Thursday, February 7, 2008

Wandering and Wondering

With a beautifully warm and sunny day, Zeke and I headed out for a 5 hour training ride in the Coker Creek area of the Cherokee National Forest. We did most of our usual loop, but then decided to ride some new trails and fireroads. It is fun to ride new places as you are always wondering what might be around the corner. On one trail we came across an old CCC camp. Not much left except what appeared to be a cistern and perhaps the remnants of a still. I am sure the still came long after the CCC camp.

The trail forked and we decided to go right. (Note to self: don't ride ungroomed trails after a windstorm.) Immediately we came to a barracade of downed trees. Zeke took the low road and I the high. After several minutes of fighting branches and doing a butt-slide down the embankment, we made it through. Back on our bikes, we were able to ride about 30 meters before we were off again. Hop over the fallen trees this time, then back on the bikes. We repeated this multiple times on our ride, and I was beginning to feel like a cyclocross racer! On the sections of trail we could ride, it was tight, twisty, and technical; way fun!

Soon, however, we were beginning to wander as we had no idea where we were. Time was getting by us. When I ride, there is always a point in time where I need to begin heading back to the truck so that I can make it in time to pick up Carly from after-school care. Not knowing exactly where we were, I began to worry. After only a few minutes or worrying, I looked up and saw a forest service road. Once we were back on the road, we regained our bearings and started riding back to our trucks. Heck! We made it back with just enough time for me to climb the 5 mile gravel road up to Buck Bald again!

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