First, let’s all observe a moment of silence for our beloved comrades who were unable to participate in the first sweet trails ride after a long summer of dust.
I think the Mosquito Lot was bypassed by all participants. Lucky for me the party car stopped by Camino. A bevy of unfamiliar faces were kitted up and ready when we reached the Knott Lott. From back channel news sources, I identified the owner of the extra-large frame and the cross rider, but I couldn’t place the third. After nearly everyone declined to be RideLeader, Newb assumed the role. He led us out the back, then kept rolling South on Sly Park Road past the MET intersection. So, we called him back, explaining the absolute necessity of riding the Qualifier. He started to claim his prerogative as RideLeader, but realized that he did not have the political clout to break one of the few institutionalized rules of FT3.
We headed up the Qualifier and our newest addition quickly proved his competence. Over to Powerline, where even the ninth rider didn't taste dust. Cutting back to the bottom of the Qualifier, the last two riders didn’t appear. Back riding, we found the crosser upside down –pinch flat.
After a failed patching attempt, a 26 inch tube was stretched onto the rim and we were back in action. For a moment. Then there was an issue with a light coming loose.
We hopped back on our bikes heading for the lake when a certain rider had chain malfunctions, requiring an exasperated Newb to perform a trailside derailleur adjustment.
Now the real riding commenced. We rode horse trails CW (though we did miss a section where XT got to emerge as RideLeader), climbed Right Lip, dropped Left Lip finished the lake and powered mightily towards XXX. Only Newb could make the ascent. He stood at the top and mocked Xteric who made two unsuccessful attempts at his namesake climb.
Not everyone could make it to the taco table. Those who stuck around were glad they did.