During the last few weeks I've been popping up all over the place in some of my favorite local riding areas...
I've ridden Pinkham Ridge singletrack amongst hunters dressed in brilliant orange suits in pursuit of the elusive elk...many of the hunters were just sitting, waiting while I ride on by smiling and waving - both of us muttering under our breath, "idiot" I'm sure. There were very few hunters actually out walking, stalking the elk. I even rode within a few feet of one hunter so intent on a book, with gun at his side, that he never noticed me ride by. I'm thinking he would have pissed his pants or shot me (or both) if I would have said something or warned him that I was passing. I looked back a ways down the trail and thought maybe the guy was dead. But I wasn't concerned enough to go back and poke him with a stick just to satify my curious thought.
The most funny thing about both of my recent trips up on the Pinkham is that I found elk...bikes are very stealth you know. The first time I found the elk hanging around a hunter's pickup parked off the road, and the second time I found them laying a few hundred yards from a hunting camp trailer. Neither time did the elk seem to care that I was rolling on by...not a threat I suppose.
Other rides have been up George Creek Grade(Meyer's Ridge Road - one of my favorite climbs, Weissenfels Grade as well as pure agony up a few other lung busting climbs.
I'm still doing all this in the super easy, granny spin mode due to my recovery from the back injury from hell. I'm totally lovin the riding though and have finally started commuting to work again almost daily (with a smile on).