So I had the rare fortune to ride with a couple of local heros Monday afternoon. I got to ride with Mark “the Polish” Hammer and Dan “Super B” Burdett. Both Mark and Dan are great riders and all around good guys to hang with. I know that there is a certain “air” that comes with being a celebrity and a local hero but with these guys none of that is apparent on the surface, what you see is what you get; on our ride I even witnessed these guys speaking with the common trail user!
We set out Monday afternoon at one of our favorite trails, Marshall canyon. With all the recent rain, we weren’t real sure what to expect but we had a hunch. Our hunch proved to be correct and the trail was pretty beat up but totally ridable. We were warned up front about a huge mud hole that would sink bike and rider up to 10 inches. We found the mud hole but there was a work around, no problem. We did however discover sections of the trail that were totally wiped out (just plain gone), down trees and more water flowing down the numerous water crossings than I have ever seen.
The Day was beautiful and it seems others shared the same sentiment as I. We ran in to numerous other trail users, horses, bike riders, hikers, basically the usual for Marshall Canyon. The trail was not crowded and everyone ended the day safe and no real mechanicals other than Mark losing a little air from his rear tire, a Specy S-Works Fast Trak 2Bliss set up. you guessed it, tubeless with Stan’s. These tires seem to be pretty vulnerable on the side walls as we have both experienced small tares that happen more easily than they should.
We decided to make this a Single Speed only ride and boy did I pay for it, Dan and I were on 29ers and Mark was on a 69er. For one, I have not been riding after having the “big V” in November and secondly, I chose to ride with 2 of the team racers from the site. They were accommodating to say the least but I could sense they were chomping at the bit to be set free of shackle they called me.
Team riders were set free….
We worked our way up to a mid-point rest spot that includes a comfy old bench, plenty of tree cover and flowing water, lots of flowing water. From there, 3 options are available to ride not including turning around and heading down hill.
1) Climb to a fire road, back down single track to climb again and back down more single track, to the car
2) Climb to a fire road, turn around come back down, climb again and back down more single track, to the car
3) Climb to a fire road,down some single track and to the car
I chose #3 and waited at the top of the last descent while Mark and Dan chose #1, they were finally set free of their buddy and bike anchor! When they finally met up with me after climbing a ton in only a couple of miles, Dan says to us after resting a few seconds “the feeling like I’m gonna puke is starting to go away” — Ya, I’m not ready for that feeling just yet after being off any bike for 6 weeks.
Gotta LOVE Marshall Canyon….it’s absolutely beautiful
We had a great time and ended up very muddy….but this was totally expected and this is why we ride…good times!