I started feeling frisky late this week. My blisters have healed for the most part, calves are only a little sore and my bed no longer calls me for extended naps.

Trips to Mexico were on my mind, but mainly I was thinking of doing some unloaded, technical riding on my 29er. You might think I’d be ready for something else for a change (AZT), but, you’d be wrong.

Paula and her friends were planning on running the Cochise Stronghold trail and it’s known (to me, at least) as one of the best trails in Southern Arizona. I can’t pass up an opportunity like this.

If there was any doubt as to whether I’m recovered or not, it’s long gone now. I felt OK, even good, for about a half hour. Then things went downhill, fast. My body is telling me that it does not like hard efforts. And the Cochise Trail is all about hard efforts.

Still, the trail carried me. It’s hard to decid which is better, the awesome rock scenery, or the trail itself. I’m inclined to say the trail is actually better, which is saying a lot. Switchbacks, rocks, ledges, slickrock. Only downside of the trail is that it’s on the short side — 5 miles one way. I rode out ‘n back and tacked on 10 or so miles on the dirt road too.

The last miles on the dirt road were just to spin out and they hurt. I stood to pedal on some hills and wanted to lie down and sleep. On the drive home I was so tired my whole body ached, internally. Not good.

A surefire way to tell you’re riding a good trail: when your trail running friends can keep up or travel faster than you.

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