Yesterday afternoon, I seriously needed to get out on a ride. So I IM’d Ricky M — Senior Member of the Core Team — and asked him if he could get out.
“Grove Parking Lot. 15 Minutes,” replied Ricky. I have no idea why he initial-caps every word like that.
Now, I’ve been wanting to re-film the Grove Canyon ride ever since Kenny and I rode it earlier this season and my batteries died, just as we began the downhill.
So I made sure to grab a fresh pack of batteries and got out the door.
And this is what we did:
Following this ride, I have the following observations to make:
- Grove is the hardest-working climb I know of. 1800 feet of climbing, in 2.6 miles. And you feel every foot of it.
- Grove is much, much more fun on a geared bike. I love singlespeeds, but — unless you’re Brad or Kenny — there are times when it’s really great to be able to shift to the granny gear. When I did this ride on my singlespeed earlier this year, I suffered so much I didn’t want to come back. Riding this on my geared bike yesterday, the trail was difficult, but still enjoyable.
- When I’m riding the downhill on Grove (or anywhere), I look at the trail to the exclusion of pretty much everything else. As a result, I have never before noticed exactly how freaky and scary the stuff off to my left is. Now that I’ve seen the video, I’m not sure I’m going to be able to do this downhill with confidence ever again.
- Somehow, even when I’m as scared / worried / angry as I am right now, mountain biking helps. It’s really great to take a two-hour vacation from your troubles like that.
- Ricky is incredibly fast on this downhill. I had thought I’ve become a fast descender, but I lost count of how many times Ricky dropped me on this descent. And this after he had said, “I’m feeling kind of tentative; I plan to take this descent slow and careful today.”
- Dramatic canyons. Gorgeous waterfalls (not well-captured in the video — I have no zoom with the helmetcam). Cliffside trails. All within a ten-minute drive of my house. There’s simply no getting around it: I live in an exotic locale.