If you look closely, you may notice that my bike is not on the back of the car. Thank you FedEx for shipping it to California instead of Arizona. Luckily Chris still has his old 26" hardtail Diamond Back around. That was to be my ride for the weekend.
We headed east toward Gallup, New Mexico on Friday with Chris' friend Joel. Started the pre-ride and found that I was really struggling for air at nearly 6,500'. That's quite a change from the near 800' where I normally breathe. Took the climbs slooowwww and steady and just enjoyed the mesa views and surroundings. The course is a thirteen mile single track loop in the high desert just west of Gallup. Nice flowing spots with moment climbs thrown in. Trail was hardpack... unless you got off the side. Then, sand would easily grab your front wheel and throw you into the air. Trust me, I know. A couple of the climbs were grinders and there were some fun techie sections as well. Had a few places where missing the corner was not an option, unless you preferred to be on a steep, rocky slope that would put you far below the trail line. While I didn't get the miles in that I wanted, I did get in a lot of saddle time that really worked the handling skills. Great venue, great hosts, great vibe.