Into the Deep Freeze

So, we arrived safe and sound in Virginia, swooping in over a cinematic NY skyline, pointing at its landmark architecture like excited school kids.dscf0661.jpgWith time to burn awaiting our connecting flight, I tucked into my first meal in America: a frozen joghurt ‘blurry’, blended with billions of tiny m&ms, under a thick carpet of yet more m&ms for good measure. $5 of pure endulgence. Then Cara’s folks picked us up from DC and took us home.dscf0623.jpgWe didn’t wait too long before getting on the bikes the next morning. The ‘Superbowl Ride‘ seems to be a cult event in this part of the East Coast: a winter epic amongst like-minded friends, then an evening of good ol’ American Football. As we rode out of mall-sprawl towards the trailhead in the distant mountains, riders converged on an ever expanding group, like the Pide Piper passing through town. By mid-morning, a motley, colourful selection of riders, bedecked from head to toe an assortment of layers (apparently, it was about -5c, so out with the handwarmers, goggles, booties and balaclavers), aboard a rich and varied collection of machines – 29ers, singlespeeds, full sussers, steel hardtails… After a long road climb, then an icy, snowy doubletrack graft, we reached the viewpoint, huddled in with the rest of the 75 riders or so, out of the razor sharp wind…dscf0691.jpg…gorging on snacks, we soaked in the views across forest-swathed ridges, then hurtled back down again. The singletrack was simply entrancing, as we flitted between mossy, spindly, skeletal trees, scuttled over miniature rock gardens and picked our way tentatively across icy tyre-traps. Our soundtrack: snow scrunching under wheels, wind whistling through the trees. A short hike and bike later, the trail opened up into a wider, faster descent, blasting its way down over dirt kickers, which spiked bikes up into the air like crazed kangaroos. A ‘Coast-Off’ completed the descent – as we vied to see how far we could get without pedalling – then a frenzied refuel at a convenience store, before the 10 mile road ride back into town. A bottle blue sky, whitewash farms, dusty pickups and slender, silver grain silos glinting in the sun… All in all, a superb day out and an enticing taster of what’s to come, amongst a wonderfully friendly bunch of riders. Apparently we clocked up a good 50 miles or so. Weary-limbed, we headed home to catch some of the Superbowl (think rugby crossed with Gladiators, loads of adverts and Prince at half-time) with the extended Coolbaugh family.dscf0700.jpgTomorrow, with wind chill, it’s supposed to be down to -23c in some places in Virginia!!


3 Responses to “Into the Deep Freeze”

  1. 1 Rich February 5, 2007 at 4:31 pm

    Wow! You got him to meet the folks Cara…;-)

  2. 2 Harlod February 10, 2007 at 4:06 pm

    And WOW again!! next thing is you two’ll be gittin’ murried!!

  1. 1 A cold rush of air to the lungs. « out there biking: the blog Trackback on February 7, 2007 at 3:22 am

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