Today marks the finish of the first mountain bike trip of the season, a 2 day adventure in Fruita, a mere 2 hours from my door. I set out Friday night for Grand Junction, my trust Trek Lush 29’er as my passenger, and spent an evening catching up with some good friends. I have ben friends with Elisa and Matt since I first raced cross (for more on that read Zen and the Art of Cycling in the Snow (and mud). They are one of my favorite couples and in general favorite people, full of love and enthusiasm and adventure (Elisa’s blog, Trails 365, is one I highly recommend if you like reading about hiking, biking and general badassery).
Saturday morning, I woke up to a great breakfast snd some amazing coffee brewed for me in an antique coffeemaker, and a huge delicious breakfast; perfect fuel for the day. I join up with my friends Nadia and Evie and we headed west to the high desert trails of 18 Road.
Nadia is a newly found riding buddy, who also happens to date my best guy friend,and I was super psyched to get time to ride with her again! And Evie is my birthday twin, the sister f my best friend growing up, who was born 4 years to the day after me, but outside of spin class, we had never had an opportunity to ride together.
We started the day with a fast loop on PBR (Pumps, Bumps and Rollers), a fast flowy fun trail, with Nadia’s dog Stella leading the way (man can that dog run!). We returned to the parking lot, dropped off Stella for a little rest, and headed over to Joe’s Ridge, which takes you up onto a narrow ridge, and drops you ups and down and all around before dumping you back at the lower parking lot. We then grabbed Stella for one more lap and hit another round of PBR, this time taking Prime Cut single track up instead of the road.
As the temps started to drop, we made it back to the car for a celebratory cheers, and spent quite a while conversing with the van owner parked next to us, while Stella explored the totally awesome Westfalia and we talked Ridgway Area Trails (RAT) and the upcoming Ridgway Fat Tire Festival and RAT Race (make your calendars!!) happening June 10.
Then it was time for the real treat, an early dinner at Hot Tomato, the place to eat when in Fruita. And yes, as you can see in the picture below, we all got our own pizza….
We retreated to our hotel for the night only to discover that I had brought neither a bathing nor underwear that could pass for such in a public pool….so we dipped back out to Walgreen’s where we ended up with a 3 pack of what I dubbed “granny panties”, as well as 3 bags of Haribo Gummy Bears (more on that soon).
In a show of solidarity, my friends actually rocked the GPs with me to the pool, where we swam and soaked until we could barely move, and then we headed upstairs to chill. We then carried off blind taste test of Gummy Bears to determine who had picked the best flavor, and watched Cruel Intentions (total 90s high school throwback for all of us)….
This morning brought a search for coffee, me sharing McDonald’s hash browns with Stella, and 2 laps on the Kokopelli trails located west of Fruita towards Utah. We stopped for picture at some of the awesome view points overlooking the Colorado River, and finished out day with a hard cider and of course, more Gummy Bears…
The best part of the weekend for me was beyond the miles or climbs or skills or even the bike (although DAMN do I love my bike!)…it was about something I felt this past year or so I had lost from my life to some extent. It was about friendship, fun, camaraderie and just some pure silliness. Remembering the person in you that wants to laugh and smile and not be such an adult. These moments become more and more rare as we grow, as our children grow, as we struggle through bigger thoughts and ideas and issues and concerns. This year in particular has had a literal and figurative pall cast over it, I spent January in the depths of a funk when the sun refused to shine for a month, and cold air and wind ripped though me and eroded my cheer and good nature. Even when the sun emerged, I couldn’t shake the chill of the winter. This weekend, in the warm spring desert, my son soaking up some much needed Vitamin D, I found my smile again. At he end of the day, this weekend wasn’t about the miles or trails or technique, but the friendships I have begun to build with friends who love the same things as I do: bikes, pizza, wine and fun!
As always, much love to Primal Wear whose awesome apparel keeps me happy and comfy on all my rides, Skratch for being the best hydration mix in the world, and COPMOBA for all the work they do to make these trails available and rideable. If you are in need of a new super cool pair of leggings or a riding tank, or a fun headband like this cat one I am rocking below, check out my friend Nadia’s Etsy shop: Lycra Unincorporated!