Friday, May 29, 2009

Cat Rock Park-o

Last Tuesday was the last official CSU park-o of the spring, at Cat Rock Park in Waltham. At least, I think its in Waltham, its sort of next to Costco. Results are up, and I did pretty well for once. Being a little on the tired side from the weekend helped me, as I couldn't outrun my brain, although a lot of the running was on trails. It seemed like all the underbrush was poison ivy, and I was trying to avoid running straight through it, although I mostly failed in that regard. The fields over by 6-7-8 were actually fields of poison ivy, which was really pleasant... at least they weren't nettles.

I started just ahead of Ian, which I knew would make things interesting, since we orienteer at about the same speed although he's a little faster on straight trails. Heading to 1, I realized that the map was not 1:5k as advertised but something closer to 1:10 or 1:15. Things seemed really small, and it took a long time to get to them. I took it pretty slow to 1 just to get my feet under me (and my brain working), and by the time I got to 2 I was in the zone, reading ahead and running as hard as my trashed legs were letting me.

I could hear Ian crashing through the woods going to 3, although I ran on the road which I think was faster, and as I scrambled up the steep little bank he was already punching. He got to 4 first, and I was able to see him punching and thus take better micro-route choices. Its always easier to run behind someone, you can sort of mentally draft. I closed the gap going to 5, again using his zigs and zags to run straighter, and I think we had pretty even splits going to 6, in the massive field of poison ivy. Ian started to pull away going to 7, he was just faster, but then he bumbled 8, and I trusted my map skills rather than chased him. I ran along the trail to 9, but then it got steep so I started walking - what can I say, I was tired. Ian passed me there, but then hesitated at the top, looking for the control, while I knew it was further along the ridge, since we hadn't crossed the stone wall yet. I was a little too far down the hill on my approach to 9, but I knew this was my chance to get away, and bolted off to 10 before Ian could see me.

I found the trail leading to 10 no problem, and ran cleanly to 11. Of course, when I left the poison ivy field, I managed to run too far down the spur to 12, not having a good attackpoint and just hoping that running faster would keep me ahead of Ian. Lost probably 20 seconds on that one, and then going up the hill to 13 I went slowly again, and Ian caught up. We were together to 14, where I took a sort of stupid route that involved going over the top of a cliff, and then he bobbled near 15 and I closed the gap again. It was a trail run to 16, and we were head to head now, it was going to be a battle. It looked like a trail run to 17, too, so I was really confused why he turned off towards the finish after 16... turns out, he was so focused on beating me, he didn't even see 17! I beat him by default =)

Fun race, it is always fun having somebody to race, bringing a whole extra dimension to this already-multi-dimensional sport. I was pleased with my concentration despite having a person to distract me - relay champs, bring it!

My map with my route is below.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Coyote Hill XC

I love this race. This is the only race that's made me cry. Last year I had a lot of fun, because I didn't crash off any bridges, but I was worried I might cry again this year since I had agreed to ride expert so that my ride could sleep in, and because there was torrential rain for two hours before the expert race. Other than Great Glen last year, where I ran 1/3 of each lap, I don't know if I've ever raced in mud. I don't really belong in the expert race, but it worked out in the end, and I beat some people. I really sucked on the uphills, maybe I could have gone faster had I tried harder, but I had no desire to test that hypothesis. I figured I'd have less fun if I couldn't ride the fun parts because I was too tired, and I'm in this for the fun. Usually. At least until the competitive part of me catches up.

The course starts with an uphill in an open field leading to an uphill dirt road, so you get to see right off the bat how much you're going to suck. I could tell it wouldn't be pretty, but I had neither the ability nor the desire to put myself in the hurt box to keep up. Going downhill was fun, things were slippery and slimy and rooty and rocky, and I'd caught Cathy by the bottom of the singletrack, which made me feel really good about myself. We traded leads for a bit, she'd pass on the uphills and I'd pass on the downhills, do something boneheaded and fall off my bike, catch back up, repeat. Then she let slip that she'd sprained her ankle this morning and only had to finish to take the series lead, and I felt a little less smug.

We came through the first lap more or less together, Linnea gave me another water bottle, thereby becoming my hero, and then we started that stupid climb again. Entering the singletrack the pros were starting to catch up, I felt pretty bad holding them up so I'd generally just pull off the trail. Those guys are fast. Then the experts started to pass me. It was kind of nice to have an excuse to walk my bike... there were some uphill bits that were just too slick for me, and I wasn't feeling energetic enough to run with the bike. At one of the water crossings, I did a slow-motion endo, and caught myself on my forearms on a flat rock. At least the rock was flat, I guess, but my arms were stinging pretty bad, and later on I managed to slide out on some roots and land on my left forearm - made me yelp. I was still having fun on my bike, but I was starting to get tired. I did ride (on the second lap) the drop where Colin and Linnea had heckled me last year, and I championed over the sketchy bridges again.

By the third lap, it was getting lonely. The experts were done passing me since they had been finishing their third lap, and the pros had all already lapped me going into their fourth lap. Cathy was behind me somewhere, but I wasn't feeling too inclined to slow down and wait just to have company... that wouldn't be the proper competitive spirit. Then Rob Stine, a pro, caught up, I think he'd been walking since he'd lost a cleat, which was faster than my riding, and rather than blast by me like most people he chatted away behind me, which was super nice of him, as it took my mind off my ragged breathing and tired legs. My upper body was getting pretty tired by the end, too, and I was starting to notice just how slippery those wet roots were, but my third lap was about a minute faster than my second one, probably thanks to being less willing to just walk the uphills with someone there to see it and since I wasn't pulling over to let people pass.

So, I survived my first expert race. Lots of uphills in VT, but I still love that course. I went up to Kingdom Trails with Colin and Linnea after the race, because clearly getting trounced in a race isn't good enough, I need to go chase after should-be-pros for a day to top it off. They were getting entirely too much pleasure seeing how out of breath I was every time I pulled up. We passed a couple at one point, first Colin and Linnea go by, then I go by at a much more pedestrian pace, and the guy says, "I don't envy you keeping up with those two". Nope, me neither...

La kiwi qui rit

The kids found a playground. I did it too, but less gracefully.

With a day like this, what's not to love about riding bikes?

The really fun part were the zig zags coming back down the mountain.

Wachusett hill climb

Saturday, I convinced Brandon that running up Wachusett would be just the thing to get in shape, so we headed west to the Wachusett Hill Climb, which is part of the USATF Northeast mountain running circuit. Luckily (for both of us) the finish was at about the same elevation as the start, which meant there was plenty of downhill. Road runners, apparently, cannot run down hills worth beans, so we took our skier skillz to hand and finished better than we would have in a pure uphill race.

I started pretty conservatively, since it starts up a pretty long sustained climb, and I didn't feel the need to blow to pieces two miles into a five mile race. There were a lot of people up the road, and a couple girls went by. I figured I'd get the ipod-wearer back, but some of these gals were lean mean running machines, so I figured that'd be the last I'd see of them. We finally got to the top of the paved climb, about 1.5 miles later, and turned downhill in the park to head down 3/4 of that distance on a singletrack trail. It was sweet, I was constantly passing people, most of whom were jogging or leaping from rock to rock. I made it up beyond some of the girls who I hadn't even been able to see while on the road, and I was definitely feeling smug about passing those skinny chicks back.

Then we traversed for a while, and my amazing passing streak was over. It turns out that running downhill, even if you let gravity do most of the work, still makes your legs tired. I held it together on the flat, with Donna Smyth (mountain runner and master skier extraordinnaire) in my near sights. The race then turned left, onto a steep hiking trail. I let my speed carry me up a little ways and then settled into a fast hike, which was much faster than the people trying to run. I started passing some groups of guys, and again was feeling pretty smug, until the trail got less rocky and less steep. Crap, I had to run again, and some of those guys who had been hiking slowly passed me back. I was starting to feel pretty redlined, but luckily, once we hit the top of this climb, it was all downhill.

None of the girls I'd passed on the first downhill got me back on this uphill, probably because it had rocks and roots on it, and as we started into the last two miles, which were all down hill, I could see a couple more girls ahead of me. I let loose, cartiledge be damned, and tried to float down the hill. There was one other girl in a red shirt that I couldn't reel in, but then I caught a glimpse of a guy in a bright yellow teeshirt - could it be Rob? I kept bombing down the hill, and just before it flattened out into the traverse I caught up to him. It was Rob, and he was hurting, but the point is that I caught him. He then heckled me as we hit a short rise, and I slowed waaaaay down. Yup, downhill running is still hard, especially when you hit the uphills! I cruised in to the finish 6th in my age class, but I can't find results anywhere online to see where I finished overall. I'll take 8:15 miles over an all up-or-down course... but boy were my legs sore the next day after all that pounding.

Too bad the next day was the Coyote Hill mountain bike XC...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Pro-tip: if you're already the weakest rider in a group, don't show up on a cross bike for a mountain ride.

No flats until I "pulled an Alex" into a curb. oops...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Pine Hill park-o

Last night, CSU ran a park orienteering race on the Pine Hill map at the Fells. This was where they held the A-meet a couple weeks ago, and the woods have only gotten thicker. Lori set a tricky little course, and I only barely managed to stay ahead of my feet, mentally. I put my route below, but I think the Garmin was freaking out under some of the thicker trees, because there are two extra zigs that I know I didn't do, on the way to 9 and on the way to 11. 8 was misplaced, but I only lost about a minute and a half on it, since I was certain I was in the right place and there was a flag. I circled the area briefly once, and then realized it wasn't there. Other people lost up to ten minutes going in circles... Still, it was a fun way to spend an evening. Much more fun than some urban park running race, like some of these can be.

The route also shows my cooldown, as the big outer loop. So don't get too confused.

Only one park-o left, thank goodness its not at the Fells. The Fells is a great place to run, with some really fun trails, but orienteering here is either a trivial trail run or a super technical, slow, thick-woods jog. No middle ground.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Don't look at the marshmallow!

Rob Bradlee, head coach at CSU, emailed us some motivation the other day. I thought it was a good message, so I'll just quote.

"I heard an interesting show on the radio today ("On Point" on WBUR) about the subject of delayed gratification. Seems that a researcher did an experiment with four-year old children. They were put in a room with a tasty marshmallow treat on a table. They were told they could have the one marshmallow now, or if they could wait till the researcher got back, they could have two. Some children gave in right away, some made it a little while, and a some waited an entire 15 minutes. How did the "Long Delayers" do it? They did NOT look at the marshmallow. They distracted themselves by singing songs, looking around the room, or playing games. Sitting and looking at the tasty marshmallow just made the temptation to eat it too much to resist. The study subjects were examined 14 years later and it turned out that the Long Delayers were much more successful in school and life in general than those who gave in right away. And it also turns out that their techniques of delaying gratification can be learned.

Cross-country skiers are champs at delayed gratification. No other sport has 8 months of dry-land training for 4 months of being on snow. Nevertheless, we can always improve our ability to delay gratification. What things play the role of the marshmallow in our training and racing? How do we distract ourselves from indulging in those temptations and instead work towards distant goals? What are the marshmallows in being a good student? How do you resist those and get your studying done? Do you have good habits that you can share with your teammates?"

So to all those skiers thinking of that important race nine months away... don't look at the marshmallow...

Monday, May 18, 2009

It's like I don't exist...

That was my feeling by the time 10:30 am rolled around on Saturday. I had plans to do a 5k running race, a cross country race, at Millenium park. It was advertised on, start time was 9am, I showed up around 8:15 and searched for about half an hour to try and find the race, but all I found were dog-walkers. So, I did some intervals. Intervals might be a lot less interesting than a race report, but more interesting than an almost-race report. I did 3x10min on a loop, it was rolling singletrack, fun running, and despite the bugs I felt pretty good - they were slow bugs. Until I realized that my interval speed on trails was close to an 8:30min/mile. Youch. Lets hope the garmin was under-estimating distance...

Since I was in the area, I had agreed to help Thom with the Cutler Park trail cleanup day. I never found them, either, and as I wandered around the parking lot, I was starting to wonder if it was really Saturday or if I had slipped into some sort of alternate universe where I don't actually exist. I was close to asking a random person if they could see me when Ed showed up on his bike and suggested we do the sensible thing and go to IBC to see where the trail-cleaners had got to. They were just down the trail, so I did the sensible thing and went home to take a nap instead of helping them work. Score one for bad karma...

Sunday I joined Callie and Dave for a ride up in Salem, and flatted pretty much directly outside an ice cream shop. We (I?) elected to get ice cream before fixing the flat, and the line of the weekend came from Dave - "It didn't magically fix itself while we were eating ice cream, did it?"

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Not ready yet.

Tira, my other dog, is going on 14 years old. Thats a lot of years for a beagle. When I was home two weekends ago, she started breathing really heavily Saturday night. It was really scary, watching her pant just sitting there. She kept it up all night, so to the vet for her. Apparently her heart is failing. She's on medicines various, now, but I can't help but be scared. We just lost Rudi, I'm not ready to lose Tira too. What will the Jospe household be like without beagles? I can't even contemplate that scenario right now.

We think she's ok for now, though. She eats, sleeps, poops, sniffs, the necessary parts of life for a happy hound. Hang in there, little rabbit hunter...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Billygoat

I had high hopes for this race, I really did. It is late enough in the spring that I'm actually in some semblance of shape, and I've been doing a ton of orienteering (for me), so I was thinking that I was all set up for a great run. Alas. A great run was not in the cards Sunday.

I started too fast, trying to keep up with Samantha and Hillary (Sam is on the US team this year and they were both on the US team last year), since you can follow people in this race. The first mistake was to try to figure out which control to skip while running with them, really I should have just folded up my map and blindly followed along, letting them navigate until I had my feet under me. The pace wasn't too bad, physically, but I couldn't seem to hold my place on the map while at the same time figuring out which control to skip, trying to look at the whole course at once. Lesson learned - I need to practice running faster in the woods and reading a map at the same time. Around control 3, I realized I wasn't having much fun, so I slowed down to a speed where I could see the map at the same time and life got much more enjoyable.

By control 5, Jeff Saeger had caught up to me, and I've followed him in past Billygoats, so I figured I'd go with that approach again. Somehow, I lost my place on the map leaving 5, and the woods were thick enough that you couldn't really see anything, so you just had to hope that your compass was pointing you in the right direction. I was still so flustered from having been clueless the first three controls, though, that was desperate to keep up with Jeff, since I knew if I lost him now that I'd never relocate. We finally started up a gradual hill, and I realized that I thought I knew where we were, except that Jeff wasn't going as far up the hill as I thought we needed to. My spidey sense was tingling, but I decided that it would be prudent to follow the more experienced orienteer. We missed the control, hitting the trail and relocating successfully. We had both decided to skip 7, so we headed off to 8, and I had used our lost time going to 6 to get myself back together so this time I knew that we were heading too far west. I didn't do anything about it, though, and let myself make another mistake following Jeff. He claims he was trying to get rid of me by getting lost, I'm not so sure I believe him. Anyway, I left him there to relocate on my own, and got the control.

I knew I was doing much worse than I'd hoped at this point, and so really pushed the pace on the long trail run to 9. I ran into a group of "old but accurate" guys at 11, and then drifted a bit to 12 trying to run away from them. It was a long leg to 13, but I hadn't read ahead at all, so I had to pause for a bit at 12 planning the route. I passed another group of old-but-accurates on my way, I could have just followed them but I had seen a group of girls behind me as I left 12 who I didn't think had skipped yet, and I wanted to put as much distance between us as possible. I did get to 13 alone, and then went too far up the ridge to 14 and two of the girls caught up. They hadn't skipped yet, and were skipping 15, otherwise I would have fallen into their group. Bummer.

I sort of weaved my way over to 15, feeling shaken for some reason but still really strong physically. Two of the old-but-accurates that I had passed going to 13 were ahead of me as I approached 16, along with a couple not-so-old and not-quite-so-accurate guys, who I was anxious to leave behind. 17 was a short leg, and then I went pretty fast to 18, but I ended up drifting more than I meant to. I was still ahead of the old-but-accurates, but a 2-minute mistake on 19 meant they caught back up. I just couldn't find the damn flag, until I heard voices and looked up the hill and saw a bunch of the old-but-accurates drinking water at the control. Doh! They were a big group, now, I think that they had merged with another group ahead of them, but there was no sign of the not-so-old and not-quite-so-accurate group, turns out they were behind us. I followed this group up to 20, although they were too far south on the ridge, all the while planning my evil genius route to 21 and how I would drop them for good.

I snagged 20, admired the view for a second (it was a pretty spectacular view), and headed downhill to 21. I wanted to be moving faster but the hillside was really steep and the woods were really thick, and I could rarely move faster than a slow jog. I crossed the road and then managed to completely bungle my genius plan, zigging and zagging and arriving at 21 after most of the group. Yargh! I caught back up to them at 22, working my way to the front of the group to 23, and only getting passed by one guy on the finish chute. What a frustrating way to spend a day... If I just could have run cleanly, it would have gone so much better, but I guess thats the story of all orienteering races. At least I finished in under 3.5 hours, the cut-off time, so got my teeshirt, but I almost (well, 10 minutes) got beaten by Sharon Crawford! No offense to Sharon, but I should be faster... I guess I was going faster, just not at all in a straight line. The girls who I had seen at 12 ended up about five minutes ahead of me.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Monday night strength workouts

Jody Newton gives up her back yard every Monday night over the summer so that a bunch of skiers can flop around in the grass grunting and throwing heavy objects at each other. I don't know what her husband or kids think. but we all have a great time out there! This has quickly become the most popular summer workout, even in May we had 25 people last night, almost half of whom were masters or parents (or both), which I found impressive. Rob leads some rollerski technique for the first hour, and then we all converge on Jody's lawn with various paraphernalia and do some core. Its fun to have such a big group, the boys are always really chatty, the girls tend to be really focused, but we all get it done.

The boys being completely unproductive on the core station.

The master guys (or "young men" according to Rob) on the leg station.

Skiers hurling heavy objects at each other.

Cathy hammering out some pullups

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Letchworth Orienteering Club Champs

I tend to time my visits home with interesting things that are going on, in this case, a ski clinic and the first club championship meet of the Rochester Orienteering Club, down at Letchworth State Park. This was the site of the relay champs last year. Luckily it was not quite as warm this time, so I didn't overheat like last weekend. Jess came along, to the delight of some of the local orienteers, who seem to think that they've recruited a real runner. We'll see how that pans out for them... We were both running the red course, so I knew that I'd have to book it on any easy (navigationally) legs, so that lil' miss runner gal didn't catch up to me.

The first couple controls were in the fun area, a hillside with a lot of contour detail. I was trying to read ahead on the map so I could anticipate what was coming, unlike last weekend when I was sort of bumbling along, reacting rather than acting. The first seven controls were clean, although I made a 15-20s error on control 2 when I peeked up a reentrant that I knew was incorrect. Going to control eight, the map didn't seem to match up to what I was seeing, although I was just being an idiot and quickly corrected myself. This meant that I hadn't read ahead enough, though, and I didn't pause long at the control to plan a route to 9, I just started running in the right direction. At first glance it didn't look like there was anything in the way, so this seemed like an intelligent route.
My route on the map.

Soon after crossing the road, though, I came to an uncrossable swamp. The swamp was actually crossable, so this was good, it just slowed me down a bit. It was interesting that the marsh's outline was shown on my map, but it wasn't filled in with blue lines to indicate water. Anyway, I crossed the marsh, hopping from tussock to tussock, fretting about the fact that Jess was probably running around on the trails and moving a lot faster than my hopping. So once I got across the swamp, I saw what looked like open, runnable forest ahead of me, and I quickly picked up speed. Unfortunately, this open forest was actually dead leaves lying on top of a mucky swamp pit, and I made it about three strides before I was neck deep in muck. Luckily I held onto my map as I body surfed back to drier ground...

After that, I ran cleanly, but my shoes were so filled with muck that my speed was a little less than optimal... I managed to beat the Russian dude I've never beaten before, and another guy who I normally don't beat, but only by 2 seconds. A 17 year old kid on the Junior World Champs O-team beat me by nine minutes, but I've never claimed to be faster than highschool boys. Jess managed to make enough mistakes to be well out of the running, but her non-mistake legs weren't that far from mine. All in all, it was a good race for me, mostly clean (aside from my dip into the swamp), and it was fun to run against my home club again. Results, and splits from the people who have put them online.

Of course we had to hike down to Lower Falls and be tourists, just because we were there.

Next week: The Billygoat!

Of course I couldn't resist going back to Dryer before I left. This time with my dad, so I'd feel better about my technical skills.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Pittsford ski clinic

A couple weeks back, when I was in VT, Jonathan Bigelow and I started talking about the sad state of NYS skiing. Being from Vermont (and married to a Norwegian), but currently living in Rochester with his kids enrolled at Pittsford schools, he has a pretty good idea of what a good ski program should look like, and we both agreed that there was a lot of wasted talent in some of the NY public schools. Not that the coaches don't do a good job coaching - they do a great job - its just that when you have two coaches and 100+ skiers, each skier doesn't get quite as much attention as he or she might want.

So we decided that we would hold a ski clinic, for the motivated skiers at any of the local highschools. Although the Rochester xc ski foundation should probably have been involved, we figured it would be easier to get this off the ground if we just did our own thing. I borrowed a load of CSU's rental rollerskis, roped Jess into the deal, and headed to Rochester. We had nine kids show up for an almost-all-day clinic, mostly boys but two girls, which I found impressive since the level of dedication in most highschool girls is somewhat disappointing when it comes to summer training. I actually ended up loaning out my rollerskis as well as the CSU ones, which meant that basically, I stood around blabbering while Jess demonstrated and Jonathan video-taped - I think it worked out. The kids were pretty receptive to the drills we were doing, and most of the boys sound like they're going to be doing a fair bit of training this summer, which was heartening.

This was a good little clinic, we spent most of the day doing laps around the parking lot, which had a short uphill so we could work on uphill stuff too. They really enjoyed anything that we made competitive, which makes sense given that we're talking about highschool boys, here. We had them doing some hot feet drills (counting to see who can get the highest number of steps between the cones), an agility course, double pole sprints, single stick sprints... they were probably feeling pretty worked by the time we finished practicing hill bounding!

Unfortunately, if they don't practice these drills it doesn't really matter that I drove all the way to Rochester. What they need is coaching like this every week, not once a summer, but hopefully they'll at least be motivated to ski train over the summer...

Some days, it just hits you in the face how rewarding a job coaching actually is.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Dryer park

Destination ride venue? Absolutely, but maybe not from Boston. I'm helping with a ski clinic in Rochester this weekend, so decided to play hooky today and come home early, specifically so that I could ride at Dryer. Any time a park is designed by mountain bikers for mountain bikers, you know its going to be good, and Dryer is no exception. Of course, if we made a list of things I don't like/suck at on a mountain bike, it would start with 1. Corners, and 2. Scary logs with drops after them. It seems that Dryer has a lot of scary logs with drops after them, and a whole lot of corners, given that its something like 10 miles of singletrack packed into someone's backyard. I still love the place, though.

I always start with some of the swoopy smooth fast blue trails (they have them marked like ski slopes, I don't know if this is normal but I appreciate it), just to get into the flow of things. Thom tried to explain to me how to corner, and the idea of diagonal weighting, sending force through the outside pedal and the inside hand, was making a lot of physical sense. I was feeling completely comfortable on my bike, which is the best feeling ever. My favorite trail there is ribbon candy, its like a half pipe, making the corners considerably less difficult, with no scary drops even though its marked as a black. I don't want to say I like it because its easy, but... well... I guess thats why I like it. It makes me feel badass.

Once you've hit up all the smooth blues and blacks, its time to take owls nest (seriously, its like a mile of swooping around a hillside to go 200m... they know how to use the space they've got) over to the "fun" trails. These are the ones with little warnings and descriptions on the trail signs - "CMP: steep, fast, big drops and tight turns, if you have any doubts turn back now". It sort of becomes a hill workout at this point, because all the good trails are going down the hill (the park is basically on a plateau-ish hill, with trails falling down all the sides and coming back up, with one or two initial ways up), so to get back to the top you have to go up a hill. There are a couple different trails up, one of them I have trouble cleaning consistently so naturally thats the one I gravitate to. Its all singletrack, and its all fun enough that you don't really notice that you're going uphill.

One trail I really enjoyed the first time was Humpty Dumpty, it had a steep drop (also on that list of things I suck at), a short hill and then another steep drop into a corner. The first time down, I mostly rode my brakes, but I was super proud of myself for riding it, since last time I was here I wussed out. After I'd ridden all the trails, I decided to come back and do my favorite ones again, and just as I was starting to think it was time to go eat lunch I figured I'd do Humpty Dumpty again. I went down the first drop, and mentally patted myself on the back for not riding my brakes. Of course this meant that my momentum carried me over the little hill and into the second drop, but I was feeling invincible so didn't scrub the speed. Of course, it ends in a corner, and my all-too-frequent reaction to corners is to just go straight until something stops me. This is a problem when going straight involves flipping over a retaining wall and down a cliff... whoops.

So then I went home. But it was so much fun I'm plotting for when I can get back there this weekend! Totally different riding than that rocky rutted double-track crap that we see in New England...