Saturday, June 7, 2014

Earning Singletrack

I didn't quite get the ride in I had planned for Friday. Uncertain forecast thwarted an NEK day-trip. My flat, local ride I did instead must have been pretty punishing, however. I cramped up at the 3hr mark, forcing me to stop to get some extra water and carbs. I hadn't had any cramping issues for over a year, so that was totally out of the blue. I did manage my fastest average speed ever riding a "C-town's" variant, which hits Russell Mill, Great Brook, Estabrook and many other smaller conservation parcels along the way.

My cramping problems didn't end with the ride. Several hours later, while watching a PPV movie on Direct TV with my wife, an inner thigh muscle seized up. This wasn't one of those bolt up, quick stretch it before it blows up kind of spasm. No, this went directly to total muscle destruction. Cathy had no idea what was going on. For all she knew, I had been shot or something. The pain was unbelievable, and it just wouldn't stop or release. The contorted muscle was bulging right out of my leg. It looked really gross. Why??? Perhaps I rode harder than I thought...

Needless to say, I didn't sleep well that night. Two Aleve was all I had on hand that might help. Cathy takes stronger stuff for her RA, but that can cause muscle spasms.

Saturday was National Trails Day. NEMBA had a trail work day planned for Bear Brook State Park. I had planned to help out several weeks earlier. Now I wasn't sure if I'd be worth anything. Riding was out of the question. The muscle that locked up seems to be one of the hamstring group. I cannot lift my lower leg up behind me or pull back and up on the pedal stroke. But trails fairies aren't going to create great riding experiences for us. Sweat-equity is needed.  More Aleve, then I hit the road to BB.

A dozen or so workers showed up. On the docket was improving a couple problem areas on Chipmunk Trail. One was a reroute around a perennially wet area, the other was rock armoring a muddy crossing. Three hours of swinging a rogue hoe and ax along with gathering many large stones will surely have me sore in more places when I get up Sunday. I'll leave you with a few pictures from the morning's work.

Cutting a reroute on Chipmunk with a boulder to go over if you're inclined.
Matt with a "Strava Made Me Dope" t-shirt.

This is why we armor trails. Casey wallowing in the mud on Chipmunk Trail.

Beginning the armoring process.

The job completed. Flat rocks were few and far in between in this area.

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