Ridgeline preview

Nick and I took advantage of a day off and headed north to Castle Rock to check out the course for the next race in the RMES - the Ridgeline Rampage. We've never ridden up there so didn't really know what to expect. And after two laps -one to make sure we had the course right (little maps on iPhones are kinda hard to read in bright sun without my glasses) and another to test the course at speed, I'm thinking it's gonna be interesting. The course is definitely flowing, with some steep hills and some deceptive climbs. I was actually a little surprised at how much climbing there was in the lap - pacing is gonna be important for this race for sure. Burning matches on some of those climbs early will lead to trouble later. Not super technical at all with fairly wide trails, but passing is still gonna be a challenge because of the high speeds. Lots of cornering - and many of the corners off camber and loose.

It's a pretty ride - meandering through the scrub oak and open meadows. Expansive views of the front range through out the course. I was getting distracted by the meadows filled with flowers - lupine, Indian paint brush, some yellow ones that I don't know and some purple clover. Yeah, I don't know flowers really well - but it was a really cool blending of colors in the various greens of the meadows. The trail drops down and climbs through pines and scrub oak, then pop out in the open spaces on the top of the ridge. And the birds were out - jays and magpies and others. I had a raven trailing me on the part of the ride, his shadow following me on the trail. Awesome - fun day on some new trails. I might think differently after six laps, but the two we did were cool. Saturday is gonna be fast and hot, with some smoking times. Keep the rubber side down!

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