I felt the fatigue in my quadriceps right away, leftover from the Crack of Dawn race: going downstairs at home was pretty rough but biking uses different muscles, so although my legs were tired the cycling wasn't painful. I was a little concerned that my legs would end up rebelling before the ride was over; I made it just fine, but I did note the exact moment when I burned through my Pop-Tart breakfast when my stomach started growling.
Just getting to the top of the Staircase
The slightly earlier start brought us quite a few critter sightings: sixteen pot-guts (Uinta ground squirrels), two chipmunks and H caught a glimpse of a rabbit flashing across the trail. It also brought very little trail traffic ... until the magic hour of 10:30 a.m. Then there were LOTS of folks out and about on the trails, mostly MTBers and several large groups. I had thought that perhaps trail traffic would be down since this was the first Park Silly of the summer but I was wrong. Yet another reason for us to try to get out there earlier.
The trails were still in good shape because of the recent dry weather: dusty but not yet sandy and no wet spots. Those bugs were still present, especially along the former My Nemesis section, and we were hopeful that it was just a hatch that wouldn't last much longer. We didn't break any speed records what with my sluggish legs and having to pull over so often for other MTBers, but it was still a good ride. I thought I rode better than I had the weekend before, especially up Sweet Sixteen, so no complaints about that. After the ride, there was nothing left to do but have beers and sandwiches at our picnic spot, drive over Guardsman Pass and head for home. Another good day on those Round Valley trails.