Monday, May 28, 2012

Cycling in May

May is National Bike to Work Month with May 14-18 being Bike to Work Week and May 18 being the official Bike to Work Day.  Whew.  In these Northern states May doesn't work too well for bike to work anything.  Don't get me wrong, I've ridden to work every day possible this month, but take yesterday for example, raining cats and dogs outside.  If it were just me going to work, I'd probably just roll in the rain, but delivering a soggy 10 year old to a school probably isn't the best idea I've had, so we had to drive.

Our "bike to work" day.
Dangling legs and the ubiquitous bike shot 1000'
above the valley floor.
And, to boot, on May 18th, I couldn't ride to work as I was decidedly NOT working that day.  Instead, I was in Moab, UT with 13 other crazy bastards that I ride with and we were out riding Gemini Bridges to Magnificent 7 (or at least 4 of them) to Gold Bar Rim to the infamous Portal Trail.  Yes, the Portal Trail of lore.  The one that has claimed lives of people trying to act like heroes or fools, which I suppose the difference between a hero and a fool is the outcome of the action.  But I guess I was riding that day, a big, epic, death march of a ride, full of exposed trails, chances to fall to your death, and full of stark, rugged beauty that is the red rock world of Moab.
The 8 pm neutral roll out...

The only direction my derailleur was
OK was going down.
We left town on Tuesday, May 15th at 8pm and drove all night long to arrive in Grand Junction, CO to ride Holy Cross at 8 am (or there abouts).  From there we popped over to Fruita to ride Horsethief before crossing through the Zion Curtain into the red rock playground of Moab to check into our condos and fall asleep by about 9pm.  The next day saw us hit the world renowned Slickrock trail, where my bike decided to bend it's derailleur hanger and shift like shit the rest of the ride.  The evening had us ride to the top of the world on Amasa Back, throw our legs over the edge and take in the amazing views.  You know about Friday's ride and Saturday's ride was AMAZING.

Saturday morning saw us get up early to have a shuttle pick us up for the hour drive into the La Sal mountains.  Sixty minutes in a van with 13 other guys, hot, in the back, on a twisty road and voila! I was car sick.  Not hurling sick, mind you (I've got a 15 year no-puke streak going on) but enough to feel like shit for the first hour of the ride or so.  When unloading the bikes, I discovered my bike had a flat front tire, which should have been a sign for the day when our group ended up with a total of 15 flats!  But, besides the flats, it was a spectacular day, starting out at close to 10,000' descending from the cool, wooded aspens to scrub pinon covered high desert to the stark red rock beauty to the Colorado River.  A super way to end an awesome trip.

One could describe our trip as a drinking trip where we do some biking in between, but things felt a little more subdued this year than in years past.  I think it had to mostly do with the fact we stayed in two condos instead of camping so we couldn't get our in touch with our primal selves acting out a bit of the Lord of the Flies but maybe it was the fact our group was split up into two units, or the fact that two of the normal instigators, Bob or Greg, weren't there, or the fact that we had a pool across the street so the group split up and people did their own thing apries ride as opposed to sitting around a campfire, drinking and telling stories.
A motley crew.

But, don't get me wrong, the trip was a lot of fun and when we were driving the LONG, monotonous drive back home (why is it the trip to your destination seems a lot shorter than the trip home?) I was thinking that it was a good group of riders and friends to ride with.  And the fact that I came home without even ONE hangover story, well, that can't be a bad thing, can it?  Well, maybe I bring some Dramamine next year for some car sickness, you know, just in case.

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