|Ninja says, "Happy Memorial Day!"|
Danielle and I met our friend Evan at Riverside park at 7:15am in Grand Rapids on our bikes and started pedaling towards the State Game Area. It was a little chilly Monday morning, so I was wearing arm warmers and knee warmers... which quickly got me overheated! I don't know what I was thinking when I popped them on in the morning-- I must have forgotten I was going to be pedaling on my bike or something!
Steve Bartzen joined our group at the first trail and we jumped right in to riding! The State Game Area is my favorite local trail hands down. There are some logs, some drops, it flows and you can get going pretty fast, and there's some roots and rocks to climb over. I always feel like I come out a better rider when I ride this trail. We were finished with the State Game Area before I knew it and we were off to the Ski Hill!
The Ski Hill is alternatively my least favorite trail in Grand Rapids. I'm really glad we hit up this trail second in the quadfecta instead of last, because I don't think I could have mustered up the energy to ride up some of the climbs! The Ski Hill has some long climbs, and now that there's a new section, it's got some really bumpy and sandy spots. I heard Danielle yell ahead of me something about sand, and was able to shout back to her, "What sand?" just before hitting a sandy turn that made my bike stop underneath me. I went down. The Ski Hill is actually a really great trail, and the reason it's my least favorite is because it just makes me work so hard. I really do need to ride this course more often.
I was feeling pretty beat up after the early morning and these first two trails. We finished the Ski Hill just in time before I bonked, and I was able to inhale some shot bloks before we started riding out to Luton. Cruising on pavement after climbing single track seriously feels like you're going 100 x's faster than you were previously going! It was nice to have a little break between each trail to get my heart rate back to normal!
The fun part about Luton is that you can roll through a lot of the trail like a roller coaster. I really like riding my single speed at Luton because your momentum carries you through a lot of the trail and you can just sit back and enjoy the ride. I did have to keep reminding myself that I wasn't on my single speed so that I would pedal through the corners instead of just coasting through with a silly grin on my face! Danielle yelled something out to me while riding and I couldn't tell if she said "PEDAL!" or "METAL!", but whatever it was, I took that as a cue and started pedaling!!
The ride from Luton to Merrell was pretty much uphill the entire way. There were more cars out on the road now with mountain bikes on their racks, and it was cool that people were waving at us. I love our little mountain biking community here in west Michigan! When we rolled up to Merrell we ran in to Brian Buysse, one of the new mechanics out in Ada. He had just taken the shop's Cannondale F29 demo out for a couple laps and was getting ready to head back home. We tipped him off that we'd be at the Rockford Brewing Company in about an hour and hoped that we'd see him there!
|The crew after Merrell. This kiddo was so cool he had to be in the photo!|
The ride to the Rockford Brewery was all downhill and I was so excited to sit down and to claim my reward! Brian was there waiting for us and we ran in to a bunch of friends who had ridden the White Pine Trail to Rockford from GR. Like I said before, I love our cycling community here!
|The babe locking up her bike outside in the Twin Six jersey wound up being Jenny Scott!|
|Fishing line in the cassette?! Where did that come from!?|
|What, you thought I was going to post a picture of Emily's butt on my blog? :)|