Saturday, July 08, 2006

New Challenges: Wasatch Grind





New physical and mental challenges are good for the soul. These are pictures from our epic 5+ hour mountain bike ride on the Mid-Mountain Trail in Park City. Rain the night before made early switchbacks almost impossible as we made the climb from 7000 to 8500 ft. Our lungs heaved. Once at 8500, this blue (intermediate) level trail seemed to be more technical than we roadies desired. Pretty interesting to feel the physical and mental strain of navigating rocky single track on the side of a mountain--forearms burning on descents as you tell yourself to pick a line and stay confident. Very scary and overwhelming at times. Exhilarating at others.

We finally reached the Red Pine Lodge gondola and decided our minds and bodies had no more to give to the mountain. Imagine our relief when Tom, the gondola guy, said we could take the gondola back into The Canyons at no charge. Brian, Cindi, Kevin and I hopped in and enjoyed the view and the ride back down.

My obliques are sore. I have blisters from walking what seems like 2 miles up the muddy switchbacks and down the intense rocky descents. But the experience was great; and I didn't fall over, so that was good. Makes me respect the abilities of the mountain biker so much. Pretty humbling when a guy who, and I'm not kidding, looks like Wilfred Brimley, spins easily past you up the rocky incline like it is no big deal. Their fitness and bike handling skills completely baffle me.

More tomorrow, but we'll take it easy or maybe not. Might head to Deer Valley and watch the NORBA race. Hey, if you haven't tasted your own blood yet, you aren't working hard enough. Right Cindi?

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