Greetings Members of the Royal Order of Team Seagal Fans! Riding off-road in the snow, while snow is falling, after dark, with lots of people, is a rare occurrence. And when that opportunity presents itself, you must answor teh call of teh wild. There is just as much prep that goes on in order to make it happen, what with all them fancy lights, tons of thermal clothing, tube/pump, tools, trying to keep your water from freezing, driving an hour in 4 wheel drive to get there while avoiding other poor bastards on the side of the road... it's a miracle we made it.
I embarked on one such adventure Wednesday night, with the promise of white stuff coming down during the ride. I met with Mashor at his lair, from which we embarked in the direction of Lost Valley. We met several jerks out there, and there were less than 10 in our party who were going to be using the Lost Valley land. Those who were able to peel themselves away from watching Girlfriends on the CW that night were treated to a white blanket covering the Mound lot. Mashor, myself, D-wayne, Vandeevan, B-squared (Brian Busken), 1/2 of The Holtmans, Mr. Bock, and of course, our very own Lawman.
While man-training through the fantastically-expanded singletrack, we did pass a surprising number of other like-minded individuals. We also discussed how the new singletrack that has been added (and rutted, thanks to the owner of $80K Z06 'Vette, gold chain, and a combover) will very much change the dynamics of the Lost Valley Luau. We also wondered just why old trails have to be completely closed-off when new trails are built. Oh well. We also rode some supersecret downhills.
We watched, with great anticipation, Lawman come down a section of bench-cut singletrack in Lost Valley, (the descent that drops you to the rock-armored creek) and then laughed as he hit the deck on an invisible patch of off-camber, glossy-smooth ice. We had all paused across the creek and watched him, only his headlight was visible, and when he went down, it was as if a prophecy was fulfilled. This is because there was absolutely no way we could do anything about it - we had all hit the ice, and we were trying to warn him. Bam!
Halfway through the ride, responsibility kicked in for some, and a desire for more wrist-snapping kicked in for the rest, as myself, Mashor, D-wayne, Jim and Jeremy headed out once more for a grand total of a little over 24 miles and 4 hours. Bam! Over 2400' of powdery, track-laying climbing.
Definitely worth skipping Lawman for (thank god for DVRs, though!)
4 hours of snow coming through the helmet vents, while only wearing an earband:
Thanks to Masson for lending me his lights, they lasted the whole time!
-Casey F. Ryback