See, this is how I operate. I don't even log into my page for like two months and now I'm pounding out three posts in one week. This will probably require a year off.
Anyhow, today is December 2nd so we only have 18'ish days officially left of autumn, but in reality it is winter. Or at least it should be, and tomorrow it will be with a forecast of 3 degrees for a low (no, I didn't forget a digit, it's gonna be 3) a high of 34 and a strong chance for snow. But for today, with temps in the 50's, there was on last ride to be had. I cut out of work early just for the occasion!
I made a bee-line for HLMP in a light rain. I almost turned back as the sky was pretty dark and the
When I got to HLMP I had the trails basically to myself and the little but of rain mixed nicely with the dirt at the park creating that familiar smell that any mountain biker, save for some of those in the desert southwest, can relate to. That smell of dirt, detritus and other decomposing organic material that transports you mentally from our modern day lives of cities, cars, computers and smart phones and puts you in touch with our primitive roots.
Hearing the tires crunch on the trails, the click of the shifters, the whir of the chain, the creak of my bottom bracket (damn it, I need to do some maintenance on this bike) were a symphony that drowned out the cares of life. I'm not trying to run from it, but a break from it once in a while makes you a more balanced person putting those things that stress you out into perspective.
Daylight and the looming weather front dictated that my ride would not be a long one, so I looped around the trails on the top of the mountain, taking in the views from the East and North out on the Great Plains, to the West and the foothills and to the South and the stunning sights of the Black Hills and Harney Peak. I sped down the West side of the mountain, dropped into some newly cut trails on the South end of the park and pedaled home.
As I sit here and type this I'm still awash in a post ride bliss. Riding a bike does your body good but riding trails does your mind even better. If that was my last ride of the year, it ended on a high note, but I'm holding out hope that there is just one more.