Bavington Ride by mj

Travis and I packed up the car yesterday, plugged in the address for the OMBC Vultures Knob race and headed out.  After a few comments about fast approaching Michaux and Mohican (long races) we agreed that a few hours of riding versus a short intense xc race would be a better use of our day and we headed to Bavington (aka Hillman State Park) instead.  Who knew that so many other people were planning the same thing.  I must have see 40+ mtb’rs enjoying the day and trails too!  Nice! 

We track down the Trek of Pgh group ride and enjoy their company before most need to head to the shops and work for the day.  Travis and Tim head out for their own ride and I hit a few more trails with Carl and Adam, who I just met (the camaraderie that always occurs when enjoying the trails.. appreciating the day.. good times together.. even with strangers) before its their time to go also.  I plug in my tunes and head into the next trail solo.  Managed about an hour before I saw anyone, but I think the largest group ride I have ever seen came rolling past me at that point.  I must have tossed out 20+ Hi.. hello.. have fun.. hi-ya.. howdy.. theres still more?… hello.. hi.. hi… hellloooooo.. okay, its clear!.. wow!  That was awesome.  Seeing other people out and enjoying the trails as much as I do is always a pleasure.  Good vibe!  

I know most of the trails, but lose track of where I am on occasion, which I enjoy doing.  Lots and lots of singletrack, roots, pine trees, occasional riders passing, twisty fast turns, short drops and climbs.  I reach a point where I recognize where I am, see I’m just over 2 hours of ride time and decide.. do it all backwards!  I was hoping for about 4 hours and thats how to get it done, so I turn my bike around and start back.  I heard the faint sound of those little planes getting louder nnnnnNNNNRRRRR flying overhead.  This isnt right… wrong trail.  Atttempting to backtrack my original route I turn around and go back to the last intersection and head back in the right direction.  I am cruising along and my earphones get caught on something and I lose them both in the branch battle.. whoops!  I stop to get situated and the itchies begin!  Its a most beautiful day, but its hot when stopped, I swear I can see thorn bushes growing right before my very eyes, I have little cuts and scraps stinging and itching all over my arms and legs and BBBZZZZZZZZ bugs are flying all around me looking for a place to grab lunch!  Why does everyone “love” summer.. ehh!  I mistakenly covered myself in bug spray instead of sun tan lotion before I headed out (since every bottle is labeled ACTIVE in my bag), so my forearms are already sun burned, but the bugs stay off.   I catch that my phone is vibrating while I’m stopped and I see two missed calls from Travis.  Uh-oh.  He’s back at the car and waiting in pain unsure if he just bruised his ribs or actually cracked something!  I gather myself up and have about 10 more minutes of trail before I plop out on a road again and can bee-line it back to the car.   I forgot to look at my computer to see where I finished my ride, but once I was in the car I realized I was pretty cooked and had enough for the day.  Forearms literally (sun burn suucks!) and the rest of me was happy to be back in relax mode while Travis took us home.  We think he’s just badly bruised, but he definitely has a few tough days ahead while he heals.  😦   Excluding Travis’ tumble it was nice to get in a few hours of riding, see lots of happy faces, and keep a little closer to home for the day.  A great stop for local riders.  Happy trails.. 🙂

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