Ride to the trailhead (7 miles). Lock up to the fence and change clothes in the parking lot. Run up the mountain on the El Prieto trail and then continue up to the “junction” (4 miles). Then down the fire road back to the bike as the sun sets. Change into pants and sweatshirt to avoid downhill chill. See how fast Mindful Mule can go down the steep road into the Arroyo Seco (37.8 mph). Then follow the winding road home. Refresh, refuel. Switch bikes and “fix” up to the pub for a couple healthful local beers. Meet up with a couple of other riders for the pre-midnight ride home through the back alleys where the smell of tomorrow’s roasting coffee wafts heavily through the night.
A few notes:
Trail running makes me huff and puff a lot more than my normal run. I can feel the smog in my lungs.
The mountain bikers coming down El Prieto seem to have forgotten the right of way rules. I realize it’s much easier for a runner or walker to stand to the side of the trail and let the bike continue, and I almost always step aside for them, but the bikes shouldn’t expect it.
I heard a pack of yelping coyotes up there on the mountain.
Three weeks until the Mt Wilson Trail Run. Days like this should be good training.