Friday, September 30, 2011

Cross Mountain Ride - Epic!

Taking in the last hot forecasted day of the year, I "had" to go for a ride in the mountains. Luckily I had the company of blazing cross racer Katy Curtis and TransPortugal/Furious-3 winner Kate Aardal. The planned route was Big Elbow Little Elbow loop out in K-Country. Myself and Katy were on cross bikes while Kate on her 29-er had no problem keeping a quick pace.
Katy scouting the best line
It was a tricky ride on the cross bikes with lots of dirt-embedded rocks jutting out everywhere on the trail which I remembered as flat and fast many years ago when I last mountain biked it. I was the first to pinch flat, then Katy, then me again towards the end. Kate had the bike of the day with the 29-er.
Kate wondering where she dropped Marg & Katy - photo KC
Scenery - outstanding! Long ride as we had a slow start bogged down on horse trails following a river route before venturing on the open trail climb. I enjoyed the loop clockwise with rolling up & down the first half before the monstrous painful climb on the small cross gearing. The last 1/3 was pretty much all downhill back.

Katy & Kate far in the distance - awesome autumn scenery!

shadows came quickly that afternoon - mostly downhill to the trailhead
That night I visited adventure teammate Jeff Hughes and his family in West Bragg Creek. Caught the family off on a night bike ride and joined in.

It was an adventure morning with the girls (Sasha-10, Riley-8, Piper-6) all either riding the unicycles or practicing riding the narrow planks with their mountain bikes while Jeff was trials hopping a bench with his new trials bike.
Piper, Sasha, Riley, Sidney the Border Collie, and Jeff
I tried my hand at a 20-inch unicycle. It was frustrating to fall over and over again. Seeing the girls keep riding and trialing, I kept at it. First I went 2 feet, then 3 feet. Jeff gave me tips to lean further forward almost falling as a pedal stroke would naturally balance it out. Once I did that, I went 10 feet. Then when almost no-one was watching, I rode 20 feet. Fortunately Piper saw me and pointed it out to everyone - thanks Pipes!

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