Tuesday, June 1, 2010

From Race Pace To Going the Distance

Two days in a row of riding with the ladies and the elbow is feeling fine . . . the fracture is just a distant memory. Time now to get the muscles back in riding shape -- Northstar should be opening soon! Sunday the ladies and I climbed our usual butt-kicking climb to the top of one of our favorite trails (which may be the site of a super fun Super D race course coming soon if the race promoter can get past a few recently encountered snags). At the top of the trail I was challenged by a random dude who was riding with a friend -- he saying he had only ever seen two girls riding a Nomad before and I was the second one. He wanted to see what I could do on that bike. I tried to say I was just coming back from an injury but after a good long group discussion about bike set-up and components I decided no more sitting and talking and 'no excuses' and took off -- with Tina, two random dudes and Marianne on my tail. I flew! I don't think I have ever ridden the Culvert trail so fast or so precise -- or ever had that much fun on it! It seems the key to speed on that trail is staying loose and flowy in the rutted sections, having a good lean in the corners (and letting the rear drift a bit) and using the small jumps and rocks to launch into the next section. After pausing at a common pause-area the gentlemen passed by with a 'niiiice job' and we waited for Marianne who had experienced technical difficulties along the way. Victory was had!

The next day Marianne and I set out on a completely different ride. I took my son's new awesome XC bike, a Giant Trance x2, and Marianne and I rode what will become known as the Cross the Canyon Waters' Edges Ride -- or some name more more clever when we think of it. It was a new loop for us that we invented along the way. We started at the bottom of the canyon at Mammoth Bar by the edge of the middle fork of the American River . . . climbed up Ranch trail, up Ranch Dressing Trail until we crossed Foresthill Road then headed down Doc Gordon's road (a big breezy fire break trail) cruising down 1.5 miles to the stunning Upper Lake Clementine. We enjoyed the serenity at Clementine's water's edge for a few minutes until we made the leg-pumping climb back up and over and down Stonewall to the other side. Back to where we started. It was a beautiful tour of the canyon -- the foliage was green and the wild flowers still blooming thanks to all this late in the season rain and a touch of humidity. It was quite the loop. And it pooped me out. I was toast the rest of the day. I'm sure that ride helped me get my bike riding legs back though. Both rides did in their own way -- Two totally different rides on two different bikes in two days. How lucky am I? Pretty darn lucky!


1 comment:

  1. Way to go Kirstie! I'm so impressed with you. You just came back from an injury and you are already hard to keep up with, on the downhill of course but also on the uphill. Too bad the Oak Tree Super D was canceled because you would have kicked butt! Good luck at Northstar. You rock, baby!