Rhonda and I pre-rode the Solitude race course last night and the title above pretty much sums up our experience. Most of the course was in perfect condition and a lot of the short steep pitches that were pretty loose last year are nice and firm now. Certain sections of the course are in pretty rough shape from the runoff. Specifically the section of trail near the end of the Serenity climb where it switchbacks across a ski run is eroded and has a narrow tire trap in the middle where the snow melt has been running off. There are also ten or so snowdrifts on various sections of the trail. Some of them are rideable, some not so much. The last part of the downhill seems rougher than last year as well but it's hard to remember for sure. All in all the course is good to go and even with the bad sections it will be fun to race tomorrow.
It's funny what an off season will do to your mind. I remembered Solitudes climbing as not being too bad last year. Man was I mistaken. Serenity singletrack is a steep, rooty, rocky and difficult climb. In other words it's pretty cool. I think what I like about that climb is that the harder you push yourself the easier it is. I have a problem with losing motivation during some climb's but not with this one. I can immediately sense a difference in climbing ease when I redline it versus letting off a little bit. As soon as you let off the throttle your momentum is gone you get shut down quick.
The end of the road is melting fast and should be good to go by ICUP time