Monday, July 29, 2013

Sun, Singletrack, and Shredding in Sun Valley

Burnin' it up, Athlete: Louise Lintilhac (Me), Photographer: Dana Allen
June in Vermont can be a rainy time, and having grown up here, I know how bad it can be. Last year we had a dry summer so I forgot briefly what it was like to hear my roof leaking at 3:00 in the morning and talk myself into believing that road biking in a downpour builds character. This last month in Vermont has sadly been making up for all of the amazing weather we experienced last summer. Luckily, I had the presence of mind to jump ship, Arc, or whatever you want to call it and go westward to the land of sunburns and dry sinuses. I had never been to Sun Valley and my friend Berne was adamant that I experience the heavenly single track that Idaho has to offer. Having learned to mountain bike in Crested Butte, Colorado, where I lived for 4 years, I could not wait to rip through the sage brush and see the Lupine whiz past while trying to see how fast I can go without blowing up.
Enjoying the Lupine, Athlete: Louise Lintihac, Photographer: Dana Allen

Over the week I was in Sun Valley, I proceeded to completely blow my legs out, starting with a 7 hour ride our first day, which I was led to believe would be a 3 hour warm up ride. When our guide/friend pulled the pizza out of his bag for “lunch break” I knew I was in trouble. I ran out of food and water, and did end up finding out how fast I could go before crashing and taking all the skin off my arm. Despite this, every ride was spectacular, with the wildflowers in bloom and the hot springs waiting for me upon my return. Riding trails like Oregon Gulch, Chocolate, and Warm Springs Ridge makes me homesick for the west. The mountain biking in Vermont has made me a better technical rider and I have grown to love it, but the mud and water can get demoralizing. Every once in a while I need to soak in the sun and shred some buff singletrack.
For my down day I was lucky enough to be able to borrow a pair of skis from one of my other sponsors, Scott Sports, and make summer turns down the face of Phi Kappa, a mountain just outside of town. I have always known that Sun Valley is known for its corn skiing, and I can finally say that I have experienced the blue skies and perfect snow of Idaho.
Now that I am back in Vermont, I will make due with what I have and shred some pavement for a while until the ground dries out, but I will be thinking of Sun Valley and planning my next trip out west.

No vegetation makes for good riding
Athlete: Louise Lintilhac
Photographer: Dana Allen
Shredding in the distance
Athlete: Louise Lintilhac 
Photographer: Dana Allen

By Louise Lintilhac
a.k.a Steezy Weezie

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