Finally got myself to attend a Turkey Burner down at FOMBA this year. This ride is a landmark in the New England MTB community, this years edition was the 14th annual. Doing anything for 14 years straight is pretty impressive even more so in the world of mountain biking where land issues almost always interfere at some point as people buy and sell and develop.
The Burner draws pretty huge crowds as far as fun rides go. I think they set a record a few years ago with a couple hundred participants. This year probably wasn't quite that high, maybe between 100-150 I would guess. But that was due more to weather than anything else.
Speaking of the weather, it was pretty horrible. 100% of sane people were inside relaxing with family most likely while we were layering up the spandex and waterproof materials and saddling up to ride into the wind. Temps were in the high 20's low 30's in the morning with a nice steady mix of rain and wet snow falling. Unfortunately due to the rain I didn't bring my camera along...I bought it for this specific purpose but seeing as its new I want to try and keep it working for a bit longer before I subject it to the 'full monty'.
Ride started off with a 6 mile haul on snowmobile roads from Front Park to where all of the FOMBA singletrack is located. You then have the option of riding as many of the singletrack loops as you want, and then you take another 6 mile haul back to the park to call it a day. I ended up hooking up with Jesse Taylor who I know through NEMBA as well as EFTA races. We are very similarly matched both speed wise and technical ability so the riding was fast, smooth and basically uninterrupted. Which was nice because you really needed to keep moving to keep your body temps up so your hands and feet wouldn't freeze. We decided to go for the full 'hero' loop, which is riding all the singletrack that FOMBA has to over before heading back to the park.
At first I was a bit reluctant because the cold was starting to wear on me a bit, but the riding was really fun and we just went for it. I'm glad we did, some of the trails I may have ended up skipping were in great shape still and a blast to ride. Plus seeing as this could be one of my last trail rides this season it was nice to really max it out. We ended up putting in about 27 miles today and my hands were just starting to go real numb by the end.
Nothing a little left over Thanksgiving dinner can't fix...look for me at this ride next year as well. (hopefully the weather will be a tad better though)