Yesterday, after attempting to play a few rounds of paintball games for the first time, I quickly loaded up my Green Goblin to hit up Lake Norman State Park before the daylight faded.
As I drove to the park I realized I was going to miss probably 30 minutes of the 2:30 ride time that I had planned due to the sun starting to go low beyond the trees. Quickly I came up with a new game plan. The goal was to ride the Itusi and Mambo loops (12 miles) for warm up and then to crank out another lap on Itusi but at a faster pace.
1/4 of the way through the 6 mile Itusi trail I realized that something was happening between the connection of the bike and rider. The last time I felt this type of connection was fall of 2006 when I was living in Brevard North Carolina while working at Cane Creek building wheels. The connection where you flick, the bike goes, flicking and jumping and flowing up and down the curves of the trail. It felt amazing.
Right ear plugged into Black Keys, left ear listening to the cicadas and the creaking of my bottom bracket.
Staying on track with time, keeping my heart rate in check, keeping RPM’s high when going flat or straight and slowing it down while climbing, using basic muscle strength.
Hit last loop, Itusi part II. Rolling into the 2nd inner loop, I see a head a small dog. Slowing, I realized it has stripes. A raccoon, in day light? This isn’t good. It scureys off the trail and I jam it in hopes of not being bit by a rabid striped “dog.” Senses heightened I hear rustling, crap is the thing following me? Look to the left and see three doe deer running right at me.
Wildlife attacking…!!! I jet, pull the headphone out of my ear but keep singing very loudly in hopes that it keeps the deer away!
Cut the route short, sparing my legs 2.5 miles but glad that I didn’t have any more close encounters.