In the past the Thanksgiving day ride produced a large group. Times they are a changin'. We used to have our holiday ride a at Brandywine. Unfortunately the trails there are not as fun as they used to be. This year the ride was French Creek. I now it is a little far for some folks, but we were riding early and the plan was to have everybody home by noon.
Yesterday our little group of, Matt (run Forrest), Billdoh!, Kevin Fryeberger, and I were the only ones to show up. It was cold, the trails were wet from the little bit of snow that fell the night before, but French Creek is always fun. Bill led us up the first climb, which was very long and hurt like hell. I was feeling pretty good but Matt hadn't been on his bike in a while and was not. We were having a good ride though. Kevin suggested a trail we have never been on before. We took it, it was a fast fun technical descent. We got to the bottom and, no Matt. We waited for a while, still no sign of Matt. We discussed the possibilities and our options. We decided he must have turned towards the parking lot. I wasn't comfortable moving on without him, but at the time it seemed like the only option. Bill stopped and marked all our turns, in case Matt came that way. We made our way back to the top and to the parking lot. I was anxious to see if Matt was sitting in his truck with the heat on, or if he was still out there. As it turns out his truck was gone. I was relieved to know he was OK but figured he was a little pissed off. It turns out he didn't see which way we went, so instead of taking a trail he didn't know he headed to the parking lot.
This goes to show you, you NEVER LEAVE YOUR WINGMAN. We should have gone back for him, no matter how hard the climb would have been, sure we didn't think he would still be there but we should have tried. Also Always make sure you have everybody before you make a turn or cross a trail. Sorry Matt, this will not happen again.
Thanks for reading,