Wednesday, August 8, 2012
This one time, at Band Camp
Just as we were all kitted and ready, I received a call from Xteric. He had just left Placerville and wanted to know where we would be riding. Rather than playing the missing rider game, I told him to hurry and we procured refreshments to bide our time while we waited. The Rideleader assignment was discussed. B remarked that he had been rebuffed by Cappy last week, and he still wanted to Ridelead. NoHandle and I then formally nominated him for the role and none opposed.
When we were finally scrambling to rollout, Booker suffered a paw pad injury while loading into RG's truck. The wound was serious enough to require medical attention by FT3 team vet, Squish.
The tenor of the ride was established immediately. We plunged to the lake, took one of the steeper routes to regain MET at Sly Park, and then started a dizzying array of dam drops and low country secret trails. Many (all) of the short and steep pitches are unnamed, and I could never begin to recall the order of them anyway. It was estimated that we were never further than a mile from the Knott.
Two riders earned special recognition for their prowess:
Xteric, resident puncheur, nailed the climb from the end of the first dam to the horse camp three times, while (to my knowledge) everyone else walked it. Therefore the trail section was dubbed XXX.
Noob let loose a harrowing wail as he careened the trail B called the Spiral Staircase. Dropping to Sly Park Creek from B's chin, this highly technical section keeps getting steeper and the price for failure keeps going up. As he flew out of control on the fully rigid stumpy his life flashed before his eyes. The rest of us were content to walk our bikes down to the tranquil pools at the bottom.
As awesome as the riding was, no call was made for a long ride. Coming in at 10 miles it was decided that there had never been a ride that packed in so many vertical feet for so few miles. After a refreshing dip we gathered around a table at the Knott and laughed over the night's hijinks. RG in typical brash fashion ordered fish tacos. Mother Rye served them up with the comment "I used the smallest pieces of fish I could find." Much mocking ensued.