|OK, so the New Fane mountain bike trails are not quite this dry. But they're close.|
Maybe there should be an asterisk next to that record. On previous occasions I rode solo; today I followed Jeff Wren. He’s a better mountain biker than I. We don’t always agree on which line to take—I didn’t set a PR by stealing any secrets from him—but we’re a close match in open terrain. My desire to stay on his wheel made me push myself harder than I likely would have otherwise.
New Fane hasn’t had a proper rain in weeks and the trails are now very sandy and loose in some places, including a couple of tight corners. I ride reasonably well in such conditions. With my roadie background you might expect me to over-correct when I feel the rear tire slipping, but I handle it without panic. That ability could come into play next Sunday at the Alterra Coffee Bean Classic, on what I expect will be very dry trails at Crystal Ridge in Franklin. Looks like I’m going to practice there on Friday after work and on Saturday during the official WORS pre-ride. In the meantime, I will continue to practice close to home—probably a combination of New Fane and Glacial Blue Hills—to keep my handling skills sharp. I feel fortunate not to have lost anything during the two-week layoff, and now I’m really looking forward to a new week of training.