Yesterday's ride was a breakthrough. Faster, smoother and more aggressive. All of a sudden I realized that riding 2 or 3 times a week for several weeks is beginning to have a positive effect. Look out, winter!
It has been a tri-sport weekend at Casa SBR: SUPing, lawnmowing (no TR, sorry) and MTB riding. Meanwhile, Blue Toes is off helping a help friend move in the heat and Royal Visit chaos of Canada Day weekend in our nation's capital. Glad I stayed home.
You may recall a few posts ago I reported on my disastrous ride on a section of Snomo Trail 82. Today I returned to the scene of the crime in 30 degree heat (AKA 86 degrees F). A month later, my riding is more dialed, fitness has improved and the trail is a lot drier. This is a fun section through a beautiful forest (bonus of shade on a hot day), some fast "flowy" downhills and for the most part, rideable uphills. Think of it as wide singletrack, with a variety of lines on any given section.
The trail speed limit is probably more realistic for bikes than snowmobiles.
The three biggest hazards today were the deerflies, occasional patches of fine, dry sand (read: bike-stopper) and highly protective ruffed grouses. The little grouses have hatched and let me tell you, the parents pull out all the stops to defend their chicks. The first one scared the crap out of me when it flew out out of a bush I was pedaling by. The bird's wing beats were so loud and stacatto I thought I was being strafed with machine gun fire. The second one tried to attack me as I pushed the bike up a steep section after being bogged down in the aforementioned sand. It tried the broken wing tactic at first but clearly I wasn't retreating fast enough. The thing puffed out its feathers and came stomping towards me with fury in its eyes. Not wanting to get pecked to death by a game bird, I beat a hasty retreat uphill, listening to the cheeps of the little grouses as they scurried off.
Rest stop before one of the fun downhill runs.
Other than the bird encounters it was a pretty mellow ride. I took it easy in the heat, and was the only soul on the trail on this holiday weekend.