Thursday, June 21

Chimneapex

Bill and I have been lucky enough to get out riding right after work on Wednesdays before the group ride. Last week we started off with Mt.Falcon and yesterday we did the Chimney Gulch climb over to Apex to meet the group. I would prefer to ride everywhere instead of driving to trailheads but it's just not practical timewise after work. I guess I'd rather trade an 18 mile road ride for a 10 mile technical ride with a big climb. But I digress...
We got rolling from the Heritage Square parking lot right at 5pm and even on the first concrete climb on the bike path over to Chimney my legs felt like junk. It was hot but not oppressively so and the 3 miles of bike path and road over to the trailhead went by quickly. By 10 after 5 we were climbing the lower slopes of Lookout Mountain but on dirt this time instead of yesterday's pave. The lower switchbacks always kick my ass especially since I rarely ride Chimney with gears but I spun my 22x27 and managed to clean some of them and get close on others. Bill wasn't far behind and so I moderated my pace to keep the two of us riding relatively close together. The only problem with that is when I'm spinning easily in my granny I have no ability to concentrate. I must have rode off the trail about 10 times yesterday afternoon like a giant idiot. Eventually we cleared the lower road section and the trail gets better. Still climbing and still technical but less switch backs and super steep waterbars. All rideable from here on out for me. I paused at the bridge to force down a bunch of warm gatorade from my bottle and Bill caught up and cruised on by. He was in no mood to spin easily and we were middle ringing all the way up to the next road crossing with me working hard to stay on his wheel. That guy has some power over the technical stuff!
We briefly debated taking the last section on the road in the name of time savings but instead we pushed on up the last section of the trail and it went by pretty quickly. Cool forest shade and nice views now and then didn't hurt the cause and my legs upgraded themselves from junk to tired. We popped out on the upper road some 46 minutes after we stared (neither Bill nor I had ever timed a Chimney run) which seemed reasonable enough considering our couple stops and reasonable pace. A quick traverse over the singletrack to Apex and down I went. I knew Bill would end up a bit behind me but I was enjoying the ride down and wanted to get to the parking lot before the group left. Riding down was great and there was plenty of hiker and biker traffic but the stops were quick and the people were friendly so I didn't mind. Apex is a damn busy trail on a weeknight in the summer so you've got to just accept it.
I found Marni and the big group in the parking lot and Bill rolled in a few minutes later. By 6:30 the group rolled out together and we all rode Apex, Pick n' Sledge, Grubsteak, Sluicebox and back down Apex. My legs upgraded themselves again from tired to so-so on the climb up Pick n' Sledge so I wanted to hit Enchanted Forest but was overruled by darkness and dinner calling the group. Still by the time we hit the parking lot it had been a decent 16.5 miles and 3k+ vert for Bill and I so I was happy. More to come. We'll see if I can find some form again in the next couple weeks...

1 comment:

bill said...

Thanks Chris, it was a good ride. Your leg status update is interesting, mine went from "ok" to "pretty good" once we were on chimney gulch, to "near empty" at various points during apex.