The week started and finished on the McKenzie River Trail. I was planning on riding the MRT with Jacob and Muffy on a Monday but they were scheduled to work that day, so instead I went with Seth, Jodie and Eric from the store and Bruce my New Zealand teamate. Perfect weather, and perfect friends. Sometimes I just smile inside to think I get to work with the same friends I play with, I forget that Eric is one of the best riders around (he has been busy being a dad the last few years, Jodie is the best technical mountain riding woman I have ever ridden with (she puts me to shame) and Seth is just plain awesome. We work all week and then on our day off we choose to be together some more. I feel special to be part of that.
Then this Sunday is my favorite mountain bike race, Bear Springs. It is close to Bend (hour and a half), and it is on really fun terrain. Tricky single track, bike and hike, tough climbs and great friends. Last year there was some snow on the course so we were looking forward to a snow free course and we got our wish. For some reason I was on fire, not only did I finally manage a win here (after I don't know how many tries), I set a PR for me by almost 10 minutes. I feel pretty good about that. Half of our team showed up (not half of the mountain bikers but half of the team). We had our roadies, trackies and cross specialist out there in force. It was fun to see all the jerseys. Though the official results are not up yet I can guarantee we rocked.
Though I was tired from a hard race I still had one more thing to do this week, the McKenzie River Trail with Jacob and Muffy. This time they had the day off and Serena decided to come along. Not the perfect warm weather of the week before but the trail was snow free this time and it only started to rain after we got in the car. All four us have brand new Trek full sus bikes this year. Jacob and I on 6" Remedys and Muffy and Serena on 5" Fuel EXs. We were hot to test our skills and our bikes on the tough MRT lava. I would say we were all impressed with our bikes. I had the advantage of doing this trail at the beginning of my week and I was well chuffed that I manage to clean more sections than the first time. I think if I would have been fresher I could have done more. Jacob basically cleaned the whole trail. There are few unridable sections but he was awesome. Serena, who is trying to get her Mountain Bike skills up to par with her fitness was cleaning places she had never done before. She is becoming an awesome mountain bike rider. Muffy, who is good at almost every thing she does (from parenting, cooking to athletic endeavors), has a thing about rocks and bikes. After the yesterday, though, she is lot a better and is ready to tackle this trail again. I really feel the MRT is daunting, you have to be really skilled to like this trail (aka Jacob). I have mixed feeling about this trail. A broken foot and a bad facial cut have something to do with that. I prefer the fun, undulating Umpqua River Trail to the slow technical MRT. I am glad to have gone over though as it really is a blast. Thanks for reading, Kathy is glad I got those deer photos off my blog.
PS I forgot one thing. The photo of the tall guy with a bike is Barry Wicks and his new carbon Kona cross bike. It is a prototype, and no we don't sell those (we have IBIS carbon cross bikes witch are not prototype and available now) but it is cool to see one of our star crossers with a new bike in the middle of the woods at a Mountain Bike Race.