Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Thanksgiving Report

Like most, I look forward to the Thanksgiving holiday with all the eating and hanging around the table with my family. In recent years, a couple new traditions have developed for our Thanksgiving celebration:
1. The men go play golf on Thursday morning
2. I take my niece(s) for a mountain bike ride.

One is not neccessarliy as fun as the other. Golf, for example, is not my idea of a super fun time. I've played a grand total of 36 holes of golf in my entire life, both on Thanksgiving Day. Now, I don't mind the driving range and I don't really dislike the game of golf. I respect those who can play it well because I understand the difficulty of hitting that darn round ball and doing so with finesse. For most of the round, I was hitting the ball straight down the fairway. My tee shots were typically long and in the fairway, but my 2nd shots sucked! I almost always topped the ball and couldn't get under the thing, so although it would still go straight, it would only go about 20-50 yards. Then if I did get under it, I'd launch it past the green about 15 yards. My putts got better as the day progressed, but the greens were so fast, we might as well as been putting on plywood.

Taking my niece(s) for a mountain bike ride -- now THAT's fun! I have 3 nieces and a nephew who are all into different things. The oldest niece, Catie, loves riding her bike and I'll be darned if I won't support that! I started this new tradition last year by offering the choice of some present from a department store for her birthday or going out for a ride. She much prefers and anticipates our rides. This time, her sister, Becky (second oldest) wanted to tag along. So on Friday afternoon, off we went. Bikes loaded, brakes adjusted, Camelbak full. For Thanksgiving, our family usually hangs at my parent's house in Macon, GA. Now, I can't stand riding in Macon because the trails are only 4-5 mile loops and they're just neverending technical puzzles that afford no opportunity for the REAL fun of opening up the throttle and letting loose. I've gotten so spoiled with the mountains of North GA, TN and NC that I just don't like the trails in Macon. But my nieces, well, they don't know any better and a 4-5 mile loop is a good ride for them.

We rode for about an hour, but started by playing around on some dirt jumps that OMBA (Macon chapter of SORBA) has built in the field at the Thomson trails. You'll recognize that name, Thomson, because it's likely on your seatpost or handlebar stem! Interestingly, when I lived in Macon and was working for an industrial supply house after high school, LH Thomson Company was a customer of mine. When I discovered that they made these really sweet bike components, it was nice to have something to be proud of come from Macon! The dirt jumps were fun for the girls and I showed them how to roll over them. They kept wanting me to jump them, but given my last jumping incident that resulted in a titanium rod in my right arm, I played it safe and just gave them a quick bunny hop over a large log. That quieted the requests for jumps and off we went to the trailhead.

Here are some pictures from our ride:
1. Catie & Becky preride
2. Catie on the dirt jump
3. Becky on the dirt jump
4. Catie on trail
5. Becky post ride