Gorgeous views. Hard, long climbs. Insanely fun downhills. Great people. Saturday’s event was everything I needed it to be in a mountain bike ride – and that’s a pretty tall order! 36 miles and just shy of 5,000 ft of climbing (oh, and you start at ~5,000 ft of altitude)
Friday, three of us packed up around noon and traveled 6 hours north east from San Diego to Prescott, Arizona. Check in was a breeze and then we headed for dinner… ok – maybe not the best choice in terms of quality food before a race but certainly the calorie requirement!
The next morning found us ready to ride (along with about at least 1,000 of our closest friends). The morning was brisk but warm in the sun and we headed off at the sounds of guns (!!). After the initial steady uphill on pavement which tends to thin out the crowd – we were faced with the first extra credit.
What I love about this ride is that there IS extra credit. (There’s 2) Since there seemed to be extra congestion this year- I opted for the extra sweet single track miles each time. I suddenly found myself almost alone on the trail! Yeah! I was able to just enjoy the trail and ride.
The trees were beautiful, and the course is technical without being crushing. Most of the single track is nice flowy stuff with a handful of rock gardens thrown in.
Yes, there were bottle necks at times, and for a ride this large – that’s just part of the game. Not very fun – and I had to remind myself that I was here to ENJOY THE RIDE not race the ride.
And I did. I talked to strangers. (Occasionally talked to myself) and took in the splendor of the area.
In the end, I was super happy with how my ride went and 100x thrilled that I really enjoyed it (ok, so the fire road climb wasn’t great… but that’s to be expected). As opposed to last year, when I was DFL because of mechanical difficulty… I was over the moon when I crossed the finish line with no falls and with my wits about me.
Somedays are just a great day on the bike!