Although the course crisscrossed our regular route in several places, and actually went along the same trails in places, the course was not closed and we were able to ride nearly our whole loop. We stopped and waited for racers to go back at some intersections, chatting with the friendly race officials who waved us through when we wouldn't disrupt the young riders, everyone happy and mellow in the warm sunshine. We got through My Nemesis, Hammerhead Hill and the Sweet Sixteen switchbacks without seeing any other MTBers at all which was a treat. When we started down the backside of Rambler, we did have to pull off to the side to let the freshman and sophomore girls ride through the other way. "Thank you!" most of them said to us as they passed, incredibly polite even while racing.
Inadvertent filter use. But wouldn't that
look great if there was snow on the mountains?
For the return, I opted to ride back on the paved bike path rather than the trail I recently conquered, since the downhill portion of the Nouvelle Loop was along the race course and I didn't want to have any racers have to come up behind me. H, who is a much faster and nimbler rider than I, opted to stick with the trail and ended up pulling over so the pack of racers could go through. It looked like a great event, well attended and well run, and they couldn't have asked for better weather for it.