This was the view from my office window this morning when I first arrived to work. The quality isn't fantastic as the photo was taken by my crap-ass 1.3 MP cell phone camera, however it does convey the stunning sky I had the pleasure of staring at all morning. The weather was quite cold, most likely near freezing, with a crisp winter-is-on-its-way breeze. The sun was just beginning to come up over the eastern side of the Lake when I drove in and from the top floor of my building you could see the full brilliance of its rays. Mornings like this make the fact that it is Monday alright by me!After last nights ride paired with the view this morning I feel amazing today...as well as ravenous. (Thank goodness our secretary has stocked her candy dish).
T$ and I went out for a ride after the sun had set yesterday in Tryon Park. Out of all the mountain bike parks I have ridden this summer, for some reason Tryon is my least favourite. I call it a 'humbling park'. I think the fact that the park is super technical as well as the fact that the trails are completely wild and some as narrow as a balance beams with sheer drops on one side have something to do with my hang up with it. But each time I go there, I feel more confident. Each time I find myself going faster over/down/up/on more and more difficult parts of the park.
The fact that I am trying to catch T$ is motivation to boot...especially at night, where you don't want to be left alone at any cost - it's just creepy in there. Creep factor or not, I was planning on going alone but T$ decided to forgo his work last evening and join me for a ride. I am so glad he did. Not only do I love having him accompany me on rides (or pretty much anything I'm venturing out to do) I think I would have totally freaked myself out in there last night. I was riding pretty well, so that wasn't the issue. The issue I had was with a giant buck that lives in the park. For some reason (oh, probably because it's white tail rut season) he didn't want us around last night. We saw him one other time during a night ride in the summer. Big, beautiful, six-point buck. He is definitely a majestic creature which I respect and would never want to disturb. However, we do ride through his turf (which he had marked with his scent - my god it smelled especially terrible last night) so disturbing him is inevitable. The last time, during our summer night ride, when we disrupted him he just ran off. Last night he was not as kind...after us barrelling through the first trip down, he ran up to a ridge maybe 50 feet above us and observed us going by. No big deal, we rode by and admired him. On the way back we had to go through the same area prior to ascending this huge, steep climb. This time he didn't stand back and observe - he decided to make a point of us knowing we were on his territory. So here we are trying to climb up this steep slope - well, let me rephrase - T$ was almost at the top while I was granny gearing it up this steep, sandy, rooty, lung-burning slope when I turned my headlamp in the buck's direction only to see him coming back towards me. He wasn't rushing me, mind you, but he was definitely letting me know he wasn't messing around. I got freaked out and subsequently fell off my bicycle. Then, grabbed my bike, and cyclo cross style ran it up the hill as fast as I could while T$ laughed his ass off. Nice - I could have been gored and he thought it was hysterical. In all reality it was quite funny and I did laugh about it after the fact, but I assure you I won't be riding through that section of trails alone EVER! That animal had fangs and an I-will-kill-you-if-you-come-into-my-turf-again gleam in its eye!