It's been tough to get much time on the bike lately. As of Saturday morning, I'd logged less than 3 hours in the last three weeks. So I was excited to have the perfect Sunday schedule: brunch with friends in the morning, then an open afternoon to go for a ride.
I had time to ride, but not enough time to head very far from home. (Unless I wanted to spend more time driving than riding.) So it was Santiago. I decided I wanted to hit the steep stream crossing and Chutes, and otherwise just ride wherever I felt like.
I'm (re-)discovering that that's a recipe for a really fun ride.
I had fun developing a "theme" of doing oft-ridden trails "backward." Where that wasn't possible, I generally took whatever trail I'd ridden least. The result was that I got to explore familiar trails from a new perspective, and have fun riding some stuff I hadn't in a while.
Climbing Grasshopper was really fun. I remember the very first time I did it, and at the time I was just learning my way around these trails, and really didn't know what to expect. It's nice to have made Santiago into "home turf." I still got beat by the real crux of that climb, though: a short kicker climb followed by a hard right turn into a steep rock garden. On hindsight, I should have given that section another try, since I was basically done climbing for the day. I'll have to give it a real try next time.
I also took this as an opportunity to confirm the results of my accidental experiment last week. I followed my usual protocol completely, and I feel great.