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"Take two baths and call me in the morning"

May 3, 2004
Geoff gets a little edgy on Grand Manan Island (don't let Andrea see this . . .)
At long last the trails are fit to ride. At least the trails are fit, even if I am not.

Riding during the winter helps, but nothing can prepare you for the ultimate resistance trainer - mud.

The Frye Road, an icy favourite during the frozen winter, is just now starting to firm up. Last week, it was like riding over your mattress in some places. Not that I have ridden over your mattress, but you get my drift. Each turn of the crank was a struggle just to keep up momentum as the spongy surface gave way under my wheels.

And then there are the woods trails. This is where the rubber meets the road, or should I say, the rubber meets the underworld. Even though the puddles are starting to disappear, so will you if you are not careful. These muck holes are able to swallow your front wheel up the drop-outs in a single gulp. Following close behind is either your left or right foot, whichever you decide to sacrifice.

So as you sink, you think, "Which is the best way out of this mess without getting my other foot in?" My advice? Don't wear out your brain on this, another mud bath awaits it later down the trail. And the local all-terrain vehicles have churned up the trails just that little extra amount to keep the ride, . . . well. . . , interesting.

The good thing about a mud bath is that it is followed by a couple of other baths. One bath for me, which, on very muddy rides, starts fully clothed to do a pre-rinse before the regular laundry. And the other bath for my bike.

There's something about hosing down a brown, muddy bike and finding the shiny parts and colours under the gritty frosting. It seem futile, but I'm sure my bike feels as good as I do after my bath.

After all, we have to look after each other don't we?

Rick.

contributed by:
Rick MacMillan
March 20, 2004

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