Monday, May 25, 2015

Somehow It Keeps Getting Better!

One would think that after riding mountain bikes in Southern California for 4 years the trails would start to become less interesting, challenging, breath taking, and fun. One would also think that in that span of time you would meet and ride with pretty much everyone there is to meet and ride with in a 10 mile radius of your house. 
Somehow, for this kid, neither are true, and I'm more freaking stoked on Southern California and bikes than ever at the moment! 

For those following the life and training of this newly minted pro, here's the lowdown on what's been going on lately (mostly this weekend).

Working with a real serious coach has made a huge difference in my athletic ability. Each week my coach Matt provides a series of workouts, or rest days designed to build my fitness over the course of the season and to prepare me for specific challenges of upcoming races. Lately there have been a lot of intervals and commuting to school, so I requested a few days to play in the mountains for Memorial Day weekend. Matt gave me the green light to goof off a bit, so obviously I took that to mean ride your bike all day every day!

Saturday new 'how did I not know you before?' ride buddy Daniel and I rode all over Big Bear in an attempt to kill one another via exhaustion. The route covered 70 miles of mostly flowy, tacky, singletrack that left me with a huge grin at the end of the day and 12,000 feet total ascent. There were a lot of best parts, but some highlights include unlimited wildflowers lining the trails, huge trees, low clouds that made it super misty and pretty on SART, hitting some new singletrack I hadn't ridden before, and riding with someone who also likes to never stop and always go hard. 

The only picture I took all day because sometimes you just want to be in the moment (for 7 hours) and enjoy the flow and pain of the trail.
 This is the spot I fell off the trail last time I rode SART with Dave W. He laughed at me instead of helping me back up that steep slope to the right.
 Sunday Carl and I showed Daniel the best trails the Santa Ana mountains have to offer on the 'Lung Loop'. After Saturday's shred fest I wasn't sure how this 40 mile, 10,000 ft ascent ride would play out, but we still had a blast. It was super wet in Cleveland National Forest, and the overgrown trails left us soaked, the chunky surfy descents left us smiling and Ding Dong had me hooting and hollering as always. I've ridden Los Pinos, Bell Ridge, San Juan and Trabuco trails more times than I can count, but somehow they are still thrilling, the foliage is always breathtaking, and the agony of Trabuco is still my favorite! The cherry on top was showing Daniel new trails, and the fact that he actually liked them (most people I take out in the Santa Ana's finish the ride hating me...)
You know it's a good trail when there are this many rocks :) More crazy foggy low clouds made it another magical day in the mountains. 

Of course I took the picture in the least techy spot...
And then AFTER the most techy spot, when Daniel was no longer upright. And of course I laughed first before asking if he was ok... I'm a terrible person. 
Today, Memorial day Monday, I am not allowed to ride bikes (sad face), so it's off to Snooze for brunch and paddleboarding! Happy Monday world!

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