I had a good 30 mile ride yesterday. I incorporated some of the ideas from Salvagetti's tire and suspension class and I've seen the wisdom in what was given to us.
The main thing is that I recognized my misconceptions about tire pressure for what they are: misconceptions. I know I've had rides that were sluggish where I discovered afterward my PSI was low. On a road bike I would still affirm that lower pressure contributed, but on my mountain bike...well, let's just say that I noticed no difference in speed after decreasing my tire pressure from 50 to 30. And, AND, I didn't get beat up so bad on the trails.
The focus of yesterday's ride was a second assault on the Mordwand of North Table Mountain. It actually felt easier. Of course, despite the root word of easier being "easy," make no mistake, that climb is not easy. When it feels easy to me...well, thats when you'll be paying me to ride my mountain bike.
Or, gosh darn it, someone will be paying me to ride!
After "cruising" up the Mordwand I continued over the top of the mesa to the south side section of the North Table Loop Trail. I'd never ridden that part and it's actually really cool. Needs some rain to pack it in a little better. Kinda powdered sugar consistency right now. But seems like it'll be a great flowing trail after some weathering.
Then I climbed back to the table top--NTLT circles below the cliffs--and headed back north to the Rim Rock Trail. Not sure why I hadn't ridden that one a long time ago. It's really cool, and despite having seen three other cyclists along that trail, it felt quite solitary.
I dropped off the plateau down the eastern gully back to the older northeast section of the loop trail and then headed north away from the mesa.
I took a route back through suburbia, soul-crushing suburbia, and then back home. All in all it was a good ride. I was a tad slow, just a bit more than 10 mph, but I felt good and strong. That 10mph was with stops. On the bike I was keeping a pretty high mph average before my computer fritzed out.
I'm taking it easy today, then going to do one more good round of climbing tomorrow morning, followed by three days of carb-loading and rest before the Alpine Odyssey.
On a related, but different, note, I've become fascinated with a phenomenon of underground, grassroots, unofficial, Individual Time Trial (ITT) type MTB races.
To get a better idea about them, check out the Colorado Endurance Series.
The upcoming Cougar Slayer looks really cool. It's the weekend after the Alpine Odyssey. What's really cool about the Cougar Slayer is that, while unofficial, it's sponsored. There will be unofficial aid stations, and if you finish the 70 mile course in less than 8 hours you get a belt buckle.
I don't think I'll get to do it this go 'round, unless the stars align, but I'll be looking for similar opportunities down the road. There is the remotest possibility.