Night Time = Fun Time

After freezing my toes, nose, tail and waterbottle last week, the chilly temperatures for this week's night ride seemed practically balmy. It was a quiet night, with clear skies and just a little wind. Perfect for riding! And there was a good group assembled at ProCycling for some fun in Red Rocks. Nick tagged along as chaperone again (I feel better when he's around - having seen some weird things on the trail at night.) With a better sense of where we were heading this time, the group pedaled over to Red Rocks. I picked a route similar to what we'd done the last time in Red Rocks, but staying off some of the harder goat trails in the valleys. We were the only people out riding, but I think the noise of five girls and Nick scared away all the animals! I only saw a few deer on this ride.

Across Codell's with a stop to practice switchbacks. Up the climb to the Hog's Back, then across the Hog's Back. That trail is always fun, but always hard. There's no way to ride through that constant rock garden without redlining a few times! We stopped again to work on one rock section near the south end of the Hog's Back, then kept pedaling. This time, we took Section 16 up to Intemann trail, avoiding some of the snow in the deep valleys. In the dark, Lonna rode a rock section she'd never cleaned before and almost made the steep sandstone climb on Section 16. We didn't stay on Intemann long, choosing to take an easier and not icy trail down to the quarry. But we still climbed up to the "Tunnel of Doom" trail - a fun, switchbacky trail down one of the canyons. Nothing technical, but a few blind drops. It's all rollable, but really scary the first time because the trail just disappears over this edge. After that, it was time to head back to ProCycling and call it a night.
Stacy and Kelly looking at the rock obstacle

Scouting the best line through the rocks
I've said it before, but riding at night really helps sharpen skills. With the darkness enveloping the trees and terrain on either side of the trail, all you see is the here and now. The risks of a rock garden are suddenly lessened because you don't realize what's there. Or if you're following someone and they pick a line, you just hope and pray it's a good one. There might be other lines, but the darkness conceals the options. At the same time, it's a little scary riding at night. Especially on twisty trails where then next corner is a mystery. But that's the thrill. It's been a lot of fun this year, with the weekly night ride. I might miss winter and the return of the afternoon sun this year!
Kelly tackling the rock with Nick spotting her


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