so, while ed lounged, socialized and ate on saturday, i took off for a nice solo adventure on the new pony (yes she's still new, yes i still have new pony syndrome, and yes she is still faster than i expect) ;-)
i climbed up marshall pass, and hit the usual monarch crest descent from that point: colorado trail, silver creek, rainbow trail, and back to absolute bikes ... a super zippy 45 mile rolling playground ... (where i found ed primping and getting his light set up dialed by ay up for the vt125).
trees. green. high country. big peaks. blue sky. being on yer bike.... priceless ;-)
the first 11 miles is one hell of a blissful rail road grade climb on a dirt road. it is THE perfect way to warm up in colorado. it goes up, and you hardly know it. you climb through dense pockets of aspens, you stride along wide-open fields of high-county grass, you pass view after view after quintessential colorado high-country view. it's really rather ridiculous.
unfortunately, i rode into a head wind the entire way up. funny thing is, i didn't really realize it until i was about 3/4 of the way up ... where i finally put on the sleeves and gave up the fight ... and just let it roll to the top. silly woman.
how's that for a view in the middle of playing outside?
another one of the many spectacular colorado views on the way up
so i summited marshall and sat there in the wind wondering why it took me so long to realize i was actually fighting a head wind the whole way. i jumped onto the trail ... and immediately saw my first 3 people of the day. they were very sweet, and very quiet. i passed and asked that they let me know if they want to pass back ... and they didn't say a word.
from the top of marshall, the trail climbs just a wee bit ... it's one of my favorite sections: a few rocks, swoopy corners with roots in them, undulating and not just a straight shot down. it's playful. the dirt is dark and most always damp. this trail hugs a ridgeline for just a few moments then throws you back into a deeply wooded forest. it smells good in there!
then, i passed 4 people on the 4x road that i call the walls of insanity. they're not tough, they're just annoying... after runnin' it through the single track, these few pitches of 4x that shoot up and up the up once more are just annoying....
at the 'lunch spot' i saw at least 30 people packed around the 'view point', eating, chatting, etc.... so i just flew on by and headed to the next blissful section.
just before the descent to rainbow. welcome to heaven, folks
sliver creek to the rescue!!!!! i was looking forward to testing the new pony on the loose, rocky maddness that descends from this point to the start of the rainbow. i was a little nervous that i'd be slow. god forbid that happen ;-) so i let out a little bit of air from the tires, let two boiis pass, and put on the glasses..........
it wasn't a slow descent. and those two boiis were passed with ease... the rocks were smooth as strawberry jam and i rolled the one little launcher near the bottom. that didn't suck one little sticky bit!
ohwait ... THIS part is heaven ;-)
i made it through the river and over the woods to the rainbow trail turn off. i sat. i stretched. i ate. i smiled a LOT. could i really be having this much fun and moving this fast? giggle giggle eat eat.
i started the rainbow slow and succulent like. roll over the rocks, and flow through the bends. i thought: the racers should really feel this good here -- even tho that is so highly unlikely. i wanted them to. i wanted Ed to ... i wanted to leave a vapor trace of jeny bliss all along the rainbow so he could feed off of the momentum and energy and fly through one of the sweetest sections of single track anywhere ... everywhere.
i think my smile was probably pretty ridiculous.
i cleared the first two little drop-water-steep climb sections and thought to myself: would be super sweet to clear them all today.... especially on the new pony ;-)
the final big drop-water-techy climb presented itself in a flash and what do you know: nailed it... passing a hiking biker, grunting the whole way! LOL. that guy had to be laughing his ass off!!!
i did it. i cleared it, and moved on. as i looked back i saw someone in yeti garb jumping back on his pony and taking off like a rocket.........
off i went!! ;-)
only to be caught a couple miles down the trail.... he didn't have a smile on his face at all. and nope, we didn't have any fun pushing the pace and flat out blasting through the forest, over the rocks, through the trees, leaving a trail of star-dust in our path!!!!
then he got a flat.....!!!! poor guy.
i waited at the highway for him just to say thanks for the energy boost and the rockin' good game!
i pointed the pony towards salida and had a nice sprinty-spinn out all the way back into town -- the cool breeze pushing as i blazed through the wide-open sky.
i made it back to absolute in under 4 hours, literally shaking with bliss and excitement!
thank you, ed, for the overwhelmingly pleasant and blissful weekend... on ALL accounts. i'm so glad you had such a good time nailing your 4th VT125 ... i'm so proud of you. next time, i'll leave more vaporjeny energy out on more of the trail ;-)