I was riding my Heckler this week and have made a bit of a deal with myself that I have to make an absolute effort to ride the whole way up when ever I am climbing. On a bike with a granny gear, there is no excuse..........I know I am going to regret this pact with myself.
Once I finished my coffee I began the real pedaling up the hill and I rode up Stovetop again. On the Heckler it is a little more of an effort as the front end want to come up on the bike, but with a little extra effort I was easily able to make it all the way up with no pushing at all.
At this time of the year the temperature is starting to fall and the forest is beginning to get ready for the winter. Fall is very soon upon us. With this comes the changing of leaves, trees shed their needles and things get a little wet. Now I mention this because I had the crap kind of scared out of me during my solitary climb due to mother nature. As I was near the top of Stovetop I could hear some crashing sounds not to far from me. I stopped immediately and tried to get a better listen and figure out my next move.(Recently there had been a rather aggressive black bear in the area so I was a little more alert than normal). Bang, crash, crash clunk. Bang, crash, crash clunk. Bang, crash, crash clunk. I listened to the same sound for several minutes trying to figure out what to do.....should I go up, or turn around? Finally I realized it was simply pine cones falling from a really high tree swaying in the gentle morning breeze. You'd be surprised how much noise a damn pine cone falling 100 feet makes. Inside I felt kind of embarrassed but it is better to be safe than sorry.
So after the pine cone incident I was on my way to the top of Blood Donor and then the intersection of Upper and Lower Toadstool. Well since last week the trail fairies were hard at work building an beautiful intersection for the trail that used to get really sloppy in the winter, but not any more.
I just had to stop and take a shot of this beautiful new bit of work that will go a long way in the winter to reduce the erosion that happens at this junction. After the quick stop for the photo I continued up to the skidder road and all the way up to the Powerlines. I did spin the wheel of fortune, but I had decided my route already. Karpenter, Blood Donor, Lower Toadstool, Snakes and Ladders, Shotgun.
At the top there was mist and clouds so there was no real view to take in today. I guess the winter riding season is soon upon us. Karpenter was wicked. All the Woodwork was dry and the dirt was moist and tacky. I rode everything clean and even stopped to get a little video of myself on a signature feature of this trail.
Around and through the stump on Krazy Karpenter.
After Krazy Karpenter it was a short push up to Blood donor. Recently there has been a BIG hit addition to the top of the trail. A good 15x15 foot step down jump that will never see my tire tracks.....ever. It's just too big with too many repercussions. I did however hit all the other sweet nuggets on Blood Donor and and then traversed over to Lower Toadstool riding over the new junction.
Lower Toadstool has seen a lot of new wood work and re-routing since I last rode it. I is all fast and flowy that put a big fat grin on this boys face. Once at the bottom of Toadstool I went left and made my way to Snakes and Ladders.
Along the way I ran into some people that recognized me from a few weeks ago and they were back for more fun at the Woodlot. They were just staring their ride on their way to the top. I said howdy and continued up to Snakes and Ladders where I ripped down the trail popping all the hits and lovin every second of it. Once at the building spot I hid my bike, got some tools and got to work on starting the little surprise for the extension. I was able to find the logs I needed and in the area of the hill we are in there is so much rock to be had that I had no issues finding the supplies I needed to build today.
One kind of funny thing that happened today was I was spotted by two kids on the trail holding my axe, so I just continued walking up the trail towards them with my axe in my hands. The first kid rode by quickly all bug eyed but I asked the other if he had seen any blow down on the trail as I was pretending I was clearing the trail of fallen trees. He said nope and high tailed it outa there as fast as he could......it would have been hilarious if I had some ketchup splattered on my shirt and the axe.
In total 10 people rode past in 2 groups and I was able to avoid being seen by all of them. Soon enough this will be open for traffic, but for now we feel the need to keep it quiet.
After working for a while I packed up the tools, climbed aboard my bike and rode out the rest of the trail and over to Shotgun. Once at Shotgun, it was a super fast rip down to the truck where I saw a bunch of the people that rode past. I said hello and then drove home.
It was a great day of riding and a productive day on the hill. The seasons are about to change.