Joe was at Sugar Maple last week when I couldn’t make it but I made it there today. Brian Terry, Brian’s daughter Grace and Dave Hollub and I all trucked the 88 miles out to west of Madison for a few hours of trail clearing and riding. This is actually a real treat because it’s the end of November and the ground isn’t frozen or covered with snow!
But on the way out we had a little adventure. Brain led since I didn’t know the way. We cut across several counties on back roads (that would be great for road bicycle riding, BTW) so the going was leisurely and pretty. On one 45mph stretch I noticed a what looked like a hub cap rolling along behind Brian’s Excursion. I didn’t see it come off and thought it might have been something he kicked up. I watched it roll off the road and into a harvested cornfield.
When I looked back at Brian’s truck I thought the left rear wheel was sticking farther out than the right. He rolled along for another 100 yards and hit the brakes. I stopped behind him and we all gathered at the left rear of his truck. Someone forgot to tighten the lug nuts. Four of the nuts were still in the hubcap – I found them when I went back for it in the cornfield. We stole a nut off each of the remaining wheels (checking them for tightness in the process) so each wheel had seven nuts holding the wheels on. The stud holes in the rim were so clapped out that Brian opted to mount his spare.
Back on the road, we arrived at the Sugar Maple MX track. Although there was no snow or ice the wind was blowing and the humidity was high. What was probably 40 degrees felt like 25 withe wind and moisture. It was a long drive to not ride so I suited up and followed Brian and Dave’s directions on how to get to the woods loop.
On my way across the recently harvested fields I took note of the MX track and remembered Joe’s account of the course. Too bad we got so much rain last week because the track looked like fun! It was WAY too sloppy for me to attempt today.
The Sugar Maple track is owned by a guy named Jason and his dad. It sounds like they have 200+ acres that is normally covered with crops of some sort but in the early spring and late fall they carve up the rolling hills with a dozer and make a track. The topography west of Madison is rocky and rolling so Jason has some great natural terrain to work with.
I did 15 laps of the tight 1 mile loop going one direction and 6 going the opposite direction. The off-camber turns were slick and the leaves covered some slick roots and loose rocks so there was always something going on. I haven’t done a lick of ride-specific fitness stuff since my Ironman experience so I fatigued quickly and had little balance, precision or sense of touch. But a rough day on the moto is a 100x better than doing house choirs on a Sunday afternoon.
There’s a hare scramble race planned at Sugar Maple in 2010. Could be good, especially with how enthusiastic Jason is about riding motos. Great to see and I’m looking forward to riding there when the weather straightens up.