The forrest is wet, but that tree is on fire.

Today was the best ride I have had in a long time. The air was a crisp, the ground slightly tacky, the rocks dry, and the riding group fun. We met at the dump at 9:30, and proceeded to do one of my most favorite loops.

Up Skull, down Inventive, up to the Switchbacks, through the Twister, up Phase 2, down Daves Line to Champs Cafe. Down South Ridge a bit, then a quit jaunt down part of Falling Satellites, over to Green Ribbon, then down and out.

Did you catch all that?

I have begun to realize lately that I can’t ride hard from the parking lot like I used to. I have to warm up, and once warm I can push hard up hills. Today was no different. As soon as I began Skull I could feel myself pushing too hard. I backed off and allowed my muscles to slowly warm.

At the base of the switchbacks I decided to walk. I wanted to conserve energy on this climb as it kills me every time I attempt it. After the group rested at the top, we headed out for the Twister. This has always been a fun trail for me. There are lots of twists and turns. The trail is quite long, but it is packed into a tiny area.

After making the climb up Phase 2 it was time to bomb down Dave’s Line to Champs Cafe. While heading up a short climb, I looked across a ravine, and there, standing amongst the Evergreens was a lone shockingly yellow-leaf clad tree. The yellow was as bright as a flame, and against the dark green background, that one lonely tree really stood out. I couldn’t help but revel in how truly wonderful nature is.

Through all this I was feeling great. My climbing was going pretty good, and I was feeling pretty confident on the descending. I had the feeling this was going to be a great ride, but I didn’t know how great.

The destination trail was Green Ribbon. There is a side trail called Falling Satellites, that loops off of, and back onto Green Ribbon. The drop onto Fallin Satellites is pretty steep, into a 2 foot pullup at the end. Somehow I managed to get down there in full control, then do the pullup nicely. I was beaming as a bunch of guys congratulated me on the descent.

A little later on Falling Satellites I rode a steep rock face that I hadn’t ridden before, and that only one other person in our group of 10 rode. I knew this was one of my “on” days, and I was looking forward to the rest of the trail.

Further down I rode a couple more drops that i had never done before. I have watched many people go off these, and have always wanted to try them. I knew I had the skills, and I definitely have the bike for them. Well, I was in the right frame of mind, and gave them a go. That is such a feeling. I can’t completely describe it, but it is almost like a weight being lifted from my shoulders, coupled with intense relief, happiness, and shock, followed quickly by the adrenaline rush of doing something that scares you. I love that feeling.

The rest of the ride was pretty unremarkable, but was still enjoyable. I was on the high of a great ride!