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Fun 22 mile mtb ride; 2nd best timed run; Gator on the trail!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012 by  
Filed under Daily Blog

April
17
2012
This section of trail is where I broke a valve stem last week. It has a lot of semi-tight twists and turns through the trees, and plenty of roots.

This section of trail is where I broke a valve stem last week. It has a lot of semi-tight twists and turns through the trees, and plenty of roots.

I went mountain biking yesterday morning, and had a fun 22 mile ride. It felt great to be riding on fresh legs!

I rode through the section of trail where I broke a valve stem last week without issue. After I rode through this area I stopped, backtracked and walked the trail looking for anything that might have caught the stem. There was all kind of stuff that I suppose could have kicked up and caught the stem just right: lots of sticks, small branches, tree bark and bits of rotting tree. Hopefully it was just a freak occurrence, and not something I’ll have to deal with again anytime soon.

By the way, I got my replacement valve stems from American Classic and so I was riding tubeless yesterday.

11 seconds off my personal record, but my second best time ever.

11 seconds off my personal record, but my second best time ever.

The trails still have not seen any rain, and yesterday they were even drier than they were last week. The sand was just killer, dry leaves blanketed almost the entire trail and turns were super sketchy. I came very close to washing out several times–especially on the three mile timed run where I ride all-out.

Thanks to the trail conditions I knew beating my timed personal record was going to be a long-shot, but I decided to go for it. There’s a marker that I passed exactly 10 minutes into my ride when I set my personal record, and when I passed that marker yesterday I saw that I was 10 seconds behind record pace. I didn’t look down at my bike computer again for the rest of the timed run, and just rode as hard and as fast as I could. When I arrived at the finish line I was disappointed to see that I missed my personal record of 12m48s by 11 seconds. I did put up my second best time ever, and considering the trail conditions it was a solid effort.

I didn't take my DSLR yesterday, so I had to settle for a camera phone shot of the gator.

I didn't take my DSLR yesterday, so I had to settle for a camera phone shot of the gator.

Fast forward 15 miles. As I was returning to the trailhead there was an alligator sitting on the trail! Thankfully the section of trail I was on at the time has good visibility, and so I saw the gator way before I was dangerously close. I’d sure hate to come around a blind corner and run into one of these guys.

As I approached the gator I was starting to wonder if he was going to move or just sit there. I began to slow down, and thankfully he scampered off the trail and into the lake.

I took this crappy camera phone photo of the gator sitting in the lake staring at me, but I was really wishing I had my DSLR. With my DSLR and 18-250mm lens I could have stopped my bike far enough away to grab a photo of the gator sitting on the bike trail.

It’s another nice morning, and I’m going to go get a ride in before work! 🙂

John Stone Fitness Comments

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