Thursday, May 25, 2017

back in my comfort zone

The nice thing about arranging vacation the way we just did is that we got two short weeks on either side of it.  Big fan.  When the weekend rolled back around then, we spent Saturday doing yard work (me) and road riding (H).  We also attempted a cocktail on the patio to usher in summer but northern Utah wasn't quite done with the winter weather yet (another storm was coming, which would bring some excellent snow to the mountains) and even though we bundled up in long pants and fleece, we got chilled.  Perhaps drinking rum and tonics (with ice) while sitting in the shade when it's 60F at most was not our best idea.  We'll try again when it warms up.

On Sunday, however, the sun was out and even though it was still cool, the MTB trails at Round Valley were deemed dry enough to have a go.  We did linger at home a bit, waiting for the temperature in Park City to get into the 50s, and so when we got to the Quinn's Trailhead (opting to skip the paved bike path to save our treads) it was pretty full.  The trails themselves didn't seem too crowded, other than the Sagebrush Switchback portion on the backside of Rambler - but we almost always encounter a lot of people in that stretch.

It's funny because several chunks of our Round Valley route are more technical than the Klonzo trails we did but because we have ridden Round Valley so many times, I don't get nervous (or, I don't get extra-nervous).  I actually climbed the Sweet Sixteen switchbacks (front side of Rambler which probably don't number sixteen anymore after they rerouted some of the trail, but I'm not going to rename it now) pretty well.  There are two switchbacks on that stretch that I have been unable to climb: #8: a very rocky turn to the left and #6: turn to the right/straight for a short, steep stretch/then turn to the right again.  My legs were feeling stronger than I anticipated when I approached #6 and I thought, my goal is to ride this switchback this summer and why not start now.  And I almost did it - got halfway up before my rear wheel slipped, startling me into putting my foot down.  I was annoyed that I hadn't been able to knock my goal off the first time out - but it left me feeling confident that I can accomplish it sometime soon.

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