Those of you who know me well, know that I go mountain biking. Often. Most weekends in fact. However, I have somehow managed to not write a blog post about mountain biking!
My guess is that I generally write blogs posts when I have pictures, but I usually don’t take as many pictures (or any at all) when I go adventuring with friends. On my own, I often remember to take pictures, mostly so I can share them with friends and family after my adventure. Conversely, when I’m out with other people, I am usually just enjoying the moment. Since I almost always go riding with my dad, I don’t tend to take pictures.
In anycase, my dad and I went riding at Tribble Mill Park on the Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend. It’s pretty awesome having Dad as my biking buddy. Anytime I want to ride, chances are he was alreadying planning on riding that day and would love for me to come along.
Although we do not ride at Tribble Mill all that often, we do have an established route that we customarily take. This time though, when I asked Dad about a Sunday ride and suggested we ride at Tribble Mill, he declared that it would be an exploratory ride! He wanted to check out all the trails that he didn’t know where they went. So with that in mind, not knowing how long of a ride I was in for, I set off at an easy pace.
We began by taking our usual route, which starts off with a slow, gradual climb. We had not ridden at Tribble Mill in a long time, so our memory was a bit rusty. After successfully navigating several intersections (there are lots of intersections here, but no signage at all!), we breezed through a conglomeration of intersections. We made a wrong turn somewhere! Dad and I recognized a bridge that we typically don’t encounter until much later in the ride, so we turned around and rode uphill on a different path. Popping out at a previously ridden section of the trail, we did some backtracking and re-riding before I found the missed turn! It was the first turn in the conglomeration.
In good humor, we were exploring after all, Dad and I continued on our route. If we had continued without turning around when we missed the turn, we would have cut out a huge chunk of trail.
Every now and then, we came to an intersection, where Dad would question “I wonder where that goes” and thus, we followed the trail to find out. Unfortunately, the unknown trails just lead us back to portions we had already ridden, effectively making them shortcuts between sections. The only new bit we added, was to include the trail around the lake. I suppose that means that the route we usually take is pretty good already.
In the end, Dad and I rode down the shoals and reminisced about the numerous trips we took when I was a child. I remembered back before there was a playground nearby. We had to ride through a giant field, where the playground is now. There was a huge “elbow” tree that we always stopped at. My sister and I used to beg my dad to pick us up so we could sit in the tree. Then, after playing there for a bit, my family and I would ride the rest of the way to the shoals, where we took an even longer break to play in the water.
The trail now seems so short, but as a child, getting to the shoals was had work! Even still, I have the desire to play. If it was still warm outside, I probably would have splashed in the shoals for a bit. After a break for fond memories, Dad and I left the shoals to ride back to the car. All told, we rode 12 miles that day.