Too many Miles for After Work
Still Better than ten minutes in a Meeting
After work the other night, I had an itchin' in my bones to put a hurtin' into me. After pumping up the first four miles of Phil's Trail, I felt great and figured, why not, eh? Do the Helipad. I had ridden this trail this year already and freshly remembered the pain of some of the climbs to come. There are three main hills past Phil's Trail (Technically this is Jim's Trail, but no one I know calls it that [no offense to Jim]). The first is just a taste of the second, which is long and draining. Don't be fooled by the little lull in the middle of the second one, it is still the second hill and not the third. The third is switchbacks on powdery dirt in the late summer. In a word: vicious. You will feel it.
Oh, and the best part is the top of each hill. There is a technical section that gets severely harder at the top of the second and ridiculous on the third. So after all of the pumping, eight miles of steady uphill, you get to come to The Ogres. No one I know has ever seen anyone do it going uphill. Not even El Jeffe, in all his demi-god bad-assedness.
After reaching the top and wondering how in the hell someone lands a helicopter in that little clearing. Then comes Woop De Doos. Easily one of the coolest trails to come down, especially in the spring and early summer. All told, the ride is about 21 miles, give or take a mile. About a mile from the end of the ride, I meet Brett Johnson, ex-pro Snowboarder and action figure animator, coming up to do a Ben's to Voodoo to Phil's loop. I kind of figured he could judge the time better than I, since I had arrived at the parking lot at 6:30PM and had just done about 20 miles. I told him I would do it with him if he didn't mind me a bit on the worse for wear. He was out just for a stroll so didn't care if I lagged. We got to the top of Voodoo and decided to take Laura's to Grand Slam for a fun downhill hookup back into Phil's for the last two miles. What I didn't count on was the sun setting. I reckoned we had about 30 minutes to get down 4 - 5 miles, but this was a technical downhill and not allowing for speed. Well, I was flippin' wrong. It got dark within 5 minutes.
Pretty soon, it was epic time as pure blackness descended on what is arguably the most technically sustained trail in the Phil's Trail system. Oh, and you know there was narry a headlamp betwixt us or you wouldn't be reading this on gimpslice.com. It was all I could do to keeping the fuzzy black thing, my front tire, inside the super fuzzy milky grey thing, the trail. There was no way to see rocks. No way to see roots, pine cones, drops, dips or sharp turns. I kept kind of laughing about this thinking that I have about a 25% chance of something crappy coming out of this. It was the 75% I was shooting for. And that honestly made me laugh.
After 3 miles of pure darkness, we made it, incident free, to the Phil's Trail parking lot. Want to see what 30+ miles after work does to a dumbass?