Just before heading up the Sweet Sixteen
H has gotten his legs/lungs back but although I cannot keep up with him on the flats and the downhills - he is braver than I have descending, plus his MTB's 29-inch wheels eat up the ground faster than my 26ers - I did manage to hold my own on the climbs. I wasn't far behind on My Nemesis and held onto his wheel for the approach to Hammerhead Hill. After that, my get up and go got up and went, in part, I think, because there seemed to be a headwind no matter which way we were going, and I climbed the Sweet Sixteen switchbacks rather slowly. We both felt like we descended through the downhill portion of Rambler well; having the place to yourself allows a bit more freedom to let it ride.
I didn't get away entirely unscathed, however, and had my first crash since Moab in May. I was focusing on the trail when a bird exploded out of a scrub oak next to me, surprising me. I tried to put my foot down - this was in a section of trail that I usually ride with my left foot unclipped - but my biking shoe had gotten clipped in without me realizing it. I couldn't get unclipped in time and just fell over into a sagebrush bush, feet still locked onto the pedals. It scarcely counted as a "crash," although I did manage to scratch up my arm a little and it amused H to no end for the rest of the day, that a bird startled me enough to knock me off my bike.
H sent me this later that night, captioned "BOO!"
I was not so startled that time.