Waking up bruised, sore and a bit tired on Monday morning it was clear that I was suffering from a post #sixcycleshredfest hangover. But despite an aching body, there was no tinge of regret - other than perhaps some second guessing on my decision to try to nurse a deflating tire home on a particularly fast section of trail, leading to a crash that was the root of my bruised and sore body. Otherwise it was a perfect weekend of offseason relaxation on the trails. It all started a few days prior - during a Thursday evening pizza / beer/ Louis Garneau fit kit party with the team when Roger Parmelee more or less declared that we were taking our cross bikes and heading East with our team mascot in tow for a weekend of singletrack.
With some friends from CityMD Women's Racing along for the ride we started off with some bay front single track. However just a couple of hundred meters from the trailhead we quickly realized that all of the recent #foliagebro had coated the ground in an mass of orange and red leaves - leaving us with all of the handling of a slip n slide and with absolutely no clue whether descents were smooth and fast or a minefield of hidden rocks.
This led to a slower than expected pace, as did a number of flats caused by thorn bushes hidden throughout the trail. As a result when Barb from CityMD had her rear derailleur ripped from her frame by an errant branch, requiring a quick single speed conversion, we quickly found ourselves racing a setting sun (making trail visibility even more haphazard). Of course matters weren't helped when our jury rigged singlespeed conversion couldn't cope with technical sections of trail - forcing Barb to jog back to the trailhead while I had my first experience riding singletrack while carrying a second bike. Quite the way to end a long day of trail riding.
Despite these challenges we eventually escaped the trail where we were treated to an impressive sunset with views extending from the ocean to the sound, before nursing our bodies with bourbon and cider and a dinner of fried turkey (all without burning anything down!).
Sunday was more of the same - taking leaf covered corners at speeds bordering on unreasonable, a crash here and there (including my aforementioned tumble that almost wiped Donnie out) but overall another great day of shredding on some beautiful trails. Between the trails, the bourbon and the fried turkey, the weekend was easily worth waking up bruised and sore on Monday morning, insuring that we'll have a repeat of Shredfest 2014, possibly before the year is even out.