Dirt Church took an alternate form this week: a lap of the Park’s fire road with the added bonus of the horse trails across Beach Road. This was actually planned last weekend to grant Profit’s b-day wish, since he’d never done a full lap of the gravel. Nope… none of that pesky singletrack to fly down this Sunday! Three of us brought exactly the right gear for the ride.
You don’t know this, but I am and have been for about five years, an avid fan of cyclocross. I am not fit enough to race standard-format ‘cross (45 minutes on the rivet would kill my old ass), but I do love to watch people “riding ten speeds in the dirt”, so I do my own version when I can. Fendley Station Trail and the Bright Hope Trail make up most of the Monstercross race track. I used to ride these every week back before the Swift Creek trails came in 2015 and I’ve even ridden these before work, and in the dark. Saturday was always for dirt, and Sunday was always for gravel. But it’s been a while…
Profit’s yellow Kona Jake made a repeat appearance. Jenny Craig showed up with one of the finest handmade Titanium wide-tired all-road bikes I’ve seen in real life, loaded for bear, and I brought my other bike. We took the lap counter-clockwise, to postpone the inevitable seventy-foot creek crossing until we were only a mile from the car.
Gravel, dirt, sand, a little rain, peace and quiet, great company, all on nineteen pound drop-bar bikes made for an absolutely brilliant two-hour ride. We saw cross country boys training, cross country girls training, a pretty horse in a pretty hat, and about four other people all morning. Hard to beat.
Expect Hurricane Florence to do a number on us and shut down all the other trails, and that means next Sunday’s ride will be much like this one. I hope.