Erik Ogan (eriktheplaid) wrote,
Erik Ogan

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Mud Pies

[Cross-posted from my MovableType Blog]

. . . I'm a bad conservationist. And a terrible ambassador.

I broke a spoke on my touring (& commuter) bike last the previous Thursday. Since I'm lazy, I haven't fixed it yet. Since I'm lazy and incredibly busy, I tried to take it to someone to do it for me (they were closed), but that's not what makes me a bad person.[*]. It just means that I spent some time this weekend (finally!) getting my Stumpjumper into a ridable state, and I've been commuting on that.

Yesterday (Thursday) morning I contemplated making up for slothish behavior earlier in the week by getting off the train in Menlo Park and riding in from there, but I wimped out, since I was going to be riding back to Palo Alto for games at Matt's house.

. . . Then fate handed me a second chance. There was a fatality in Mountain View, we were held at Menlo Park with no idication how long it would be.

I set out with the intent of riding through the Baylands & Shoreline.

My excitement to ride through the Baylands on my new mountain bike allowed me to rationalize away the fact that it had rained (first of the season!) lightly the day before. I was determined to ride some of the trails I used to take on my way to Intuit. I was giddy at the prospect.

Originally posted by erikogan

I forgot how much damage a mountain bike can do. I also forgot how tenaciously sticky the mud in the Baylands is. In my defense:

  1. The trail I was on is in the section of the Shoreline park where they're doing heavy construction, so it's not like I rutted up a pristine, remote trail.
  2. I didn't get very far before the mud completely clogged my front wheel and I couldn't go any further.

Even still, as time goes on, more and more trails become closed to mountain bikes. We need to act responsibly, and tread as lightly as we can, or all of the complaints levelled against us will be entirely justified.

Further, it was sunny all day Thursday. Arguably, I would have been better off waiting until the evening when the mud had had a chance to dry in the sun.

I had to carry my bike up a slope back to the paved trail, and it had gained (I'm not exaggerating) about 10 lbs of mud. Back on the pavement I realized that I'd just failed at taking [info]stealthymonkey's advice to submerge myself in something I enjoy. As defeated and frustrated I felt, I still felt better than I had in a while. I rode on, and only after a significant amount of mud had flown off (a large amount of it straight into my mouth. Bleah) did I think to take the photo at right. So it was much worse.

I miss mountain biking. I need to clean up my StumpJumper, tune it up, and get some trail time. Who wants to go with me?

Update: It's been a week since that little "adventure." I'm riding the train down again with the intent to get off at Menlo Park. It's been (mostly) dry this past week, so I may try the trail again. In fact, I realized last week that I missed an opportunity for more off-road riding, and I'll probably be exploring that section of Shorline again.

Update Update: Doo! Ok, granted, it wasn't the mountain biking I've been craving, just a lame fireroad with trail off-shoots here and there. Still. It. Felt. Great. I also took the really scenic route and added a half hour to the extra half hour that riding in from Menlo Park usually adds.

Oh, and I lost another pound.

[*] Seriously! I'm getting enough flack about that from the part of me that sat on the side of the road on Day 1 of CAR6 and fixed a broken spoke (yes, he's should have sagged in, since the next stop was lunch (with a mechanic present). He's completely demented. I'm aware of that.)

Tags: baylands, bike, conservation, cross-posted, mess, mountain bike, mud, shoreline, trails, written on the train

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