Anyway, we were headed for the Silver Lake Lodge at Deer Valley because one of the guys H works with, and has gone MTBing with, recommended the Mid-Mountain Trail as being slightly more difficult than little Round Valley but, since you start at 8,000 feet (if you start at Silver Lake), the climbing is not so bad. The Mid-Mountain Trail runs for about 20 miles at the 8K elevation, from Deer Valley, through Park City and Canyons ski resorts. Things were hopping at the Silver Lake Lodge, with the chairlift taking tons of MTBers up for downhill runs, cowgirls leading trail rides and a good number of folks heading out on the single track like us.
Much of the trail was shady and thus super-pleasant
We did an out-and-back totalling 10.8 miles, riding for about 1.5 hours and doing 1,359 feet of climbing. The singletrack rolled through pine forests, aspen groves and across open ski trails, going up and down but never too steeply or for too long. Some sections of trail were rockier than I'm comfortable with; I was nervous in some spots where the downhill side dropped away too steeply; and I have wobbly bike handling skills, which makes it exciting in narrow singletrack.
It got especially exciting on the return trip, when I had just thought to myself, "Wow, I haven't crashed my bike in a long time." And then my spastic steering drove my front wheel straight into a log at the side of the trail, sending me up and over the handlebars, the bike coming with me because my right foot was still clipped into the pedal. I started somersaulting in mid-air but amazingly it happened slowly enough that I remember thinking, "I should duck my chin," and I landed on my back in a bunch of bushes. Also amazing: my right foot unclipped when I landed so it wasn't too difficult to get up and climb back onto the trail; even though I crashed on the downhill side, the trail wasn't too steep, plus the bushes caught me; and I didn't land on anything hard - like a rock or a stump - and walked away with only a couple of scratches. My chain didn't even come off! Alas, there were no witnesses to my crash, H being out in front and no other MTBers in the vicinity, but I'm pretty sure it was spectacular.
Not crashing here
We made it back to Silver Lake Lodge with no further mishaps (in the interest of full transparency, H did fall over once for going too slowly, then fell over on the other side when he tried to get up) and found a shady bench on which to enjoy our PBRs and watch the goings-on. Although singletrack in general, and the Mid-Mountain Trail in specific, takes me way out of my comfort zone, the ride was fun and the more I do it, the more I'll improve. We'll definitely do that trail again - although if I can manage it without going over the handlebars, that would probably be for the best.