A reminder of the days when I was just getting into off road cycling.
At least he was smiling, I thought, as I heard him fade into the distance. I bumped up over a median, onto a grassy dike, and down into the single track, leaving the people hustling to get to work and school behind me.
The Green Belt is a flat, winding, wild, and ever changing strip of land along the Black Hawk Creek that was set up to be a bridle path back in the 1950's. I discovered it some 30 years later as a well beaten in single track through the woods where I would walk often just to get away from everything and every body. The 80's were a time of drought here, and one could have gained the false assumption that the Green Belt would never change, and in fact, it probably hadn't for the most part for most of that time. I could count on seeing the same things from year to year back then.
|Saluting the Flag|
I was on the new tester, the Milwaukee Bicycle Company 29"er, and the bike was a perfect choice for the twig littered trail. Some of the trail was the old, troughed out bits that had been there forever. Some of it new, as in pretty much brand new, and some of it older re-routes around trees that fell years ago now.
That's another thing that happens more often now. Trees fall down, branches break off, and both block the trail here and there. The rot, wind, water, and riotous, unchecked nature of the Green Belt lends itself to tree carnage like this.
Back in the day when I got my first mountain bike, the trees behaved themselves. There rarely was ever a downed tree, or larger branch. Twigs and small branches would fall after windstorms, but that was the only time. As I bounded over branches and made my way around the bigger stuff, I was reminded of that teal green Sycamore I used to have.
|Colors Of The Season|
It was a big field of grass back then. Probably just recently retired from farming. The back three sides of the field were lined with tall, gnarled oaks and big maples. The colors that year were awesome. So impressive that I made a pilgrimage the next year, and the next, and the next to see it again.
Of course, I missed a year here or there, but for the most part, I've made it every year otherwise. A way of remembering my roots and seeing the scenery of the Green Belt in the height of its glory.