Dear Rideary: Just Not my Day with Barbara Whipple

Oct 7, 2017

Dear Rideary,

Pretty scenes from upper trail

There are rides when the moon, sun, energy, and trail align to make a perfect ride. Today’s was not one of those days.

Mark and I rode the Barbara Whipple Trail in Buena Vista. Usually I thrive on climbing but from the get-go I just didn’t have any mojo. I felt like I smoked a pack of cigs; I wondered if it was the altitude. Mark reminded me that our campfire was super smoky last night so I’ll blame my lungs on that. The ride itself was just OK. Rated blue to black depending where on the trail you are, some sections were fun and some…not so much.  I think about 80% of it was my type of riding, and the other 20% was a ego killer. To put it in perspective, super human Mark endo’d in slow motion going uphill when his front wheel stuck into a rock. He literally went over the bars, and somehow the bike was traveling backward downhill as he landed. So if he had a weird crash, the terrain was definitely unusual.

Trail conditions were fine. It’s a granite base, but not super loose like you’d find at Buffalo Creek. No, this

Buena Vista

was a brain block and not the fault of the trail. I just wasn’t in my right mind. I rode my Liv like I was on a ‘cross bike, not a mountain bike, tight and squirrley. Since it was the first time on this particular trail I hesitated instead of giving ‘er. What to do? About three-quarters of the way through (all of about 3 miles in) I gave myself a mental recoup: “Open up your hips! Pull your sight up! Steer with your hips! You rode obstacles like this last weekend on a rigid cross bike, you have this…” That helped. I flowed a bit better. I even had fun. But then the last downhill portion, rated black diamond, killed it and I had to walk or risk smashing teeth.

The ride was less than 4 miles. From an exertion standpoint it seemed like 6. This would be a great ride for those who love technical rocks as a challenge. My mind just wasn’t there. That’s ok, I’m working on positive mindset and am proud I pulled back, gave a self-pep talk, and moved on. Some time’s there’s a flow. This just wasn’t that ride.

You can tell from vertical tree trunk how steep the grade is on this descent

Views: Aptly, buena vistas of Buena Vista and beyond
Trail: Upper trail has enough challenging rocks to make you think. Last part of trail was for advanced riders.
Exertion: Sizable climb straight outta the parking lot gate
Finish: Eddyline Brewery: order a sampler of their GABF craft beers
Takeaway: Not in my groove today