Sunday, June 8, 2014
If it is Saturday it's time for another epic mountain bike ride with Michelle (Doug) and Mark. I met them at the trailhead in Christmas Valley around 9:30 am where we were joined by another of their friends, Kat (Katrin) for the 9.5 mile loop. I know, it doesn't seem long by last Saturday's standard when we rode over 20 miles, but this was a very technical climb and descent. In some sections, climbing and descending, we had to get off our bikes to traverse especially difficult, impassable rocky sections. The climb itself had 1,600' of elevation gain over 4.7 miles.
The first part of the climb saw us riding up a narrow paved road for about 1.5 miles to the beginning of the dirt trail.....after another 1.5 miles we came to the beautiful meadow....this was the easy part....:D
At the 4.5 mark we reached the top of the trail, so we took a short break before beginning the crazy descent through trees, boulders, 3 foot drop offs. I haven't ridden anything this technical in a few years, but the skills necessary to negotiate this type of terrain are deeply ingrained in my mind, and muscle memory.
After a few times of having to get off my bike and walk it through some very rocky sections, which, in retrospect, I knew I could have ridden, I just decided to trust my ability, trust the bike, and ride through the difficult sections.......and that worked 99.9% of the remaining 3 miles of trail......until I had a small mishap when I stalled out going over a small doll head sized rock and fell over at less than 1 mph scraping my arm on a large granite boulder.
I've been riding mountain bikes, and "donating" blood on the trail since 1989, but I haven't shed any blood in a long, long time. It really looked worse than it was as you can see in the picture blow a few hours after I returned home. No stitches required. I really didn't realize I had hurt myself for another mile after I fell when I felt something running down my arm, which turned out to be blood from the scrape.
We kept on ever downward and suddenly there we were.....back at the parking lot where the day's adventure had begun. It was quickly decided to drive over to a local eatery called Sonny's BBQ Shack just north of the "Y" on HWY 89 for some food and brews. Yelp gives Sonny's a solid 4 stars on 33 reviews. I had the Jalapeno Poppers which were to die for, and a pint of and IPA called "Icky"....not sure if I spelled that correctly, or not. I have never been a fan of IPA's, but this is the second weekend in a row that Michelle has suggested I try an IPA, and both times I have liked them.
We sat listening to "Blues" music playing in the background while recounting our adventure of the day enjoying the Tahoe air, the sun and cool breeze before heading to our respective homes.....I arrived at the coach around 1:30 with a big smile of my face......another great ride, and the summer is still young!
While I was gone riding TLE took a long walk around town, checked out a thrift store, or two, and got her hair styled.....no new books came home this day, but we are now the proud owners of a small ironing board.
After I showered, and let TLE dress my wound she and I sat outside reading, and around 4 pm I got out the "outdoor TV" so we could watch the L.A. Kings vs. the N.Y. Rangers in game two of the Stanley Cup Finals......it ended up being a 4 hour game as it went into double overtime before the Kings, once again, prevailed.
It was a great Saturday, and the weather is definitely warming up....got up to 82 again, and we were able to sit outside until almost 8 pm before the "cold" began to descend upon us and we headed inside to watch the end of the hockey game.
Thanks for stopping by!