Thursday, June 01, 2006

There's dirt on that trail

Date: May 31
Mileage: 15
May Mileage: 487.1
Temperature upon departure: 47

Today I hit the gym for the first time in weeks to test my endurance near my aerobic threshold (I know. I could just buy a heart-rate monitor. But I kind of enjoy working out while reading trashy magazines such as "People" or "Bicycling" once in a while.) I ran for an hour on the elliptical trainer. I kept my heart rate between 160 and 175 beats per minute, and ended up coveringmore than 10 "miles" (I've always been curious what an elliptical trainer "mile" equals. It's easier than running, but definitely more work than cycling.)

Anyway, I thought I'd come home from the gym completely worked, but I felt surprisingly refreshed. So I talked Geoff into an evening mountain bike ride, which we didn't end up leaving for until it was nearly 9 p.m.

We headed up the Homestead Trail toward our old winter haunts - now stripped of snow and layered in an interesting mix of deep ATV ruts, moose-trampled mud and sinkhole sand. The result is a double-track that's decidedly more technical than it was in December - but it's still low-level technical, and definitely a lot of fun. We spent the last three miles on nearby single-track, with a strange and difficult detour on what used to be a ski trail (and is now a pillowy, effort-absorbing cushion of matted grass). It was, for all practical purposes, my first trail ride of the year. I think, given the 9-month hiatus (based on the fact that snow riding's so different on nearly every level), I didn't do so bad. Of course, there are some that will argue that if you don't have a spectacular crash at least once during the first ride of the year, you didn't do so good, either. But after my hard run, just feeling up to a two-hour mountain bike ride is a good sign for me.