Its been scorching hot here for the last week or so, with only a couple of sporadic days in the 80s to ease the heat. We've been getting out early, getting out late or heading to the high country to avoid the heat. Its such a nice thing to be able to head to the high country and drop 20 degrees this time of year.
Last week I rode a couple nights, then switched it up for a ride with the Punisher one morning. An easy road ride where we gabbed more than we pushed the pace, kind of what I needed.
Last Saturday, I got up early (too early!) and headed up to Loveland to meet up with some of the Mountain High Cyclery groupies for a ride. We were supposed to ride some new trail in Lory State Park, but ended up riding Horsetooth Mountain Park as there was some sort of run going on in Lory that we wanted to avoid.
Horsetooth means big climbing, and big pain. This ride has really killed me a couple of times, as its 5 very, very steep miles to the top. The first time I rode there, I finished the ride and promptly threw up in the parking lot, that's how tough it is. While the up is grueling, the down is fun but tough in its own right. Rocks, roots and sudden drops keep you on your toes, or at least the should.
I was chasing MTBR.com's infamous The Squeaky Wheel on his shiny new 29" dual suspension Turner Sultan, when I came around an off-camber rocky drop and I was setup all wrong. I caught a big rock and endoed straight into the ground.
I picked myself up and dusted myself off. Everything was in pretty good order, but the palm of my hand hurt really bad. I had landed forcefully on a rock with my hand exposed trying to break my fall. I had some minor bleeding on the knee, but all the damage was minor. From that point on, I took it really easy the rest of the way down after that scare. The really good news is that I've either gotten better at falling or my shoulders have finally healed up enough to take some small impacts.
And its been too long since I posted a beloved elevation graph, so here is the elevation graph from Saturday's hard climb at HTMP...
Sunday Jill and I detoured from the usual course and headed to Sol Vista (north of Winter Park) for some downhilling. They are offering free lift rides this season as an attempt to garner some buzz and get their new trails packed in. They have some serious stuff, like 20 foot road gaps, but we stayed off those trails. We did a variety of blue/black trails, some of which were better than others. The big problem they have is sandy, loose corners and switchbacks that are so tight they kill momentum completely (especially with the loose conditions). But you can't beat free right? We save about $45 on lift tickets for the day, so we stopped in Grand Lake and grabbed some BBQ (which we remembered being better than it was).
The nice aspect of Sunday's drive is that we cut across Rocky Mountain Nat'l Park to get to Sol Vista. On the way out we headed up Fall River Rd to the Visitor Center then took Trail Ridge down. The highlight of the drive (other than the ridiculous scenery) was getting to see a moose and her calf on the western side of the park. Its amazing how the moose stay just west of the divide. We've never seen one east of the divide, but have seen many on the western side of the park. I've got some really terrible pictures of these two somewhere that I'll try and post up.
Other than that, just road riding at night after dinner when the temps come up. Had my 2nd flat ever on my road bike last night about 1 mile from the house. I'd say its pretty good to be on flat #2 after some 2500 miles on the road bike, I can live with a flat every 1200 or so miles...