I like computers and the games that are played on them. My father had a pong game, but the PC was the number one game playing avenue. Probably much to my mother’s concern that I was not out playing with my friends enough or wasting my time. My mom never touched the computer. I think she hated it. But recently, that has changed a lot. She sends e-mails and talks to me in instant messenger. She has learned a lot in the past few years and really has become a computer literate person. My dad, on the other hand, has played computer games and even written software so he can play puzzles he enjoys. He sits in front of his computer as much as I do, most likely. I would never imagine to see both of them playing a common video game and having lots of fun, ever.
Enter the Wii. Doubles tennis with my brother, my dad, my mom, and myself. It was fun. It was a little bit of a workout. I think everyone had a good time playing. When I think about it, it was weird. Playing tennis in my living room. I think the Wii really does this kind of thing well. It’s just fun to play. And I really like having something that anyone can play and have fun without having to be some kind of video game snob.
Specifically the North Carolina Zoo. When I was younger, one of my favorite adventures was a trip to the NC Zoo, often with my friends on my birthday. This past weekend I was glad to make it back on a visit with my awesome girlfriend. Her favorite animal to see was the bison and we lucked out with most of them carousing close to the viewing area. We got some good photos and a nice up close look at some buffalo. She was thrilled. I like almost every animal at the zoo, but my favorites tend to be bears and wolves. The red wolves were out and about, pacing and running all over their natural area.
Zoo picture here.
Yesterday, some friends and I rode into Umstead from Cary. It was a good ride and my second for the year. I am hoping that when daylight savings kicks in and the weather is generally warmer, I will get more rides in. Got about an hour of straight riding in. The cooler weather made me really appreciate picking up a shell from REI last year. Keeping the wind out makes the 50 degree weather tolerable.
This weekend I managed to ride Hog Run again, check out some of the American Tobacco Trail, and give the Garner trails a look.
Hog Run is, so far, the best place to ride single-track in the area. The graduation from beginner trail up to advanced is well defined and fits those descriptions properly. There is no doubt in my mind that if you want to start riding off road and have never done that before, Hog Run is the place to start. Listener, gore, and I went riding there on Saturday and had good few hours of riding.
Sunday was more adventurous. Gore and I struck out to check out the American Tobacco Trail. We visited the Wake county portion that is around three miles long. The path is not unlike Umstead in that it’s mostly crushed gravel. But, due to heavy horse use, the surace is rough. We flew up and down the three mile stretch in no time despite the constant jarring surface. It’s really is a peaceful, serene envornment to ride through.
We moved on from there to the Garner trails. The parking lot was dead, and we didn’t see anyone else out there at all. From what I could tell, these trails run from intermediate to advanced. I never got my stride in these trails and no maps made the navigation very difficult. The constant twisted back and forth and the trails seeming to overlap made it easy to get confused.
Saturday I rode more Hog Run. I didn’t have as much time as I would have liked, but I got a good hour or so in. The trails there are just exceptional and well maintained. I still need to get the front wheel on my bike re-trued. A few too many whacks to some roots.
Having just recently get into the mountain bike scene, I had only ridden Umstead and Crabtree. And Crabtree not as much as I’de like. Gore and I struck out for Harris Lake to try Hog Run. The beginner section is very nice and easy. It’s a great run for anyone, and you can get some good speed on it. Intermediate and advanced were also pretty fun and a good workout. Advanced was a little much for me with the constant up and down some pretty good hills. I think the killer for me was large roots or logs on uphill runs. It was a very satisfying run.
Listener and I rode some Umstead yesterday afternoon. Then I went on to ride all of Crabtree with gore. It was a pretty long day of riding for me and I really enjoyed getting into the woods on some single-track. This was really my first time out onto something more difficult than hills in Umstead and I was surprised at how enjoyable it was. Even when the burn came on going up a hill, it felt good to reach the top and keep riding the path.
Most of my friends, it seems, have bikes. And since Listener convinced me to get back into biking, I’ve been riding with her and gore. So, yesterday we widened the circle some and went riding with about six additional people. We did a relativly easy ride since some people were really on a shakedown run with their bikes. We all rode up to the cemetary spot on the Old Reedy Creek trail and then four of us turned around. The rest rode onwards towards the Harrison entrance before turning back around. I’m glad no one had flats or ended up with a busted bike and I think everyone had a pretty good time. It was a good day for a ride and I think we’ll do some more of these in the future.
Yesterday I rode Umstead and a little of the Black Creek greenway. Starting at the Old Reedy Creek entrance, I rode up to the water fountain and then back down to Weston Parkway via the greenway. I met up with gore and we rode back up into Umstead. Basically we rode two huge hills to the north of the Old Reedy Creek trail and, of course, back up. It was pretty good and by the time I was done I was out of energy. Almost two solid hours of riding.
Listener and I hit Umstead today. It was her first time there and my first time going deep into the park on the trails. Gore caught up with us in the park and we rode together to Reedy Creek Lake and back from the Old Reedy Creek trail entrance. Every time I go riding, I learn one more thing I can do to make the ride better or to get more power, etc. It was a great ride.