What can I say. I love riding riding on Cape Cod. It’s the only place you can count on to be free from snow and mud in early March. That is, if you live in NH. I suspect it will be a few more weeks till our snow pack melts. Another couple weeks after that for the trails to dry out.
Everyone was itching to put tires to dirt. I met Andy Gould off exit 11 in Merrimack and we were off. 1:40 minutes of drive time in big blue. (03 Silverado 2500HD) Wow it takes a while at 60mph to get there. Ride bikes fast, but drive slow. Andy at one point said “at this speed we’ll never get there”. Ever since I changed from my zippy VW GTI VR6 to my 6 liter Chevy V8, time seems to move so much slower.
Andy had the whole high school thing going. “I’ll give you some money for gas” he says. “Ahhh, no that’s ok I said. I wonder how much he would have given me after seeing the pump hit almost 100 bucks when we filled up just before the Sagamore bridge. I doubt his Honda takes more than 40.00 for a full tank.
Pulling into the dirt lot we see The Hill Junkie I’ve ridden with Doug a few times now. For some reason he always shows up with some little wheeled old school bike. Perhaps for the challenge? Earlier in the week I had asked him to lead a ride at TOT. It was only by chance we ended up meeting up at Otis when our plans changed at the last minute. Apparently when riding solo he brings out his carbon Superfly hardtail. Hmmmmm?
Carl of course was there chomping at the bit for some sweet cape singletrack as well. He was also sporting his new JRA kit.
Hill Junkie just did a write up about his fitness buddy Brett and his Brett-isms at the Rangely Loppett.
The Junkie writes; “Brett was carrying on before the race about how it was going to suck. I’m used to this before ski races, bike races or hard training rides. Now Brett is a good friend of mine, but I have to dole out a little harassment on this topic, especially since he always kicks my ass at this distance.”
- I’m still tired from the Birkie (possible)
- The snow is soft, it’s going to be really slow
- My skis feel really slow
- I feel a little sick
- I might switch to the 25k instead
“I heard all these in the hour leading up the race start. Translation: He’s ready to open up a can of whoop-ass. Yeah, I think we all do this from time-to-time. Some are a little more practiced at it than others. I’m no doubt guilty once in a while.”
Well what da ya know , first thing I hear when I stepped out of big blue. “I did my fastest 50k ski race ever yesterday” “I’m not sure how long I’m going to be able to hang” We’re these the new Doug-isms?
Lets just say that base miles went out the window again as immediately the ride turned into a slugfest. We headed North on the Highway trail at race pace. Cold air and unwilling lungs took the beating. No warm up needed on this day.
Contrary to belief the Cape is not flat. Not in the woods anyway. There is actually very little flat found on course. The climbs are short and punchy. At the 2.5 hour mark my 34/20 gearing had the legs feeling pretty tender. Hill Junkie pace was taking its toll. Carl stated he was almost empty and starting to cramp. At one point he fell over on an uphill and was unable to move while he worked out his issues. Even Gould was feeling it. Still at 2.5 hours nobody was willing to admit defeat. I said Doug “just run us into the ground” I figured natural selection would take care of ending this one.
In the end it’s always worth that long drive down. Doug put together a nice route and we all got some good fitness benefit. There’s some crazy fun trails at that place so if you get the chance get with a good group that knows the layout. It’s easy to get lost in the spider web of intersections.
Parting shot of Andy on one of the playground rocks. Hopefully his Mountain Enduro buddies don’t see this. What exactly is he looking at
All images taken from The Hill Junkie.