A nice, semi-mellow weekend is sometime just what is needed. While I was gunning for the podium at the Original Meowler, the weekend was also a mother-daughter trip we haven't done in a while. With a Subaru loaded full of bike and run gear, we headed out to Gunnsion for some fun. Something different for both of us.
Friday afternoon found us at the Four-Way for a very easy ride. Mom hasn't ever ridden at Hartmans and I knew just the loop to take her on. A little tech to get a taste of the rocks on Skyline, then onto Evans loop - Broken Shovel, Lost Dog and Sea of Sage. Nothing huge, nothing scary - just flowy trails in open fields of sage. I took some time to dial the line on the rock garden and then we headed down Skyline. Slowly. Very slowly. Her brakes were getting a workout! We turned up Broken Shovel and Lost Dog - fun and easy. And then came Sea of Sage - I anticipated that it would be a good little descent for her. We stopped to wait for two groups - a mom and her little girl and dad with an even littler girl. I pulled over both times but no high five. They were concentrating too hard to take hands off bars! It's the perfect loop for learning to ride, which meant it was also the perfect loop for Mom... I did have to laugh at the similarities but differences between me riding with Mom and the moms riding with their kids. One of the little girls was super excited that she'd ridden over one of the little rocks on Broken Shovel - super excited. Her mom had told her the exact same things I'm always telling Mom!
Saturday was Mom's race. She was doing the Sage Burner 25k, opting for the shorter distance instead of trying to conquer the 50k. Given that the 50k is pretty much the second lap of the Growler course, I think she was pretty smart. I'm sure I'd be begging for my wheels about halfway through that race.... I drove up to the base area to drop her off, then headed up. My plan was to watch the runners go through, then ride Rattlesnake, Tailpipe and Ridge. I'd get a good techy ride in that way, be out of the way of the runners and be able to stay out of the heat. Watching the serpentine line of runners winding up Jacks was pretty cool. So many bright colors and funny outfits - they had better not ever say anything about our spandex and enduro colors... Mom was near DFL when she reached the top of Jacks, so I knew it would be long day for her. Time to go ride. Up Main Street and down Rattlesnake - once again, picking my own lines and finding my own way so I'd know the track come Sunday. I was pretty happy with myself when I was able to ride everything that trail offers without having to think or panic once. Such a difference from a few years ago. Then came Tailpipe and Ridge. I could see the line of runners off in the distance on Top of the World - yep, it would be a long long day for some of them! I only missed two things on Ridge trail - because I was too chicken too try without a spot. After my ride, it was time to head back to the KOA and get organized while Mom was running. I knew I had plenty of time. Turns out someone can win her age group and be DFL in the entire 25k at the same time! Perks of getting older....
The full race story from Meowler will be coming soon, but that was an interesting day! Mom spent all day out on course - volunteering as traffic and course marshal at two different spots. She had great time, out in the sage, watching us crazy cyclists come through. Yes, both times we saw her, we were on our bikes... So I'd say it was a successful trip!
|View from the Four way out in Hartman Rocks|
|Full moon over the KOA - it was a quiet weekend in our little Kamping Kabin|
|Runners winding their way up Jacks|
|Heading out onto Tailpipe.|
|Choices, Choices - Meowler, Half Growler and Growler 1st Lap go left - Runners and Grower 2nd Lap go right. That was pretty confusing to some people..|