Wednesday, September 14, 2011
NoHandle earned the Scout Master title last night. Not only did he run the Mosquito-Knott shuttle service for me and Safety First!, he chose a route that showcased the unseasonably excellent trail conditions. Meeting us at the Knott Lott, T2 was ready with both brake levers attached, and T1 was eager to get some riding in before his debauchery fest at Interbike.
As soon as we hit the ramp at the base of the Qualifier, it became clear what a treat this night would be. Sunday night's storm was a real gully washer in Pollywood, and all the dust and loose material got washed into the Reservoir. The soil was only superficially moistened, so it wasn't as tacky as some of the hallmark days of late spring. But, after months of deteriorating conditions, it was worthy of squeals of joy.
Up Qualifier (no dust), to the Wedding March early cut-off. NoHanlde surveyed the logging damage and determined that, yes, the Wedding March has been beheaded. Dropped (no dust) to 1a, where in some of the formerly deep dust sections the rain had formed a layer of cohesive moist soil on top of a layer of loose dry soil. Cutting turns was akin to skiing in deep powder.
A light rain fell. Always prepared, the Scout Master was ready with warm layers, but they weren't needed. Unlike the torrents of winter, it was like being spritzed by attendant fans. Lake loop CCW (no dust), giving us a teaser waft of taco aroma, to the horse camp trail (still lots of loose rock, but no dust). Up the switchbacks, cross MET, and through the group and equestrian parking areas for a road sprint up MET to the upper Fleming parking lot. Merit badges were on hand for the riders that managed to stay ahead of the grupetto and hang with the peloton.
After a quick climb CCW on Fleming to the powerline high point we descended in a delirious rush of prime handling and no dust. We regrouped at the top of Palin, and then plunged like the stock market. Rolling below the dam after that series of delicious descents, we couldn't help wishing that every day could be this tuesday, like in the Bill Murray movie.After climbing back to MET, and hopping on the lake trail between the dams, leading temptingly back towards tacos, the Scout Master wasn't ready to end the evening and dropped back down the switchbacks we had climbed earlier, and rode on to B's chin, Road Kill and the Knott Lott. Back at the cars, it was confirmed that Cap'n was either playing soccer or going for a jog at some address off of Petery Lane.
Contrary to the general panic that Mother Rye would scold us for our absence last week, (well, we actually were upbraided in front of the packed bar) service was actually quite indulgent. A boisterous group outside started cleaning up as our tacos were coming out. And who should come over to our table, but the world famous chef and creator of chickenbake. That particular dish was not offered this evening, but she did share a heaping bowl of guacamole and two kinds of home made salsa. Mother Rye complimented the offering by frying us platter after platter of chips. T1 got so stuffed he had to give away his last PBR. At payout, we even got to hear three Ceagles sound their mating cry as they clinked their cocktails overhead.
Mostly sunny, highs reaching 80, and humidity around 30% means outstanding conditions will not last. Call in sick, cancel soccer practice, take off your running shoes and head for Pollywood.
A special thanks to the Mrs. who encouraged me to go riding on our anniversary.