Had an awesome cyclocross ride today with Keith. Keith's been riding for ages in Calgary, and knows tons of backroads and single-track (narrow mountain bike trails) around here.
Anyway, when the alarm went off this morning, I was definitely re-thinking the late night drinking beer and watching UFC. Showed up late, but luckily Keith wanted to grab more layers, so I only got there 5 minutes after him, not 45...
Started off bloody freezing, but we quickly got into some hilly single-track in the Tuscany ravine, out of the wind, and that thermostat up to operating temp. My off-road skills have improved with the bit of MTB riding and cross racing this year, so I managed to only fall down one thistle-infested gully, and only ran into one tree.
After that we were cruised past the Rocky Ridge? golf course, and then got onto gravel road. It had warmed up a bit and we were riding with the wind, riding through rolling ranching country, just perfect. Only saw a couple of cars over the next hour, so I could concentrate on reducing the fish-tailing and watching Keith ride along rock-steady like he was on a trainer.
A short paved section, then we got to Bill Hill Springs Provincial Park. We rode straight through the car park and off the road, threw our bikes over the barbed-wire farm fence and rode across paddocks, walked over some partially frozen creeks, more fences and creeks, a bit of snow-covered trail and a few hundred cow patties...just like I imagined cyclocross how real cyclocross started! So fun! (however I now hear that's not that accurate...I'll have to do some research).
A quick stop in stop Cochrane for food, dragged our butts up Cochrane Hill, then crawled into a head-wind back to town. About 5 hours, door to door. So tired, so sore, so stoked at an epic ride!! Well, not as epic as Dallas and Stappler's recent ride, but awesome for me.