Alabama preview

Well, I've been on the bike course three times and the run course once. This is a fun place to play, that's for sure. The first thing that I noticed on the run is that the friendly folks down here don't like switch-backs! They just go straight up and over the hills. And I do mean straight. The run is going to be brutal, that's all I can say. As for the bike - it's a blast. A good mix of everything. There's a rolling, swoopy single track section right off the bat, with a few small rock gardens and plenty of roots. Using the berms off the corners is challenging because there are roots right where you want to ride! After that, you pop out onto a long, sustained double track climb with several water crossings. Some of the steeper sections are also some of the looser sections, so it's not a place to take a break. After topping out on the double track, it's a sharp turn back into the woods for the most technical section of the race - Blood Rock. I was expecting a rock face, but it's actually a series of large rock steps, with the last one having a tight right turn around a stream and a tree. I spent some time on the first two rides on that section, working the lines until I found one that I liked. On the third ride, I was able to clean the whole thing. It might not have been neat, but I was still upright! After Blood Rock, it's a fast rolling downhill to the lake. Then we headed back into the woods for the new part of the trail. It was just added this year, and was more twisting, sweeping single track. I'm happy I was able to spend some good time on the trail. I also rode the last time with a fellow Coloradoan! He rolled up, wanting to know if I knew where the trail started for the ride. Happened to be riding a Yeti - a very Colorado brand. We did the whole loop together, which was much nicer then being out in the woods all alone.

I will mention the swim this time as well. The upper 24 inches of the lake are warm - very warm. But as you're swimming, your fingers (mine at least) are brushing into cooler water. I dove down a few times while swimming today and a few feet below the surface, the water is cool and refreshing. Then as I made my way back to the surface, it's like Prometheus flying next to the sun. I had a good time, diving down to the layer of cold water and swimming for a distance, then surfacing.

Tommorow is chill out and get the Era ready to race. I'm not going down to the park at all - there's a lot of things going on and it will be crazy. I also want to stay out of the heat and humdity


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