Saturday, November 19, 2016

surely this is the last mtb of the season

In an attempt to make lemonade out of no-winter-yet lemons, we went over to Park City on Sunday to do our Round Valley ride.  Even though it feels like we're riding there all the time, we really haven't done it that much this summer: we didn't do rides because of house guests, the Alta Dry Fork/Mineral Basin monster hike (which ruined us for Sunday), the big Echo Reservoir/Park City rail trail ride, our trip to New Mexico and my visit back east.  It had actually been two months since we had been there!

It was pretty windy (of course), sunny and cool for our return.  It wasn't too crowded, with the busiest section being the Rambler sage brush switchbacks, and we figure we saw more dogs than MTBers out there.  Lots of dogs, all off leash and all pretty well behaved around MTBers.  At one point, as we were going up the Sweet Sixteen, I had a scruffy wolfhound-ish-looking dog running with me, patiently trotting alongside my rear wheel.

Autumn riding

In our absence, the trail crew has been doing some maintenance work on the trails, smoothing out ruts and, in the case of the front side of Rambler (a/k/a our Sweet Sixteen), rerouting the trail entirely to put in wider, banked turns.  H didn't think the new trail sections made that much difference but I thought they made the climb easier.  I also made a huge breakthrough on lower Sweet Sixteen, finally riding one switchback that I have never been able to ride before.  For some reason, as I came up to that turn, my legs felt good and I thought, "I'm pretty sure I can ride that," and then I did.  There was no one around to witness my triumph but I was stoked.  Of course, now I have no excuse for walking that one ever again.

We wrapped up our ride with a strong headwind and drank our beers, squinting in the sun.  It was a great ride - I felt really good about my climbing although my downhill technique was dismal - but surely, surely we will be able to put our MTBs away now and get our skis tuned up.  Surely winter is coming soon.

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