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A few words about Loki; Excellent ride at Mt. Dora (new feature coming!)

Thursday, October 3, 2013 by  
Filed under Daily Blog


I haven’t really discussed this in my blog, but I figure I need to mention it. For awhile now my ability to ride my bike for more than an hour has been limited to the times that Lisa is able to be here with our dog, Loki.

Loki, as most of you know, is our Shepard mix who I found wild and running the streets all the way back in 1996. When I found Loki he was less than a year old, and so we estimate that he was born at the beginning of 1996. That means Loki is almost 18 years old, which is pretty unheard of for a dog of his size and breed.

Considering his age, Loki is in great health. His vision is not what it once was, but he can see quite well. Same for his hearing. His appetite remains insatiable, practically legendary. He doesn’t run much any more, but occasionally he’ll break into a cute bouncy gait. He’s alert, happy and pain-free. He has quality of life, and I honestly feel that if I could ask him, he’d tell me that he would like to stick around.

That said, he is a very old dog, and he requires a lot of special care. The main concern is that he sometimes falls and can’t get up on his own. When this happens he becomes very stressed out until one of us helps him back up. The thought of him panicking on the hard kitchen floor for several hours with no one home to help him is unbearable to me. So I never leave him alone for more than an hour, and when I do leave I try to make sure he’s comfortable and sleeping in his bed.

This system has worked out well, and I am more than happy to do it for him. Loki is obviously not going to be with us for much longer, and I owe my wonderful friend of nearly two decades everything I can humanly do to make his remaining time happy and comfortable. Yes, sometimes I have to miss out on awesome group rides, mountain bike rides and trail work days, but I would never abandon a beloved family member because they are “inconvenient”.

My riding buddies and friends all know this, and have been great about it. I just wanted to mention it here, as I’ve been doing a lot of shorter rides lately. This is why.

Yesterday morning Lisa didn’t have to go in until 10:15, so I was able to go for an early mountain bike ride! It’s been way too long since I’ve been to the Mount Dora MTB Trails, and so that’s where I decided to ride.

The trails are in phenomenal shape right now! Helter Skelter (the Red/Advanced trail) in particular is running better than ever. My friend Andrew Tinny recently went out there on his own and did an absolutely masterful job of trimming Helter. That, plus the work that Mark continues to do out there, has made Helter Skelter into something truly great. Helter is less than a mile long, but it sure packs a lot of fun and challenge into that short distance. Of all the trails I’ve ridden, Helter is probably the toughest cardio workout of them all.

Wooden berm construction at the Mt. Dora MTB Trails!

Wooden berm construction at the Mt. Dora MTB Trails!

Over on the main trail there’s something very cool happening. Mark Pettengill and Mike Simmons are working on building an incredible wooden berm! This berm is on one of the Blue (Intermediate) offshoots called “Extra Crispy”. The berm is right after a very fast section of trail, and so we should be able to carry a lot of speed through this new feature.

As you can see, the sub-structure is complete. Won’t be long now! I can’t wait to break my arm on it. 🙂

Anyway, I had a great ride yesterday. Here’s the entire ride on Strava.

Oh, one last note. At the very end of the ride I was doing a final lap on Helter, and I got a stick caught in my rear derailleur. I didn’t want to stop, so I tried dislodging the stick while I was riding. Probably shouldn’t have done that: my bike clipped a vine, and I went over the bars pretty hard. My handlebars got twisted around, and I added some new cuts and bruises to my already shredded right leg. Now it looks like I have a golf ball hidden under my skin on my right quad.

I think I’m going to skip the bike today and hit the weights.

John Stone Fitness Comments

2 Responses to “A few words about Loki; Excellent ride at Mt. Dora (new feature coming!)”
  1. Just a comment on construction of wooden berms. Not sure what the conditions are like there, but here wooden structures frequently become extremely slick when wet and continue to smooth out over time. There are two approaches we’ve used to try to reduce this problem. The first is the use of rough cut lumber for the surface which is pretty obvious. However, this type of lumber seems to deteriorate more quickly than others which leads to needs for repair every few years on well used trail sections.

    The second approach, which we’ve been using more recently, is to use pressure treated/sealed lumber for the surface and then applying no skid safety tape to the surface:


    This approach has been very successful and provides a more uniform surface than the rough cut lumber. Also, it is much more reliable in wet conditions.

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