Thursday, October 12, 2017

Getting Back On It

The Fall colors haven't quite come in yet.
Wednesday and I was feeling better, so I went for another ride. Over the weekend I was too busy, it rained a lot, and I felt awful. I relapsed, in fact. But since then I've been on an upswing and I think I am coming out of this funk. Finally.....

Anyway, I ran out of time for, and thought better of, an attempt at doing a big gravel ride. I probably need to take some baby steps first here. It has been a good month since I have done any hour plus long rides on gravel. So, in an attempt to not over-do it, I stuck with a fat bike ride in the Green Belt.

That made sense also from the standpoint of doing some work on Marky-Mark Trail. I wanted to make sure it was still clear, number one, and then I wanted to scout out an extension. First I had to get out of the house. I know that sounds so simple to do, but for some reason, I feel like a tractor beam gets turned on whenever I want to get away from the house for a ride.

Either I cannot find some essential, wanted bit of kit or gear, or I get interrupted. Yesterday it was interruptions. Not "bad interruptions" mind you, but time stealers all the same. I had to take care of these details first before I left to ride. Sometimes it is much more frustrating than that, especially when I cannot find a wanted item.

It is nice to see water running through the Green Belt again. Still- we could use more rain!
So anyway, I got out there on the Ti Mukluk with a clip on rear fender, you know,  just in case. We have had a lot of rain of late which I know may have made a mess of things in the Green Belt, but with it having been so dry previously, I was betting on okay conditions. I was mostly right. The water crossing at the dike was a hike-a-bike. It probably will erode to become far worse, and in my opinion, it will eventually end up as deep as the section we used to cross for years. So much for moving it, but then, I could have told you it would go like this.

Things are still mostly green out there.
I went out to Marky-Mark Trail and stopped to do a bit of recon. I feel like there is a lot of potential here. The land that Marky-Mark traverses is higher ground, and to my knowledge it has never flooded. Well.....maybe it did in '08. That was the record flood year, but the point is, this land does not flood out very often, if at all. A trail would be sustainable and easier to maintain through there, as evidenced by Marky-Mark, which sees so little maintenance it isn't even funny.

I think I am going to eventually do two new sections, but for now I am only going to work in one. It won't take much, I feel, and my preliminary scouting trip revealed a nice flow and some good area to punch it through on. Some deer trail will be utilized, but the underbrush is very similar to what I remember dealing with in 1997, so I know what needs to be done here to establish this new section. It will mean that I will have to dedicate much of my late season and early next season riding to "burning it in", but once that gets done, I think it will stick.

The fat bike felt odd yesterday since I was trying out my new Keen boots which I hope to use most of the Winter. They are insulated and waterproof, so they are built to take it, but heavier boots and thicker soles just make your bike feel different. I think it took two thirds of my ride to get comfortable with how my pedal stroke felt and to figure out my gearing. Plus I always feel more restricted with Winter stuff on, and Fall starts me down that road again.

Stay tuned for more on the Marky-Mark trail extension coming soon......

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