Friday, April 2, 2010

Pulse of the Ride

The snow has been roller-shading up and down the cliffs around town. Warm days, the whitened shade rolls up and away from town, up the surrounding mesas. Then another storm, and the white rolls downward again.
From 2010 Spring

Yesterday it rained and then snowed in town but not enough to stick, while the surrounding cliffs were white nearly to the bottom. During the night, the white rolled right down into town and we woke with a skiff of snow over everything.
From 2010 Spring

Moisture from the rain. Moisture from the snow. Around here, that generally means that the dirt of the trails has turned to slippery goo. But there was word that just down the valley they'd gotten less moisture and that the trails were in prime condition. So this morning, snow. This evening, a dry dirt ride.
From 2010 Spring

Trina and the dogs elected to miss this ride, so it was me and four pals. We unloaded bikes in the parking lot and dressed for chilly weather. The pace was fast and the heat was soon on, pulses pounding within us. Steady, fast climb on swooping trails dodging rocks and juniper trees. Then a ridge-line descent down steeps and swoops with whoops.
From 2010 Spring

As light faded from grey evening into darker dusk, the pulse within became a pulse without. Each of us a two-wheeled pump of adrenaline and blood shooting down the vein of narrow trail. One pulse chasing the other, driving forward, beating hard, flush with excitement and the chase.
From 2010 Spring

From 2010 Spring

We spilled grinning from the trail into a pool of enthusiasm. Two had to go, but three of us stayed and rode a different loop. Again, a steady climb, then down. This time our pulses raced through the narrow tube of light thrown out by our headlights into the dark body of the night.

The light flowed downward and gained momentum and quick motion. We ducked around branches, dodged through rocks, pounded quick uphills and scooped out the gullies. We turned pedals past obstacles, around sharp turns, down small drops, up punchy climb, and nothing could stop us, nothing could slow us, and each attempt at hindrance only melted away into the frenzied flow.

Our lights gathered in twigs and stones and branches and rocks and trees and boulders and piles and heaps of dirt and tumbled it all forward with us until we were an avalanche of motion pouring downward by three bikes and three riders who were laughing and whooping and hanging onto the cold wind that was blowing and whirring past our ears. Until...

The bottom. And almost silence. Just tires on dirt. We rolled the last slow climb to the parking lot. Pulses back inside arteries and veins where they belonged. The night around us a little brighter from the smiles; from knowing how good we had it to be where we were doing what we did.

We loaded up and drove down the gravel road toward the flat line of city lights.


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