Briar Chapel

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I’m afraid my blog is becoming one dimensional.  Lately, all I seem to post about is my mountain biking excursions.  So, in keeping with my one-dimensionality here’s yet another tale about an mtb adventure.

Brian, Dave and I headed to Chapel Hill today to check out a trail recommended to us by our bike mechanic, aka the Cycle Surgeon.  It’s actually really neat because the trails are around the interior and exterior of a fairly new neighborhood called Briar Chapel.  It’s a green community and the Developer asked the residents or potential residents if they’d rather have something like a tennis court complex or mountain biking trails and the response was in favor of mountain biking trails and hiking trails.  At least, that’s what I’ve been told, but either way, the fact that a Developer would plan and implement trails throughout a neighborhood is pretty cool in my book!

When we got to where we had been told to park we were a little confused about where the trail started.  We drove around a little bit to see if we could find the trailhead but with no luck.  We decided to unload our bikes and hope for the best.  We were a bit wary at first because there was no one else in the parking lot and we wondered why, if these trails were so good, there weren’t any other bikers there.  Right about that time a truck pulls up with two bikes in the back!  So, I rode over and asked the guy where the trail started and he gave us a detailed description of where to go and where on the trails we needed to make sure we took the appropriate turns to follow it correctly.  So with that, we were off. 

Even with the  detailed instructions we still managed to take a couple of wrong turns.  But  as soon as we realized we were on the wrong path we would turn around in search of the right way.  We noted that the right trail was suited for mountain biking while the wrong trails were mulched and, therefore, spongy making our way much more strenuous.  (Hmm, you could probably draw some spiritual application from that, but I’m too tired to do it at the moment; so, if you do feel free to leave it in the comments.)

There were some very technical, rocky areas that were pretty difficult for me.  At one point I fell over and in a fit of frustration ended up kicking my bike off of me and onto the ground.  Brian and Dave just looked on helplessly, probably embarrassed for me for acting so childish.  I don’t like when I get frustrated like that and looking back I wish I had been able to exercise self-control and simply forge ahead.  A good lesson learned, I guess.  Also a good, humbling reminder that I’m not as good at this biking thing as my head tells me I am.  I have much to learn and many areas in which to progress. 

Anyway, the forest was lush and green and the cicadas were at full volume.  It was much like a natural white noise (or brown, if you’re so inclined) with them humming away in the background.  The noise, at some points, could be a bit distracting but it was pretty neat to be reminded of the phenomenon we’re witnessing.  Honestly, I can’t say that I have even heard the cicadas until this trip, and it was definitely curious to experience them.  Thankfully, we didn’t really encounter them up close and personal.  But I did snap a picture of one on our way home at the BBQ place where we stopped.  The only problem with a lush forest are the potential ticks.  And I definitely found one crawling up my leg.  I was able to brush it off, but it landed on my shoe and did not want to come off.  But it finally did and as far as I know I didn’t have any other run-ins with the little blood suckers. 

Fun times on a beautiful Saturday.  Below are pictures of the cicada.

2011-05-21_14-48-44_6302011-05-21_14-48-20_915

See ‘dem beady eyes.  Where is that from?  Anyone else ever heard that quote?  No?  Just me?

The video is of Dave successfully riding over a log-bridge crossing a creek.  You can’t really tell from the video but the log is about 4′- 5’ off the ground at the highest point.  May not seem like much but  then you add the additional 3.5’ or so of bike that he’s on top of and he’s now around 8’ off the ground.  I’m impressed with his handling of the challenge.  Brian nor I attempted to ride across.  Props to Dave!

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