I had decided Thurs morning that I was gonna go for it regardless. The forecast looked great and we had a plan to avoid the crowds/traffic at FOMBA and hit Bear Brook with a much smaller group instead. I was a little worried that I was in for a doozy, there isn't really a conversation pace with this group. Ended up being Bully, Carl, Gould and Mike. Pace ended up being pretty reasonable. I would tail off a bit but I was never that far off the back. Legs felt ok but the lungs were struggling and my throat was getting pretty thrashed with the coughing and cold air.
We got to check out some of the new trails around the hiker/biker lot though which was awesome. I forget the exact names..Big Bear and new Little Bear? as well as New Rye Singletrack, all really awesome. I'm still getting comfortable on the Y bike so I wasn't shredding as well as I would have liked. To be honest I think I have reached the point where I prefer riding rigid now. I truly feel disconnected from the trail on a full suspension bike and I have a hard time trusting the steering. I don't like not fully experiencing the features I'm seeing and the way I come into corners doesn't really work with suspension and I feel like it messes with my braking as well. I suppose I could re-figure suspension out but to be honest I think I'm getting to the point that it doesn't slow me down that much more than folks with forks and I like the efficiency heading uphill. I might just ride ironman until my arms fall off at this point.
After swinging through the parking lot to ditch some layers, (it ended up getting pretty damn nice by midday) we went over and got Hemlock and some of the other stuff over on that side. We eventually rolled up to the campground with plans on going around the pond, up Lynx and getting I-Trail, etc. I decided to call it, we were at about 15mi at that point and that loop was looking to add about 7-8 miles or so. My throat was shredded and my lungs were getting a bit more congested and I was running out of calories so I hopped on the road and hauled back to the car.
Lucky for me Carl is a stand up guy and loaned me a 20 spot seeing as I had made the decision to push the limit a bit and then gas up on the way home before I had realized that I had forgotten my wallet at home. Without that 20 I would more than likely have run out of gas on 93 or more likely I would have taken 106 to avoid getting stuck on the highway and then just ridden the party bike home for the gas can and then ridden my road bike back to the stranded Fit. I'm glad I didn't have to do that. Thanks Carl.
Not sure if my riding season is done or not. I suppose that all depends on what the weather does. Next weekend is Thanxmas and then its just a matter of time until skiing will make more sense. Although I do only need about 60mi for 2000 on the year...that would be a tough one to just miss out on.