Monday, September 18, 2017

Aspen50

Student: 'How was your weekend, Mrs. Connors?'
Me: 'Well I met Lance Armstrong, so it was pretty awesome!'
Student: 'Who is that?'

Highschoolers, reminding me every day that no matter how great you think you are, soon you will be replaced/forgotten/unimportant. hahaha

This weekend Lance also told me that blogging is so dead and that I need to get with the times and take up Snapchat and Instagram live instead... being told I'm out of date by an old dude and teenagers in a 48 hour period, yeah, this is my life.

I looked forward to this past weekend for so long that it's hard to believe it's over. After Park City Point 2 Point this is my second to last race of the year, and the last trip to the mountains outside of CA for a while. I was stoked to see fall in Aspen, to ride in cooler temps with a carpet of yellow confetti on the trail and vistas of glowing yellow, orange and green mountain sides. And I got all those things plus some quality time with Aspens finest residents, Pam Alexander who put me up and who spent hours helping prep me for the race along with Rachel Beck and (non Aspen-ite) Nicola Carnmer my team manager. I am one lucky kid. 

The race itself was a blast, highlights of which include:

A 5 mile neutral roll out that had me itching to go fast, chomping at the bit and maybe taking selfies with Lance... 
Yep, I did that... nerd status!
Thought I could hang with this kid... WRONG!!! :)
The first climb annihilated me, because I am 100% unacclimated to altitude and thought it was a great idea to try and keep up with the boys. No, not a good idea. Racing from 8,000 to 10,000 from the gun is NOT something to be taken lightly... oops, again.

A collection of trails on the east side of the valley had my jaw dropping due to ridiculous views and screaming fast fun single track. 

We also got to ride Hobbit trail on the east side, which basically felt like a fairy tale, green moss on the ground crowding a perfectly moist rooty strip of trail that wound its way through a tight forest of evergreen trees. I wanted to cry it was so perfect and beautiful.


The descent out of the first loop was crazy fast, full of rocks and roots and waterbars to jump, and while I was trying not to die I had a blast riding stupid fast, pushing the Edict to its limits. Oh and then we rode past Hunter S. Thompson's cabin... I didn't even know he was a real person until this weekend!

The lady taking this picture said I got the most air of anyone she had seen so far, hahaha
Photo: Liz Kreutz

The second half of the race was on the west side of the valley and started with Rim trail which contains even more stunning views, this time of fresh snow on rocky, scraggly peaks. The trail was smooth and ripping fast both up and down. Somehow the trail builders in Aspen know how to build climbs that feel like descents and I was so psyched on the way up that it was as much fun as the down!

Following Rim trail we got to ride all of Government trail, a technical traverse from Snowmass to Buttermilk ski areas. Government trail is like being punched in the face over and over because you think it's going to be all downhill and then you get smacked with ANOTHER technical climb, over and over, and just when you think you are loosing your mind it turns into a stupid fun and fast descent through Aspen trees on another perfect 6 inch wide strip of hero dirt littered with roots. The Edict LOVED every second of the descent (and the climb too, but oh man that descent). Again I wanted to cry it was so fun, and beautiful. Pushing that bike into the turns and floating over rocks and roots, dipping and weaving through the tight sections of trees, it was a mtb race dream. 

And honestly it feels like the whole thing WAS a dream because here I am, at the end of a Monday where I taught all day, hit Trader Joe's and came home to clean the kitchen for 2 hours (since I'm married to a 7 year old). Life. It's pretty crazy and rad, beautiful and brutal!

Time to go to bed so I can do it all again tomorrow. Thanks Pam and Nicola for making the weekend of my dreams happen! I wont forget this weekend for a long long time. 
#dreamteam but we are missing Rachel in this pic :(

2 comments:

  1. Good bike experience you all are having and a great picture you have posted about this racing. It was really a good experience in reading and seeing your great pictures.

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