I got into my vehicle fully dressed for riding.
Let me explain. I usually avoid that at all costs. Sometimes I will have my cycling shorts on to save time, but I never drive with a jersey and cycling shoes on. It just seems dumb, and not to mention nasty. When I finish riding, I always change out of my sweaty cycling clothes into something much less gross. But since it was a short drive, I didn't want to waste time with wardrobe changes. It made sense, at least this one time.
Anyway, we gathered up quickly to hit the trail. This loop was my least favorite and I usually avoid it like the plague whenever I'm down there. But this time, it was fun. I'm sure it was because of the company I had with me.
Photo credit: Bill the Fire Bender
We climbed, we descended, we had fun. I was enjoying my time in the woods for sure, even if it hurt like hell on a rigid single speed (riding gears for my bikepacking adventures has made me a little soft.) That section of trail was much better than I remembered, but I chalk that up to riding with some good people.
L to R: Me, Chief Brian. Sergeant Major Todd, A-A Ron, and Bill the Fire Bender
Another random samurai attack had left him with a flat tire... again. With only a half mile to go, he was not pleased at all. Especially since instead of riding the last part of the trail, he had to walk out on the gravel road...
Carrying his bike:
Eventually Bill the Fire Bender rolled up in his truck and saved him from walking too far. Despite the frustration of two flat tires (two days in a row), I still think he a had a good time. We all did. Once we gathered in the parking lot (and I changed because we were done riding for the day), plans were made for the rest of the evening: food, fire, and hanging around the campsite until it was time for bed.
With temps in the 40s that night (instead of the 30s like before), I actually slept pretty well in my hammock, toasty and warm. And the next day I was again treated to some nice scenery from Mother Nature:
I didn't want that weekend to end. It was nice hanging out with other people riding bikes, and the ones with whom I was fortunate enough to share the campsite made it extra special. A few folks decided to ride again that day, and some people went home. As for me, I decided to celebrate Veterans Day properly by visiting a place right down the road where I'd spent some time while I was in the Army...
Fort Gordon, Georgia. I was there in late 1990 and again in 1992. A lot has changed since then, but I still managed to find some old relics (like me) hanging around.
It was the most awesome of weekends, and it needs to happen again really soon. But for now, it's back to the bikepacking stuff.
I'm less than a month away from the big dance. I still don't think I'm ready.
Who gives a shit.