Heading into the Nouvelle Loop (our name for it)
It was, as I've mentioned, very windy. We had a headwind on the paved bike path out to Quinn's, and then once we got on the dirt, the wind seemed to change direction so that we were headed into it no matter which way we went. I felt pretty good on the bike, despite not having ridden the weekend before and even with the current trail conditions. The recent rains have done a number on these lovely Round Valley trails, washing away a lot of that nice packed dirt and exposing the rocks underneath. Still, I felt like I was faster than I've been, although I did have some trouble on a couple of the uphill "Sweet Sixteen" switchbacks. The best section was the downhill Rambler switchbacks through the sagebrush: we didn't encounter any other traffic - foot, MTB or dog - until the very end, so it was easy to develop a swooping rhythm through the corners.
There was, of course, a headwind on the uphill slog back to the truck, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. And even though we battled the wind the whole time, H took two minutes off his usual time, finishing at 1:48, with an average speed of 11 m.p.h.