Tuesday, July 18, 2006

I needed that!

What a weekend.

It had it all.. sun, sand, lake, nekkidness, laughs, friends, falls.... Like I said, everything!

First, the riding.

Saturday we rode the segment from Marilla to Dilling rd. It was suggested that we go from Dilling rd. to Marilla, as the climbing was loaded toward the Marilla trailhead side, making for an arduous return trip. Unfortunately, Tom wasn't familier with how to get to the Dilling Trailhead, so we nixed the idea.. (bad, bad idea...)

This trail is a BLAST! It's a constantly rolling trail, up and down, and the downs are a scream.. While not terribly technical, they are fast and they hug the side of a steep embankment of the Manistee river. You've got to break check around some fast turns where overshooting means a long trip down to the river (if you don't make friends with a tree first), and the off angle waterbars seem to keep wanting to push you off the trail! This was a bad time to forget and leave the front fork locked out!! On the way out I felt great! I didn't see what all the fuss was about.. there seemed to be equal amounts of up and down, and so the ride back should be no more challanging that the ride out, right?!?!

Along the way our group got strung out, many choosing to return to the trialhead after getting about 1/2 way out. I pressed on alone most of the ride until I was caught by Dustin as i chatted with a gentleman out to do some trial maintanence. We rode on toward Dilling, until we met Chris and Al who had just turned around at the Dilling trailhead. Dustin and I decided to turn as well, and head back in as a group.

Yeah, that lasted long.

Al in 38x16 and I in 36x17 were the only two SSer's. And we soon learned what all the fuss was about. While the up and down was nearly equal in proportion, they were no where near equal in pitch!! Going out the downs where much steeper than the ups. Hence, going back... well, you get the idea.. Al and I were soon dropped by Dustin and Junior as the long climbs sapped our legs for the downhills. Al and I pressed on. Let's just say that some pledges were made, bonds forged, and we made it out alive... (Al, I'm still trying to figure out which part I would have started with..)

We were greeted with cheers and, most importantly, cold beer at the trailhead. A great ride with great friends!

More to come later!

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