Friday, September 7, 2018


This past weekend, me and the frere met Howie, Marc Hirsch, and Ed at Coldwater!

I hadn't ridden Coldwater since it consisted of a pair of stacked loops. In the intervening years, it had grown to around 40 miles of trail, and apparently some really gnarly trail at that.

Me, John, and Howie met at the Post Road Park-and-Ride in Douglasville and John shuttled us over in his classy new ride, with its classy new 3-bike hitch rack. Anniston is actually not that far from Douglasville. Less than an hour, it seemed.

We met Hirsch and Ed at the Monsanto Road trailhead, kitted up, and got right to it.

The whole east end of the mountain was new to me. The first climb was long, and technical at times, but not especially steep. I really wish I could remember the names of everything, but I don't know the system all that well. We basically climbed for a while, waited 20 seconds or less at the top to regroup...

Taking a Break Taking Another Break

...then hit some downhill. All day.

I remember Goldilocks being sketchy, probably because it was the first descent of the day, and I didn't have a feel for anything yet. It reminded me of the Bump Trail at Oak Mountain, if that trail had wheelie bumps and doubles intentionally built into it. Ed was ripping it, with long manuals, rock drops, and he outright doubled a lot of the jumps. It was fun to follow him, and I could kind-of keep up, but I definitely couldn't ride the obstacles the way he could.

Me and John both dropped our chains at least 3 times each. We both have clutched rear derailleurs too. I managed to drop mine, climbing, on a right handed switchback, which makes no sense at all. Other than that though, nobody had any mechanicals all day, except that at the tail end of the final descent, Marc flatted, but still had enough air to roll back to the car comfortably.

I had ridden Bomb Dog way back when it was just the second half of the Blue Loop. It was familiar, though a lot chunkier than before. Trillium was new to me though, and it was super fun and smooth. Oval Office had a lot of big tabletops, but none of them had much of a lip. There was one weird step-down on Oval Office that I could imagine getting confused by. I wasn't taking any risks that day though, and managed it safely.

The whole day was just one big shred fest. The trails out there have more of a gigantic skatepark vibe, and less of an experiencing-the-terrain vibe. I prefer the latter overall, but the former is tremendous fun, so it's great to have systems like that, just not EVERY system.

We ate at the Peerless Saloon in downtown Anniston, and my blackened catfish basket was top notch. With a few exceptions, fish is garbage in Atlanta, but the closer you get to Louisiana, the better it is. I figured Alabama was close enough, gambled a little, and won.

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