I was out riding my "training loop" at the Res. today. It has evolved over close to 2 decades from an 8 mile loop to the 16 miles it is today.
The Res. works great for me as I can ride there from home or it's right on the way home from work (when I drive). It gets beat down by all the traffic, but you can't beat it's convenience.
At first I just followed the flow of traffic and rode the standard loop everyone rides. The more I rode, the more I'd find lessor known trails.
As I craved more mileage I would piece sections together to increase my ride's length.
Then I started riding it backwards. Turns out there is more climbing this way.
Charlie likey climbing.
Another bonus of riding trails backwards is you don't get stuck behind someone riding at a different pace than you.
For about a year and a half I would do an out and back starting backwards and turning around before I descended off the ridge. If I timed it right I would miss a lot of the after work crowd on the "and back" part of the ride. But some times traffic was a hassle.
This year when I get to the turn around spot, I started descending on a fireroad to work on leg speed and loosey goosey descents; things guys on geared FS bikes tend to blow me away at.
But this leave me a little short on time and mileage, so I head back up and hit a couple more climbs and some fun techy stuff.
But anyways, let's cut to the chase. As I was (just) riding along, I looked down at my computer and realized I was on a record pace. Then I realized I wasn't working very hard. Then I realized how awesome the conditions were. I was going so much faster because the trails were in the best shape they've been in all year.
I've felt a little guilty about not riding to work this week, but I'm over it now. I say
Get out and ride some trails now! The conditions will not be any better!