notice the hitch mounted grill.Mike B and I arrived right on time (meaning 15 min. late) and were not close to the last ones there. The cast of characters for this evening: Clint S., Mike R., Than W., Jody F., Chad M., Trent B., Mike B., and myself.
Plans were made then quickly changed. I made a suggestion, repeated it, repeated it again, and then we were headed UP Trace.
Mike B., Chad, Clint, and I were out front. By the top it was just Chad and I. That became a theme of the evening as I was feeling ON the bike and climbing like mad.
Than led out the Spencer descent but Jody and I overtook him at the first flattish spot in the descent. What came next was otherworldly. I could see the lines and my bike took every one of them. Every thread the needle, rootball, rutted out drop seemed like nothing at all. Jody and I stopped twice to consider holding up for the others, decided against it, and I still got my second best time on the descent (according to Strava).
Next was the never ending road to Fletcher.
Mike B was up front for that one. The best part of that descent for me was having the trail be totally enveloped by overgrowth and as Mike B put it, using muscle memory to navigate, and not much else.
After the regroup at Middle Fork I was feeling on fire and took the lead for the climb with Chad (on a SS) next in line. I levitated up the trail. It felt like I was floating. 100% pedaling with 0% perceived effort. I could hear Chad behind me and I kept clicking down the cassette and couldn't drop him. Of course with a pace like that we were easily a few minutes ahead of the group at the top.
Chad took the lead for the next steep section and I tried my hardest to keep him but I couldn't do it. He pulled away slowly and steadily.
Mike B and I were out front for the descent to the creek and again, I was ON the bike. Super flowy, Super fast, Super fun. I even considered the gap for .0001 second because its. just. so. perfectly. placed... but no, not this night.
I floated down the lower tech section, didn't even notice the turn, and was at the creek with Mike B on my tail the entire way.
After a regroup the pace remained high along the creek and emboldened by the floating feelings tried to gap a 6' corduroy with great failure. I lipped off the first log and my front wheel squarely hit the last. In an instant I was over the bars and flying through the air. I hit the ground rolling and was unscathed. It was possibly the loudest crash I've had though as the suspension bottomed out, rebounded and tossed me. I immediately noticed a salamander where I landed and took it's picture.
The final trail of the night was New Lower Trace. There has been no more work done since the first time I was there so the end was as much about bushwacking as it was mountain biking.
A quick dip in the river
Than had the beef browning, Mike R set up the margarita bar, and a whole spread of toppings were ready in moments. TACOS AT MIDNIGHT!!!!
Yeah, The Tuesday Night Dinner Club is a special thing.