Friday, June 24, 2011

Weasel Creek

Summer arrived promptly with the solstice.  Goodbye cool spring. Hello hot summer. It was surprising that with the arrival of summer, the number of riders dropped precipitously to 6, and almost 5. I was late, thanks Chad to Tray for watching the kiddos so that I could make it at all, and had to take the cheater path and park at the turnoff to Weasel Creek, rather than the official Wednesday night start at the beginning of Rye Creek Rd. Not that I minded missing the several miles of superfluous dirt road miles we tack on to pad the distance.  Although I can understand the desire to extend the ride time. A measly 2 hour ride when you have enough light for 5 hours.  I almost managed to make up my 30 tardy minutes. I saw the group pedaling up the road just I pulled in to park.  Of course the 5 ahead of me were all Speedy Gonzales types, so my chance of catching them before the requisite break at the end of the road was about as likely as the next winner of the Tour de France being clean.  So riding up the road I could help but be distracted by the snow fields on Kent and Congdon and thinking maybe ski season isn't quite over. Fourth of July corn, maybe.

I was talking to Eric the other day, and we discussing how we never reveal to anyone where our powder stashes are, and that if there is ever a ski report on this blog it will be from the "Wasatch Backcountry", and never from anywhere around here where everyone knows there is absolutely no decent skiing except for Powder Thursdays at LT.  On the other hand, we feel a need to get more people out riding the trails. I guess that is because trails need to ridden to be maintained and more people means more Forest Service support.  Powder, on the other plank,  does not improve with more riders.

One of the unique aspects of riding Weasel over the years is observing the slow recovery from the fires, with more green and less charcoal on the clothes every year.  One other slight less unique feature is, after swooping down the upper ridge singletrack, discovering when I will develop an acute testosterone deficiency and put my foot down.

 The drop from the ridge to the creek bottom always turns me into a wuss.  Steep and technical and just when I need momentum those Formula brakes call to me, and I  can't resist their siren's call, I lightly touch the levers. The momentum is gone and I'm off the bike. Climb up try it again. Too cautious again.  I need to remember that gravity is my friend while disc brakes are friends with the trickster gods, Loki and Kokopelli.

Everyone else full of confidence bopped down the hillside without hinderance from that annoying little voice in their heads repeating, "Be careful, Don't fall".  

Weasel Creek was once again at full volume, overflowing onto the trail at spots. Luckily, that awesome band,  Quiet Kern and the Raucous Buhls, had played up here the previous weekend, and their swinging groove left the trail cleared and brushed.   Later in the season the trail can degenerate into a nightmare, especially for the cautious and momentum deprived, of raspberry obscured wheel grabbing holes, hidden rocks and roots lost in the thimbleberry shrubbery. 

Did I mention there was abundant water in the creek, with each crossing bringing it's own challenges.

Once again I know I need to return and attempt to either silence the voice of caution or in failing end up with these friendly faces.

Rumors of Blodgett Canyon to the big W sign next week, so bring you knee pads, elbows pad, chest protection, spare hangers, spare derailleurs, spare singulators, spare tubes, spare rotors and spare cojones.

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