Words By: Dejay Birtch
Well it definitely appears that the summer travel whirl wind is in full effect. I know in the last I raced my bike for seven days, drove 1200+ miles, did an overnight kayak trip, got new tires and an alinement on the van and a couple of solid “normal” rides in with friends.
Mountain bike stage racing seems to be getting a pretty good foot hold here in the states. I have done a few around the country and it always ends up being a great way to spend about a week kicking your own ass and shredding some sweet trails. The Trans-Sylvania Epic in it's 4th year proved to hold it's own, suppling a great atmosphere for camaraderie and all around good times. It is always a great experience to through yourself into terrain that you are not necessary used to riding and hope for the best result. I ended up feeling like I rode a jackhammer for about 220 miles, got thrown down a mountain of boulders, dreams of doing leather work in a small cabin, blowing myself out of a boat in a middle of a pond at night and lusting for one more ride in the Rothrock National Forest. Wait that is exactly what happened, well if you replace jackhammer with singlespeed, but basically the same thing.
Well, what is one to do after continuously flogging one's self for a week straight, I chose to take the relaxing direction and head to my land of adolescence, spend some time with the parents, a little kayak trip and some proper home cooking.
The kayak trip was a blast. Keep in mind when I say kayak trip, I mean a relaxing paddle around a mostly smooth body of water. This time it was the Bashakill freshwater preserve in New York state. This place is amazing , in my youth I used to pull some pretty large catfish from these waters, but never explored them the way I did this time around. Out in the open waters of the marsh we (Devon Balet and myself) came across so many animals it was as if we were on a Safari. Great Blue Herions, a Giant Swan, Snapping Turtles, Beavers and Bald Eagles just to name a very few of what we came across. Having only two days to row around this area was defiantly not enough. I can't wait to return for more in the future.
Stay tuned for part #2 of this portion of the trip.
A huge thank to:
Mom and Pops
Action Bike in Milford, PA for use of a kayak and the great info.