Tomorrow might be the first day of spring but winter wanted to make sure we knew it wasn't quite spring just yet. Temps were chilly, the wind was biting and it couldn't make up it's mind if it was going to snow, rain or let the sun come out so it just kind of cycled between all three most of the day.
Colder temps, illnesses and a few other local rides/races kept the numbers for this ride pretty small but what we might have lacked in numbers we made up for in enthusiasm.
As I said earlier the wind had a bit of a bite to it today and it made it feel a lot colder than the mercury indicated and I think it caught some of us a little off guard. Vince had to improvise a little to cover up his face from the effects of the wind in our faces on the way to Wilderness Park, as they say necessity is the mother of invention.
Certainly didn't help matters that we got stuck by a train with the relative safety of the trees in sight but just out of reach.
Even without leaves yet, the trees knocked down the worst of the wind and helped warm us up nicely.
The trees provided enough protection that after a few miles on the single track, riders were stripping layers off that minutes earlier they were adding.
During the break I snapped a few pictures of the new (to me) Bluto that I added to the Farley, today was it's maiden voyage. Between the tapered steerer tube, the wider hub/fork stance and the thru axle; as compared to the narrower hub, quick release and straight steerer tube that was stock on the Farley; the bike seemed to track much better than previous and just seemed to glide around those corners, even at speed. The extra bump eating ability was welcomed as well, as you get older your shoulders, elbows and forearms appreciate not being jostled around as much and the Bluto did it's job there as well.
Wilderness was in near perfect shape and while I was busy taking a few glamour shots of the Farley, fellow Rasta Riders Paul and Jana snuck up on us coming the other way. Those new neon yellow Anthems are some rad looking race machines, despite having those skinny tires on them.
Few more miles and another bridge stop and we were done with the east side and decided to switch over to the west side on the way back to see if it was in as good of shape as the east.
It wasn't too long before that question was answered and unfortunately the answer was that the west was in poor shape. There are rumors that the city is open to allowing volunteers to help fix the swampy sections between the two water crossings on the west side, if true that would be awesome. The swamp section on the west side is often wet almost year round, it hasn't been since the severe drought a few years ago that it was completely dry.
The Second creek crossing is vastly improved thanks to a few volunteers that put in some hours a week or so ago.
Ed says it's good to go and ridable once again.
Despite the colder temps and gusting winds, we weren't the only ones to get out and enjoy the trails in Wilderness Park; came across a troop of Boy Scouts out for a hike. I don't recall ever seeing a larger group of hikers at one time in the Park, always good to see fellow trail users out enjoying nature.
A warm up stop and Crescent Moon Coffee was definitely in order after the chilly ride, the chocolate stout coffee you see here really hit the spot.
Thanks to everyone who was able to make it out and braved the cold to ride with us, always appreciated. Next Saturday we will be out at Branched Oak Lake for a combination trail day and ride out there. If you are able to come out, the trails out there could really use a little TLC and then after that they are fun trails to ride if you've never been out and experienced them you should come out and give them a go next weekend.