May 8, 2007


Its my last week in the Black Hills. Since I've got nothing pressing to do and I love biking here so much, I've been out almost every day. Sunday I went solo out to Norris Peak highway and yesterday Lord Calvert and I went all the way out Nemo and back on 44.

Today Calvert and I rode the Centennial Trail. Its some of my favorite riding anywhere, and I'm really gonna miss having it in my back yard. It goes 111 miles from Bear Butte to Wind Cave, but we choes to do a 30 mile section from Nemo to Sheridan Lake. It may not sound like much, but 5 1/2 hours later, we were spent. Conditions were perfect: great weather and a nice tacky trail. It was great riding with Calvert; we've been mtb'ing together a while, so we ride together nicely. Tearing through the woods by Deer Creek, wheel to wheel without letting up was incredible, a nice way end my time at college here.

It was really a tale of two bikes. Chris has a Cannondale with a SID, rim brakes and really fast tires at 45psi, while I have a GF with bigger UST tires and disc brakes. Between the bike and my 5 inches, I'm giving up a good 35 pounds to him. He'd pull away on the climbs, but I'd gap him on the downhills. It just goes to show what a difference setup can make.

My only beef is with the trail markings. We must have spent close to half an hour figuring out where different turn offs were and where we were going. If this trail is really intended for mountain bikers and not just hikers, the forest service guys could work a little harder to mark it. Maybe they could have the loggers or BHMBA'ers put up signs. It would only take 15 minutes for someone to nail a sign to a tree, and it would really make riding the trails a heck up a lot easier.

In other news, I'm told I'll be graduating on Saturday. While I'll be done at Tech, I'm not out into the engineering world yet. Stony Brook University has unwittenly admitted me to grad school, so I'll be going there next fall.

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