Saturday, July 4, 2015

the more you know

With the heat and what is for most people a three day long holiday weekend, we decided to go MTBing even earlier on Friday morning.  We got up at 6 a.m. and were on the road around 7, getting wheels on the bike path at about 7:50 a.m.  And what did we learn from this?

  • The temperature was a delightful 59 F when we started.  The shadows on the trails were different, of course, from the sun being lower in the sky and that took some getting used to.  But even as the morning wore on, it stayed fairly pleasant and comfortable for riding.
  • There was more traffic on the interstate but less on the trails.  We saw hardly anybody out on the dirt trails - we got stuck behind one slowpoke on the way up the Sweet Sixteen switchbacks but there wasn't anyone on the Rambler descent on the other side - which was fantastic.  As we came off the dirt at 10 a.m., there were a number of White Pine Touring groups heading out and we were grateful that we had timed that right, so as not to be coming upon them on the singletrack.
  • The earlier hour and cooler temperatures meant that it was rabbit-palooza out in Round Valley.  We saw so many desert cottontails on the trails, crossing the trails, trail-adjacent, and those bunnies are never visible later in the day.
  • We had to play some dodge-the-thistles.  The big purple thistles are getting really big now.  I took one corner too tightly and brushed my knuckles along a trail-side thistle.  Ouch!  Not twenty minutes later, H did the exact same thing and confirmed the ouch.  Like I don't struggle enough to stay upright on the singletrack - now I have to watch out for biting plants?  (Hilariously, as we stood aside for one of the tour groups coming in, I said to the tour leader, "Watch out for the thistles out there."  One of the newbies in the tour group: "What's a thistle?"  Seriously?  You don't know what a thistle is? Yikes.)
  • Fresh legs totally make a difference.  This was one of the only times we've done Round Valley with fresh legs, not having done a hike the day before.  My legs felt really good, tired while climbing but recovering quickly as soon as the climbing topped out.  I climbed the Sweet Sixteen really well, as fast as I ever have and only having to walk the two turns that I always walk.  Maybe we have to switch things up and bike Saturdays/hike Sundays.
  • You can't drink all day if you don't start early in the morning.  I'm kidding, really: we didn't drink all day but we did have a celebratory post-ride beer before 11 a.m., at our usual Guardsman Pass picnic spot.  (We had sandwiches too so it was sort of like brunch.)

No comments:

Post a Comment