at gunners run!
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Kenny Kaos and Gary W. at the 3:04 mark! Go sweathogs!
Sorry I’m about a week late on this one but this past Sunday January 6, 2012 Gary W. and I did the Lone Wolf Cycling Crazy Train ride in northeast Philadelphia at Pennypack park. It was described as an “urban” cross ride over double track and single track mountain bike trails, streets, fire roads, gravel, mud, abandoned train tracks, log overs, run ups, water crossings, etc. Pretty much you name it, it was on the ride. The weather was supposed to be higher than normal but the day started off pretty brisk in addition to a coating of snow from a quickly passing storm overnight.
I grabbed my cross bike since the description seemed to indicate and all-around bike would be best. I pumped my cross knobbies up to about 55-60 psi so as to not pinch flat and rolled out to catch a ride with Gary and a friend. To not bore you, we got there, geared up(camelbak, tubes, and a flask!) and got ready fo the start. The turnout was way more than anyone ever expected it seems but the LWC team took it in stride, gave us a few rules/pointers and sent us on our way. Right out onto some single/double track with a huge bottleneck with 130+ people trying to squeeze onto the trail.
The first section of the ride was on mountain bike trails and exercise trails in the park, I think the amount of participants i think scared and confused a lot of the people out to use the park but we said “hi” and kept on our way. The diversity of the type of bikes was predominantly cross bike and mountain bikes, with the odd touring bike thrown in and even a road bike or two, the mountain bikes obviously had it the easiest with those of us on cross bikes close behind although having a file tread tire at 60 psi didn’t really help my off road handling, but I didn’t pinch flat the entire ride! We all met up for a beer pit-stop before continuing on with the ride and all I can say is it was the most epic ride I have ever been on! Lots of climbing, descending, wrong turns, fun, eating, and beautiful scenery. I hope they throw it again next year! The hardest sections were the train tracks, bumpy(obviously) and only really rideable if you hugged either side of the rail. Just had to lean back and hope for the best! Our group of 5 or so, including Gary and I, made it to Lower Moreland Highschool and got a call from our ride, apparently the park rangers were kicking everyone out of the park so we had to call the ride short. Bummer. We made 27 miles of the 38 planned, and by made I mean survived, covered in mud, snow, dirt, whatever was thrown at us!
Pictures courtesy of Eric Greenberg:
first beer stop
crazy run up
section of tracks.
Sorry for the belated post but Baba and I raced last week, December 15, at xmas cross and mountain bike follies put on by Bicycle Therapy at the cross practice course at the Mt. Pleasant Mansion in east Fairmount Park. This is the third year for the race and usually very mountain bike friendly rather than cross bike but this time around, with some modifications to the cross course, it was more equal. The course was super slippery with a layer of mud with frozen ground below since it was almost winter but not quite. After the B race the course dried uo a bit and was much easier to ride but made an interesting first lap or two.
The start was a Le Mans style start, where we had to run a couple hundred yards and swing around a 180 degree turn to our bikes. Taking my own handicap I just ran over to my bike and hopped on with a nice head start since I knew they would catch me and pass me relatively quickly. It was nice to get through the wooded technical section with little competition but my “costume” (a poorly done mummy with stuff I found around the house, mostly paper streamers) got caught in my cassette halfway through the first lap at which point I had to pull off for a couple minutes to clear my cassette since it wouldn’t shift into the middle couple gears. Not that I had a real chance at winning, and being off the bike pretty much since Kutztown aside from commuting 16 miles round trip to work and running once a week, it was more of just a fun race than anything.
A couple laps further into the 5 laps or so I did manage to gap back up some people and passed them, I also got a sweet candycane oreo from Mr. Eric Greenburg which i dropped half of remounting my bike. I also managed a lap or so with a box I found in the woods on my head as an added obstacle in addition to the standard logs and mud. All in all a great time, not very serious with tons of hand ups in the A race and single speed race, hell the podiums consisted of kegs stands for first place! Cant wait for it again next season. Next up is the Lone Wolf Cycling Crazy train gravel grind ride/race January 6 and the tussle at the trestle sometime after that at which point its almost mountain season! Merry Christmas!
bridging back up after mechanical issues, past Max. photo: eric greenburg
Box head thumbs up. Photo: lauren chestnutt
over the log barriers.
Baba on the podium with Jeff Appletans, Topher, Rich Dreyer, and Charlie Southgate.