Just a Postage Stamp’s Worth of Skin

20180508_183329It took a year and a half to get there, but yesterday I rode at Mine Hill. We averaged 3 mph over 4 miles and climbed 240 feet per mile, shattering my previous record of 194 feet per mile.

Even though the temperature was a perfect 70 and the leaves were only about a third of the way out, it was muggy in the trees. It’s black fly season. Black flies breed only in very clean, running streams. The babbling brooks at Mine Hill are evidently pristine.

Most riders avoid Mine Hill. There isn’t much flow there, and there are a lot of hard, uncaring surfaces. Only 61 Strava users’ times show on the most popular of the three segments we rode. On those three segments , my times were third slowest, second slowest, and slowest – A Trifecta.

That doesn’t matter. Learning from John and Korey and Chris, I rode more than I thought I could and left less than a postage stamp’s worth of skin on the trail. And in the parking lot after, sitting in a camp chair next to a dirt road that sees about one car per hour during the evening commute, the beer was outstanding.

About swampyankeecyclist

I'm Andy Engel, just a middle-aged, middle-class guy from Roxbury, Connecticut. I've been married to my best friend since 1988, and we have two grown sons. I like riding bikes, and my biggest accomplishment is the 180K D2R2. I own 5 bikes but my go-to rides are a 2016 GT Grade gravel and commuter bike and a 2016 Specialized 650b hardtail mountain bike. Additionally, I have a 2000-something carbon-fiber Orbea road bike, a 1990-something Specialized Sirrus that's my old dirt and commuter bike and which now serves as a spare and a trainer bike, and a 1985 Ross Mount Hood MTB. All but the 650b have Brooks saddles. I work from home now, but used to commute 32 miles round trip to work by bike year round. I was a carpenter and still love building things, but regular paychecks, insurance, and vacation time lured me into journalism. I've written a couple of books on carpentry, and I've been an editor at Fine Homebuilding, Fine Woodworking, and Professional Deck Builder magazines. Currently, I manage construction events at the JLC Live and Remodeling Show trade shows. Additionally, my wife and I run Transylvania Guest House, an Airbnb. Find us on Instagram. Come stay with us and I'll show you some great cycling.
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2 Responses to Just a Postage Stamp’s Worth of Skin

  1. Mark says:

    I have been meaning to ride there but the trails aren’t really MTB trails. I heard there is a lot of hike a bike, too. Guess I am spoiled. Need to do a ride on that Singletrack south of the Blue Barns, though.

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