RTR Recon Ride

….Or I get lost in the woods so you don’t have to (unless you want that)

After a medium to hard ride with the Bike Rack guys yesterday I had a free day and a chance to explore some new roads.   Situated conveniently to the around-the-mountain loop (and over twice) this area could maybe be an extension section.

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Rain Daze

They roll.  Geared up and feigning resilience.  Ten strong.  No one wants to be the guy who cracks.   Forty five degrees, windy and raining for starters; the radar says no relief.  A big sprawling nor’easter pattern.  The same type that delivered us TWO blizzards this winter (and don’t forget about the DEEP FREEZE that preceded it!)

Off the mountain, through the switchbacks, downward for maximum chill a damp twisting snake of riders, trying to get one in.  The season is here.  Races have already happened and others are filling up.  It’s bite the bullet time.  Group consolidation.  Got to get it on.  If you go I go.

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Before the Crunch

Maybe I have enjoyed my most recent rides because I am at no one’s mercy.  Solo and sightful, albeit it long and grinding: four hours fifty minutes.   Sixty five miles and fifty seven hundred climbing feet with enough muddy dirt (i.e., resistance training for maximum value), to warrant a full post ride hose down.

RTR camps start next week and it will be consecutive beyond.   Yesterday was a recon mission to make sure some of the more remote avenues are passable–remote being a relative word.  It is telling when you stop at a corner store about five miles from some pass and ask if it is plowed, to hear “what road…… Ummmm…. I reckon, I never go up there.”

So I contemplate that as I man the counter, sip my Yoohoo and consume the blueberry frosted pop tarts before pressing back into the unknown.

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Back Up

Out on the machine again today for the first real ride in a month except for some erratic and not very intensive courier action.

Like many on the east coast this winter my fitness has been on lockdown. During the storm weeks I haven’t made any strides toward a wind trainer or a gym. My exercise has consisted of massive shoveling, sit ups and push ups and barn carpentry projects, as well as idling/rest and a steady mantra of, ‘fitness will still come, it always does/real conditioning will just come later this year’.

The roads in Lost River are remarkably well plowed. Long back-woods stretches are basically clear. The county and the state have been out in full force and farmers with their own rigs fill in the gaps.

It was warm enough to ride but not too warm for a big melt so surfaces were dry. We had a fresh two inches last Sunday that made it look even cleaner and newer. Long narrow blacktop strips through bright white rolling meadows. A bike pathway with four foot high plowed borders. A nice effect and diversion for the generally hurtful first roll out.

I was glad to be solo and not at the mercy of a group or other pressing jousting athletic rivals. Basic RTR stats: 57 miles; 6200 feet; 4 hours and 22 minutes.

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