Return to Ute
I haven't ridden in Ute Valley since I crashed there in January. I'm not sure why - it's a fun place to ride with some really good trails. Something about hitting the desk that hard scared me away I think. That shoulder injury could have been much worse - I was lucky. And it was a stupid crash too, as all the bad ones seem to be. Combine that with not really knowing my way around and being lazy about driving to a ride and it meant no Ute Valley for me.
Time to change that. After plans to head to Buffalo Creek got laid aside - neither Nick nor I felt like driving that far to not ride much, we opted to head to Ute. An easy drive and we could ride as long or as short as we wanted. It was also a good time to work on some of the technical stuff I'm still struggling with. It wasn't pretty at first - we were on trails I haven't ridden before and I was struggling. I was both trying to keep up with Nick and pick my way through the rocks. Bad combo - after having a minor pouty session and wacking my hand on a tree, I got a little smarter. Ride my bike, pick my lines and have fun. Nick always stops and waits and makes sure I'm good going through the technical stuff. Slowing down allowed me to read the trail a little better and pick my lines. We did a lot of little loops on some new trails, giving me plenty of time to practice everything. I'm still getting used to having a dropper post - it adds a layer of things to think about while riding. Makes life easier when I remember to use it - it's the remembering that hard! We had pretty quiet trails, which meant for good practice.
Nick of course had to end the day with sessioning a rock step-up. It was huge - maybe two feet tall with plenty of chainring marks. He wanted me to ride up that?! I tried refusing at first - offering plenty of excuses - to tired, too big, all of it. He wasn't having any. I had to try it. First two times, hit the breaks just as I got to the rock wall. Third time, actually started the wheelie, but a little soon. My front tire slammed into the rock, phsssst. Stan's went flying. But I wasn't done with the rock. Two more attempts, one actually getting my front wheel onto the top of the rock and the second getting all the way onto the rock. Would have been perfect if I hadn't panicked and bailed as I was getting over the ledge! Obviously, I still need to work on that! That's what the stumpy is for - having fun and learning skills. Adding more dents by the day....