Thursday, June 5, 2014

welcome to june

Apparently our Bowman Fork hike was slightly steeper than I thought it was because I was a little stiff and sore Sunday morning when we started to gather our MTB gear for a Round Valley excursion.  It was another gorgeous day, clear and dry and in the comfortable 60s - just perfect.  There was a little wind, oriented for a tailwind on the Silver Quinn portion (more on that later) and a headwind on the return slog to the truck (typical).

We didn't do anything new, just our regular route.  My legs seemed heavy, although I felt pretty good climbing My Nemesis, and H told me that he thought I came up that hill faster than I'd been doing.  I also managed to ride all but three of the Sweet Sixteen switchbacks and passed one woman going uphill.  H is now three-for-three on riding up Hammerhead/Pladsen Hill; to me, he looked really strong, especially at the top.  That hill is SO steep.  I don't know how he does it.

You can sort of tell how steep this hill is by
how tiny the trail is behind me.  It's wicked steep.

Speaking of three-for-three, we ended up racing each other on the end of our loop, where I went back on the paved Silver Quinn bike path and H hopped back on the single track, returning via Rusty Shovel, Ramble On, Matt's Flat and the Practice Loop.  This is the third time we've "raced," and I had won the last two times, so H was determined to beat me this go-round.  He really pushed himself out of his comfort zone, drifting through turns and riding faster than he normally would.  Even with my slight tailwind, he might have beaten me ... except he got stuck behind a poky couple on Ramble On and then had to pull over five times for uphill riders on the Practice Loop.  I pushed myself too and as a result crushed him by over a minute!  (I would end up paying for the extra effort with very sore quads the next day.)  I never get to win when I compete against H - I've got to take it when I can get it.

We smartened up and brought camp chairs with us this time, so our apres on Guardsman Pass were quite comfortable.  The skies stayed clear and we watched a silent glider plane float overhead as we drank our beers.  So far, it's been a good start to the summer.

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