From there we drove to the lunch loop area andd rode the Tabegaush trail up a ways to do the tail end of Eagle's wing. I really don't like that trail (sorry Rusty). Too much navigating and not enough riding. Funny, we took a connector from Tabegash to the tail instead of hiking up this nasty climb that Daryl wouldn't have enjoyed and we saw Martin, Ryan and Tim. We wooped at them and they wooped back but later they didnt know it was us. They went on to do Holy Cross so we didn't see them when we went back to the car. But the report from the three was 4 stars. Ryan said Tim was clearing some nasty stuff area long with him on Holy Cross. Here here for big wheels.
While they worshipped the Holy Cross of singletrack, Daryl and I played tourist. We drove the entire 20-some miles of the Colorado National Monument, which we accessed right from the parking lot of the lunch loop parking lot. We stopped at every look out point and took pictures. It was great.
Our last night as a group was at the famed Fiesta Guacamaya restaurant. Margies all around. It was a popular place for many racers who were in town. RF and I were scoping out the competition. I was not my celebratory self. In fact, I didn't even finish my margarita. Call it prerace nerves or that I over indulged on chips and salsa! Thanks guys for buying us dinner. It was a warm, and wonderful surprise.
Saturday morning, the group left early. Reports weren't looking good for them to get over Vail Pass. They were delayed a mere 30 minutes or so before they were cleared to pass through. What a relief. RF and I spent the afternoon preriding and restingh and playing detective. My bike was making a terrible popping sound when pedaling hard, like the chain was trying to seat. We took it to the EOT shop. He said my cassette was wasted. How so? I've had it a month. It shifted perfectly. We brought it back to the barn and ryan changed chains and cassette. No luck. When we put on the new cassette, it made the same noise when he tightened it on. Freewheel! So, we opted to run what I'd brung and I would have to live with the noise and hope it didn't pop for good on the race course. Tired and hungry, we went down to the town's centennial celebration. Many racers were there as well. We chowed down on Salads from the Hot Tomato Pizza place (a must stop). A great bluesy/western band played outside and the main street was blocked off for a beer garden. We didn't stay long. We needed to get our rest on for the next day.
Althoough we missed our companions, it was nice to have some us time. The B&B owner, Krista, was nice enough to let us have our room for the next two nights for the same price as the Super 8 we were going to go to. The bonus, her home made breakfasts. Blueberry pancakes would be our race fuel.