Ashland Spring Thaw
A spectacularly beautiful place for a mountain bike race. The start line is adjacent to a rushing river and most of the course is shaded by pine and broadleaf forest. Part of the course was on the new Jabberwocky trail that had been constructed by mountain bike volunteers. Many of the switchback turns on the descent back to the finish were constructed into huge berms and made for a wickedly fast and fun descent. The start was a long and pretty steep jeep road that seemed like it would never end, but when we turned off onto the singletrack, things got oh-so-fun. This course ranks at the very top of my list of favorites. The start was a little disorganized and I had to push my way through others astraddle their bikes waiting for their start to be called up. Pretty messy and hard and I was dismayed that without any warning or organizing of the riders milling about after the riders’ meeting, my race was taking off and I was threading my way through a jumble of bikes and legs and riders. Still, I had a blast and did pretty well – especially considering that again, I was racing in an age group that included riders as young as 40. I finished 2nd again and was super happy.