Considering we are getting well into December the temps were surprisingly mild, hovering around the lower 40’s for our 7pm departure. Waivers were signed, parking passes were handed out and Joe, who was kind enough to lead the first ride gave everyone a quick brief on the intended route and what to expect along the way. From the lower parking lot we headed up the yellow trail towards the overlook. Anyone who has ridden this trail before knows that this climb can be a pain due to the lack of any time to warm up the legs and lungs. My job on this ride was to bring up the rear and make sure no one got separated from the group. About halfway up the climb, I ran into a small log-jam of riders. As everyone sorted out I noticed Joe was left behind fiddling around with a jumped chain. That was the first of a few mechanicals.
After regrouping at the top of the climb, we headed for some of the nice singletrack that parallels Gambrill Park Road. Although I didn’t witness it with my own eyes I heard reports of Joe doing a superman on one of the gnarlier rock downhills, followed up by Kevin going down as well. No casualties were suffered except for a fresh scratch on Kevin’s new IF. Shortly after that, Mehdi grinds to a halt with his light pointing straight down towards the ground. He lost the rubber shim that keeps the light clamp tight on the bar so we jammed a few sticks in the mount, tightened it up and continued on. Meanwhile, the rest of the group got a pretty good flow going.
After a good bit of uninterrupted riding the group came to a halt once again when one of the riders flatted. The flat was fixed and no more than 500 yards down the trail, someones light went black.(sorry I don’t remember every ones name) Fortunately, Tom just happened to bring along an extra Light & Motion Arc HID so he hooked it up and we were on our way once again. A way down the trail I came upon Joe, fiddling with his chain once again. After a quick inspection it was discovered that he had a bent chainring. With a small adjustable wrench Joe tweaked the chainring enough to finish up the ride.
After ride festivities were held at Brewers Alley in downtown Frederick. I myself gave the Oatmeal Stout and Cask IPA a try. For my taste the Oatmeal Stout was a little bland but the Cask IPA was excellent packing a nice aroma and flavor. I’m really glad we were able to get these rides going and I can’t wait until the 20th to do it again.