Monday, January 28, 2013

Frozen Ponies

The credit for that title and most of the pictures here go to PVB. PVB is legend. I have a PVB supporter t-shirt. As do a lot of people in the #NECX. He is a good friend and a really cool cat. I had no idea what a good mountain biker he is though. I am finding the trait I love the most in other mountain bikers is smoothness. Its probably the trait I lack the most. Chipo v2.0 has been mountain biking for about a year now. If I told you how long I have owned or ridden a mountain bike you would laugh in my face. But I don't think you can even compare what the NECX calls mountain biking to what I did in Norcal. I was a fireroad rider out in Norcal. Here in the NE I am a rock rider or woods rider. Really don't ride mountains on a regular basis. I ride some hills once and a while. But what the woods have to offer? Wow. I love the woods. They are like a refuge to me. Its taken me a while but now it is like therapy for me. Reminds me of what surfing was like.

And like surfing it is always better with a WolfPack. Winter is here. It has been cold as fuck lately. But what is amazing is that after a week of 9 degree mornings 22 degrees feels downright balmy. We have been meeting up the last two weeks for some enduro style rides. Longish. Some of us on single speeds, some on party bikes, most all of us on 29ers. Clown bikes are a thing of the past. Especially here in New England. 29ers are just that much better on rocks and drop offs and all the crazy stuff that waits to trash you at every turn in the woods. On a 29er you can just roll over the terrain and actually put those ninja skills to good use. I am old. And filled with fear most times. I have been heckled mid-ride by a certain someone who shall remain unnamed. I am beginning to think he may be my Lex Luther. I certainly am no Superman or even Clark Kent...but you get the point. Dude gets in my head. Its weird. I think its riding styles. If I try and follow him or ride like him bad things will happen. But riding behin PVB was the perfect wheel to follow. I had no idea he was such a good mtn biker. I always thought of him as a crosser or a gravel road rider. But maybe that is why he is the perfect wheel to follow for me. That pretty much describes me. I want to be a mountain biker but I never will be. I love it but I am a cross rider first.

I do think it may be partly due to the Mad Alchemy jacket he was wearing. I think they only sponsor people who are super smooth on the bike. Riding with him reminded me so much of riding with The Wilcox. No pressure. No chopping and buzzing of the tires. Smiling. Laughing. Taking all the pressure off. I led PVB on one sort of tricky section that I had never ridden well before and rode all of it. Ok I will try and ease off the Bromance pedal for a moment. Part of it is riding the woods in the winter is just different. Snow covers a lot of the scary stuff. Its all packed down like a skate park. And if you can't see something you can't freak out about it right? At one point I led down this weird rock chute. We all regrouped. Jon told me "you know you just rode down a sheet of ice right?" I literally had no idea. I guess 18 psi works ok on ice. We rode all over NTF. Half the time we had no idea where we were. Much shenanigans ensued. PVB took some fantastic photos. I remember him yelling up at me to hold on as I was dropping down some ice covered rock roller coaster. We went off the trail more times than I can count. But somehow no one crashed. I have no idea how that is possible.

Martini Junction was as always a great spot to stop and think about the trail elves. We are going to have  happy hour out at MJ one of these rides that much I know. It must happen. I am more of a vodka guy though. Hopefully purists won't be offended. This winter has been amazing. Its been a legit winter. Its almost like people forgot what a real winter is like. I dig it. Not gonna lie. I know people hate the cold and snow. But the woods again are a sanctuary. Its at least 10 degrees warmer in the woods. Some of it is windchill related but part of it to me is about the spirit of the woods. You really can go deep in there this time of year. Its quite. No bugs. Very few creatures. We have them mostly to ourselves. So you can  get a bit funky. And not have to worry about things so much.

Ok so what the hell does "Frozen Ponies" mean? One too many 420 breaks? No when we were out at Martini Junction the water fall had frozen solid. It was wild looking. So we took a bunch of photos. One of PVBs had these three Little Ponies frozen solid in the middle of the waterfall. It was classic. We all cracked up. We rode back out of the woods hooting and hollering like a wolfpack. Great ride. Need more of those. I will be actually bummed when Winter is over. How many days til SSPalooza? Wonder how 20poundskulls base training is going?

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