Friday, September 3, 2010

The Purpose of Holiday Weekends

The purpose of the holiday weekend is to give you an excuse to travel to a new bike trail and ride.  No really, that's what the politicians were thinking however many decades ago (Labor Day had its beginnings in 1893) when Labor Day, Memorial Day, and the like were instituted.  The thought process went something like this:

"People nowadays really are getting into this bicycle riding craze."

"You know what I think?" quipped ole' Grover Cleveland.  "I think that one day people are going to get crazy enough to make dirt paths through the woods and try to ride their bicycles down them.  They'll probably call it, oh, 'dirt biking.'"

"These 'dirt bikers' will need to have periodic breaks throughout the year from their hard labor so they can have enough time to ride their bicycles all the way to these 'dirt bike trails' and then ride around on them.  I propose we add holidays designed to give them that needed riding time,"  a senator added.

"Sure, let's do it!  We'll call one, uh, 'Labor Day' because it'll still be a lot of work.  We'll call one 'Memorial Day' so people can think about (and ride) the trails that veterans died to protect, and whenever someone famous comes along and does something great for the nation, we'll set aside another day of vacation specifically for the riding of great singletrack."

While back in 1893 they may not have anticipated motorized bikes being named dirt bikes and off-road bicycles being called mountain bikes, they were pretty much spot-on on every other point.

Fontana Lake near Tsali
Where I'm Riding
I'm currently planning on riding at least the next 3 days in a row.  Right after I finish typing this blog post, I'm heading up to Tsali in North Carolina to meet up with one of the other members of the Airborne Flight Crew.  My plan is to ride the two loops that I missed on my last trip to Tsali due to the alternating day schedule.

Tomorrow is the big day, the main reason I'm making the trek to North Carolina.  This weekend is the last weekend that the chairlifts are open at Sugar Mountain, and I have been jonesin' for some lift-served mountain biking ever since the Taka showed up on my door step a month ago.  Tomorrow it will get a true DH workout!  (For video of my first day of downhilling on the Taka, click here.)

Finally, on Sunday I'm roughly planning on riding somewhere in Pisgah.  I need to be back in Georgia to meet up with my wife in the afternoon, so I'm thinking about roughly a 10-12 mile loop in the morning.  Exactly what I'm going to ride, I haven't decided, but I'm traveling with a great guide book to North Carolina, so I'll figure the rest of the details out as I go along!

Where are you riding?
Well, you heard it from the president himself:  get out there and ride your mountain bike!  I'd love to hear from ya'll in the comments below.  Where are you planning on riding this weekend?  Or if its a few days after this post went live, where did you ride and how was it?  Please feel free to share your stories below!

5 comments:

eastwood,  September 3, 2010 at 12:16 PM  

Headed down to West Virginia to visit the wife's family. A buddy of mine got me a full suspension 29er to ride - so that will be fun in itself. I think we are going to ride a local trail in Morgantown on Saturday before the football game. Then Sunday head out to Big Bear with some of his teamates for an epic ride. Rode a 29er last time I was down there, but with the full suspension thrown in there I'm sure I'll feel like I'm jammin down the trails on a monster truck out there!!

Sounds like you have a great trip ahead of you, have fun!! And we better see some more downhill video from your chairlift adventures!!

Christopher September 4, 2010 at 8:48 AM  

I won't be going anywhere new to ride but my girl and I will be riding our new rides. We are the proud owners of brand new Fezzari full suspension bikes. They are beautiful! I picked up and nice XC for her and an All Mountain for myself. After some tweeking of the suspension and other bits we will send ourselves down some moderate trails around the Gwinnett area. Have a great weekend riding and be careful, Greg.

Greg September 6, 2010 at 9:59 AM  

@eastwood, Hope you're having fun in WV! I've ridden a hardtail 29er, but not a full susser yet. Let me know how it goes!

As for footage, my batteries died shortly after my first run, so I wasn't expecting to have much footy. But I got back yesterday, plugged my memory card into the computer, and there was NOTHING on it! It had the clip that would have had the run, but apparently it didn't get saved when the batteries went out. I was super disappointed!

@Christopher, Congrats on the new bikes! So you went with the Fezzaris, eh? Be sure to let us know how they ride!

eastwood,  September 7, 2010 at 9:00 PM  

Greg, sorry to hear about the battery dying... too bad. But as long as you had some fun - that's what is really key!!

Rode a Fischer HiFi Pro... sweetness is all I can say. Not only did that thing eat up everything on the trail, but descents were just a dream!! Rode a couple trails I rode last time I was down there and I knew the difference instantly from riding the 29er hardtail to the HiFi when flying down descents. I had my sights on going full suspension next season, but now I seriously have to think about if I should stay with the 26's or if I should just make the jump to the 29er fully... decisions decisions.

Greg September 8, 2010 at 11:49 AM  

Yeah dude, the trails were a blast!

Glad to hear you had a rocking time riding as well! Cool to hear you like the 29er HiFi, I've ridden the 26" version and know some people with the 29er version and they totally love it.

PS full suspension is DEFINITELY the way to go!!

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Greg Heil is the Editor in Chief for Singletracks.com. He's been writing and publishing online since before blogging existed.

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Mountain biking, plain and simple. Trail reviews, ride reports, and philosophical musings induced by delirium from grinding up way too many vertical feet.

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