are some trails out there that you just do not want to bw on at night. Especially alone.

The ride.
I pull into the parking at about 2:30gear up, and am rolling at about 2:40. All feels good as I hit the first section of single track. The weather is relatively warm, the trails are tacky, and there seems to be less leaves on the ground. My plan is working as I am just hammering through section after section. Moving deeper and deeper into the route. The trails are getting more and more technical, but thats fine because I am feeling so strong. I start to bask in my own glory, when all of a sudden I hit a big stick, and tear off my hanger. I just broke cardinal rule number 1. Never act or feel like you are invinsible on a MTB ride. Karma calling, can I speak to Greg?

The derrailuer is a little bent as well. I start installing a new hanger as quickly as possible. Once that is done I begin to dial in my shifting again. At this point I am right before THE most technical trail on the route, The "Beaver Trail". and it is starting to get dark. I really wanted to be well past this point before having to switch on the lights. Anyone who has ridden this trail knows how technical it is in the day light, so they can feel me . I start to weigh my options and decide to just man up and ride the route I had planned.

The night ride.
Beaver Trail at night is as cool as it gets. I say this now in the comfort of my home while sipping hot tea. In all honesty it was fun. But a little scary as well. I was deep in the woods alone. There were tons of moths out because of the warm temps. Plus it was misting a bit as well. The ride turned out to be one of my better night rides. Usually I tend to stick to easier trails for my solo night rides, it was real cool to take the stakes up about 20 notches for tonights ride. Just to up the anti further I threw in "chicken soup" for good measure.
I sit here thinking about tonights ride with a smile, but in the grand scheme of things it wasn't the smartest thing I have done. I have two little girls all tucked in their beds, and no ride can make me smile more than they can. Good thing the ride season is coming to an end?

Greg
 

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why do I feel that you're just passed the Wizzler stage of this MTB season. and we both know what came next durring that end to the season........a snow covered log.

I think we should ride the bike path in full armor tomorrow.
 

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Black Lion
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
brianc said:
why do I feel that you're just passed the Wizzler stage of this MTB season. and we both know what came next durring that end to the season........a snow covered log.

I think we should ride the bike path in full armor tomorrow.
Ok. I will be the guy wearing the 661 pressure suite and full face tomorrow..
 

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Future conversation between Greg and his daughters after they have become teenage mountain bikers. “ Bye dad, we’re going out for a night ride in Lynn Woods” (it’s Nov) Greg “ What, huh, what do you mean?” Girls “We are going for a night ride Dad and no you can’t join us, we have stuff to talk about.” Greg “ But, but it’s dangerous, you’ll be alone” Girls “ Oh Dad, remember that ride you did back in 2005, the one we read the old post about. We’ll be fine.” Greg “ Er, well have fun and take your phones.” :D
 

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cranktankerous Mainer
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I used to night ride solo allot in the past, but I stopped when all the hair growing on my palms made it difficult to get a secure grip on the bars. Maybe I should have stopped more often to take pictures of myself.

Seriously though the last Wednesday group night ride was just crap for me, and I ended up bailing and going solo so I could attain some piece of mind. First my HID died about 20 minutes into the ride and I had already loaned out my TWO extra lights in the parking lot to slackers who also had light problems! So I got loaned a crappy 10 watt yellow light and shortly thereafter, crashed off a long into a puddle soaking my whole right side, hand to foot in the freezing cold water. My front shock also lost all its air during the start of the ride which also contributed to the crash. The whole group (minus two guys who just witnessed my shallow swimming somersaults) were way ahead and cranking.... I just said **** it....I'm not feeling it, I'll meet you guys later, I've got a six pack of 420 and dry cloths waiting for me back at the car. See Ya, I'll be fine!

I was just not copasetic with a big group hammer fest in the freezing cold weather this particular night. And although I said I was going back to the car because I was wet, I really just wanted to lose the bad karma and rearrange my attitude with some solo night riding. I locked out my fork and took the long way back to the car, even turned off the light and rode like a blind folded Kung Fu dude. I channeled my positive energy and stayed warm enough for an hour or so to get a good peaceful ride in. Solo rides are good for the soul, if I stayed with the group I would have just been grumpy and pissed the whole time trying to keep on top of all the problems, but going solo I had none.

Speaking of Solo, Where's PutAwayWet?? Last time I heard or saw hide or hair of him was a month ago..on a nite ride...at Aggie...his light broke...he bailed... Haven't seen a trace of him since. Strange.
 

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Though lately I have been a total slacker I ride alone alot seeing I am in realative no mans land when it comes to MTBing, not that this is a bad thing. ;) I did a great solo night ride last winter the only thing I kept thinking about was the pack of coyotes that were in range for a few miles. It was the eriest feeling I have ever had on a bike and I am strange enough to hope to repeat it this winter.

I usually carry an extra light while riding alone and hope that I don't encounter what you did Greg, especially if I start off riding in darkness. I also find myself in Todd's position in respect that I often find myself in groups that are way above my abilities, not just because I am not on that day just that I am not fast at all and not afraid to admit it. The only problem for me in repect to riding alone is that I don't get pushed, in the case of night riding that's ok. In the case of summer, good conditions I have found that group rides make me a better rider because I do challenge myself more knowing that if something were to happen there are others there.

I am happy with spinning my commute on a singlespeed or challenging myself to concur some tech stuff as long as i'm riding.
 

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Toddski said:
Speaking of Solo, Where's PutAwayWet?? Last time I heard or saw hide or hair of him was a month ago..on a nite ride...at Aggie...his light broke...he bailed... Haven't seen a trace of him since. Strange.
Strange, indeed. I was so psyched to ride that night...and then my mount snapped on my light. Haven't been on a bike (at all) since. I got a new mount for the light, but for some reason I cannot find even a sliver of a second to ride. Every wednesday it seems to rain. Every time I call one of my local buddies up to go riding at night, no one can go. I've given up the solo night ride thing since I've proven to myself a couple of times now that I can't take it easy out there. I've been paralyzed from the neck down once before, and that kind of changes your outlook on things. Not that I plan on giving up riding - heck, every day I'm kicking myself to get on the bike. Now that my schedule has changed (no more school, have to work from dawn till dusk this time of year) I can't seem to buy a free minute when the weather cooperates, and can't seem to escape the frigid rains when I do have a moment to ride. Add to that that friggin cabin I'm building on the weekends....

I would like nothing more than to be able to get out and ride with you guys again!!!! In the meantime, I'll keep living vicariously through you via pictures and stories. Now - if I could just burn some calories by looking at those pictures....;)
 

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Black Lion
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Toddski said:
I used to night ride solo allot in the past, but I stopped when all the hair growing on my palms made it difficult to get a secure grip on the bars. Maybe I should have stopped more often to take pictures of myself.
You said hairy palms.
 
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