Summer ’09 Starts…Now

2 06 2009

If I had to choose one word to describe this weekend, it would be packed fun. While it was busy, it typified the kind of weekends that usually make up my summers.

Getting started early, my oldest friend, Melissa, and her finance, Bob, made their way down from South Jersey around lunch time on Friday. I was able to get out of work for the day (#joysofbeingtheboss) and the Mr. had the day off, too, so we all headed over to the park (Catoctin Mtn. National Park) for a hike. Derby didn’t know what to do with himself, going on three hikes in less than a week. We hiked to the Blue Ridge and Thurmont vistas for a round trip of about 2 mi. or so. Melissa and Bob got some photos at the two overlooks, and I think they enjoyed the breeze that we found at the second. I know I did. With the heat and humidity already present for the season, we had worked up our appetite for fajitas on the grill. Of course, the fajitas were preceded, accompanied and followed by wine…

Which brings us to Saturday and more wine! We headed over to the first wine festival of the summer where we listened to a couple of Caribbean pan bands and had some local wine before giving into the sun and heat. You’ve got to get there super early if you want to get anywhere near a piece of shade. The sangria was cold, though. Our guests had to make their way home late Saturday afternoon, so it all worked out. It’s so cool to think that Melissa and I’ve been friends for almost 28 years. I’m so thankful to still have her in my life.

Melissa (left) and me at the festival

Melissa (left) and me at the festival

No sooner did we arrive home to see our guests off, we got a call for another party. I had a little time to re-compose myself, which included a washcloth bath and shaking my hair out of my ponytail. And we were off – but we only lasted until about 11pm when we had to come home and crash. Besides, I had a truckload of mulch to spread on Sunday, and I did not feel like doing it while dry heaving.

Finally, on Monday, I was back on my bike. We headed out around 9:30 to meet Emily in the Frederick Watershed to do a quick loop that has a mix of singletrack and some technical/rocky downhill and uphill sections. Despite the full parking area, we only passed some hikers with dogs and a single mountain biker. From the other biker we learned of some new singletrack that had been cut by a trail crew and decided to check it out after we were finished with the loop. (It looks like I was riding when I took this shot. Alas, I was not.)

new piece of singletrack

new piece of singletrack

The loop we rode was actually the subject of my very first blog post. While there will always remain a good bit of eye-jiggling on the rocky decents of this trail, I am now handling them more deftly, and without screaming things like, “ohmygodwhythefuckamidoingthis?!?!” Though, I did dismount near the spot where I went over my handlebars last year. That big, flat rock still psychs me out. We had fun blasting through the muddy puddles and wide, running stream before having to dig in for the steep uphill sections that make up the last third of the ride. An “aha” moment hit me while shifting to prepare for one climb, boosting my sense of accomplishment for the day. I haven’t mastered the last, and steepest hill on this trail yet, and it irks the shit out of me to watch my husband pedal his way up. I proceed on foot, which the Mr. has dubbed “bike-hiking.” I think I actually get more of a workout pushing the bike. The end of the trail is sandy/packed singletrack with some stacked log obstacles here and there. I am working my nerve up to try some of them out, but right now it’s all in my head.

The short piece of singletrack we rode after the loop was fun. It was nice and narrow, with a couple of little rock gardens. Oh, and there was also some barbed wire that got caught in Em’s chain ring, stopping her immediately in her tracks. She was able to hop off her bike unscathed, and we pulled the buried pieces up and bent them safely back off of the trail. We made plans to return the following weekend to scope out the rest of the new stuff that continued on the other side of the road that intersects the trail.

I headed to the shop to drop my bike off for a tune up and derailleur part replacement to get it ready for the next ride. While there, I tested out an Electra Townie 7D, and it was love at first pedal…




One response

22 06 2009

this pict looks like you are riding when you took it!

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