For this ride, I thought I would try ride #3 again. I had fun bombing 3.5 miles down to the Confluence where many trails start, and saw a group getting ready for a ride. Four guys, three in kits looking like they should be in the Tour D' France. I struck up a conversation and they were cool about me joining them, but as always, I was immediately intimidated by the cool matching kits and shaved legs. Fortunately, one guy was not wearing a kit, and I was glad to see the hair on his legs...I thought, maybe I had a chance to stay with this guy. As soon as they started, I was in trouble. The ride started with a mile of flat, sometimes technical trail on a ridge and they quickly left me behind. When we hit the climb ~2.5 miles of up, up, up, I started gaining on them but quickly realized that I no longer had the 'Contador Bounce' as I was climbing and thus had to really gut it out. I eventually caught two of them. One of the riders, the only one on a SS (GF Rig), turned and said (in a surprised tone), "Hey, your still here?!?". I told them I would hang on as long as I could, but not to worry about dropping me. I continued my pace, and like true roadies, they were not going to let me pass, so we eventually caught the first two guys. They stopped at the top of the climb, seemingly un-winded, to chat. This allowed me some time to recover before hitting some rolling single track (Connector Trail). Once again they quickly dropped me on the single track, but halfway though, I passed two of them like they were standing still...because they were standing still. One guy had flatted which gave me the opportunity to catch the group and then rest at the end of the trail (4 miles). Still, despite riding hard, I was struggling. My legs are not use to so much riding, climbing and full sun. Unlike NC trails which are mostly shaded, there is little escape from the sun. In spite of dry heat (no real humidity), 90+ degree temps in full sun wears on you. I decided to let these burners go and do a different ride. I rode back to the Confluence, hit the relatively easy/moderate Quarry trail (follows the river) for an out-and-back, and then up Stagecoach and home (3.5 miles up). Still a good ride with over 30 miles. Interestingly, I felt great going up Stagecoach which made me think I was a chump for not trying to stick with 'The Kits's. I could have kept catching them on the climbs (or when they flatted) and maybe stayed with them the enter ride. I am bummed for not pushing myself harder, but I was having a tough time gauging my fitness knowing I had a long climb to finish the ride.
Cest' la Vie.
|Back down, down, down Stagecoach...|
|under the bridge on the Clementine trail...|
|climb up, up, up, to the connector trail to the Forest Hill Divide Loop Trail...|
|fly though this on the bombin' downhill...|
|noticed an old quarry with a cool looking cave (look carefully) just off the trail...|
|hit the bottom of the trail and rode across the confluence and up hwy 49...|
|and hit the Quarry Trail which was thankfully flat for a stretch.|
|Rode up a steep incline to part of the old quarry area (and met some nice hikers)...|
|and then rode down to the cave.|
|Rode a ways past the cave before turning around (Quarry Trail is an out and back trail)|
|And then began the long climb up Stagecoach...|
|Up, up, up to the start (at the In-laws house).|
Same as Ride #1. Snuck out early and was in constant fear of getting attacked by a mountain lion or bear (both have been seen in the area in the early morning)...but somehow survived. Now a week off before hitting the trails at Tahoe Baby!!!