Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Artic mittens and four wheel drive?

It was another blistery day in Chattanooga...and I just couldn't bare another day indoors. The woods were calling my name...and there was a particular mountain bike trail at Harrison Bay State Park that I'd heard about...and I've been bitin' at the bit to check it out. So today was as good a day as any...after all the sun was shining...and I have arctic mittens! (yeah for that)

So...I donned my winter duds...layer upon layer of them...and off I went. Now, I'm not new to riding in cold temps...after all...I did grow up in Northwest Ohio after all. (If you wanted to ride...many times you just sucked it up, bundled up, and went anyway...hence why I own a pair of arctic mittens to begin with...("disfunctional-hand-syndrome" as I call not fun..which is when your hands are so cold you can't even bend your fingers.)

As I'm riding this gorgeous trail I couldn't help but remember that I chose not to get a four-wheel drive truck because I knew there'd likely be maybe two or three times in my driving a truck in Tennessee that I'd actually use four-wheel drive. And turns out...I've probably worn my arctic mittens about half-a-dozen times since I've had them. (hmm, yes, interesting comparison I know...but these are the things that pop into my head while riding)
Anyway, so said trail starts and ends at the Marina at Harrison Bay State Park. 4.5 miles of gorgeous riding as this trail meanders along the Bay. Many gorgeous overlooks...and very little sucking wind. (as in few big hills to climb...but just enough to get you breathing hard nonetheless.)

I took it pretty easy really, since I'd never been on this trail...and having mountain biked many times before...ya never know when a tree or tree root my jump out at you when you least expect it. I rode for about an hour...stopping occasionally to shoot some photos.

Here's one from an overlook that was all but breathtaking. I watched the birds (which I've noticed there's been a lot of them hovering over the Bay I guess the fishing is plentiful this time of year) diving and filling up with whatever fish it was they were preying upon.

So 4.5 miles took me just short of an hour...which is really a nice ride. Right in the "heat" of the day. Hah...which we all know there's been very little of these days. But was truly invigorating to get outside, and spend time in the woods...visiting with the trees and the birds and the mud (not really, it was all frozen today) and pass by hikers and other mtn bikers. Very cool to see I wasn't the only one biting at the bit to get outside. Even more cool to feel that muscle burn you get in your legs from riding. ahhh, cooped up in the house was about to drive me nuts.

If you're into mountain biking, than I'd definitely recommend this little gem of a trail. Single track, non-boring, turns and hills and thrills, but not anything life-threatening.
...and at the end of my ride...I started fooling around with some photos. I seem to have some fascination with "shadow shots"...probably because it's really easy to take a picture of yourself in shadow form. Kinda hard otherwise, without a timer.

And funny I sit here writing this...I feel my face burning a bit. Probably from wind burn or something. But hey...well worth it!

...and yeah for tights, fleece, stretchy fleecy underlayers and artic mittens! (brought to you by your local army-navy store). Only thing that really got cold were my toes...haven't figured that one out for mountain biking yet.
peace. Rachel

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