With the onset of November rains, teaching, and starting my second term of graduate school, most of my life has revolved around a computer screen and the gym.
Don’t get me wrong, group ride classes are great and all, but they definitely don’t replace the real thing, and while I love my grad school program, I’d rather be mountain biking. There’s this one ride, in particular, I’d mapped out in my head out at Shellburg Falls, which I’ve been meaning to do for a while now, but with the weather un-permitting and my constant barrage of school work, I just haven’t been able to make the time. Then this weekend presented itself. Saturday was scheduled to be partly cloudy with highs around 53 degrees. That sounded promising. Unfortunately, I had a research paper due Sunday that I hadn’t started come Friday evening, so of course I did what any self-respecting grad student does when presented with such a choice; I put the paper off until Saturday evening and went mountain biking!
The ride involved parking at the bottom of the Shellburg trailhead, biking up Shellburg road to the North Shellburg gate, and then heading straight through to the Lost Creek Trail. I took the Lost Creek Trail to Buck Mountain Loop, which I planned to do in its entirety, but due to forces of nature that are beyond my control (see pictures), and my impending anxiety for a massive research paper I still had to start, I decided to leave the entire ride for another day. Thus, I turned back from whence I came and took the thrilling Lost Creek Trail to the Shellburg Creek Trail to the August Mountain Trail, which then pops out onto Shellburg road right before reaching the lower falls. From there, it was an easy ride back down to the car, where I once again delved into the storm of graduate ponderings that had been uncomfortably tickling my mind for the last half-hour.
Despite the slight angst caused by mounds of research, the ride was a great escape from the responsibilities that have compromised my time for the past month or so. What a wonderful way to spend Saturday morning and early afternoon; Just me, my bike, and a book on tape for a solid 2+ hours. Life doesn’t get much better than that.