Ok, so despite my limited time on the bike the past few months I was looking forward to the suffering that I was sure would happen. And as it turned out, I was not disappointed! To add to my misery, I actually believed the weather forecast a week previous and set up my bike with my summer tires. Then it rained all week and I was too lazy to put the full knobbies back on. So with a Stans Raven in the rear and a Bontrager XDX up front, off I went with Paul Norris leading the group. After a nasty little climb from Jeep's place to the beginning of the trails, we hit Predator as a "warm up". Predator was a muck fest, I felt like I was on ice the whole time! How I managed to stay on the trail is a mystery to me...I'll call it skill but it was probably luck. I did go down once, but other than a couple little scratches, no damage.
Next we headed to the upper trails...key word UP. Up is where my fitness or lack there of began to show. I made it up by pacing Vaughn, who is 72 years young by the way!!! Once up to the top trails, the tread was good in most locations and I actually could fly down most of the trails. It was a little sketchy in a few locations but overall good. I tried using my helmet cam, but it didn't come out good so I don't have any footage. I think Kelley got some good footage so when he posts on YouTube, I will link it. I also loaned my camera out, but Paul got some shots so there will be pics on the way.
We finally made it down to Secret Garden then had to climb back out on the Ridge Trail...I hit the wall and got my butt handed to me by Vaughn, so my goal is to climb as well as him. On the last climb my seatpost felt a little more flexible than normal. A later post ride inspection showed a significant crack which probably would have failed on the next ride.
After getting back to Jeep's place and getting cleaned up a bit, there was some great food available and free Vortex IPA courtesy of Fort George Brewery! Even the outhouse setup was first class!
Thanks to Jeep and all the help who made for a fun day of suffering!!!