I hooked up with Cindy, Michelle, and Lesley. Unlike last year's ride, we all did the course for the sport class at the coming race and nobody got lost. Big victory! Michelle's friend Brian started the ride with us, but soon he took off and we never saw him again. This was a girls' ride after all. Where else would you see the GPS stats that show a 2h11m moving time with 1h19m stopped time? There was a lot of chatting and laughing, but we also did some do-overs. I guess time just flies by really fast when you are having a lot of fun.
I was quite looking forward to this ride because last year when I was on the course, I was a total newbie. I remember I had to get off of my bike at many places and I had a hard time at the infamous sand pit on the course. Since I have been riding a lot last year, I was eager to get back on this course again. Progress has been made. Granted, the trails are in a better condition (more packed with moisture) than last year so it seems a little easier, but many places I had trouble with last year did not stop me this time. I dabbed at the sand pit, but over all, I was able to get a hang of riding it and having fun while doing it. Yes, the key is keep the front end light and skate right through.
The day started out being gray, but later turned out to be gorgeous. It got windy on the last climb out, but that seems to be the norm in that area. After the ride, we were joined by Cindy's husband Eric at our post ride lunch/dinner (4pm). There isn't such thing as laughing too much, right? For a while, it almost seemed there was. Laughing is always a good way to end a day.
All the photos are up in the gallery now. Here are a few highlights:
Here is the interactive map from mtbguru. (You might only see a blank map in IE browser. Please click on the link below it to access.)
Distance (mi) 18.4
Total Ascent (ft) 2908
Moving Time 02h 11m 54s
Stopped Time 01h 19m 21s
Average Speed (mph) 5.2
Average Moving Speed (mph) 8.2