Had a whirlwind weekend of mountain biking down in Castle Rock on Friday then a USDAA trial the opposite direction in Greeley. Somehow my knees survived all of this.
Met an Xterra friend down in Castle Rock to ride the Ridgeline Rampage bike race course. Thankfully she'd been on the trails a few times and knew most of the course. We did have to do some navigating but in the end only missed one turn near the end of a 16 mile course that wasn't signed very well.
Since I was riding with someone else and I was lagging behind a bit I only took one picture. She was already having to wait for me, didn't want to make her wait for photos.
A nice view of the Continental Divide.
What was I saying the other day about feeling Fit and Feisty on the bike? Rusty and winded was maybe a better description for the day but I had a great time riding some new to me trails. And it's nice to ride with someone. I'm slower but we're not too far apart, not like when I ride with Jonny.
The trails were nice, not technical. But at times bordering on Front Range Sprawl of McMansions. Every time I go to Castle Rock I become ever more thankful for Boulder. It's crowded here but not that crowded.
I'm hoping to be able to do the race in a week and a half. All depends on the weather. Right now it's not looking good, rain predicted for all of next week including the weekend. Of course it can and probably will change by next week. We'll see what develops.
A 2 1/2 hour mountain bike ride is not the best way to kick of an agility weekend of way more runs per day then I normally enter but oh well. Saturday was 5 runs, Sunday a whopping 6 runs. Oddly my knees felt the best they've felt in a long time, no pain to speak of. I could feel some mild throbbing in my quads when I sat for a while but for the most part my legs felt great and I was moving well during my runs.
Some very challenging course, especially Grand Prix. Only 2 Q's in all of Performance and I think 3 Q's or so in Championship. All the 22" dogs were eliminated except one who had 10 faults. In fact there were only maybe 4 dogs total in the whole class with faults and the rest E'd. Can't recall ever seeing anything like it. Lots of people disappointed as they were hoping for a Grand Prix Q to be able to compete at Regionals next month. I was hoping for one too but no big deal. I'm not going to Nat's. and I have plenty to enter. I'll have one last try at the local GP at Regionals but it's no big deal, so expensive to enter anyway but I entered provisionally if we get it.
As for the Grand Prix course I think the biggest issue was that there were so many traps and challenges, one right after the other, if one didn't get you the other did.
Most people ate it at the dogwalk/tunnel discrimination. The worst option was to wrap the dog to the right. That set a line straight into the tunnel. There may have been some who tried a front or blind between 11 and 12 after turning to the right and maybe that worked for a precious few, I can't remember. I did a reverse spin at 11, got a tight turn and Strum went right up the dogwalk no problem. I fell victim between Jumps 5 and 6. I was behind because I had to babysit the teeter a bit so I couldn't cue the tight line between 5 and 6 and got a back jump at 6. Lots of off courses at the #9 Tunnel as well. I did front after Jump 8 and it wasted some time but I got the correct tunnel entrance no problem. Lots of people kept their dog on their right and tried to pull and that mostly didn't work, especially for the fast dogs. There were a couple few dogs who refused the tunnel at the end including Strummer. Weird, I don't know what was up there. The #15 tunnel to Jump #16 was also a challenge. I ended up further behind than I was hoping there but we pulled it off sort of. The judge was sympathetic and told us she wouldn't be super strict about the run out plane at 16.
Despite the low Q rate I was happy I entered and got to try the course. There were many challenging courses this weekend, I'm guessing a very low Q rate in general and we had more E's than normal. But I'm at a point in my agility career that I'm happy for the challenging courses, don't care that much about Q's, love to have a challenging puzzle to solve.
I'm also at a point where I wish I had my own practice field. It's frustrating to drive out to the practice field and there are other people already there. It's especially hard on Strummer because he knows where we're going and starts whining/wailing in anticipation. It's heartbreaking to have to turn around and deny him. Or nobody is there when I get there and I spend 20 minutes setting something up and then other people arrive. I love practicing with my training partner at her place but she doesn't have enough room for a full course and likes to set up courses with small distances between the jumps. It's just not the same as running a full, real course. And she doesn't have a dogwalk. I'm not complaining, so happy to have people to practice with and her yard is great. But moving forward it will be frustrating for me to train a new dog without having regular access to equipment. Will have to get going on that move to Cortez though I admit the thought of taking care of acreage is sounding more and more exhausting.
Anyway, I had a great weekend with the challenging courses. And we did have some success - 1st place in Steeplechase Finals and Strum did both sets of weaves with no bobbles! Over the moon about that. I'm feeling ready for Regionals, excited about it too! My training partner has decided to enter her older dog in Performance so I have a great low pressure teammate. She's not going to Nat's. and doesn't do that much USDAA so doesn't need or care about a Q. And there will be Steeplechase and Biathlon, my favorite classes. Looking forward to it next month.
Here's a video of Sunday's runs.
I only got Saturday's Steeplechase run somehow, had some technical difficulties that were probably due to an old, dying battery. At least I hope that's all it is. Camera kept turning off even though the battery reading had plenty of juice.
Saturday's Steeplechase Round 1
Strummy had a great time.
He loves to watch, though I don't let him get too overstimulated.