At the trail intersection, I noticed I had a broken spoke on the front wheel and the new rear tire developed a small bubble at the rim. Ugh.
The spoke removed, we rolled on, bubbled tire and tired legs. A week of riding and beers was adding up.
Up we went on Hole in the Ground. The view after the initial climb was outstanding:
And from that point on, the trail was even more outstanding than outstanding! Hole in the Ground was/is a celebration of ride-able rocks mountain biking. Fast sections were interspersed with slower, pick-your-line pieces, and both were broken up by punchy climbs. Hole had/has it all.
Pure mountain biking, it is.
After a regroup at the lake, we continued on the loop.
Spilling out on two-track, we crossed over and followed the sign back into the woods. Holy shit! Good gawd! What diabolical mind(s) decided to put in so many water bars with such big drops?! I was literally laughing and shouting out “oh shit” as I held on, hoping to not crash. Somehow, I rode ’em all, feeling relieved, more than anything, that I finished unscathed.
Those water bars at the end of the Hole loop are madness. Be careful, truly.
And then that was pretty much it, except for missing the left turn to go up and over and back to the car. Two of us ended up pedaling the road to the summit at Donner Pass where a road cyclist got us back on track. Back down we went, finding the turn.
Front wheel did fine, and the bubble didn’t burst.