A fine time was had by all...
...all that bothered to show up, that is.
ChadBo and Scott--y'all get 25 demerits plus 3 days of the sniffles for laming out on such a great ride.
The weather was decidedly non-Phoenician: gloomy, gray and intermittently spitting on us. Didn't dampen (<-ha!) anyone's enthusiasm for the ride, tho'...
I admit that I was a bit confused by the layering thing many of those present had going on. It was 50-something out there. Kept wondering if they were planning ahead for an overnight ride and maybe just forgot to invite me?!!?
I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of bench-cut trail on the climb:
Seemed like the vast bulk was IMBA-spec and downright sanitized.
The above 'sanitized' comment is neither a complaint nor a judgment--more of a confused observation after having seen the chunktastic descent.
The mellow middle-ring grade of the climb was very welcome, actually, after torching my legs the past few days following Scott.
The mellow grade was also welcome in that it made it easy to look around and stop for pics. That had emphatically NOT been the case the three previous days with Scott.
Leafing ocotillo? In December? Must not be in Kansas anymore...
The climb went on and on--in a most enjoyable way:
And then (snap!) the climbing was done and folks were in various states of armoring up, swapping clippy pedals for flats, adding more layers (?!!?) and eating. Oh yeah--and doling out warnings intended to scare the bejeezus outta the noobs (raises hand). Note to scarers: It worked.
The initial section of the descent was over-the-top steep with big holes and no room for error. I kept my hands on the bars (even/especially when walking) and the camera stayed in the pack.
Once we made it down to ~level ground (<-Ha! As if!) the camera came out a few times to record some skilled, patient, and humble riders making this trail look easy.
And after all was said and done, it sure seemed like someone was trying to talk herself into a new bike...
Not that there's anything wrong with that!
Thanks again for the day y'all--I enjoyed it thoroughly.