Hit the Ground Rolling

Sunday, 26 September 2010

I got back from Japan on the morning of Saturday the 25th, so after getting the laundry going, I ate and turned in early. The weather on Sunday was nice and breezy, so I met up with Jeff, Sara, Danny, and Paul out at the Ditch for a spin. There was a rental Ford parked sideways in the gravel parking area. Jeff said that when he arrived, a tall-ish Caucasian dude with tiny running shorts and a tank top was getting out of the car. Jeff briefly thought that it was Chris in an unfamiliar car dressed funny, but the guy went running into the trail. Darned trail runners! I thought only triathletes didn’t know how to ride, drive, and park.

My legs were a bit tired from a week of hiking around Kumano, but the only thing that gave me any issue was some left knee pain. We started a little later than usual. This combined with the shortening autumn days put us on the trail as the heat was in subsidence. We did the normal climb up Government Road to drop into the side loop. Heading out along the Ditch, we discovered that the recently cleared cardiac hill had been horse stomped during the previous week’s rainy weather, then hardened had into a difficult, lumpy surface. After dropping the inward-leaning tree singletrack, I met everyone at the big tree for a break.

When we had climbed up to the top of the ironwood hill, Paul was feeling his mojo, so he ghosted Jeff down the dusty drop-in with no problem. Sara and Danny followed me down. I essentially told them to not follow my line, and they made it down fine. After returning along the Ditch, we paused briefly at the normal outbound rest stop. I rode up the start of the inner loop to drop into the lame “moonraker” line. When I got back to the Ditch, I didn’t see anyone. I figured they had just continued down the trail, so I continued down the Ditch. After riding on a ways, I still didn’t see anyone, so I picked up the speed the best I could. I was starting to think they had gone up and done the inner loop, so when I reached the inner loopend junction, I went up to see if I could meet them halfway. After reaching the top and dropping to the bottom of the ravine, I listened, but didn’t hear anyone or anything beyond myself and the wind.

Returning to the Ditch, I continued toward the end. I really had no idea where everyone had gone, but I figured that if I went to the Government Road junction, we’d eventually meet up again. Just as I thought that, my phone went off. It was Danny. Signal wasn’t very good on the trail, so he could hear me, but I couldn’t hear him. As I tried calling him back, Jeff came down the trail to collect me. Meeting up with the group at the road, Jeff, Danny, and I went up to do the side loop again. We saw a pile of people out on the trail along this run. Hikers with dogs and bikers with dogs were in abundance. Adding all the time spent wandering aimlessly in search of everyone to the later start put us on the side loop after the sun had dipped behind the mountains, so under the tree cover, I could barely see with my G30 Oakleys. Danny had actually brought a change of glasses, so he switched out to clear. I actually had my clear lenses, but I just suffered with semi-vision rather than stop to switch lenses. Had I known how dark it would be, I would have changed them just before dropping onto the singletrack. 20/20 hindsight.

Back at the cars, the riders with a delirious heat-stroked dog had gotten the animal to the trailhead. Crime-boy in his white gangsta jersey wandered into the trail from the Crime BMW. Not sure what was up with that. Paying it little mind, we packed up and headed off to Kailua for burgers. Parking was a horror, as the lot was blocked up with a high cube unloading stuff from the pub’s concession out at the weekend’s Bayfest event. The wait only made the beer and burger taste better.

Pictures here

D = 14.47 km (8.99-miles), Vavr = 12.6 km/h (7.8-mph), Vmax = 37.8 km/h (23.5-mph), T = 1-hour, 9-minutes (actual trail time about two hours)

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