How many different signs did I need to help me see that I should not have went BPing this past weekend? Started off the week by braking my bike. No biggie. I have a second bike. It aint ideal but I really want to go and I have already put this trip off a week. Then I brake my phone. Who cares. That doesn't even have any bearing on my trip. Then one buddy has other plans come up. Thats ok I have two more going. Then I second one can't swing it. Its ok the important one is still in. Then I tear the tire on my one working bike. I just bought a new one anyway and wanted to replace it. Then I crack the screen on my gps. I can still read it just fine and it was bound to happen one of these days. Then final buddy bails. Who cares I have a loving wife that is willing to drop me off and pick me up. I have everything I need a bike and a willingness to do the ride. Oh and some sweet ass tunes in my Ipod.
Saturday the amazing wife drops me off on the side of a dirt road, I hit play, and off I go. Its gonna be a great trip. The weather is perfect, the flowers are out, and I have my apple pies. Then I hit the trail. Its not to bad for the first mile or so. Kinda fun kinda downhill. After that though it gets sucky. The drainages start. Its up and down, up and down into this things for miles. They are not fun to ride down because they have tight ass switchbacks and you can carry no speed, and they are not fun to ride up because they are steep and I am fat and on a loaded single speed mountain bike. And so it continues like this for IDK how long maybe 7 miles or so. I just keep plugging away. I figure its bound to get fun soon. At least the flowers are out and the sun is shining. Plus its all trail, no roads how picky can I be right. But the trail was relentless at least on the SS it seemed like it. Its a trail built for hikers so shoehorning in a bike can be tricky. There was no flow to it and I was pushing my bike so much it was wearing on me. According to the gps and clock I was making good time but I was just not having any fun. Began to call the trail Contra Code. Up Up, Down Down, Left Right, Left Right, SwitchBack A SwitchBack B, Start it all over again.
By mile 20 I was was mentally out. I was not having fun at all. At that point I would have performed falacio on a rattlesnake for just a .5 mile stretch of straight trail. The fun was gone and I no longer wanted to have to push my bike up another stupid pointless hill that goes up for the sole purpose just to go up, or have to ride another mile where I had to turn 30 frackn times. Speeds never reaching more then maybe 9mph if I was lucky. I was broke and at the bottom of a wash/road riding thru it sinking in the sand only to see the trail rise out of it at another unclimbable pitch for me and my bike. I pushed my bike to the top again and sent out the message for the wife to come save me in Dudleyville. I new I had 8 or so miles still before the Freeman rd and my exit so I drudged on. That kinda raised spirits a bit since I knew that I was not gonna have to ride the dreaded Ripsey the next day. Its like the antithesis of all the hills and switchbacks I had just rode and may have very well left me weeping if I had rode to it the following day and looked up at its towering spine of switchbacks.
It just left me in awe at the guys that can do 10x more then this in a single day or what they can do in three days on a bike. I guess I am not cut from that stone or have not built up the mental callouses yet. Its awesome though. I guess I had the fitness though since I reached the Freeman rd in pretty good time. I was just out of will power. When You are not having fun then whats the point anymore. It wasn't a race I was doing it for my own personal enjoyment and that had left me. So I bailed down the road to Dudleyville and was picked up and whisked back to the real world.
I will attempt this trail one more time before I totally write it off though. Maybe it will be more fun on my normal bike. Maybe after a crappy week leading up I was more mentally unprepared then I thought. Maybe I just need someone to be out enjoying the suffering with me. I dont really know. I will try it again though hopefully soon so I can compare the two rides and just see if I am being a big crybaby about the trail of if it really does suck. Or maybe I am just not man enough to be bikepacking on a single speed.
Pre trail dirt road warmup.
One of the numerous locations where I thought the trail was gonna start getting fun.
Not to much shade around.