During a quick pre-ride on Friday afternoon I made a small adjustment to my saddle, which had slid back against the seat post clamp. I was good to go.
Saturday dawned clear and promised great racing weather. One of the things I like about this particular race is that it starts late. I was not going off until noon:08.
12:08 and Bang! I was off racing a short cross country race against a decent sized field of 5 other Expert Women. Fun!
12:08:30 Crack! I was out! Broke a rail on my saddle clean through. I guess the adjustment Friday allowed a weak spot to succumb to those extra cookies and beers I had over the winter that are still adhered to my backside. No way to make it through this hour+ race standing up. Goodbye $43 entry fee, hello expensive new saddle purchase at local bike shop.
Luckily, the nice guys at BikeFix in Saint George had the saddle I wanted so I headed back to the race course. By this time, Drew was all finished up with a good race. He came out with me on a little ride on Bear Claw Poppy.
The next day, the team ride was on Hurricane-Jem-Goulds, but I just couldn't do it. It is one of my favorites, but there are other trails in the area that I have never ridden and I needed to do something different. So Drew saddled up with me and we rode Guacamole, a first for both of us. Fun!!!! Moderate technical, slickrock, and eery views of a burned out juniper forest. There are choice geologic moments on this trail too, like this awesome chunk of petrified wood!
|Me showing off a large piece of petrified wood weathering out of Triassic-aged Shinarump Conglomerate.|
If you are not impressed by the cute model showing the size of that awesome piece, how about a cinder cone too!
|The lava flow that erupted from the Crater Hill cinder cone around 130,000 years ago blocked the ancestral Virgin River, creating a large lake, which reached upstream into the lower part of Zion Canyon.|
Geology, sunshine, and riding with my mate - what could be better? Desert flowers!
After Guac, we decided to hit Church Rocks. There are quite a few more directional signs out there now compared to last time we rode this trail, but that didn't keep us from taking a few wrong turns and winding up on a no-bikes sandpit of a trail. Luckily we got to see the Washington lava flow juxtaposed against the Navajo Sandstone.
|Black lava of the Washington lava flow near Washington, Utah surrounded by orange Navajo Sandstone on a spur off of Church Rocks trail.|
But thirsty though we were, I just could not quite stopping to take pictures of the many awesome desert blooms. Sage brush is usually the boring sage-green dry plant everywhere, but it was blooming!
|Probable Blackbrush, Coleogyne Ramosissima in bloom. (Thanks to Watcher for correcting my initial incorrect ID. Read all about this widespread shrub here.)|
|Mormon tea in bloom.|
|"Alien plant" in bloom. Watcher told me is called Desert Trumpet, Eriogon inflatum, and it's in the buckwheat family. I didn't know the real name - but it is one of my favorites.|
|Teensy weensy plant in bloom with my finger for scale.|
|Hundreds of teensy weensy plants showing yellow.|
So even though my race was a non-race, at least Drew had a good race, we saw the sun, we got to hang with friends, we did some riding, and we got bonus geology and ecology time. Yippee!