After only a few hours sleep thanks to delayed flights, and second winds I headed up into the Sonoma Valley to meet the motley bunch of riders starting their weekend early. The group grew in numbers and we waited and waited as more people found the parking lot, kitted up, and built bikes. The early part of the ride was a stop and start affair as at least 40 folks made their way through the arid trails of Annadel park outside of Santa Cruz. The riding was fast and dusty, and the stops were long and hot, but we eventually made it to town for a tour of the Sycip shop, some awesome tacos from the taco truck, and some Lagunitas beverages.
Our group split in half as Justin's sleeplessness and Beth's pesky knee troubles caused them to call it a day; Bruce and I decided to stick with it and do the ride back to the car. We tried to turn the notch up a bit on the way home, turning even the stroll through town into a shennanigan filled trials contest. Once we got back into the park, a small group of us; Bruce and I, a netherlander, some brits, a strong girl named Ann and a few others, took off the front and actually rode at pace. Bruce and I toyed with the chasers up the hill, sprinting in the shadows and suffering in sight. The return trip was pretty much an extended climb, and an even more extended downhill. The bike was feeling great, tires were feeling great, fork was behaving, and I was feeling pretty good after an easy morning warm up and a handful of pints at lunch, so we opened it up on the way down.
I had one of those awesome near misses that I wish more people saw. Full on drift through a dusty switchback that Bruce blew in front of me, drift turned to endo as the corner steepened, I jettisoned the bike between my legs mid-maneuver, landed cat like in a pile of brush and watched my bike do a triple front flip off to my right, and off into the ditch. Not a scratch on either of us, so I quickly gathered my things and we took off again. That should have served as the warning shot across the bow, because I adrenaline/IPA fueled myself right back into trouble a half mile later. There was a tight little chicane, with a drop in the middle, and a tree root lip to start the whole thing off. My plan, hit the lip, float above the S turn below, and land smoothly on the other side. It looked tight but doable. Not at the speed I was moving. Front tire grabbed a little too much going in, kissed a bit too much of the lip, and got launched, yes over the turn as planned, but not quite onto the landing, but rather straight into the rock filled ravine that made up the inside of the next switchback. Nothing hurt then, it all hurts now.
Riding today is questionable, not that I hurt too much, but just that i can't get a jersey on over this new growth on my hip, and the neosporin is going to get EVERYWHERE. We'll see. My options, a single track ride this morning at 10, and/or an urban ride through the city tonite. Time will tell.
I have a bunch of random pictures up on Flickr for y'all to check out. Enjoy
And here's all the fun Garmin data as well.