MTB March into Hell 1999

Yesterday's Thanksgiving Day MTB ride was memorable. You know you're a Gonzo when you find yourself in a Timmie's, in the dark, about to go out in the rain for some sort of fun. Ross, the Bruces, Malcom and a new guy (David) filled out the the day's riding crew.

The MTB ride scheduled for Goff to Porter's Lake and back to Devon (by Goff) should have taken 3-4 hours for the ECO-Scout team, but little did we know the extent of the water, rocks and roots on this trail. The winter hike we did last year hid a lot of the base trail under snow and ice. There was no place to hide yesterday. It's fair to say that the longest stretch of clean trail might be 100 feet. The rest was filled with 20 foor long, 1-2 foot deep puddles or copious quantities of melon and soccer-ball sized rocks.

What was fun and challenging at the start became slightly more tortuous as the day wore on. The first thing to go in MTB biking is your arms and shoulders and after a few hours of struggling through mud, rock and water, the bars get very difficult to hold onto with any authority.

Our forward progress was difficult to measure, with the slow speed and numerous stops, and that cost us more lost time as we continually thought that we were farther down the trail than we thought. We had trouble with 2 turns in that labyrinth of roads, and didn't get to Porter's Lake for more than 5 hours. Everyone was toast, and we had to call in the Warnica medi-vac unit.

How slow was our progress? To give you a hint, we did the hike quicker last year...But really, how S L O W is slow? Here is a list of people who could have made better time that we did:

- Halifax Volksmarch...Senior division

- My grandmother...on stilts

- Your local Cub/Brownie troup

- The Ambulatory Unit from the VG

- Anyone with a heartbeat and two functioning legs

- All the kids on my street with their assorted bikes/trikes

- My kid's Furbie, steering the family pet turtle

- All the Gonzo dogs (not even a contest)

- School for the Blind day-hikers