Turkey Burner/Foot in Mouth Disease/Further Ice Weasels Prep
I've been trying to do this frickin' Turkey Burner ride for years. Something has always happened which has prevented me from doing it though. Whether it was too much post-thanksgiving celebrating and the sleeping it off, having to work, or actually being in the country of Turkey, I have never made the thing. The Turkey Burner is an EFTA fun ride up at the FOMBA trails around Lake Massabesic in southern New Hampshire. Not only have I never made this ride I have never even been to FOMBA although it's just 45 minutes from my house. I really need to get out more.
Friday morning the forecast was dreary to downright miserable, luckily it wasn't raining in Somerville, otherwise I might have bagged it right then, instead I got in the car and drove for thirty minutes before I began thinking hard about calling 'er off. It was kind of sleeting, or Snraining, whatever it was doing it wasn't pleasant. I was almost there so I stuck it out, thinking I'd show up to an empty parking lot. Not so, there were hundreds of people there, getting ready to ride in the rain, and the cold, and the crap.
I rode around looking for my buddies Tom and Reenie, I didn't find them, but I did find regional Trek Tech Rep and local rider, Dave O'Connell. I asked if I could roll with him and his buddies and we were off.
The first few miles were fire road and jeep trail. At one point we came around a corner to find a rider walking toward us giving a warning of ice on the road. Some other folks wound up going down, it seemed too warm for icy conditions but it was indeed icy. When we stopped for Cocoa (courtesy of The Auburn New Hampshire fire department) the parking lot was glare ice. The Firemen had optional "Warming elements" for the cocoa. I'd had enough of such "elements" the night before so I stuck with straight up cocoa.
After that it was into the singletrack. It was good, all twisty and turny and rooty. Probably not too challenging when dry but an accident waiting to happen in the wet. No real big moves that I found, just miles of hypnotic, flowing singletrack.
Back up, as we were rolling over to the cocoa stop I was asking dave about "The Log Roll", I started telling him about how my now fiance' Miriam had wrecked herself on this stunt and ended up with Gangrene due to negligence on the part of a cocky and dismissive ER surgeon. At the stop a guy approached me and introduced himself as "The Surgeon who sewed that girl up". Did he hear the full version of my story? I don't know. If I were him would I have introduced myself to me. Probably not.
He demonstrated the kind of tact that informs his infamous bedside manner. "Did you come to the hospital with her?"."No". "Oh, she must have been dating some other guy back then, cuz she came with a guy". "Ya, that was her brother (dipshit)". This is going well.
We were never going to be friends anyway, something to do with the fact that he had sewed my girlfriend's leg up too tight causing Gangrene and with bacteria inside which caused an infection. Ultimately she spent a week in the hospital undergoing four surgeries and then spent six weeks hobbling around with a vacuum dressing (a small unit which helped drain and pull the wound together). Altogether this sucked pretty bad and sadly could have been prevented if things had been done right to begin with.
I ran into a couple friendly familiar faces out there, one was 29er Crew Rider Michael Patrick, one of my favorite rivals on the local race scene. Funny, I just linked to the 29er Crew page and Mike actually has a nice report up about the two of us riding together at The Landmine Classic a couple months back. Makes me even more eager for the upcoming season.
Then I ran into IBC rider Doug "Hill Junkie" Jansen out on his single speed. I chased after him and his buddy for a minute, realized that Doug is still in pretty good shape (unlike me), then sat up and waited for Dave and his crew. We rode for a little while more then my adopted posse opted to cut out. They directed me to some good trails, but me being me I got lost and wound up repeating everything we'd done plus the remainder of the thing they call the 15 mile "Hero Loop". After the getting fat fest of the day prior I hadn't eaten anything before the ride, hoping to burn off some of my "stores". I ran out of gas and went all noodle legs while there was still plenty of riding left to do.
The day did clear up though, getting better as it went on, I was actually too hot half way through the ride.
The Remedy was a little overkill for these trails, but it's still a vacation from the abuse of Crosscountry racing. Riding moderate XC type trails on the thing is like being on a rolling couch sitting on a water bed which is also rolling. It ain't a thing. And yes, it does corner like a mothersucker.
So yes, the infamous Log Roll that took Miriam out. You have to understand (three people that are still reading this infrequently updated in the offseason BLAWG) that when Miriam attempted this thing she was a huge rookie. She had never ridden her 80mm of travel hard tail down a set of four stairs, nor would she have tried it at that point. This was WAY over her head.
She came off it, looped out, went sailing into the rocks and underbrush on the side of trail and came out with a 10 inch long, six inch wide, and three inch deep wound. Her shorts held the fascia and skin together as she rode the two miles to the trailhead.
The kid in the photo was hesitant to do ride it. An older guy went up to coach him through as a photographer situated at the bottom heckled "Ya, he's coached millions of kids through this...and only like 7 of them ended up breaking any bones".
The kid rolled it just fine. As I prepared to ride away I commented "Probably a good thing I didn't tell him about my girlfriend who ate it on this thing and ended up with Gangrene". And who was standing right the frick behind me when I uttered this statement? That's right, the ER doc who "Sewed that girl up"...too tight and with bacteria inside. If he didn't catch the trash talking the first time he sure as hell did this time. I told Miriam this story, she enjoyed it.
In other news, The Ice Weasels prep continues. Here my Auntie Neil as we call him, does some mowing of the course. It's looking good, getting more packed in, seems like we might even have a small section of mud if it's at all wet that day. It's gonna be good...now go sign up. Do it, do it.