bomb the mosquitos

wednesday night is my typical night to ride. my night to not worry about what the kids are having for dinner.
i busted out of work a little earlier than usual with feltz. we headed to palos as he wanted to pre-ride the course. then i figured we'd head out to stonehenge and depending on time hit cemetary hill or old country lane. i was figuring cemetary hill as it's shorter but one can hope.
sitting in the E we were coming up on damon on 55 and the skies let loose with the biggest water drops i've seen in quite some time. it was very strange. the skies were filled with the scary grey clouds with the big white puffy ones. after the big rain drops the skies stopped and it just appeared grey. i didn't even realize there was rain in the forecast.
we were determined to ride regardless. my thoughts were it didn't rain long enough to get through the trees.
we got to the new staging area where it was a bit wet. adam and i got dressed and headed out for a loop of the course.
the staging area singletrack was dry. sweet. headed up towards gravity cavity after tightening my air cartridge on my seatpost.
i'm beginning to think that i dislike my jones xr tires on my 26". i love them on my 29er. i always feel like my front tire is going to wash. i need to find a new high volume xc tire. anyway one day trail was a bit damp but nothing crazy.
then we hit three ravines. talk about slick. i had just put 30#s of pressure (i usually run 26 or so) so my tires were sliding off roots and weren't instilling the best of confidence. 3 ravines is so packed down that the rain wasn't absorbed into the trail. it was just sitting on top making even the slightest off cambr section slick as snot. i was starting to get frustrated. my tires (and skill) weren't allowing me to even climb out of the first and third ravines. that's how bad it was. i ended up stopping and letting some air out my tires (should've down that 2 ravines sooner) and i got a bit more confidence. but semi slicks wouldn't be my tire of choice if this is what conditions would be like for race day.
while riding 3 ravines we ran into mike kelsall. i heard him yell trail as he was floating through the ravine. we ended up riding and chatting with him for the remainer of the ride.
having stopped a couple times it became apparent that the mosquitos were out in full force. i was in shock at how bad they were. buzzing in your ear. it was super annoying. luckily we didn't have to stop much.
we headed up towards psychopath. the beginning flatter section was pretty wet. mike said earlier it was like a river, the water was flowing down it so fast. you could tell it was already starting to dry, though still far from dry.
our bikes and bodies were a mess by this point. it wasn't really muddy just real splashy.
turf 1 turned out to be decent only slick in spots. this one part of the trails sweeps right and i just kind of two wheel drifted not in a good way to the trees. no harm. just started pedaling agan. we climbed up the road to stairsteps to bad ass hill. i think i climbed bad ass hill in record time for me. it actually seemed kinda short.
out in the parking lot we decided to ride up green grassy and head out towards stone henge. back down the staging area singletrack and slid out a bit where i crashed last wednesday. whoa.
i led adam and mike all the way out past 95th and 104th. i let mike go through ahead of me to a log crossing. i'm not afraid of log crossings at all, but this one sometimes has the build up branches out of place. too many people have gone down pretty hard there. mike took it to the right which is actually more of a jump instead of a ride over and slowly endoed. he was okay. he took the lead after that.
we started heading towards cemetary hill. i hadn't been this way in a long time. i started to remember bits and pieces of it as we continued on. we came across these kids on the trail. it was sort of weird, their body language, etc. 3 of the kids turned away to not look at us as we rode by. strange. as we came to the exit of the trail there was a set of bones- like bigger bones- set up with bits n pieces of car tail lights? wtf? kids.
next up was cemetary hill. it's a pretty steep rutted out illegal hill. i started up it and started laughing for some reason and lost all momentum. had to stop and walk. big mistake. the mosquitos found me. HOLY CRAP! they were dive bombing me, attacking from all points. i must have had 50 on me at one point with what seemed like hundreds more waiting to land. they were on my ears, in my ears, on my face, arms, legs, etc. it was madness! i couldn't get up the trail fast enough. i wanted to scream. i finally made it up and i couldn't get away fast enough. i'm pretty sure i was redlined after climbing that hill and trying to get the eff out.
back to the parking lot. i lost my air cartridge somewhere along the way. bummer.
headed on home. it was a good ride.


Tom K said...

i have welts on my thighs from mosquitos this weekend. they are bad.

velogrrl said...

ugh. the mosquito attack sounds awful. hope you aren't too itchy today.

do you remember the muddy Kewaunee race last year? what should have been a 1 hour or so race turned into a 3 hour drag-a-bike, stop-n-scrape mudfest. I counted over 70 bites after that race!!

mountaingoat said...

Same up here with the squeeters. Horrible.

mikelsall said...

Oh ya, that was the only thing that pushed me up that hill - the fear of mosquito attacks within seconds of stopping. Good riding BTW, you were killing it on the last sections. I'm glad I'm not racing the Woman's field on Sun.