My dad used to always say "Variety is the spice of life." And I had no idea what he meant for years, but eventually I did figure it out. It's true to different extents in different contexts of course, but at this point in the wheel of seasons I'm ready for something to jolt me out the winter rut.
On Friday afternoon I headed out to Beaver Creek State Park with a friend. I parked up at the campground and rode the connector trail down to Dogwood Trail. I followed it down to the creek, then downstream to the picnic grounds and back up the super steep trail to the campground.
This place is awesome, it has such great terrain and so much potential. The whole problem is that it's located too far from any place with enough population to have a core of mtb riders. So there's no one to step up and take care of the place, to be a voice for riders. I'm trying to do this, though I live an hour away, and will start serious work on the new trail in two weeks.
My knee was killing me Saturday morning, but after some heat and medication it was feeling better in the afternoon. I figured I'd head out for a quick spin on the Greenway, but instead of riding from Sunside or Oakfield trailheads I headed further north into Ashtabula County. There's a parking area and access in the little town of Orwell, so I started there and headed north.
The trail is just as nice in Ashtabula County as it is in Trumbull. Once I rode the mile it took to get out of Orwell it was nice and quiet, with no other trail users around. The marshy woods alongside the trail were alive with songbirds, always moving on the edge of sight. I spotted a couple of bluebirds, which is always nice and later even saw an indigo bunting - something of a rarity.
I was busy Sunday morning, but in the afternoon I talked my brother into going for a ride out at Moraine. He hadn't been on his bike for something like three months, which is just too damn long. But we had a great day with temperatures in the 60's - the warmest day of the year so far - and plenty of daylight. So we parked out at Alexander Road and made a loop from there.
Matt was apprehensive that he'd be feeling out of shape for a ride at someplace as demanding as Moraine, but it turned out that he had nothing to worry about at all. We made a short loop in a leisurely fashion and had a great time. Shame that I forgot the after ride beers at home.
And that was my variety for this fine weekend - three different rides at three different places. I should have got some more things done around the house over the weekend, but I don't feel too bad about it. Life's too short to spend all your time worrying.