Saturday, June 21, 2008

Murphy-Hanrehan Single Track

The Amigos, all four of us, hit the single track this morning at Murphy-Hanrehan Park. This has to be one of the finest single track rides anywhere. MORC and the park service folks have done a wonderful job with this little corner of paradise.

By the time I pulled into the trail head parking lot the guys were pretty much ready to go. I scrambled to get ready and nearly left without my helmet. Thanks Bob for looking out for me.

I was apprehensive about riding because of tendinitis in my left knee. When I awoke this morning it felt pretty good and I just didn't want to make it any worse. Turns out that the knee held up fine, but I'll know more tomorrow morning. The ride was fantastic! Once we hit the trail Bob and Grasshopper were pretty much gone. We decided to stick with the expert trail and try doing as many loops as possible on that. I think I ended up doing two go rounds on the beginner (this leads into the intermediate and expert loops), a partial on the intermediate and then two laps on
expert trail. I'm not even sure how many miles we went and it really isn't that important. I think I got in a little more than two hours of pretty solid riding. Which under the circumstances was plenty. Next time I would like to shoot for three.

Along the way I came across a group of four riders. One guys face looked really messed up and it was obvious that he was not feeling too well. The others were helping him back to the trail head. Kenny also came across this same group. Apparently he had taken a header off the the step bridge. Which, if you're in the wrong spot can be quite a lengthy fall to take on a bike. No sooner did I come upon this group of riders and I lost my focus, my handlebar clipped a tree and I went down. Scrapped up my (L) knee and leg a bit, but no biggie. To be honest, I think seeing that poor bastards face kind of startled me.

Matt, Bob and I were on our single speeds and I am so convinced that for this particular trail it's the only way to go. Murphy single track has a certain flow and rythm to it and I felt more in tune with my bike and the trail then ever before. The only problem is every time I got into this groove and was riding really well...
not where I would like it to I of course would crash. I also took Bob's advice from last year. "Look through the turns," he said. Well, it works. Of course I still don't have the riding time these guys have on mtn. bikes and my confidence level is stillbe, but I know I'll get there. Bob is shown here in this photo by Kenny, probably giving advice.

Somewhere towards the end of the last lap I took a pretty good roll. Again, handlebars clipping a small tree. I put Easton Monkey Bars on a while back and they are wider than the flat bars that were on my bike. I like the extra leverage they give me on inclines, but I may think about cutting them down a bit. Anyway, I came down pretty hard on my left shoulder. Fortunately it wasn't a rocky area. On impact I could hear everything in my left shoulder and side kind of crunch. I waited for the pain to come (collarbone), but it didn't. I lucked out. Kenny just kind of smiled and asked if was OK, and of course I blamed it on the handlebars. He told me he could hear me crash before he actually saw it. I didn't want to ask what it sounded like. A bit earlier he had mentioned how you get a little more confident on the second lap...he didn't say that you also get more stupid. I feel like maybe I got a bit more stupid and was trying to ride beyond my skill level. My shoulder and left side of my chest are a bit sore right now.

The new 29er SS should be in early this week and I can hardly wait to get it down to Murphy. Three more inches higher off the ground to fall. Another thing I noticed is that the headset on the old Hardrock is toast. Great, more money.

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