Saturday, November 21, 2009

Wolves In Gambrilll State Park!!! (or maybey german sheppards or maybey coyotes)

Went for a night ride last night and at Gambrill state park @ about 6:30.  I was on one of the dirt roads that go through the park when I saw a silhouette of what I thought was a deer.  It was frozen just looking at me. It had four legs and was kind of shaped like a deer.  It wasn’t till I was pretty close about 100 ft away did I realize it was a dog.  It looked like a German Sheppard.  As I got even closer (20ft away) I noticed another German Sheppard just off the road also frozen looking at me.  No tail wagging or barking just a blank stare.

I was moving along @ about 17mph and it was pitch black so from the time I noticed it wasn’t a deer to the time I noticed I was next to a couple of big dogs was seconds (not minutes).  At this point I was a little freaked out as the thought crossed my mind that these might be wolves.  I didn’t see any collars, I hadn’t seen any a possible owner and no people or vehicles parked on the side of the road.

Thought about turning around to get a better look.  They didn’t show any sign of aggression but I would feel stupid if I did and was attacked when I could have avoided it.  Then I thought to myself Are they chasing after me right now!?! Could I stay upright if one of them got a hold of my leg!?!? being alone in the dark was making me more paranoid than I would normally be.  i decided to keep the same speed that I passed them at not wanting them to think I was panicking. If you don’t want be treated like a victim don’t act like a victim ( I learned that from watching Opera)

I left the park and took the road around back to my car to avoid having to ride through the wolf gantlet again.  When I got back to my apartment I goggled to see what kind of wolf lives in this area could have been red wolf

Apparently red wolfs pretty rare though in the mid Atlantic area. Probably more likely they were coyotes. At the time the insolent happened only coyotes I had seen were very skinny ones in AZ desert (what i saw didn't look the same). Since then though I have seen documentary on coyotes of Yellowstone that are bigger and look like smaller wolfs. I Think its most likely what I saw that night were two healthy coyotes.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Mountain biking for fun and relief? Or not?

Mountain biking for fun and relief? Or not?

Like other hobby’s and sports mountain biking is a good way to relive the stress of your work and life issues to a point.  After a certain point the more involved and serious about mountain biking you become more likely to have your emotions involved…Getting worried about races…being angry if races don’t turn out well… feeling the needing to have the newest and best technology all the time… needing to ride a least x amount of miles a week to stay fast… ect ect ect

Its hard to point out exactly where that point is.  It's probably different for different people but a possible indicator is if/ when trying to achieve mountain biking goals feels stressful like a job. It would require being honest to yourself about your feelings to really know when that you've reached that point.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Weekend Group Ride

Gambrill/ Watershed

Another group ride; there was a group of 15 of us.  We split in to two groups; A and B.  I was designated to lead the A group.  I'm ok with getting my self lost but I was a bit worried that I might get my whole group lost.  I took them on trails that Anna Kelso had shown me on another group ride the week before.  There were a lot of turns involved to retrace the same loop we did.  I remembered some portions but about half of the time I just guessed so I was amazed we made it back to the end point that I intended.  I was also amazed that none of us had a flat tire; with so many sharp racks and so many riders I would have put money down that at least one person would have a flat.

The route is a particularly technical.  I was planning on bringing my camera with to capture just how technical they are but I forgot.  I will try to remember for next time.

We all ate at place to the left of “If The Show Fits “ shoe store (I don’t remember and I cant read the sign) after the ride.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Ride And Trail Maintenance

On Saturday some riding @ my new local trail network Gambrill park and the watershed. I am starting to find my way around a bit better.  I rode with Jeff Dicky (also a UNH alumni) and some of his riding buddies.  I think there was 7 of us and between all of us there was 5 flats and two broken derailleur hangers. There is a lot of sharp rocky sections that cause flats. I think every other ride I have been on up there so far I have got a flat tire.  So the day before are ride I went to the local bike shop here in town Wheel Base to pick up some extra tubes and a mini-pump. I bought a mini bike pump (i normally carry 2 co2's).

Then on Sunday I did some trial maintenance in Gambrill park. It was nice to meet some people. Their seems to be a pretty passionate group of mountain bikers in the area.