I've been in a little bit of a funk the past few days. Maybe it's because I was just worn out for the first couple of days after PMBAR, or maybe it's because I have a slow work week. I don't know. Maybe it's a combination of both. When I woke up this morning, I seriously debated just drinking bourbon all day, but that seemed pathetic, and reminded me of a time in my life where things weren't good. Things are fantastic now, so that wasn't the right solution. I had a bit of work I could do, but I just wasn't feeling it. No, I needed to ride.
I headed down to my bike shop in the basement, and unpacked all of my required PMBAR gear. Today wasn't going to be an epic ride, whatever the hell that even means. Out came the compass and the emergency blanket. My blinkie was reinstalled on the road bike. My unused, pre-measured, cocaine-like bricks of half-evil endurance fuel were set aside for another time. Just clean water today, thank you. The water filter wouldn't be necessary either, 100oz. would be plenty. I didn't want to care about the time, distance, speed, elevation, or calories, so the Garmin was left on the workbench. I did, however, add the camera. Today was going to be a cruise around DuPont, my recently neglected stomping grounds. Just me, the Lazer Cat, and minimal gear.
I loaded up the Grand and headed out to the southeast side of town. I hadn't driven this way in a while, but the curves were still familiar. So was the frustration of being behind an out-of-stater not so familiar with the curves. No big deal; I'd be on the trails soon enough. On the way out, I decided to stop and see the newly opened Connestee Falls Park. This is a waterfall a very short distance off the road, that had been closed for some time while the City turned it into a park. I gotta say, I was disappointed. I was hoping the City would make the bottom of the falls safely accessible, but all they did was build a boardwalk to the top of the falls. It's a shame. This is a double waterfall, and I would love to see it from the bottom.
I eventually made it to the Fawn Lake access lot, and headed down to Reasonover Creek Trail, one of my absolute favorites. The forest was quiet, and it seemed like I was the only one there.
I made it down to Lake Julia (Gulia), and hung out for a bit, walking around taking pics of anything that interested me.
From there, it was up to the airstrip, down Airstrip Trail, and over to Bridal Veil Falls via Barn Trail. This was to be my lunch stop, and I had it all to myself. The falls were really flowing today.
From the falls, I headed up Corn Mill Shoals Trail, to Shoals Trail, to Laurel Ridge, and finished up with Mine Mountain. On my way up the tough Corn Mill Shoals climb, I stopped to talk to a couple of Brits for a few minutes. One of them was talking about how mountain biking was putting a strain on his marriage. That's just something I luckily don't understand. Riding makes me a better person at home. It centers me and keeps me sane. Heather gets that. She knows when I need to ride and why. She supports my passion, and wants to hear about each and every ride I do. That's just one of many reasons why she's my soul-dork.
After quickly telling the Brit that I would not represent him in his potential divorce, I continued on and finished my ride, cleaning two tough climbs I've never cleaned before in the process. It was a great, and much needed ride, and I couldn't believe how good I actually felt physically. It was nice to ride just to ride. Goal specific riding has its place, but that's not why I make my way back to the trailheads time and time again. For the near future, I won't be training for anything. Any riding I do will be because I love it. Just me and the Lazer Cat, sailing through the forest.