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last evening a few of the list's finest and most wizened members set out for a 
hammerfest on chittenden county's crown jewel, its mtb mecca, the feather-
in-its cap: the hoinsberg town forest.

after a brief session of calisthenics -- squat thrusts, jumpin' jimmies, a little 
pilates, a couple of elbow bends and whatknot -- we set to spinning into the 
forest.

the first trail was the first one: boneyard.  about 6 giant slalom turns into the 
swooping loops of the trail, yours truly rung his bell on a forearm-sized 
hemlock.  but after that quick epod-slap i was back in bidness, and the pace-
line flew through that typically flowy flowage like a hot knife through buttah.

we came to on the logging landing, and after a brief debate on the merits 
of "homestead" east or west, stanton q asserted his will, and we opted for the 
long version: up.  2 switchbacks in, i stood out of the saddle, shifted, and 
simultaneously buried about 5 links of chain between my hub and spokes.  
despite my acknowledging, "no friends on a dirt day" the crew stayed with 
me.  it was an intense fifteen minute mechanical, in which jj dug 6 or 8 
different tools out of his bag, the mechanic hammered repeatedly with an auto 
sized tire-lever, and finally they freed my chain.  scottyd observed that we did 
indeed use a stick, but since no rocks were involved, it was really only a stage 
3 pit-stop.  jj and i put the chain back together, only to find i forgot to feed it 
through the front derailleur.  after i was spinning again, i called it a cluster-
f**k, but jj wisely counseled me: "your rig is back in business, so it's not..."  
yes indeed.

after that, it was a fast, furious spin up the homestead and left onto nature 
boy and finally up to the playground where justin (the other one) rode the 
log.  sweet.  and again, decision time.  the suggestion was made for some dh 
action, and up to "sheep thrills" (formerly "olaf's trail") where we breaked, 
broke, and dropped.  5 minutes, 1,000s of feet.  awesome.  we then 
sidetracked onto the old "international" where we commenced to lose stan, 
who had taken the high road, whilst we, oblivous, funneled ourselves down 
to "maiden" and back up to the logging landing past hayden west.

no stan.  a few calls.  finally we heard him, he descended the backdoor, only 
to have to climb it again.  good thing he was taking it easy.  jimmy stomped 
the backdoor, leaving everyone in the dust.  we hammered up, caught up, and 
then on out onto the dragon's tail.  more swoops, loops, dips, and turns took 
us to the jct. of wolf's tree, where again (i think) stan made the call.  we spun 
the top.  beautiful light filtered through the trees.  leaves have begun to 
barely obscure the trails.  we dropped the drops and rolled the rolls.

at last, the "enchanted forest" arose before the company.  jj and i shortcutted 
on stan, scottyd wound up in a tree, and finally we all accordianed into the 
descent.  

a bag o' reebs awaited us in the lot, of mixed varieties.  jj and i went home to 
familial obligations after one, and the rest of the boys hung out into the dusk.

total ride time 2 hrs.  vertical gained and lost: ??? no idea.  times over the 
handlebars: 1 for me.  1 or 2 wipeouts for stan... didn't see any others.  a 
priceless evening.  a good dirt day indeed.

--justin

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