Sunday, March 13, 2011

No ride for you!

So I went to Blue Marsh today with the plan of getting a 30 mile loop in. But it wasn't in the cards. And I probably should have seen it coming before going all the way out there. First, the weather wasn't what it was supposed to be. It was supposed to be in the mid 50's here, but it never got over 45. And it looked like it could rain at any moment, even though it was never supposed to. What's more, anticipating the warmer weather, I dressed for cool temps, not cold: just the shorts (no knickers) and a thinner base layer under my usual base-base layer. I was definitely under-dressed, but to be honest, it wasn't too bad. If I kept the effort up, I knew I could stay warm. So, despite gray skies and cooler temps, I started out on the ride.

My first real omen was at the basin in the first mile of the ride. This is what I saw as I pulled up to the trailhead:



The basin was being run to empty the overflow on the lake -- this is how they pull it back after big rains since this is a man-made lake:





The last two shots are the most active I have ever seen the basin. There is a huge torrent of water flowing through there right now. That means the lake had to be pretty far over it's banks. Not good for me!

But I kept going, and rode out another two miles (it was pretty muddy in some sections.) But then I hit this:







That sign is on the trail I needed to ride. The water was over 4 feet deep -- there was no way to get around it. I had to turn around.

So I back-tracked to the start. Not wanting to admit defeat, I figured I'd ride out the opposite way. This would mean I'd have to do an out-and back at best -- if I went all the way to the other side of the water, I'd end up doing 60 miles all-told. I probably didn't have that in my legs after my road ride yesterday considering I had the SS, but I still wanted to get in more of a ride before I'd turn around and back-track again. So I started to ride the trail backward.

But about two miles the other way, I hit this:





In the upper part of the top photo, you can just see the trail I needed to get to. Again, the water was about four feet deep. Not happening. What's more, I had just come down a hill that looked like this:



So it was a muddy, wheel-sucking slog to go back. That sucked, and so did the wind -- at +30 mph, this flag captures what it was like in the open:



So all of this put a sad, frowny face on ol' 1speed ...



Ultimately, I got about 10 1/2 mile all told. Shitty. I wanted 30. But it wasn't going to happen today. Boo!

As a bonus shot, here is the parking lot of the day-use area. That kiosk is usually about 20 feet inland:




Yesterday, on a brighter note, I did get a 67 mile ride on the road. It was windy, but that was a great, great ride. Limerick is a great area to ride -- low traffic roads that go on forever. What a great find!

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