Friday, June 22, 2012

hartshorne in a a heat wave .

Feeling ambitious, yesterday I scheduled a morning ride with a coworker up at Hartshorne Woods. The woods is located in the Highlands area of New Jersey, which is probably one of the coolest areas. Think steep hills, woods, nice houses, and a great cliffside view of the oceanic waterways. Despite the multiple-day heat wave (which honestly is 10x worse because of the feckin' humidity) we decided to go for it. Traffic in the morning was a bitch as it usually is during rush hours, but we made it, and started with a steep, rooty climb up the fire road.

Mountain biking is something I enjoy, but have never fully appreciated. I prefer road only because it's much easier to just roll out my driveway and go. But it's still a ball to go out and fly down the hills, even if it means struggling up the rocks and roots on the climbs. There is something special about dirt singletrack, and moving at a speed that is so fast you almost feel out of control. It's lightning fast reflexes and picking a good line that saves you here.

I was reading up about one of the issues people have with mountain biking, and it seems that lots of people stare at the challenging obstacles as they roll over them. In the same way that on a motorcycle, you're supposed to look a good bit ahead of you, you're supposed to do the same on a bike when riding the trails. You're not focused at that giant rock rapidly coming at your front tire, you're looking ahead to the bend that leads you into the climb. When you do that, you let your body do the work, and let the body adjust and react, as opposed to thinking about it.

It was much easier this way. And even though my coworker still pretty much smoked me, I think it's safe to say that I'll definitely be headed back up this direction soon for some more rides.

This isn't me, but this gives you an idea of the trails that we rode, as the vid was taken at this park:

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