Next week is the Metropark Express aka Huron River Ride that was run by Rusty Toth who had a MAJOR falling out with the Michigan endurance community (like, holy shit drama) He moved back out west and ended up competing in Tevis again, but that left managing the ride to somebody else. I rode it last year, right after I found out I was pregnant but before the blood clots ruined everything and I wanted to ride it again this year.
My over ambitious plan was to do the LD at Metropark Express but given how plump Gwyn is and how little I've been riding and how anxious I am at leaving Eric alone over night with the girls, I figured doing the intro ride again is perfect. It'll be a day trip, rather than an overnight so I won't be gone long.
Anyway, the point of mentioning all that was that I needed to refresh Gwyn on her trailer loading manners and get out on the trail to evaluate our fitness AND to give Eric a dry run on solo Dad'ing it.
Gwyn... was an ass. She tore away to go gallivanting all over the property (and now Eric is in agreement with me about gating the driveway) So we did a bunch of groundwork, which admittedly I should have done to start. I wanted her to know that I move her feet and the only time she can rest is if we're standing in the trailer. Reading Dom's views on trailer training has definitely influenced that, on top of the groundwork clinics we would do in Washington. It didn't take long after that where she walked in and stood in the trailer while I closed everything up. And of course, once she's in she's fine. It's just a power struggle.
I was a little worried about her behavior because we were going to a public park with waterpark and I wanted to be sure that I could get her back into the trailer without trampling kids. When we got there, she was just calm as could be, unloaded nicely and stood a the trailer, sweaty, but not anxious. I quickly tacked up and hopped on. Then we were off! We got there shortly after 11am, which is when the water park opened. The water was running but there weren't a lot of people making noise or splashing. She didn't care. There was something in the woods I couldn't see that was more concerning to her.
Walking down the road to the trail access was a non event, even when a car drove past us. You guys, this is a HUGE thing for us. After a car incident in Florida I've worked super hard to desensitize her and get some good experiences with passing cars and trucks and being passed. I think vehicles at speed are still an issue, but she's fine with cars that are slow! This means that I still can't ride down our street to be able to access this trail, but it's improvement.
I decided to turn south this time and see how far I could get in 15 minutes. Ha....
Happy Pony Ears
Happy human smiles
I rode in a Kerrits ensemble :D I had my Icefil tights and a tech shirt. It was perfect. Weather was around 75F with 80-90% humidity. It was cool enough that I felt comfortable doing a ride without health risk thanks to the combined temp+humidity factor. Alas, the deer flies were persistant and I got nabbed.
We quickly reached General Squier Rd and crossed that, no traffic. People were likely still in church, given the area. I made sure Gwyn maintained a nice steady trot and she was comfortable barefoot on the occasional gravel.
We were riding early enough that we had shade, not overhead sun in the woods. It was so pleasant!
It really reminded me of the trail rides I did as a kid in Connecticut. There was a rails to trails trail that I could connect in with and rode on frequently. It was a really pleasant way to remember that.
At 15 minutes in I had reached the furthest point I've traveled to on the trail on foot. I wanted to see new trail. So I kept going and decided another 10 minutes or until I reach one more road crossing. Gwyn was willing and eager, moving out easily and really only bothered by branches that extended low onto the trail. The few bridges we encountered she crossed without hesitation.
I did finally reach one more road crossing just as a bicyclist was coming from the other direction. Gwyn was a tad unsure about him going past but he said hello and commented on the great day to be out and about, which I agreed with wholeheartedly! I texted Eric that I was turning around and followed the bicyclist. Here's where I laughed.
Gwyn BOOKED it after the bicyclist. It was a race, it was on. Her trot got big big big and we were flying, though not catching the biker. He finally pulled away around a corner and we didn't see him again. And she resumed her steadier pace. I loved it. It makes me encouraged for riding this trail with Eric. She had no problem following this bike.
Stella, Gwyn's mom, was so dependable and she would always investigate new things and touch them with her nose. Gwyn does the same thing.
Back to the park
Waterslides? Splash fountains for kids? No biggie, mom.