Monday, March 03, 2008

Otis, my new friend

Christpher opened the door and climbed into the shotgun position of my Subaru wagon. Looking at me a little bewildered he mutters "I can't believe we're going to drive 85 miles to ride our bikes." Hind sight is twenty twenty because I would have driven farther. I still have a smile on my face after yesterday's re-acquaintance with dirt. The sole reason for the trip to Otis, and the subject line of a string of emails all last week was simply "dirt". For Dirt isn't taken for granted in early March, not this year. We purposely drove south for two hours, to the dirt, and yes it was worth the trip.
We picked up Kerry next with her new shiny custom built IF 29'er. A feeling of great responsibility as I am given the task of securing her new ride to my creaky old roof rack, thinking, god I hope this thing doesn't fly off my roof.
Chris relinquishes the shotgun position, and we were on our way, southbound, soon piercing the beautiful 14.8 billion dollar big dig tunnel, our passage to the magic rain/snow line of Massachusetts. Somewhere around Stoughton the landscape turned from frozen tundra to an unfamiliar bare brown and wilted yellow. We were elated.
Glen met us in the Parking lot, he was gearing up along side Reenie and MTB Tom and their friends Michele, Kieth and JRA Brian. The crew was already assembled, and ready to go as we pulled up. Kerry, Chris and myself now scurrying to gear-up, we were delayed from a dunkin doughnuts stop.
5 minutes later we roll from the lot and my first reaction to Otis was "who put the highway in the middle of the action?" Waiting to cross five lanes of busy traffic immediately after disembarking the hardware store parking lot. I was a little bewildered. But what lay on the other side of the steaming expressway of route 24 was a consistent ribbon of unfamiliar flowing singletrack that simply rocked for twenty one miles.
MTB Tom was en fuego. Tearing up hills and laying into the corners with reckless abandon. Clearly, Otis was familiar haven for Tom as he used the wheels of his IF singlespeed to carom his way threw rock gardens and around blind corners.
In an airborne moment, hot on Tom's tail, flying on the dirt ribbon, we launch over a double track as if were four cross racing on a dual slalom course. I hear Glen's wheels bearing down for the catch. Then I think he loses it, Glen is off trail barreling down the fall line of the hill, I follow the switchback and I am suddenly heading straight for him and somehow we don't collide but instead laugh at the near miss.
Three of us, out ahead, rail off chamber switchbacks, the chase was on for two hours until the twinge of early season legs have their say and I am forced to slow on an extended climb. Tom's pistons continue to pump and he is out of sight.
JRA Brian, whom I did not previously know what a hoot. Aboard a demo jamis 29'er, his attitude was right-on. Pulling an old trick at just the right time; we stop for a break, our posse assembles, silence as we all pant like dogs. At the right moment he sings aloud, "turn around bright eyes" from the bubbly romantic 80's tune Total eclipse of the heart. I don't think much of it but minutes later the tune is stuck deep in my head and I find myself involuntarily singing "every now and then I fall apart". Bastard.
The ride, a four and a half hour success for all. I am now aware that I have lost a shit ton of fitness. This trip has only strengthen my will to find my misplaced mo-jo. But first to IHOP to eat our weight in eggs, bacon and pancakes.
Maybe one of us took some better pictures than me?
Igleheart's out numbered IF's by four to two!
two Jamis, and Michelle's '95 Merlin Ti
back to reality today
a road/recovery
one day closer to finding mo-jo


wraith said...

My invite must have got lost in the mail? That's O.K. I was enjoying the many feet of snow that should be here till late spring when I can ski and bike on the same day.

Andy said...

talk to Jeff about that. I'll quote JW from our last email

"...the splash froze to the bike until i had a single gear to spin. after the ride i found myself chipping 2-3" of ice off everything, it was crazzzzy. glad to be riding, though... and the snow on the mtn is sweet! board one day, bike the other. not bad. not bad at all...

my input...JW, you only need one gear!

wraith said...

I was thinkin buff single track on the eastern range and turns up in the bowls. All set takin the steel out in the salt. But I might make the 75+ mile trek down.

Andy said...

sweet, do it. March 9th and 10th. JW and Thomp are in. let's roll!

and what r u worried about takin the steel in the salt for? don't you use 2 inch tubes .050 thick??

I spoke to Dirks, your april trip sounds interesting, got it on my are trained in high angle mountain rescue right??

wraith said...

Depends on who I need to rescue... And their 1.75 x .049. failure is not an option. Don't think 9-10 gonna work for me, maybe next time.

jeff said...

dirt!? haven't seen ribbons of dirt since nov 15th... time to hit the trainer.