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Author Topic: Big day of riding  (Read 1534 times)

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Offline EllsRider

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Big day of riding
« on: December 23, 2006, 05:43:10 PM »
     ( Note from the Ellsrider; reading this post might make you feel like you are in a field in Iowa, as there is a lot of CORN in the following post  8) )
    It all started on Friday afternoon. I called to AJ's Bikes and asked if they could get my road bike ready for an afternoon ride. I stopped  by at 11:30 and they had that suckka ready to go. I do my first official road ride, spinning approx. 12-15 miles in and around fishhawk, fishhawk blvd, dorman road. The last mile going home I got caught in the afternoon rain. It was a good ride but it will take some getting used to. These bikes aren't as safe as mountain bikes. Still it felt good to be out riding around and I had a little muscle pain in the back of my thigh where I don't normally feel any pain, so I must be building where I don't usually. Felt good to be turning that big gear. I wanted to get some saddle time on the bike before I get a fitting, to maximize the potential gains from the fitting.
     So I get home and shower, eat a couple of grilled cheese sandwiches and watch some HBO waiting for the Alafia night ride. The gebronis swing buy to pick me up and we head out for Alafia getting there by 6:15.  The gates open at 6:45 and we head in. Not the biggest crowd, D from AJ's, Bob V,Brandon from Plant City, me, original Ellsrider and the Idster. Six riders and 5 out of the six are  riding Ellsworths. There is a sense of anticipation in the air as we unload and prep our bikes, gearing up with HID's and LED's and Lithium Ion powered lights, this convergence of Ellsworths , coming together to ride the trails at Alafia, on this misty, humid night, a night of riding the areas most treacherous and feared trails. This night that most have decided to stay home, safe in the warmth and comfort of their homes, safe from the pitfalls, pratfalls, and other dangers of the wet, slick roots that face the six, the few that have chosen to face danger ,on this night that danger has the upper hand.
       We head out and hit the North Creek trail. Even with the high quality lights, vision is impaired and discerning the trails roots and rocks is challenging. By the end of north Creek each and every one of us knows full well that on this night, the trails are looking for blood, looking to claim another victim. Looking to mark the spot where so and so went down, got busted up. We rode on, holding a tight line, tire to tire for most of the ride. We kept a  good pace and fought our way through not knowing when our rear tire would shoot out sideways or lose its traction grip and just spin out. The lights were bouncing through the woods, dancing on the trail in front of you from the riders at the rear of the line. We rode Horsehoe and Shelleys Loop, Bridges and the woops, D hit one of the Rabbit Ears and we rode Roller  Coaster, skipping Moonscapes as the Idster had a shifting problem and we headed into the parking lot. We said adieu to the Idster at this point and rode back and hit the Rock Garden followed by SandPine. We headed in after this having survived whatever the trails threw at us, knowing that if you show up  on a night like this, if you bring  your A game, you can still enjoy a night ride.
       So I end  up riding about 12 miles at Alafia and we decide to hit Morris Bridge in the morning. San Felasco is just a few weekends away and preparing for this Epic 50 miler had better begin soon. Saturday morning at 6:10 and the Original Ellsrider is on the phone getting me  up and moving. I roll into his driveway by 6:45 and we meet The Idster at the Cracker Barrel in Valrico for eggs and pancakes. Inspired by others, I had reccommended that we do a couple of laps at Morris Bridge and we'll need  some food stuffs in us to carry us through this long ride. At Morris Bridge  we ride the main trail staying off almost all the ancillary trails. We want to go for the distance and the main trails are smoother and  the roots are still wet at this time.  We near the completion of the first lap and the Idsters wife is on the phone pressuring him to get home for family Christmas stuff. Again, we say adieu to the Idster after one lap ( I might change his nickname to the Frenchman  if he keeps bailing on rides)  and me and the Original Ellsrider push on. We' re talking  about riding out to certain points and turning back to complete the ride, but we leave it at  completing  another lap and seeing how we feel at that time. After the second lap we rest  and have a Gu, some water and breakfast bars. We decide to ride on and complete a third lap. As we approach the end of our ride we cross trails with Art and another rider and we jump on there rear wheels. They're at their 38 mile mark and me and Orig. Ellsrider are at 40 miles. We ride on for a little while and Art makes a move to drop us. The othe rrder asks if we want to chase and The Original Ellsrider bolts out and I follow. I yell back that I don't know how long I can hold this pace and fortunately it's not long as we catch Art  a short distance up. We ride back into the Hole in the Fence and Art and the other rider  ride on to complete their ride. We end up with 41.75 miles at 11.7 avg.. It tooks us over 3 hours to ride but we we were not going for speed or fast times. Just to get some distance and get our bodies used to the long haul.
     That completed 22 hours of  the day in the life of the Ellsrider. Three rides in less than one day , 65 + miles, and still feeling pretty good after completion. That should hold me through for a couple of days, although , now that I have the road bike, I might sneak out for a recovery ride on Sunday.

     Merry Christmas!  :) 
" Not this time, Lance"

Offline Garry

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Re: Big day of riding
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2006, 09:10:34 PM »
This mornings Trout Creek ride was an awesome morning to be on the trail.  We started out with 13 riders looking to get in a long mileage day building up to the Ididaride.  Starting out, Four from our group went out ahead and missed the turn that the rest of us took on the Levee back towards Coconut Grove.  There was some confussion at this point of where we were headed and the group stopped to - well - regroup, but we were still missing the other four as they went the other direction.  So once everyone knew the route we were taking we were off again to do a bunch of miles.  Trails were in great shape from the rain by the way.  Determined to cover every trail in the three parks we were cutting through Coconut Grove and :::wumpf:::  rider down at the pine tree that is fallen on the trail.  No injuries, just a body plant it seems.  Making it out to the power lines we regroup - yuk it up a bit - then headed into Bayshore.  Nice conditions and my personal favorite - no alligators in sight.  Crossing the road and climbing back up the levee we head into the winding single track towards the Aluminum Bridge.  Fast, great traction, and nice.  Bypassing the bridge we climb the levee again headed to Squiggy which turned out to have two large areas of standing water.  I was zooming along and didn't see it until the last second and unforgivably locked 'em up just before splashing into the flooded trail.  Keeping close to the left edge I could keep pedaling through to where the trail continued on the other side.  Picking up speed again I came upon the next big flooded section and made a U turn to ride the bypass to the left. I could hear the others coming up on the trail by now and yelled for them to stay left as we made our way out to Bruce B Downs paved portion and into the new Panther reroute.  This section has been ridden in nicely but still gives one a bit of a workout.  We were pretty much regrouped after the old lake bed and were now headed to the inner section of Flatwoods.  (We still have not seen the four who splintered off at the beginning and missed Bayshore.)  From the wooden bridge off the paved loop to the "Y" just before Eubanks Parkway was in great shape with good traction on turns, straightaways and roots.  Love that little pine root shortly after 33/34 I think it is because hitting it just right and you can get some nice air out of it.  Since we were going for mileage we decided that once we made it to the "Y" we would ride the paved loop back around to the wooden bridge before getting to the aluminum bridge trail and redo that section of single track.  Actually hit 26mph on the paved stuff for a short sprint.  We still held at 9 riders which was good.  All of us are going to Ididaride and we were aiming for 30 miles or so.  Making our way to the Morris Bridge side we are now headed into Heartbreak Ridge.  The new wooden bridge is a nice addition, but the rocks dropped over the roots to make a very difficult trail no longer all that difficult were not.  Maybe those responsible can be pursuaded to remove them.  Assuming Indian would be wet and muddy we agreed to ride everything but.  It was pretty cool zig zagging through all of the other trails tieing them in together to make one continuous loop.  We somehow lost three of our group but found them again after coming out of Misery.  Then we lost one more but ran into him again a short time later on Speedway.  All in the name of fun and mileage.  By this time at the empty kiosk by the pits and starting to head back to parking when Art says something about Indian being rideable.  Too bad we missed it because by now I am hungry and in return mode and that is almost more powerful than loving my bike ride.  Well, it turned out to be more powerful because I was headed to the truck with the remainder of the group in tow except for Art and Kevan.  All done we did 33 1/2 miles, while Kev and Art turned like 40 or so?  It was a great day to be on the trail.  It was a great ride at Morris Bridge et all and I look forward to another great ride at Boyette Sunday.

Offline Kevan

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Re: Big day of riding
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2006, 10:53:12 PM »
Obviously it's been a great couple of days to ride.  The rain this week has really transformed the trails from what they were on Tuesday.

41.9 miles today, 4 hrs ride time, minimal stopping. Thanks to everyone who showed up.

big shout out to EllsRider and OriginalEllsRider
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Offline EllsRider

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Re: Big day of riding
« Reply #3 on: December 24, 2006, 07:46:07 AM »
So you guys passed me and the Original Ellsrider on the trails. We were the two oncoming riders who yielded the trail to your group as you went buy.  Good to see you. Kevan, were you the other rider as we headed into hole in the fence at the end? Also, we just stayed on the main trails, but i have never ridden on better trails out there, riding over the sand sections was like gliding over ice crusted snow. Awesome day of riding.   :D
" Not this time, Lance"

Offline Kevan

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Re: Big day of riding
« Reply #4 on: December 24, 2006, 03:01:47 PM »
Yes, that was me behind Art at the end. I was still in my slow, don't stop mode when I went by in the parking lot or I would have stopped to say Hi.   :)

The trails don't get any better than they were yesterday!  It was a great ride!

See you again soon!
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