Saturday, June 09, 2007

"Welcome Fatlanders!"

Jill was sending an email to her brother Justin & his wife Linda about what they wanted to do when they visited. Unfortunately, she left an "l" out of "flatlanders" and the result was a less than flattering adjective. So the last couple of days, Linda has given Jill plenty of grief about being a "fatlander" as we've drug the pair all across the Front Range.

The Alaska bound duo showed up Wednesday night in time to grab some dinner, gab a bit and then get some sleep after a long day in the car. Not cutting these "flatlanders" any break, Thursday morning we took them for their first mountain bike in years. With some borrowing and tapping into my own personal "fleet" of bikes, we had everyone outfitted with bikes and the required helmets.

We headed up to Nederland, home of the Frozen Dead Guy, for some West Mag goodness. West Mag is a fun trail with minimal climbing, with the downside being that it resides at 9,200 feet which is about 10x the elevation that they have been living at for the last year or so.

After boo-hooing about the Oklahoma heat and humidity last week, I felt completely redeemed on Thursday as we hit the West Mag trails. Dressed in a Smartwool long sleeve shirt & shorts, I was pretty comfortable despite the blowing Chinook winds and snow flurries. Yep that's right, snow flurries in mid-June. Home again home again...

We hit the trail and J&L did very well, much better than expected. I had given Justin the keys to Betty the Yeti, while I took the singlespeed. I was pretty impressed to see Justin taking the rocky lines on the trail and grinding his way right up the climbs. Linda too was making climbs that I didn't expect she'd even attempt to climb. We moved along a good pace, having a good time just hanging out together.

The only drama was when we came we approached the first of several downed log crossings. I've been encouraging Jill to ride these, as I've felt they were small enough she could get over them pretty easily. I rode it, then Justin promptly followed suite and went right over it. Linda bravely tried her hand at it, and promptly endoed pretty good but hopped right up unscathed. We remounted and headed off, although Linda was lagging behind to give that log another shot. The 2nd time evidently didn't go as well and she did the full over the bars treatment but again hopped up unscathed thankfully.

As we started to near the end of our planned loop, the weather started deteriorating even further. The high winds continued, but the snow flurries intensified. Temps were in the mid 40s, coupled with the wind and snow, made for a chilly sprint back to the truck. As we loaded the group was all smiles, but ready to be done.

* - Photo credits to Linda

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