and so it begins

Have I used that title before?

It's cold now. Or, it was this weekend. Cold and wet and definitely a weekend to prep the mind and body for colder, wetter riding. Ah-jeeze, already!?!?!

moi, photo credit ed

Mateo held his annual Hut Ride and After Ride Hut Party. This means we all converge to go ride in the fall weather (apparently the worse the better), then go hide out in the Hut and laugh and drink and eat and generally be the merry people that we all are ;-)

Is anyone interested in a 'ride report'? I mean, a blow-by-blow account of one's personal experience of the day, ride, dirt, minute-by-minute re-cap of each and every rain drop? Didn't think so. That said (and realized) I feel the need to practice such verbosity (there are photos down near the end ;-)) :

Mateo threw-out the Hut Ride invite late in the game of the week. Fine. Not an issue. We adore Mateo, and we adore Buffalo Creek. However, the weather forecast looked ... grim, at best. But what the hell: Riding + Company + Fun + Partying = Easy. I was so inspired, in fact, that I had conjured up the really brilliant idea of doing a 30-mile ride just to get to the party/ride.

Thank goodness the skies were unloading in moody fury Saturday morning. It made getting out of our warm, sweet nest rather impossible, and I didn't sign myself up for a solo mud-fest and down-pour slog-o-ramma just to get to the social, riding soiree. Stupid Jeny for even thinkin' such madness ;-)

Ed and I took our time prepping for the obviously wet event. All morning, in fact. Such leisure! We arrived at the said gathering place at the appropriate time, and what do you know: no one was there! What, 37 degrees and rain? No ONE? Mateo And Sseetive showed up with 3.67 minutes to spare, and we all geared up.

Has anyone ever been around a gaggle of Photographers while they primp for an outing? ... In the rain? YEAH.

We all started out with all of our rain gear and warm gear ON. I started out with all of my measly rain and warm gear on AND I packed a FULL change of dry, warm, wool clothing in the camel-back pack. I left the water bag in the car, and packed a whole bag of clothing. Women!

We started riding. And really, you know, that is all it takes. We hit the first bit of single track and everything fell into place. Internal warmth: On. Pace: Steady. Laughter: boisterous. Grins: plastered. And mostly: the Rain; each drop planting it's big, heavy velocity square upon the earth, our bikes, our helmets, our faces, our everything. Such a sloppy cacophony of magnificence!

We cleared the first climb, realizing that the pace for the day was, indeed, slow. We hit the road, lost Ed for a short bit, and regathered at the base of the first and only real climb of the day. Two men passed by. We all looked at one another. They didn't really seem to want to socialize ;-) Mateo whipped out the camera with the big lens. SSpike lubed my chain for me. Ed rolled his eyes.

I took off. And silence. A few puddles and whoop-dies and my energy was heating up into a formidable effort onwards. Except for One thing. The colors. Damn them. The sky was so heavy it's belly dragging along the trees, falling all over the earth, dragging out the thick green of the pine trees ... and there, in the middle of all of the neutral, earthy wonder, Yellow and Orange exploded into a fury of fire and and Madness, almost blinding!!!! I'm dead serious! It's the ONLY place I took pictures!!!!

Anyway. We all got to the middle-top. We all took shots (an absolute first for me on a ride) and then we made it to the second-middle top ... whereupon I shed all my clothing and donned a completely new outfit (and took another shot): Dry, warm, and ready for a descent: NO, I was not going further, I was ready to go down hill, ready to lay the pony over in the nice sticky corners and roll that mutha' like it had never been ... like I never had ....

You know that Buff Creek is 99.9% decomposed granite, right? That means that when it rains, the trail is really tacky. Finally tacky. Ahhhhhhh.... such sweet cornering bliss!!! I'm not lyin' and I'm not exaggerating.

Anyway. I froze my hands off on the way down. EdE and Mateo took a billion pix on the way down. SSpike giggled at least 7 Billion times on the way down. And I think, actually, that it stopped raining.

We basically re-traced our tread-paths all the way back. And, I think we actually cut the ride in half. But, did you know that when it's below 35 degrees out side that every mile is double the distance and double the effort than when it's warm out? Yeah, it's true!

We hit the last bit of single track on the way home. I snuck in front of the boys, accidentally. About 5 seconds after dropping out in front of them an enormous grey bird dropped down across the trail to my right and swooped back left along the trail for just a brief moment. It rose and dipped again to the right and topped over the ridge and disappeared. I really liked that moment.

Then we encountered the Bee Hive ... something that Ed and I saw months ago, way back in the heat. It was still there. He still wanted to take pictures of it. And yes, the bees (hornets?) were still inside, hibernating. Can you believe that?

We all ended up at the cars, drive trains still in-tact, thank goodness. It was so easy to peel off the 2nd, 3rd, 4th layer of clothing and don the casual cozies for the Hut Party just 10 minutes up the road. Mateo is so cool.

FIRE, and M and his little Z.R. photo credit ed

Time with Mateo and his family never disappoints.

photo credit ed

Time with SSpikey is always entertaining,

and time with EdE is always filled with Fire!

Wonderful wet ride. Wonderful after-party. Wonderful Weather. Wonderful dirt. Wonderful margaritas. Most brilliant and wonderful company ;-) Thank you Mateo!!!

moi, photo credit ed

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