Hot and dusty fun at the lake

We finally made it down to Lake Pueblo to pre ride the course for the Voodoo Fire race last weekend. Important for me for pacing and planning nutrition needs and really important for Nick to check his gearing. It took us a little longer then planned to get going and we didn't start riding until 10:30 on Saturday. A good wake up for the heat we could be facing come April 21 - it was really hot! Not a cloud in the sky, a light wind and dusty trails. My legs were white from the dust when we finished our ride. It's a good, long lap with some fun stuff, some really boring sections and a few cool canyon drops. I'm happy it's the short loop again and not going all the way out on Voodoo loop. The thought of a possible mechanical way out there worries me. But Outer Limits is a fun, flowy trail, Rock Canyon a challenging shale climb and both Stonehenge and Waterfall just fun trails. Rollercoaster will provide a challenge with its steep drops and long climbs. I'm looking forward to a good, long day in the saddle.

After the pre-ride it was time to play in the canyons. First thing I noticed was I have to learn to ride a bike! On my trusty full squish Era, I've been able to cheat a bit and let the bike and suspension do a lot of the work. Bumpy trails - just sit and let the rear suspension absorb the impact. Well, a 29er might roll over bumps better with the big wheels, but... Without the suspension to ease the jolts it takes more body english to provide a smooth, even ride. I actually have ride the bike, instead of just sitting on the bike!

So Sunday's ride turned into a skills day, with a lot of work on my technique on the hardtail. I think we climbed Rock Canyon seven times total! But it was good practice and I got a lot accomplished. Learning to throw my weight around, steer my bike and really shifting front to back to allow my body to absorb some of the impact the suspension normally does on the Era. I am feeling much stronger on my Fate after an hour and a half of playing on rocks! Thinking another trip to the dusty trails of Pueblo might be called for this weekend for my long ride....

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