Day 2 started with a hearty breakfast, an extra hour of sleep due to the time change, and a group of 7 of us heading west towards the CO/Utah border to Rabbit Valley to ride the Western Rim trail. There was some discussion about trying to do a Bookcliffs ride or something closer, but it was all new trails to me so I was game for anything.
Western Rim is a 15ish mile roundtrip lollipop loop that starts with a steady uphill climb and then all the sudden opens into a downhill rim ripping singletrack blitz around the edge of the canyon. Our group motored on pretty well, getting most of the mechanicals out of the way the day before. Only a flat and a small crash (neither mine) held us up today, and since I was due to be home I was off the front pushing the pace as much as I could.
The Punisher makes this steep look easy
Justin rolls this impossible looking steep
It was interesting how quickly the trail changed, and all of the sudden I was third bike ripping around the rim of the canyon. The section of trail around the rim was such a blast, incredible good flow and just technical enough to make you keep your hands on the brakes. We blasted a couple miles of trail before stopping to grab some food and take in the views.
As with all good things, this too had to come to an end John & I were on a tight schedule and we ultimately had to bid farewell to the rest of the group and hike up the side of the cliff to grab the road back. Once on the road, The Punisher & I kept the pace relatively high and steady as we made our way back.
After climbing the road section, we got to enjoy some downhill with short rolling uphills on the way back. One section saw The Punisher go wide and hit a sandy bog, and I pulled up next to him and asserted myself by saying "This is where my singlespeeding pays off".
And about that time The Punisher downshifted, got back into the track and powered away from me up the climb. I guess that is what I get for opening my mouth.
We railed the last few sections and then pounded out the 1.3 miles of sandy road back to the car. The deep, sandy uphill sections were tough on tired legs, but overall I held my own. My fitness was better than expected, and after a couple days of riding the Yeti my technical skills were starting to wake up from their coma a bit. Now I just have to make it through the long winter so that I can get back out to Fruita and hit up some of the other trails that I missed this time.