Monday, September 24, 2012

Closing Time

Even though I should’ve been resting on Saturday so I could stay up all night for the Cackalacky 500, I couldn’t resist the urge to say one more goodbye to an old friend.

Last call...

Yes, I returned to Poplar Tent once again for a private farewell ride.  The plan was to ride everything, take lots of pictures, and take my time enjoying the trail for what could be my last time.  When I got there though, I was reminded of what this trail can do to you if you’re not careful.

The guy inside got hauled off to the hospital, and he will live to ride another day.

I hit the trail at a steady pace, which gave me time to reflect on every root, rock, turn, feature, and even critters.  I thought about how much I’ve enjoyed these things over the years.

Like Devil’s Drop.

The teeter totter.

Ladder bridges.

That place is like a playground for bikes.

With plenty of danger.

And lots of my favorite critters.

And probably everyone’s favorite feature, Gravity Cavity.

It was never optional for me.

I would stop there and play longer than I probably should have, and Saturday morning’s ride was no different.

The scenery out there was always great.

The signs out there remind you how simple life can be.

When I finished my ride, I sat at the picnic table and thought about how much that place really means to me as a mountain biker.  The ride made me happy and sad at the same time, and I realized that riding around Charlotte will never be the same.  Although there’s no stopping the closure of this fine trail, no one can ever take away my memories of it.  I’ve ridden every mountain bike I’ve ever owned there, and each ride was a unique experience.

I’ll miss the shitt outta Poplar Tent.

Maybe I can get in one more ride before it’s gone forever.  If you live anywhere near here, you should too.

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