Saturday, March 26, 2005

Fountainhead

Fountainhead. My favorite local park/mountain bike trail. It's been lurking around some corner of my life ever since I left the West coast. When Gina and I moved to VA in 98, we were both archery geeks. We shot Olympic style recurve and Fhead was the closest archery range we could find. Nevermind that the range was geared more towards the bowhunter types, it gave us a chance to be out in the woods, which after 20 years of city life in Los Angeles and un-life in the Orange County burbs, seemed like a neat place indeed.

Months later when the archery geek thing passed and the mountain biking geek thing kicked in, I saw a Washington Post article about the Fhead mountain bike trail and decided to give it a try. So one day I tied my $250 aluminum hardtail to the trunk of my car (an old Nissan Sentra which was probably worth less than my bike) and set out for adventure. Until then, my rides had been limited to the cinder trail around Lake Accotink, where even those 5% grades had me gasping for air. Fhead was a very different beast indeed. Steep climbs, rocks, roots, and logs. The trail hurt me bad. But I liked it so much that I came back every weekend for the next few weeks.

A few months later after discovering clipless pedals and full-suspension, I went for my first night ride there clad in jogging sweats and a bright yellow fleece pullover. With about 30 people in the parking lot we split up into 4 groups. My delusions of grandeur got the better of me and I decided to try one of the faster groups (somehow, it was full of guys riding bikes with one gear). I got dropped after less than a minute of riding. As the moderate group caught up with me I pedaled hard to keep up. I got dropped again. As the slower, casual group caught me I pedaled even harder to keep up. No use. I spent the rest of that ride chatting with the sweeper, a nice guy by the name of Stu (the world famous MORE Fhead liaison Stu). We meandered along occassionally getting lapped by faster riders until we finally made it back to the parking lot. I went home and swore off Fhead for a while.

My next night ride there would be three years later, uh, that would be just a couple of Wednesdays ago (see how long it took those emotional scars to heal?). Now, I was riding one of those funny bikes with one gear and I had long since discovered lycra. I'm a bit faster now than I was three years ago but some things never change. I'm still getting dropped, but this time it's rickyd who's doing the dropping. Ever since he converted to 29erism he's hell on wheels (big wheels). And that's good, cos I always like riding with people who are quicker than I am. Kinda gives me something to shoot for. If I could only find my bow...

1 Comments:

Blogger fatmarc said...

very nice post. Bow comment at the end had me snorting... as always, well done

7:02 PM

 

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