I had a great day out at Aliso Canyon yesterday. My first ride didn't go too well, so it was awesome to flip that around.
I went with a mission: build the skills and line selection knowledge I need to get down Rock-It smoothly, and totally in control.
So I planned on doing two runs. The first run, I spent plenty of time memorizing landmarks and figuring out the best line. I really took my time, spending about 25 minutes riding, surveying, and then re-riding the spots that gave me trouble. (Very much like my old old routine for learning a new piece of music.)
On the second run, I concentrated not on speed, but on staying super-smooth and in-control, and on seeing the landmarks, and knowing where I was in the sequence.
I'm not sure I really stuck to the best line, but it was great to roll the whole thing all the way down, and feel confident doing it. And this time out I felt totally confident on the up-and-over section of Coyote Trail, which spooked me the first time I tried it.
It felt really good to have worked on my downhill skills and have it pay off like this. I couldn't help thinking, I'm better at this than I used to be.
This morning I could feel that while I could carry out my planned attack on Dreaded Hill today, it would push me into a deep recovery cycle I don't want to be in.
So I headed out to Weir Canyon, and put in a little time concentrating on skills work, but actually doing some pretty good power production stuff as well. I worked on the connector back to Santiago Oaks, and when I felt done, I headed around Deer and back down the connector to the car. All told, I was on the trails for maybe 45 minutes. That's far better than the 25+ total minutes of climbing Dreaded Hill that I had planned.
Two super-fun days in the saddle. I'm planning on one more big ride this week, and then I'll ease back a bit to get ready for the Whiting Ranch race on March 19.