Fall Double

There are two months of the year that something special can happen. Those months are November and March. Any ideas why those months are special?

I can double up on my crazy sports. I can luge and ride on the SAME DAY!

My plan for last Saturday was the leave home early enough that I could get a trail ride in before luge practice. The weather was going to be a gift (well for mtb’ing, not for sliding). Low 50’s, sunny. When I drove into the mountains I saw there was a lot of snow on the ground. A lot more than we had at my house 10 miles away. What could I ride? I wanted to do a particular trail in the Hardy trails. Its a steep semi-technical climb/descent (stuff I need to work on). But if it was snowed in, well that one was out.

When I got to the trail head there was no snow (the “big” snow was localized even in the mountains) and the trails were pretty dry. I kitted up and jumped on my bike. Pretty quickly it was made clear that I probably should have warmed up before going up the climb. Its steep. See???

hardy_climb

The upper portion of the trail has a loop on it, so I did that section twice, then back down the initial section of the trail.

Here is a picture down the trail:

hardy3-1

And one up the trail:

hardy2-1

The up section of this trail is a pretty constant 10-15% grade with some steep short kickers and some rough technical sections thrown in for good measure. When you finally get to the top the views are fantastic.

hardy1-1

And of course you are rewarded with a long sustained down hill. Alright, assume attack position. Heavy feet, light hands. Brake when the traction is good, roll over obstacles.

The trail has really nice flow. The corners are mostly burmed and in some sections you get quick left/right/left combinations. Edge the tires, back and forth. It felt a lot like skiing when I got into that nice back and forth rhythm. There are some tight switchbacks and in some cases you switch back and quickly transition into a steep downhill section.

All in all, its a really nice flowy, steep, moderately technical descent. Perfect for working on some skills.

Then it was time to strip out of the bike kit, put on some base layers and a speed suit, and jump on my sled.

Yup, November and March can be two of the best months (well when the weather is JUST right).

Picture of the Day

whiteface_nov2013-1

“Whiteface, Late Fall”

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