A taste of Whiskey

After a very stressful trip from Colorado Springs to Prescott, we finally rolled into town and got settled. Hotel, unload car and such, then time to ride! We parked near Whiskey Row, stashed our map and cue sheets, then headed off into the woods. Our plan was to pre-ride the 15 proof course, check out some of the single track and get an idea of what we were in for. Neither one if us had any clue at to the terrain, dirt or even riding style of the area. It felt really good to get out of the car and ride, even if the first miles were solid climbing. The in-town turns weren't marked, but the directions were really clear.

We climbed up from the car for over four miles, then turned off the main road and continued climbing on a jeep road. Through a youth camp, across a small stream and more climbing. We knew the course was a little different and a little longer then prior years, but never noticed it. The corners were marked with flags now, negating the need for our directions. After nearly six miles of road and double track climbing, it was time for the first section of single track. So much fun. Flowing and fast with lots of corners and loose rocks. I was just having a blast riding - rolling and climbing, undulating single track through tall pines and across small creeks.. One little techy section on that first chuck of single track - I thought nothing of it at that time. Too soon, we popped out at a trail head. While both the 25 and 50 would cross the road and continue on single track, we turned right and cut up the road. I wanted to see the rest of the trail, but also knew we weren't prepared to ride the entire 25 course. So we stayed on the 15 route, up the road with more climbing. Not hard, just steady. Through a major intersection where some volunteers and spectators would be come race day, then the last chunk of climbing. Finally we reached the overlook. A quick peek at the view and it was time for single track and time for fun. It was an awesome descent - but something that I would have to be wary on during the race. Ride my bike, not race my bike - the track was loose and filled with baby heads and sharp rocks. But if I pushed too hard, I would find myself in the dust, not on my bike. One final kicker of a climb (I would learn it was called Cramp Hill after the race) and a few more fun single track sections. Again, really fun single track and a treat to ride. I was encouraged by the trail and knew I would be looking forward to the end of the race. I also knew that the last few miles would be hard for Nick - we soft pedaled down the blacktop road and he was spun out the entire time.

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