It was approaching 5pm when I finally got to the trail today. I haven't been on the 29 for a while and I botched three free mounts before I finally did a Megan and got going. Since the last time trees have lost most of their leaves and the trail was covered. Sometimes I could tell where the twin tracks ran because of tufts of grass signaling the central strip, but other times I really didn't have a clue.
It hasn't rained in Minnesota for nearly 3 weeks, and under the leaves the trail was loose and sandy. Or that's my excuse anyway for not getting up the bigger hills. I crested about half of the moderate slopes, but UPDd on the other half, and the biggest hill completely had me half way up. Maybe I could switch tires to something with grip, but then I'd really have no excuse, so I'll stick with the big apple for now.
On the way out to the bridge at Manning avenue the sun was at my back, and I so wished that I had the Flip with me to film the shadows. My shadow was a long, skinny scarecrow on a single wheel sliding down the autumn trail.
Riding back was a pain because the same sun that was casting the long shadows was now in my eyes. I took the pavement back because I was getting a bit tired and I couldn't see the trail very well. Only a few bikers were out, and all were courteous enough to tell me that they were "on your left", which I appreciate. One guy asked how far I was going this evening. I don't think that 10 or 12 miles sounds like much to them when they are going 20 or 30, but it was nice of him to ask.
The pavement ride back also reminded me that I have a more even cadence on the trail than on the pavement. I'm also more rhythmic uphill than downhill. Plenty to work on.