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Author Topic: The Rabbit  (Read 1853 times)

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Offline EllsRider

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The Rabbit
« on: June 25, 2007, 09:05:01 AM »
      I was riding Alafia Sunday morning. It was a big crowd. Ridge Riders were there, Bents riders were there, the parking lot was full. I was going into North Creek  for the second time riding across the grass area between the parking lot and the pavilions. Taking in  all the sights, seeing if I recognised anyone. I rode straight across the grass and the sidewalks and hit the trail. This was going to be my last few miles and I was feeling pretty good. I was rolling pretty good in my big ring and as I shifted own into the middle ring as I hit the  first bench cut I noticed that somebody was chasing me down. I was being hunted. I was the Rabbit.
      I hadn't really noticed the Hunter as I was riding across the grassy area, but he was there. I remember now. He was standing off to the side, straddling his bike. He had a full face helmet. I have noticed this hunting perch before. I find it amusing. I'm not a hunter myself, never have I tried to run anyone down before. A few times while riding as part of a group, but even then it wasn't a fair hunt as you never really know what the quality of the game might be. They like to wait in the parking area or the grassy area, or even at the pavilions. Waiting and watching. Hoping that someone comes along that they think is fast enough to put up a good fight. Someone worthy enough that at the end of the day they can tell there buds that they caught  so and so. Sometimes they hunt in groups, a pack of riders looking to get one up on somebody or group of riders. What they want is to be able to ride past them as they stand there exhausted, panting and gasping for air. Maybe even bent over their bike with a hand on one knee, unable to get out clearly spoken words as the obligatory verbal exchanges take place. I guess it's all part of riding. It breaks the monotony if you are out there putting in long hours or tons of miles. Thinking about it, it's not even a hunt unless the Rabbit is aware that there is a hunter. Even then, the Rabbit must want to put on a chase. If none or little effort is put into it by the Rabbit, the hunt doesn't amount to much. Maybe thats what the hunter is looking for. Someone who wants to play the game. Normally I wouldn't play, but I felt like putting out some effort today and I thought why not. Lets see what this guy is all about. 
        I dropped into the middle ring and found the right gear. I flew across the bridge and remembered to look out for the face slappers as I hit the turn before the straight away section with the woops. Careful through the woops. As fast  as you can but  keep the bike on the ground. I was moving pretty good. The gap was not being closed as we rode on. He was back there but was not closing on me. How far will this go. This is a race.  Further on up the trail isee two riders getting back on their bikes to resume riding. I yell up ahead 'riders up, riders up! '. One guy looks back and sees me coming up but they decide to move on and start riding. They are cranking away, determined to stay in front of me. I'm up on their wheels in 10 seconds. I don't ask to let me pass. They are moving out at a good pace. Sometimes it can be rude  to ask to be allowed to pass. I think it is spoken with the bikes that when a rider comes up close enough to buzz your tire, you should let them pass. First opportunity where there is a easy pass zone. I ride this guys tire  and then the hunter arrives and comes up  behind me. Now we are four deep. No words are spoken. I'm thinking these guys aren't going to be able to go very far. They ar cranking away but I can tell they are in too easy of a gear, they are giving it all they can but it won't be long and they will pull to the side and let  us pass. We come up to a sweeping right turn in the trail, a wide section. I take the turn really tight, almost into the brush. The Hunter buzzes my rear wheel, not expecting the line I took. He veers  to the outside part of the turn as I pull up and he goes past me. He makes a startled reaction sound and I  say '"sorry,man"  He slips past me and now I am on his rear tire. Just like that. The game has changed. I sense that he realises what I did. He doesn't say anything, nor do I. But we know. Now I am the Hunter. He had his chance. In my opinion he couldn't catch me.
         We go on. Four deep, tire to tire. The place where these guys are going to stop is coming up. The benchcut switchback at the top of the ridge.  The trail evens out along the top of the ridge before it exits the woods at the grassy field area. There's a jump as you exit the woods.  Sure enough, the two guys pull to the side as they round the corner at the top of the switchback. They say something. I couldn't quite hear it. The rabbit takes off so fast I can't believe it. This guy is gone. Not so fast, I say to myself, I put the hammer down to catch up. I'm not able to see how he handles the jump. I'm thinking that with that full face  helmet he is into big air. I want to see what he does.  Miss it. I keep my bike on the ground and by the time we enter back into the woods, I am on his tire. He had slowed down a bit, maybe thinking that it was over. That was all that it would take. Not quite my friend. He put the hammer down again and I rode his tire all the way. He is flying. I never had ridden that section of trail that fast. He couldn't shake me at all. After awhile, I'm happy. I feel that I've got this guy. I back off. He rides on. I close the gap again. Ride his wheel, back off. Close the gap again. I do this several times. He can't lose me. I back off again and we finish the trail.  We cross the two track road at the end of the trail and enter that connector trail on RiverLoop.  No break in the action. I am keeping him in sight. Around one of  the turns, he encounters two riders coming up from the other direction.  One of them apparaently bails from his bike, wipes out. The Rabbit is off to the side in the brush. I come riding up. No one is hurt, The other guy is getting up and back onto his bike. I have the singletrack. I tell the Rabbit, good riding, shake his hand and ride on. I don't know if he can speak English or not. He is worked. I wouldn't say that he was doubled over gasping for air, but he was, well, gasping for air bad enough that he couldn't respond  clearly when I shook his hand. Maybe he couldn't speak English that well. I don't know. For meeee, in my mind, that was one Rabbit that I killed.    8)   
" Not this time, Lance"

Offline FACTORe

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Re: The Rabbit
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2007, 09:59:16 AM »
great story - i love it.

i havent been invovled in anything like this on the trails yet (i am probably an easy KILL)

however - yesterday on the road bike, cparider and myself were involed in a stalking.  we were cruising along at a 17-18 mph speed trying to do a long ride.  we are 45 miles into our ride when some guy gets up beside us and starts to get "racey"  as you can see here on the map - toward the end of our slow ride...we start logging some plus 20mph miles in just to make sure that we got the "KILL"  we worked together...caught back up to this guy and then dropped him like a bad habit.   neither of us can hardly walk today...but we didn't let that guy sit behind us and let us pull him for 15 miles.

i have found that it is hard to not get "racey" on the road bike

the ride - - http://trail.motionbased.com/trail/activity/3111053

Offline chisel

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Re: The Rabbit
« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2007, 10:41:50 AM »
I love the hunt ! It keeps it interesting. 8)

Offline FACTORe

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Re: The Rabbit
« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2007, 10:50:38 AM »
we need to order some of these hats


Offline treadlight

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Re: The Rabbit
« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2007, 10:56:44 AM »
Nicely said Ellsrider. I think the competive instinct and pride comes into play everytime we ride. The Hunter-Rabbit situation does not really "exist" as you describe but the subtle hints will come into play once both riders make it apparent that no one will giveway. Also you can tell when the other rider will "commit" to the whole play, thus the Hunter-Rabbit situation will exist. This is one of the reason I ride alone there so much oppurtunity to "compete" with fellow mtbr, without the hassle of an actual race, that you don't have prior experience riding with. This kind of situations forces you to be as flexible as you can to keep a decent gap between you and the Hunter\Rabbit and you can learn a lot from the whole experience.
Also, it helps if you know the trail well.

Offline slowfatguy

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Re: The Rabbit
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2007, 12:29:15 PM »
that's a good story, and I never thought about it that way before. Now I know why I hear people behind me going into north creek trying to catch me. It's most obvious when I'm on the single speed as you can hear their derauiler slapping away as they try to catch up.
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Offline Jimbo

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Re: The Rabbit
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2007, 01:03:54 PM »
If anyone tries to hunt me on the trails, I'll just roll over and play dead. ;D
It's not just fun, it's an addiction!

Offline FACTORe

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Re: The Rabbit
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2007, 01:10:11 PM »
If anyone tries to hunt me on the trails, I'll just roll over and play dead. ;D

that is a good plan

Offline CrazyWhiteGuy

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Re: The Rabbit
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2007, 12:52:14 AM »
It is a very fun aspect of riding and one that I enjoy alot. I find it's one of the easiest ways to get into that sweet groove where you just stop thinking. If there is a fast guy on the trails I usually try and catch um. It's one of those aspects that you don't quite get in a large group ride, the best ones happen with 1 or 2 similar minded riders.
Another of my favorite ways to really put the burn on is to listen to music while I ride. SpineShank works, so does Linkin Park.
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Offline ejosrq

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Re: The Rabbit
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2007, 01:50:06 PM »
Here's my recent rabbit story:

My friend and I are riding a local spot, The Celery Fields, here in Sarasota. It's mostly overgrown twisty single track with plenty of flora and fauna. While at speed, Mr. Bunny decided to shoot across the path into the rear wheel of my friends bike. The outcome was quite ugly; imagine a rabbit in a food processor. Not to mention one broken derailleur, hanger and a 4 mile walk home. Just glad it didn't happen to me. ejosrq
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Offline FACTORe

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Re: The Rabbit
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2007, 02:01:17 PM »
I would have had rabbit stew for dinner

Offline Jimbo

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Re: The Rabbit
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2007, 02:34:15 PM »
Hmmmmm!  Yum.
It's not just fun, it's an addiction!

Offline CrazyWhiteGuy

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Re: The Rabbit
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2007, 01:18:12 AM »
Rabbit meats pretty good, not sure about stew though. The meat has a nice wild spicy taste to it.
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