ilanarama: me on a bike on the White Rim trail (biking)
[personal profile] ilanarama
Britt and I had been planning on going backpacking in Utah this weekend, but early in the week he came down with a cold, and he was miserable enough by Thursday, our planned departure day, that it was clearly a no-go. So instead yesterday I did yard work, and today I went mountain biking.

I have been riding my mountain bike (not the one in the icon; I have a fancier newer one, that was part of the deal when we bought our Sportsmobile, as the seller owned a bike store and was more willing to throw in a couple of bikes than lower the price) a lot lately as I am taking a break from running to let my peroneal tendinitis heal. The tendinitis seems mostly unaffected by cycling, probably because my foot is locked into place by the clipless pedal (which, of course, my shoe clips into - weird terminology!) and my PT said any exercise is good as it increases the blood flow.

I started out a couple of weeks ago doing the shortest, easiest loop in the Horse Gulch system (where I used to trail run, and hopefully will again soon) and have been gradually extending my rides and increasing their difficulty. I've been trying to apply my lessons from last summer's MTB clinic, in particular trying to attack technical and/or steep sections rather than just assuming I can't ride them and bailing ahead of time. This has resulted in my riding over things that I never would have thought I could do - plus a few fall-down-go-booms and new bruises on my legs.

Today I wanted to do something a bit longer, so I rode up Junction Creek to the Log Chutes trail, about 5 miles of pavement and 2 miles of gravel/dirt road to get there, pretty much all uphill with a few quite steep spots. I'd never ridden this trail and knew only that there were a couple of "intermediate" loops, 4 and 7 miles. When I got there, I found no signage at all, and no people to ask, just two parked vehicles, so I took a guess and rode out the dirt road at the back of the parking lot, which had a barrier for vehicles but which bikes clearly had ridden around.

It turned out to be my favorite kind of mountain biking - a narrow, bumpy rock-and-dirt closed Forest Service road, a little uphill and then a little down. Using the best maze-solving philosophy I turned left at the first intersection, where it became narrower and more steeply uphill, and then left again when a singletrack trail (marked by tree blazes, and a post with a green circle for difficulty, but no map or name) veered off into the woods. (I was wearing my wrist GPS which I use for after-the-fact mapping and for mileage and speed tracking, and theoretically I think I could have used it to figure out how to get back to known territory, but I have never actually used the GPS functions so I'm not really sure how.) The trail was a little trickier but perfectly rideable, even for a wimp like me, although someone needs to go through with a pair of pruning shears and lop off the encroaching willows. I did have a few nervous moments on some of the rockier sections, and I walked across one boggy bit, and I fell at a creek crossing followed by a steep and loose uphill I couldn't quite negotiate. But otherwise, it was an awesome ride, and right at 4 miles I spotted the Junction Creek road ahead of me.

Total of 19 miles at a blazing 8mph average, although that hides the variance; on the paved part of the downhill I zoomed at 16-20mph, and my average over the actual Log Chutes trail was 5mph, or about trail running speed. I'm looking forward to riding it again (and trying the right fork, which I think leads to the longer loop; and bringing a camera, 'cause it's pretty!) with Britt once he gets over his ick.

Then I came home, took a shower, and went to the Taste of Durango street fair where I stuffed my face on tapas and mini-plates from our finest restaurants, washed down with a beer and a margarita. A perfect Sunday!
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ilanarama: me, The Other Half, Moab UT 2009 (Default)
Ilana

August 2017

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My running PRs:

5K: 21:03 (downhill) 21:43 (loop)
10K: 43:06 (downhill)
10M: 1:12:59
13.1M: 1:35:55
26.2M: 3:23:31

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