I had one goal in mind on this outing: find the trail that drops off the other side of Yellow when you climb up on blue. Not more than twenty minutes after starting the climb, I found it. There it was, not at all difficult to find, if you take your time to watch for it, and aren’t bombing the trail. The next 10-15 minutes was maybe the least technical ridgetop-to-bottom trail in Michaux. There were no rock gardens, no boulders, no big trees to knock you off your line. It was fast and fun.
Turning right, I got into a groove climbing back up around on blue. Rhodos and a mountain stream by the side of the forest road were my zen moment: primordial, breathing, turning pedals, water washing over rocks, sunlight coming up over the ridge I had just descended.
I went back over the ridge and then back down on blue, taking the forest roads to the reservoir. Beaver was glorious on a crisp winter’s day:
Popping back up on the forest road, I turned right and got into a nice rhythm as I climbed up to the powerline and then to the Wildcat reroute. I cleaned the first section of rocky madness, absolutely convinced it was because of the big tires. Or, maybe I was simply riding well, was an afterthought. Whatever it was, I was high on mtb life.
Then I dropped off a rocky feature and hit the back end hard. I hoped all was okay, and it was for another thirty seconds or so.
Flat tire. I had a patch kit, so no worries. On top of the mountain, sun beaming warm, I was in my element, as they say. It didn’t matter that I had no spare tube. It didn’t matter that I was having trouble with remounting the tire. It was simply part of the ride.
Saddled up again, I rode a little gingerly and then said to myself: just ride. Five minutes later the tire was flat again. I laughed. I was about a thirty minute hike from my car. I didn’t want to wrestle with the tire again. So I decided to take my bike on a walk in the forest.
The hike out was nice:
I had a picnic lunch back at the car after loading up. The air was calm. The sun shined on the water as I sat in the quiet setting enjoying a fine Pennsylvania brew. It never tasted better.