Monday, November 28, 2011

The Misfit Recall Ride

The Misfits


This past Saturday, I headed back to New Jersey for MTBNJ's Misfit Recall Ride. Matty set up a ride to get all the Misfit Psycles riders from the board together for some miles at Allaire State Park in the northern edge of the NJ Pine Barrens. Actually, the ride was open to everyone on the board (and probably anyone else who wanted to come out for what turned out to be a really big group ride.) The ride was over 30 riders strong!

There were a lot of riders at the Misfit Ride!
Normally, I don't ride with big groups. This is partly because I tend to train longer miles at weird hours (sometimes very early in the morning and sometimes pretty late at night) and partly because, well, it's hard to get this many people together at any time. But I had an absolute blast out there with everyone on Saturday!

Nothing but riders as far as the eye can see!
What made it such a great day? Take your pick ... first, the weather was pretty much perfect (almost 70 degrees the weekend after Thanksgiving!), the vibe was just pure fun (the folks from MTBNJ are all just a great bunch of folks who love to ride) and then, of course, we had Frank to show us around.

Frank, far right, literally built this place ... the perfect ride guide!

I've ridden Allaire before and I already knew it had some nice flow, but getting a guided tour by one of the guys who built and maintains the trails there just gave me a whole new perspective on it. Frank took us on what has to be the maximum flow ride -- the trails were linked in such a way that there were miles of ride where I barely had to pedal at all. Just let loose and roll through twists and turns!

Ultimately, we rode about 16 miles with only a few stops for everyone to re-group when we were near cross-trails or easy-to-miss turns. The only setback to the whole ride was the condition of my bike - I found out the day before that I would need to overhaul the bottom bracket and didn't have time to get it fixed before the ride. So I spent the whole day making all kinds of noise when I pedaled. No big deal, though - it didn't cause any real problems and I was able to do the whole ride. (I did take it in to my LBS for that overhaul the next morning, though.)

Just a great day all around! Like I said, I barely ever ride in groups larger than two or three, and part of me is always reluctant to ride in big groups because I really don't like to stop and there always seems to be a lot of that in big group rides - either for the inevitable mechanicals or to wait for laggers. But this group pretty much hung together all day, and there were no mechanicals as far as I know. A great group, a great ride ... like I said, a great day!

The whole crew just before we rolled out
No more events for the year ... from now on, it'll be a little bit of training, a little bit of fun, and hopefully a whole lot of riding!

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