By Jason Harrod
Group rides are great. There’s the workout, the competition aspect. There is the social side of the group ride. New faces. Old faces. And all the pretty bicycles. Personally, I do love a good group ride. But, and there is always a but, I love a good solo sojourn on the bicycle as well.
Not only is the bicycle a great medium, or modicum for that matter, of exercise, the solitude one finds riding alone can also be a great mental equalizer. When I find myself stressed out from work, family, training, whathaveyou, I throw a leg over the mountain bike, point the front wheel up the steepest and longest climb I can find and straighten myself the fok out. Sweat is just fat crying, right? So when I need a good cry I look toward the fat tired cycle and my local mountain range – Big Rock Ridge, or the Three Mother Fuckers as we like to call it.
If you like zero in the way of a warm up, a 4.5 mile nasty dirty climb, 2700 feet of elevation gain, and grades that register in the low to mid 30% range on the Garmin then this is the ride for you. It really is one long climb but has earned the Three MoFo moniker because it is simply easier to digest broken in to three smaller buckets of pain rather than one giant sucker. It is a fire road and not really technical but for a few super steep and rocky pitches. And it is wide open and on a hot day feels like you are riding under God’s, or Satan’s for that matter, broiler. Saturday was not hot. In fact it was a balmy 45 degrees with a slight wind. Mist, tiny balls of mercury beaded on my socks, on the hair on my arms. And I have to say in all honesty that the fog diminished view was a blessing, as I could only see a few hundred yards up the road and not the monster that waited eagerly behind that grey veil to beat me down. I settled in made my fat cry like a little bitch.
The top, the radar towers that marked the second highest peak in Marin, was there before I knew it. I had worked out all the little things, mulled them over in my mind, dealt with some, filed some away for later, and basically straightened out my head in 50 minutes of leg searing pain – just in time for the singletrack descent; Skywalker singletrack.
With a clear mind and a lot less fat for all of my crying, I switched over the Pro-Pedal and lit off down that sucker with some records in mind. Too bad I had forgotten it was Saturday and the trail was littered with pedestrian, well, pedestrians. I took it mellow and smiled and said ‘Howdy’ to all and decided a shot at the record would have to wait for another day, preferably a weekday … and this week. This I can say for sure: even though some company would have been nice, because we all know that misery loves company, a nice solo sojourn on the monkey bike is the best medicine for my overactive mind. If you find yourself getting stressed out, give it try – could be just the thing to straighten you out.
Strava – Hayride .
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