Wednesday, September 22, 2021

The Boys, The Bikes, and the Broken Part 2


I learned many things on this trip. Number one would be: don't bring too much stuff. We were packed into one camper and we had gear coming out of our ears. The first morning we spent at Fort Mountain, Paul and Steve went into town to get a propane tank so we would not have to eat peanut butter sandwiches the rest of the trip. That trip to town required both of them because Paul, in spite of his healthy food obsession, had a jones for a fountain coke like nobody else...a bottle of coke would never do, and he really hoped for crunchy ice.

I had a few hours alone to reflect on how quickly my body decided that 70 degree temperature was just about right for t-shirt, shorts and flipflops. It still seems strange that I got used to the lower temp so fast, while I'm still struggling with re-acclimating to the Florida swamp days after I got back home.

Food-wise, it was a constant struggle for me. Steve, the grillmaster always had more meat going on the grill than my family would eat in a week. There is some part of me that must have once been a starving beggar in Medieval times, because when Steve would say "Do you want two 1/2 pound hamburgers or only one?" Why in the world would I turn down an extra hamburger in the woods where I might left alone starving on the trail that same day?! And this went on for almost a week...3 times a day.

Paul, on the other hand, was disdainful of all of the meat and instead brought his special concoctions that he made himself from all organic ingredients, where the cost of making the food was no object. So, we have a tupperware box full of Chocolate chip cookies and granola bars that tasted better than the brownies we get for a once a month treat at the way, that box of granola bars was so big, that even with me holding the box in my lap....we didn't finish it off until the last day of the trip.

 Me, I brought vegetables, if baked beans count as a vegetable, and some other stuff that never got used, because there was some much better food to eat.

Thank God, we were out on the trail most of the days. My heartrate averaged about 135bpm while riding, and if you think that an electric bike makes things effortless, there is always the prospect of riding full blast into a tree, falling in the rocks, or at the least, running out of juice and having to push a 70lb bike uphill to get back to camp. What those bikes do is make it where you can actually pedal that 70 pounds uphill in a place that you couldn't pedal a regular mountain bike for very long. Downhill? That same heavy weight became a juggernaut and we soon learned if we wanted to ride in the mountains, we needed much better brakes! I can repeat something you probably already know: that no matter how long and hard you exercise...a bad diet beats good exercise every time!

Next up: We find out why we never saw anybody else out riding on the trail...


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