Back to Poncha
With a little more CT thrown in for fun. After our Leadville ride, we decided to camp at Raspberry Gulch and ride the CT a little more. It's early in the night, but one of the more techy traverses. Another few hours learning the curves wouldn't hurt. Given how tired and sluggish I'd been Friday, I was a little worried about the rest of the weekend. Would I actually be able to handle the hours and the trail? A nice lazy morning - sleeping later then I have in weeks and a big breakfast had me ready to go. We headed south first - towards Blanks Cabin. Again, just riding and scouring the trail. My goal was to be smooth and comfortable with all the punchy climbs and rock gardens. Much better this time around, even once we turned north and started retracing our trail. I was able to ride further up some of the steep hills. After the ride and another nap, it was run time. Just a short little run on the CT - working on increasing frequency in prep for some big plans next year!
For Sunday, we had a choice - shuttle and the entire Crest run or pedal up Poncha. Neither one of us wanted to get up earlier enough for the shuttle, so it was a default vote for Poncha. Ahh - Poncha. I forgot how much fun climbing Poncha Creek Road was! It's gonna hurt come September - but felt a lot better this time then last year. It will always be a hard climb, but with a reward of Silver Creek? I'll take it. And that was our goal - the traverse of the Colorado Trail and the descent of Silver Creek. The CT was almost empty - just a few hikers and a couple of other mountain bikers. The lasting snow fields further north on the Crest kept the numbers down. Silver turned into Rainbow, with some creek fording right at the terminus. Guess the mountain bikers weren't the only ones that liked the new trail!
It wasn't the huge weekend I had planned, but we still had some big days. And I was riding harder then I wanted, making the shorter rides higher quality. We rode a lot of the same trails we did last year at this time - and it was all smoother and faster. Taking two minutes out of some of the climbs is pretty impressive - even more so on the last day of the weekend. It's hard sometimes with Nick - I want some solid hours on the bike, but not at the pace Nick wants to ride. So it becomes a compromise. Nick rides a little slower (not much it feels some times!) and we ride shorter then I wanted. I know we will get the hours I want soon, meanwhile Nick will continue to push me.