Mike, Jill, Doug, Andy, Arch, and Evan.
So everybody arrives at the towers for the ride. Jill was already out riding to get in her “training ride” while everyone was getting ready. She rolls up soon after. The new jerseys are everywhere. First run with mine and I really like it. We start down the road and Arch ducks in to the right. Evan missed the turn. Tricky Arch. We head through the short wooded section to the power lines, up the big hill and regroup at the top. I started taunting Evan to chase me down the next section. Start flying down the power lines into the woods on the left for the great downhill. Headed for the rock drop. DAMN!! Chain falls off. Lost my mojo. Andy and Arch pass. Love this section. Regroup at the bottom. Next rocky downhill. Battling Jill and Andy through the rock garden. Regroup at bottom. Evan arrives and proclaims “This hard tail SUCKS!! ” Ya we know. Up the road and into the woods on the right, along the river to the twisted bridge. Gonna ride it? No. Sissy. Up to the reservoir. Ride the wall (see pictures). Up the hill all the way. Jill says there is a new trail parallel to the double track. Silly Jill new trails are for kids. Arch takes new trail I stay on old trail. At the top we see that new trail doesn’t like Arch. He has ripped his derailleur into 9 pieces and broke the hanger. No fix and no good way back. I’m not sure why anyone agreed to this idea, but stay with me. Arch would ride Evans bike back to the parking lot, Evan would scooter Arch’s bike all the way to the Girl Scout Camp. That’s a long way and we were only 100 feet from the other parking lot. The problem was nobody knew how to get there from the towers. Oh well. Got a plan and off we go. Down the double track, into single track on left, through the river and up to the intersection. Evan was flying on his Santa Cruz Scooter. He and I and Andy were good. Where are Jill and Doug? Damn, Jill’s got a flat. Wait, Wait. OK go. Down to the Girl Scout Camp Yahoo!! Got there before Arch. He arrives in about 5 minutes. Good timing. Arch and Evan load up to go. Wait what is Doug doing? TAXI !! He’s getting in the truck too. Doesn’t want to get caught in the dark. Well, that’s not very sporting, but so be it. Jill, Andy and I are on our own. Race against the clock to beat the moon. Back up the hill to yellow, over to red past the entrance to the stunt trail, through the river up the steep hill to the blue. Jill says “I think there is a shorter way”. Silly Jill again. Don’t you know by now, never question my sense of direction. Down the blue everyone is sticking together, good pace. Intersection. Hmmmm. Up the slick rock or up the fern trail. Unanimous. Fern. Down what seemed like a waterfall trail. Soaked but loving it. To the steel bridge. Up the fern. Feeling really good. That stop for goodies at Mobil before the ride really paid off. To the power lines. Wait at the rock face. A weird guy is sitting there staring into space and another guy walking the oldest dog on earth. Apparently the dog didn’t mind bikes but had a problem with the weird dude. Bark. Bark Bark. Gotta go. Down the rock face, out to Birch Mountain. Back to the car. Guess what? We won. It was still daylight. Awards ceremony to follow. –Mike