Sunday was a ride on Tzouhalem. Shane, Darryll, James and myself tackled the mountain in Duncan.
I took my hardtail for a little climbing fun. I felt really good on the long arduous climb up to the top, and never once really felt the need to stop. I felt like I could climb forever, and that is certainly is something I have not felt in a long time. It reminded me of days gone by where I used to love to climb. Climbs were a challenge, and often if I didn’t make a climb, I would turn around, head to the bottom, and give it another go. No such luck on Sunday, but I actually did enjoy the climb (maybe not at the time, but definitely in retrospect).
Once there we were treated to some spectacular views, and some stiff breezes. After a rest and a refuel, we started the descent which was loads of fun. Some steep loose sections, some fast twisty sections, a couple small jumps. Lots of big smiles.
We came to a couple sections of stunts. I tried a couple on my trusty hardtail, but with me in XC mode, and riding clipless, I was too timid to try some things. I am a chicken shit to ride stuff now when I am attached to my bike. I like them for climbing, and general XC riding, but when the trail turns downward, or the stunts start appearing, I begin to wish for my flats. My how times change.
I went over one jump, and my left foot came unclipped. I landed awkwardly, my chest slamming into my saddle, and my nuts getting raked over the tire. I grabbed fistfulls of brake, and stopped as quickly as I could. After a few minutes rest we continued descending.
My bike was being a little tempermental, and kept dropping the chain from the big ring to the granny. This caused my grief in more than one situation where I stomped on the pedals to ascend a small hill, only to find no resistance on the pedals. Only once did this bite me as pedals swung around unimpeded until it connected with my shin. Ouch!
The rest of the ride was uneventful, but fun. We were on the hill for a little over three hours. Fun ride, and I am definitely glad I brought the hardtail. I would do it again in a heartbeat. I might DH-ify it a bit by putting on some flat pedals and taking my shin pads, just so I would feel a little more comfortable descending steeps and riding skinny logs. All in all though, the bike performed pretty well, and I am feeling in pretty good shape. Bring on the plane trip! Woohoo!
Click here, or the first pictures to see more pictures from the day.