Yesterday was pretty much what weekends are all about. Around 9am I caught a ride with a friend out to the Avalon area of Patapsco Valley State Park to catch up with a couple of other guys for some trail riding. We started out from the Rt 195 Park and Ride and within the first 20 or 30 minutes of the ride I took my first spill after rounding a corner too quickly. It was pretty basic and pain free but the spectators behind me said it looked pretty fantastic.
The trails were pretty much perfect for riding as most of the rain had passed over and missed the area and what did fall was soaked up quickly by the thirsty soil. Other then a few sections of puddles and a little bit of mud on one of the fire trails the tracks were entirely dry.
After that I felt more comfortable on the bike (kind of like that old football mindset where you're always nervous until the first hit of the game) and then was cruising the rest of the way. I killed some of the long climbs and just cruised through most of the technical single track out there gaining more and more confidence as the day went. I'm definitely feeling good about racing as a beginner this Cranky Monkey Series later this summer.
As we were riding along one of the roads on the way back to the trail towards the cars we saw a Cannondale box truck unloading bikes and I knew we had to stop by. They were doing a demo, so I got to try out there new Cannondale Caffeine 29er. It was my first time ever on a lefty. a bike with disc brakes and a 29er so I was pretty excited about it. Before heading out I asked if I was allowed to get it dirty and they laughed at me and said of course.
half an hour to 45 minutes later I came back with the bike covered in mud and a huge smile on my face. The bike felt a bit clunky at first and I didn't like the set up of the shifters, though since the components on the bike were pretty basic I wasn't really suprised by that. Not sure if the clunky/clumsy feeling was from the bigger tires or if it was more due to the fact that the handle bars and grips were noticable wider then my Trek. Either way I still had a great time trying out the bike and it definitely felt more capable when rolling over certain obstacles. Not sure that I still feel the need to get one though since it seems to cover up technique and isn't really all that necessary for me right now.
We finished up that ride and John brought me back in to my place and as soon as I got home grabbed a beer and relaxed for a minute. I then remembered that I'd wanted to go for a run when I got back so I finished off the beer chugged some water and got out for a good fast 5 mile run keeping my heart rate a good full 5 - 10 bpms above my usual running heart rate for the entire thing. Today the body feels great and and the high rate running made me much more confident with my speed for the Triathlon. I've never been a terrifically fast runner, though I can be very steady and shouldn't lose much if any time to the average competitor out there.