Pueblo - Finally!

After our last attempt at a weekend get away to Pueblo State Park, we were a little concerned when we loaded up the Turtle and hit the road. Other then the lingering smell of antifreeze, the camper ran smoothly and we had a smooth drive down. It was already busy in the main parking lot so we just headed to the campground to stake a claim. Once again everything was working well so setting up didn't take much time. Then it was time to ride! Two long days of riding in warm weather, on dry trails with plenty of time for fun, technical and fast.

Saturday was canyon day. Up and down, working the technical skills both directions. I was doing my best to keep up, but to ride smoothly I had to slow down a little. Then rail it to catch back up - so it was hard riding for me. We did Freeride down, up Skull Canyon, down Broken Hip - I made the tight switch back with made me happy. Then up Stonehenge - huh? I didn't think anyone ever rode up Stonehenge! Well, when I looked on Strava, more then a few people rode up Stonehenge. Its not an easy climb, although we did find a fun line in the canyon. I also noticed some more stone sculptures on the east side of the canyon - I never would have seen then riding down. After just over an hour of chasing Nick, I noticed my right clear seemed loose. So while I stopped to tighten it, Nick went to ride a few of the trails l too chicken to ride. I continued on my own for the next hour, sticking to the fun but easier canyon trails. Then we met io for that final hour to ride together again. And the first trail on his agenda was waterfall. I've run down it but never ridden it. Yikes! Stuck in Nick's wheel like glue so I could see his line. But success. I made it down to the bottom without crashing!

One major reason we wanted to camp in Pueblo this weekend was to test some new toys. We just broke down and got a generator for the long camping trips, charge our lights and such and run our fridge. The propane setting on the fridge is so corroded, Nick doesn't trust it. The generator is pretty small, so we also wanted to see if some if our electronics would work with just that. We have an old hot pot and a small electric skillet for cooking in case we run out of propane. But we hasn't really tested either one. During a race, we do more warming up then cooking, so that's what I tested. Warmed up lunch using the electric skillet and hot pot. And while not perfect and not as easy as the propane stove top, it worked just fine. One less worry heading into Arizona.

Sunday was a little cooler, but no less crowded. We got an early start - before the parking lot started filling. I wanted to ride the Limits and I wanted to ride hard. The sooner we were pedaling, the fewer people we'd see out on the trails. It worked out well - we had the trails mostly to ourselves for the first hour and a half. We rode Inner Limits hard, near my endurance race pace. The trail has smoothed out a lot from the first time I'd ridden it, but still bumpy. There's some good climbs on that trail - steep and punchy. Some of the turns are really tight as well - easy to blow if not paying attention. On to Outer Limits and Nick kept the tempo quick. Every time I got close, he wound up his cadance and pulled away. I just kept chasing. It took us less time to ride the slight longer Outer Limits then Inner Limits. We stuck Tri that middle Mesa for a few more trails, watching the gathering crowds of riders heading for Voodoo loop. On our way back from the end of the Detour, we bumped into Lane, Justine and a few other Ascent riders. A short chat, then they rode off west and we continued east. One hour left of riding and it was time for "the fun stuff" as Nick put it. I did have to stop and put air in my rear tire - bounced off a rock and slit the side wall. But thanks to the Stan's sealant - no tube needed. I wasn't as efficient as I could have been with the re-airing process, but got it done. The fun stuff involved another trip down waterfall, sidewinder twice and Stonehenge twice. By the time we headed north for the camper I was done!

We accomplished everything we needed to with this trip - solid riding, tested the electrical stuff and such. It's getting closer and the more we get done now, the better the trip will be.


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