Wednesday, September 7, 2016

labor day weekend part 2: blustery

H looked back at our calendar and realized that we hadn't done our regular MTB ride for five weeks: due to the Tour of Utah, house guests, our giant Mineral Basin hike and our giant rail trail ride, we hadn't been on Round Valley dirt since July 30th.  It was high time to remedy that.  Also, I was a little concerned that after five weeks off, I might have lost some ground skills-wise.  Despite being on our MTBs for 54+ miles the week before, that ride involved no steep climbing or switchbacks - or really any turning of any sort.  I needed to get back out there!

I definitely felt like I was getting back on the bike after some time away.  My bike handling skills, never terrific, were sub-normal for me and I felt like a spaz in the corners.  After a while, I settled down and began to climb pretty well, even passing five (!!!) people going uphill on the Sweet Sixteen switchbacks portion of Rambler.  I stayed a spaz on the downhill bits, however, skidding out a couple of times and feeling wobbly in the switchbacks, especially the ones turning to the right, which are a particular weakness of mine.  I also got hit a couple of times by gusty crosswinds but was determined to stay upright because I would never hear the end of it from H if I managed to get blown over into a sagebrush bush.

We did get rained on just a little

The weather wasn't ideal, with light showers moving through on increasingly blustery winds, but the temperature was absolutely fantastic, cool even in the sunshine.  There had been just a touch of rain in the days prior, enough to tamp down the dusty trails a little but not enough to make them wet,  And with the lower sun, changing leaves and cooler temperatures, it really felt like fall is here.  Another thing that felt like fall: very few people out on the trails.  We met (and passed) a couple on MTBs, riding with their two very well-trained dogs.  The woman had a number on the front of her bike and we asked her if she had done the P2P race.  She had (her fourth time - she said it's one of the best races she's ever done) and they were just out for a short recovery ride before heading home to Colorado.  I was very impressed that she would do a 7.5+ hour race on Saturday and then get her butt back on the saddle the next day - no five weeks off for her!

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