Sunday, October 21, 2012


Author:  Mike Hassur

This will be a short report.  I just got back from a ride on my new cyclocross bike.  Scott Larson took me on a tour of the levee system around Orting.  One and a half hours, no climbing, pretty easy – AND REALLY FUN SINCE IT WAS ONE OF MY FIRST EXPERIENCES ON A CYCLOCROSS BIKE!!  A word of warning: if Scott says “let’s get on our cyclocross bikes and go exploring” make sure that you get a definition of what Scott means by “exploring”.  If he wants to go fast (especially on some of the rougher trails), the appropriate response is “thank you, Scott, but I DECLINE”.

Anyway, Scott, was a great tour guide.  We rode the levees around Orting and north toward McCutchen Road and spent the time visiting.  Unlike yesterday, when Scott and Rod rode the trail south out of Carbonado, got rained on, and froze; today’s weather was nice.  It was in the 30’s when we started; but it was sunny, and it wasn’t long before I was peeling my vest off.  It turned out to be a spectacular, sunny morning with temps in the middle 40’s.

I don’t know what it will be like if the trail is more technical, but those bigger tires and lower tire pressures make regular trails and gravel surfaces (like forest service roads) a cinch to ride on.  It opens up a whole slew of new areas to explore.  Now that road biking season is winding down, I’m psyched to get guys together to see what we can find on our  cyclocross and/or mountain bikes (weather permitting).

Saturday, October 20, 2012

2012_10_20 Scott and Rod Cyclocross Ride

Author:  Rod Hart

Friday afternoon I received a group email from Scott L (You think I know enough Scott's yet?) asking if anyone was interested in riding some trails on CX bikes. Uhhhhh, yeah!!!! All in!

We agreed to meet up in South Prairie at 8:30 am, then ride out towards Fairfax bridge. It was not the most beautiful morning, it was cold, wet, and cold, but I was very excited. You could liken my excitement to that of a child waiting for his birthday.

Scott and I hit a few small trails before getting to Carbondao, where we then transitioned to a long trail that took us towards Fairfax Bridge. This being my first experience not on the road, I was unsure what to expect. I A-B-S-O-L-U-T-E-L-Y loved it. I had the time of my life, and cannot wait to do it again.

The trail we were on took us past an old structure, that Scott told me was an old dynamite storage house. It was very neat to see, all the wood was gone and only stone remained. It had also become overgrown with bushes and trees. So, what do you do when you see a structure like that...Duh, use it to go to the bathroom.

At some point, we hit some good CX cycling...There were rocks, logs, water, and mud. I learned that mud is so much easier to crash on, compared to grass and asphalt. At one point, my left side was completely covered with mud! I was very pleased with myself, and could not have been happier. I also manage to crash and fall into some bushes.

We also road down to an old camp. There are no houses, nor footprints of the houses. However, there was a big open field. After riding through the field, Scott asked if I thought I could ride up a hill. I said I could try, but waited for him to give it a shot. If this hill did not have a grade of at least 45%, then I would be wiling to eat mud...wait, I ate lots of mud on this ride. Scott, gave it a good effort, but after about 5-10 ft up the hill he crashed. We then ran up the hill with our bikes on our shoulders.

We road for a while longer, experiencing some rain, hail and sleet, before deciding to turn around. It was at this point that I realized I was VERY VERY VERY cold. I also realized that I had not eaten while on the ride, and thus was having even more trouble warming up. It also did not help that I was covered in 38 degree water and mud.

Scott was the ultimate trooper, and kept by my side through the walking, slow riding, complaining, near crying, and my almost succumbing to the oh so warm fetal position. Ok, most of that is true, but I did not come close to crying...maybe!

We finally made it back to to Wilkeson and I told Scott I was going to do the least manly thing ever...I called Bella to come and get me. I thought I could go into the one breakfast restaurant, but it was closed. I thought that since it was 11 am I might be able to go into the bar, but it too was closed. I then went into the "corner store" and promptly found out that they had no bathroom, nor did they have any hot water.

 The lady working was kind enough to offer me my least favorite beverage...Coffee. I hate the smell of coffee, and find the taste even worse. I can honestly say that I have consumed coffee 1-2 times in my life. While waiting for Bella, I consumed the offered coffee. It might have been the worst stuff ever. I would guess that it was 2 years old, burnt, and HOT!!!

I slowly drank the disgusting brew, while my body shook so hard I thought I would fall over. My fingers, as the thawed, hurt so bad I really did want to cry. Slowly I warmed, some, and Bella appeared. She wrapped me in a blanket, not to keep me warm but to keep her precious car clean, and drove me home.

 What an almost epic ride, and a total blast. Hopefully Scott will give me another chance.