Wow, this was an awesome ride on Hall Ranch, > 3000 acres of Open Space close to Lyons, CO. I had the worst side cramps in the world, that almost turned be back in the first mile. I kept biking/resting/biking/resting. Once the first 2 mile, uphill rocky switchbacks were over, the view was spectacular, and then riding packed singletrack, it was awesome.
I worked really hard on this ride, over 1000 feet of vertical, and hard vertical at that. On my way back at the turnaround loop, I see this woman come charging past…on foot! Holy crap! I got back to the brink of the climb and sat down on a bench to enjoy the spectacular view, and here she comes, charging down the trail…she was faster on foot than I was on my mountain bike! I never did catch her on the way down. Crap. I wish I could run like that. The way down the rocky switchbacks was not as hard as I expected, and I even navigated almost all of it, walking only short sections. I was fairly proud of myself, although much more tired than I thought I should be. When I got back to the car and looked through the guidebook again, I got super bummed out to see that while advanced riders can expect to do this loop in about an hour, novices to intermediates can expect 1 1/2 – 2 hours. Although I logged 2 hours, it was more like 2 hours and 40 minutes including breaks. Well…at least the scenery was great.