The Taco ride was on last night. Numbers were down a bit, but we still had about 10 total riders. We hopped the berm over to Denman's and took off. I stayed to the back as I just wanted to ride pretty easy and enjoy myself. I tagged on to a couple other riders and managed to fall down on a single log crossing as I was going to slow. Nothing hurt but my pride, I got back up and just kept the pace nice and easy. I did make an effort to tag back on to the tail of the group by the end of Denman's and found everyone else stopped at Dirty Express.
The railroad track crossing into Squirrel's nest saw the only major crash of the night with a rider shooting over the handlebars after tangling with the steel tracks. More easy flow and swoop through the back sections and it was time for Hillside. I've been working on keeping my breathing even and rythmic as I raise my heart rate so that was the plan for tonight as well. The group turned left at the top of the first climb while I went for some bonus climb to the right. After a short stint I stopped for a second to get my bearings. I looked back and noted that I hadn't zipped my seat pack up before leaving the shop. Hmmm. A quick inspection noted only one item missing- MY KEYS! Shit. Time to turn around and hope for a miracle in finding them along 6 miles or narrow singletrack with mostly grass covering both sides of a 12" path.
I tracked back down Hillside and took a quick swing up to the parking area to let the other guys know I was headed back and hopefully would catch them at Gif's for tacos and beer. I rode off in hopes of finding my keys. After back tracking through roughly 80% of the trail I stopped for a young kid riding a hybrid bike on the trail as he was walking across the log bridge in Denman's. Sure enough, I looked down and my keys were sitting about as perfectly as could be at the base of a tree right after the log bridge. There were situated so perfectly, I couldn't tell if someone else had found them and set them there or if luck was on my side. Either way, I counted my blessings and called of the search and rescue message I had put into Miranda's voicemail.
I swooped back through Denman's in reverse soaking up each foot of singletrack and enjoying every second I was out there. Off to Valley Junction to meet the guy's for refueling and all was right in the world again. I will put one note of caution in though- be prepared for your backside to be inhospitable to anyone in a 20' radius after consuming several Old Styles and tacos after the ride. Wow, talk about a brown cloud!
Just a quick reminder for tonight- hit the Race Like a Girl series in Union Park as long as the weather holds out. I'm planning to make what I'm sure will be a quite unspectacular showing in the men's B race as my first road racing experience. Also, Saturday is another work day for CITA at Summerset park in Indianola. I'll be headed down for my first work day of the year and hopefully see some other people there. I'm looking forward to checking out some of the singletrack for the first time after we're done.