Monday, July 20, 2015

Jugtown Forest Is Made For Fatbikeing in Maine

We thought we were doomed when we saw the signs for the ATV club poker run pointing in the direction we were planning on riding.  Especially since I think the only things 4-wheelers are good for are hauling a deer out of the woods and totally destroying any trail system they travel on.  And it wasn't hunting season.  Actually, Jugtown Forest is a pretty good place for ATVs.  The trails are largely sand which seems to make them somewhat self repairing.  All of the people we met on the poker run were out there having a good time.  It was all good.

Could not wipe the smile off her face
 There had been some intense thunderstorms the night before so early on we had committed to getting muddy.  Once you commit the rest is easy.
People may or may not have fallen over in these puddles.
 We had 2 hours to ride and made our way around the perimeter, 13.5 miles in all.  There are plenty of interior trails that I plan to go back and explore.  Other nice features include a brook near the parking area, good for rinsing off.  There are probably some adjoining trails that go to the crooked river but we didn't have time to find them.
Typical Sandy Trails

Again with the Smile
 My drivetrain was shifting like crap by the end of the ride and here's why.
Obligatory Mud Picture #1

Obligatory Mud Picture #2

Obligatory Mud Picture #3

Obligatory Mud Picture #4
So if you are looking for a place to fatbike near the Sebago Lake area, give it a try.  There is probably less joy on a bike with skinnier tires due to the miles of sand.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Funny Story

Last night I found a smartphone on my ride, fully charged and operational.  Dozens of calls had been made just hours before. 

I should have taken a picture but it looked exactly like this, slightly more scuffed.
So I called the # titled "Ma".  Before I even got the name of the owner (Skip) I got a very detailed set of directions to his house using landmarks only, no road names.  Just a lot of references to a weird looking church.  Somehow I also got information on where the guy grew up (Naples, ME.  The house on the corner of Gore Rd if you need to know, I didn't.  They built the house, by the way.), when his son's birthday party was (Sunday, at the house I have directions to now)... Ma was a talker.  After she realized that I wasn't going to give up my night to drive/ride 15 miles one way to return the phone to someone I don't hardly know, Ma decided to drive 45 minutes to his house to give him my number.  Once she got there and he wasn't there she called me and had the idea that I could call his girlfriends number (which she didn't have).  I would have tried to gain this information in the earlier but it seemed like it might take a long time to get around to it.  I found 2 numbers in the contacts that matched the girlfriends name.  Luckily I got the right girlfriend. Left a message.  A little later I get a call with a slightly accusatory tone, like I stole the phone.  OK, maybe he was freaking out.  He quickly realized that I actually rescued it from the road and saved it's precious contacts from being run over by a dump truck...

Anyway, long story slightly short, he was boating on a nearby lake and stopped by and got his phone.  Reward?  I'm still waiting.  His gratitude was rewarding enough.  But I would have taken some beer money.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Epic or Not, You be the Judge

It was an ambitious ride, I'll give it that.  I'm not sure it meets the criteria for an epic ride.  Loosely I like this list or criteria for an epic ride.  It applies more to mountain biking but can be adapted for the road.  The ride must meet 5 out of the 12.
1-Was the ride more than 8 hours?
2-A ride of no less than 4 hours that was over twice the planned ride time.
3- Adverse/brutal weather;
4- Technical difficulty.
5- Mechanical failure w/o reparable recourse or w/ MacGyverable recourse;
6- Blood and injury;
7-Running out of water/food;
8-Discontent and Conflict w/in the group far beyond pouting…usually as a result of…
9- Being completely lost… and
10- Watching the sun set while still hours from trails end or unwillingly spending the night on the trail.
11 - Hostel/Unusual  wildlife encounters. 
12. A ride that will never be forgotten. "Remember that time...."

So how did we do? (Actually, I guess I am being the judge.  Feel free to ask for an appeal in the comments)

#1 Counting stops to eat ice cream and fill water bottles we were gone for more than 8 hours so I'm definitely counting this one.
This ice cream is so worth a 50 mile ride.

 #2 We only went about 2 hours over and part of that was a late start, so no.

#3 It was sunny and near 90 and we went out without sunscreen.  Near the end of the ride the heat was really sapping it out of my riding partner so I'll take this one.

Just look at the adverse and brutal weather.
#4  This one is close.  Since hurricane mountain is listed as a category 2 climb and we are far from pros I think we get this one.

I'll never get over how steep this is.
#5 We did realize near the top of a mountain that the rear tire on my wife's bike was not really fit to make the  descent with plenty of chords showing through the casing.  Through impeccable planning I had brought a spare tire and thus reduced the chance of an epic ride, my bad. Had we not noticed it we could have got and entry in the next category too.
My disgusting chainstay may get me kicked out the the anal rodies club but it doesn't count as a mechanical.
 #6  Other than a very mild sunburn and a hammered taint from my poor short selection for a 100+ mile ride the injuries were non-existant.  We did stop at the Pearl Izumi factory store to see what short options there might be.  They had a pair that caressed your balls while you ride and let you float over the seat, but they were $150.  Pass.  No points awarded.

#7  We can take this one.  We had 2 24oz bottles each which we filled 3 times for a total of 144oz or 9 lbs of water.  And we still ran out. It didn't cause any problems other than a mild headache but I'm taking it since it meets the criteria.  Even with the intake I weighed in 4-5 lbs lighter than when I started.
We compensated with running out of water for a while with added fluids at the end.

#8  Absolutely not.  Nothing elevated above pouting, I swear.

#9  It's hard to get completely lost on the road, although I have been lost on a century ride resulting in unintended miles, which I would totally count.  This was not the case in this ride.  No points.

#10 Had it been December the sun might have set.

#11 We saw dozens of squirrels, a porcupine waddling off the road and a vulture eating a freshly road killed deer but nothing epic here.

#12  Tough call.  I'm sure it will be remembered for a while but eventually the long rides blend together, especially if nothing unique happens.  The century where 5 of us took the wrong turn and added 10 miles and thus missed the rest of the rest stops because they closed - Memorable. The cross bike ride where after 5 miles of dirt road we had to wade through thigh high water - Memorable.  I'm afraid I can take this one.

 So we got #1, #3, #4 & #7.  One point away from an epic ride.  If only that porcupine had stood his ground and forced us to take an alternate route!  I'm kind of glad he didn't.  I was ready go get home and drink some beer.

It was still a good ride.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Forty On The Forth

 The family commitments can wait, we're going for the first annual 40 on the 4th ride. And ride we did, 40 miles in fact with a red-white-and-blue theme.  I opted for the color coordinated Viva Sport. John brought the flags.  Five of the Raymond Riders headed out for mellow spin to pre-burn all of the 4th of July calories about to be consumed.  (I'm not sure I was successful) Our ride ended up at the tail end of a parade that was taking place on our street.  We fit right in.

I call that a "Flag Pole"

Awarded for the most patriotic cycling jersey
She should have rode her fatbike because it is red and white

The Candid Cyclist
Parade Material