Oh the things we get ourselves into.
M and AJ offered up a tasty option of some GGSP -- the '4,000+' vert, large loop ending on the best, most technical parts, all trails possible' version. I can always count on them ;-)
Late edit: I woke up this morning realizing I didn't post any of the yummy details from our late fall, bite-off-more-that-you-can-chew adventure ;-).
SO! I think I've posted about this particular ride in GGSP before -- on 7/12/2008. It's a 22 mile loop with 4,000+' of climbing... ending on a wicked climb and a tasty, tasty techy bit of descending. Did I mention that there was a lot of climbing? OWIE! I think our group started with 3 hangovers, one set of completely cooked legs, and one body who didn't really want to be there. What a great way to start, in the cold morning, in the wind, in November ;-)
Regardless, hangovers burned off within the first ffin' climb. My legs never really came around. And Ed decided that he was more up for hiking around in the woods that following our sorry asses all over the park and back. So Steevie, AJ, Michelle and I suffered up the hills and danced down all the rocks. We covered the majority of the park and actually completed our convoluted figure 8 of a ride. We ended on Mtn. Lion, and really had to mentally prepare for that climb up (well, I did, anyway).
A few weeks ago, when I rode this trail with my posse of 6 kick-ass women, I came very close to nailing a tricky switchback with a rather large step/ramp in the middle of it. I didn't think that I would have it in me today to try too many times ... but lo-and-behold: attempt #3 found the right line up and the right push, and waaaa-la!! I DID IT!!!
Here is a pic from a few weeks ago, credit i think to IttyBittyBetty:
After all the noise that ensued (sorry people), we finished the climb and found Ed at the top waiting for us. And then we descended like crazy people and enjoyed yet one more reward for pushing ourselves so far and so hard for the day. What a way to end a long ride! I mean, really.
I think it's safe to say that we all had HUGE successes on the way down -- and along the whole entire ride. I have now cleared every part of the Mtn Lion trail both up and down and all along the valley/riverbed, and that feels good. Michelle is SO completely ON HER GAME she is just flyin' and rippin' right over everything. I'm so proud of her. Ed and Steevie are still nutcases riding their rigid (ss) ponies all over the rocks and making the rest of us look like fools ;-) And AJ --- what, you were out front ALL DAY LONG... you badass you ;-)
Click on any of the pix below for the better, larger version -- and a whole heap more pictures to go along with these. Ed will have more pix up soon, I promise ;-)
jj -- moi -- photo credit stevvie
steevie -- photo credit moi
ed, darling, rockin' it