Saturday, February 13, 2010

Painfully Awesome

I know - a dichotomy. How can something painful also be awesome? Call me a sucker for punishment, but yesterday's 4+ hour MTB ride from Bethel to Gilead and Evan's Notch was both.

With the studded MTBs, we headed out from the house on the local snowmobile trails. They aren't much good for snowmobiling right now, but they were in great shape for riding. Lots of hard packed snow and ice along the way. We did hit a patch on the gas lines that was questionable, so ducked out onto the road for a couple of miles.

After 2 hours of riding, we were finally in Evans Notch, riding a frozen sluice! By now, I was already pretty tired, but we still had some climbing to do... Up and over (actually around, but it felt like up and over) a mountain, then back out to Rte 2 to do the return trip.

The sun had started to warm things up, and the trails that had been hard packed in the morning were now a little soft, making it even tougher going. By the 3.5 hour mark, I had had enough, and decided to just ride the road back to Bethel, while Mike returned the way we had come - through the woods. It turned out we didn't get home that far apart from one another. The woods had been terrible, so Mike came back from the end of that trail on the road, while I had opted to go back ONTO the snowmobile trail as I entered Bethel. In all, we were out for 4.5 hours, with about 4:10 of rolling time. Total distance was 38 and 41 miles (38 for me, 41 for Mike), and a total of about 2700 feet of elevation.

Painful? Yes. Awesome? You betchya!

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