Last night Ian L. and I got out for an excellent ride, Slate Rock/Pilot Cove loop.
We started at Bradley Creek at 7:30 with different physical maladies, Ian had not been on the bike since PMBAR and my legs were tight and the rest of me was dehydrated from riding just the night before. We took it easy up the gravel and took our time warming up on the singletrack. I was warmed up about 5 minutes before Ian and was starting to wonder what kind of pace he was going to be able to manage. Well, Ian answered in the steep technical climbing, the pace was to be as high as I wanted.
I kept it comfortably quick and Ian held my wheel all the way to the turn. I could drop him when the trail really pitched upward but that was it. It had turned into a beautiful evening, too. Temps in the low 70's/high60's and humidity at 200%. The sky was blue with thunderheads all around but the sun was setting fast. We had to really boogy if we wanted to make it to the overlook by sundown. We both made a heroic effort to make it but we missed sundown by 20 minutes or so.
We took an extended breather/photoshoot/eating break at the rock then with lights full-on headed down the nasty back to the gravel. This was Ian's first night ride in YEARS and he nailed it. I would wait up after every serious tech downhill move and he was there in seconds every time.
The downhill was over in a flash and the gravel road descent was all that separated us from the Jeep. Ian wanted to see how fast he had to go to outrun the Amoeba light he was borrowing and found that speed just before we closed our loop. We reached almost 30 mph in those final stretches as we raced each other back to the Jeep. We arrived just over 2 hours after we started, not a bad time at all. Great ride Ian, thanks for getting out there.