Monday, September 10, 2007

x2cycle at Blankets

Bubba and I gave the x2cycle our best shot yesterday at Blankets yesterday. We didn't do so well.

First we had some trouble getting the bolts tight enough so that the ball hitch didn't swivel around too much. The problem was we could never decide on a common speed. When one of us would accelerate the other would brake. The minor "kick in the back of the chair" feeling Amy and I experienced was more like a drop kick to the butt with Bubba and I. The drop kicks eventually took a toll on our mounts and caused the rack or ball mount to swivel around.

Once we got everything tightened up we tried to negotiate Mosquito flats. It wasn't pretty. We had to stop a bunch. There were several crashes. We kept at it though and eventually we were able to make it through without stopping.

Our goal for the day was Dwelling Loop. After our experience on Mosquito flats, I was pretty apprehensive about trying it, but Bubba really wanted to give it a go. So we went for it. The first part went really well. On the Sun direction the first section is mostly rolling with no hills that are too steep or too long.

We climbed up the first big hill with very little problems and took a long break on one of the benches. Then we tried to descend down one of the bigger hills. It started out sketchy and got much worse the further we got. I think all the braking just wore Bubba out. He complained his back and hands hurt. On many of the hard right hand turns he would just wash his front tire out and fall. Not sure if I was pulling him too fast or if we cut the turn too tight or what.

After 20 minutes of this he was done. We couldn't really ride more than 20 feet without Bubba falling or yelling at me to stop. We finally made it to the bottom of the hill and took a break at the second bench by the lake. We refilled Bubba's camelback and learned that he had chewed through his bite valve. The water leaked out everywhere. I gave him my bite valve and clipped my hose up in the air so that the water wouldn't leak on me.

We tried riding again but it just wasn't happening. Bubba was cooked. So we walked most of the way back to the trail head. Bubba let me pull him up some of the longer climbs but no mas for the downhills.

I think I picked the wrong trail for Bubba's first trip on the x2cycle. He made some comments about how he didn't want to use it anymore. I can't blaim him. He hit the dirt way too many times. Even in all the suffering he made a comment like "I feel like I am in a dream I am having so much fun." So he was a really good sport about it even if I did get him in over his head.

I have been thinking about where to go next time. I think I would like to try Red Top Mountain State Park or the big walking loop at Sope Creek down by the river. Both of these are wide gravel paths with very little elevation change, and I think Bubba would have a much easier time on these trails.

My favorite comment of the day came from Bubba when he was flipping through my Bike magazine in the back seat of my car. He was reading an add for the Specialized Stumpjumper. The ad claimed the Stumpjumper was the best XC trail bike in the world and bunch of other superlatives. Bubba said that it was all a bunch of talk and that it doesn't matter how nice your bike is. What really matters is the rider. I couldn't believe he said that. I told him that was really smart and insightful of him. I asked him where he learned that. He told me he learned it from reading the Harry Potter books. Something about the wand doesn't make the magician.

If you know me you know I can't stand Harry Potter. I will have to eat crow though because if those books teach him things like that then I am all for it.

1 comment:

i8chocolate said...

Bubba is one smart whipper snapper, and he's lucky to have such a cool Uncle. Look at it this way, the next rides can only go uphill from this one! Way to hang tough. His comment touched me too.