|Lonnie’s Cannondale Jekyll 700|
Today I wanted to do a short ride on my mountain bike. When I ride my Cannondale Jekyll around my neighborhood I have to be creative as there are no official off road trails near my house. I resort to riding next to the paved roads on the gravel shoulders and up and down the drainage ditches in front of houses.
I love to go down a hill and when I see a lawn with a big drainage ditch I do a shalom from the road down into the ditch and spin up the side and then quickly turn and loop down back into the ditch and up out of the pipe onto the pavement. If home owners see me doing this on their watch I make it a point to do it so quickly that they do not have time to react. I make an effort
not leave any tread marks on lawns, but most homeowners around here do not care about the drainage ditches, they just cut the grass in it. this sort of riding is what I call Urban Assault Cycling (UAC).
There are also a lot of drainage “lakes” in Albany, GA. Some folks call them lakes, but the old timers say that these lakes were created when developers drained the swamp land to build houses. There are lots of channels that feed these lakes. The maintenance roads next to these drainage channels are nice to ride on with a mountain bike.
On today’s ride I started off without any idea of where I was going to end up. Even though I know my way around Albany in a car, when I do UAC I can get lost easily. I like being able to get lost riding my bike in the city. I know that eventually I will get to a street that I know and then go home. Today I rode some nice off road behind Darton College.
If you get bored in a gym in a spin class and hate the instructor yelling at you to pedal faster to music that you can not stand, then spin on a mountain bike. I love riding my road bike, but it is nice to train on a different bike. A mountain bike lets me ride in higher (easy to pedal) gears and spin to get more torque when I am riding through mud, deep sand or soggy grass. The exciting part is as I ride on trails I never know what conditions I am going to hit, so my adrenaline is always pumping when I ride through conditions that I think are going to make me get stuck and get my feet wet or dirty.
So the ride turned out to be longer than I planned, but it also had some surprises. I will look forward to more rides like this on Saturday afternoon. Riding UAC style is slower pace, but the workout is still vigorous and the brain activity that comes with riding off road makes you focus on the trail plus looking at the scenery. Riding the free trails is almost as good as paying to ride in Chehaw Park.