This is always one of those anxiety rides. Thoroughly enjoying every moment as it happens but maintaining a sharp awareness of what the next move or sequence of moves is to keep the happy moments happening, the lingering though being CHOMP! I know the trail and all the lines but as most anybody who regularly rides it will tell you, there are no sure things.
Sean picked me up yesterday morning to head out for a ride. We usually head out to TMP the standard random assembly of who knows what but Sean had Millie on his mind. He eluded to it in conversation the night before and who am I to say no to the guy. We grabbed a coffee and a galette on the way out and started pedaling up the highway. The 5 mile climb went by easily and soon enough we were heading up to the saddle at Molino Basin. I recently put a standard triple crankset on the bike and I gotta say, I don’t know who I was kidding trying to slug around a 44/29 2×9 setup. When you’ve only got 1 gear, the whole style of riding changes, but if you’re gonna use gears, use the damn gears! 22t makes all the difference in the world when goating it up techy steep crap. Rather than trying to fling myself through the rock strewn lines, I was able to more smoothly thread and stay on the bike. What I’m trying to say is I took fewer dabs up to the saddle than ever before.
The view to the east at the saddle gets me every time, looking out towards Reddington and the San Pedro river valley I think of the stories of Abbey, Muir, and Shelton. The decent down to the start of La Milagrosa is a good one with tight precise lines, switchbacks and lots of potential to destroy a tire/wheel/bike/person. Sean had to pay the toll today with a cut sidewall on the way down. A full meal deal patch job (i.e. sandpaper, glue, patch) and we reduced the damage to a smallish goiter type thing, onward and upward.
Once you turn onto millie, it is not long at all before the first big move. A slabby ramp up to a notch you drop straight down into a 3’+/- wide cut with over the head height rocks on either side and a tight 90 degree turn to be made. I’ve attempted many times and got close once in the past but today was my day to get away with it.
That pretty much set the stage for the rest of the day, Sean and I rode tight and clean. After that move begins some climbing and ridge riding. Enter techy section numero dos which is a long line of big chunky stuff. It seems impossible to ride the exact same line twice. Back to some climbing and ridge line riding. This is pretty much the pattern and the anxiety doesn’t stop until you are completely off the trail and on your way home.
Yesterday was a truly amazing mix of lingering anxiety and AHHHHH moments. plenty of great dirt, rocks, good traction, views and relief. All that and back home by 1 to get a good solid day of work in on the Solar D proposal. A nice cap to a long holiday weekend.
Camera ran out of juice at the start of the trail up to Molino basin so here is a shot from some Full Moon Ninja Training on La Milagrosa with Mateo and Noe.