We started at Muya Holy Park. The manager for the 景区(scenic area) seemed like a solid dude. His associate hopped on the bus to get some photogs of the gang before we set out. Beautiful scenery as the sun began to burst out of the clouds. Highly auspicious. Until we hit the boardwalk down to the trailhead. Hit a hard right corner and back wheel shot out, sending me careening off a meter drop into a snow embankment. Dango, did it give me a shock. Lost my sunnies, but at the moment didn’t give a hoot, and was hollering at the startled folks behind me to ease up on the corner.
Tore my handlebar bag so had to jury rig it for the remainder. Jake flatted in the first 500m as well so it appeared the guides had gotten most the bad luck out of the way. From there we set out, up a fire road akin to the one in Basomtso, just a little higher and less pitted. Made the ascent fairly easy, had a quick lunch then made the dip into the downhill.
The upper part of the descent had been recently groomed. Wider and slightly off-camber, it apparently was a departure from years past, when it was a basic single track. Weather stayed on our side, occasional sunshine with a cloudburst here and there. Some snow, gradually some rain, the conditions remained relatively clear. Toward the bottom as we followed the river that cut its way down the valley things got a bit soggy, the valley bottom saturated from the melt-off of a recent, unseasonably heavy snow. Despite this the trail was fast and flowy. Bits of bog and babyheads occasionally retarded the pace, but with the scenery there was no complaining.
Toward the last few km the trail fogged over, casting an eerie silent vibe. The last little slog into town was damp and cool, but considering our good fortunes on the upper part of the trail, did little to dampen spirits for this first day of riding.