(Originally written July 2019)
It’s simply the next progression in my riding. I have been thinking about it for years, looking at trails differently as I hike. When I am staring off into the distance I look past the building, the freeways and roads, past the people milling about looking out to some distance where nature and lonliness reside. A place of tress, dirt and rocks out into the alpine, out in the desert, out in the prairie.
I am continually seeking adventure and ways to push myself a little past my comfort level. So I rented a mountain bike from 2nd Tracks in Ogden for two days to give mountain biking a real try.
My best friend has been in town and after both of us discussing it and talking about it forever she finally asked and then after we agreed she called her brother and his girlfriend to see if they would want to join make sure neither one of us hurt ourselves to badly and to show us the ropes.
They took us up to Powder Mountain on the brim trail a little over 6 miles of a loop trail, through trees, switchbacks, rocks, tall grass and views of the valley below. I had started the ride out slow, testing myself, testing the bike. We started on the downhill portion with mostly easy go. Using my brakes more than possibly reasonable. I’m a cautious rider even on the roads, speed isn’t what I am fully after. That rush that you get from a roller coaster is not my favorite all I see is my self on the ground in some odd shape with the bike wrapped around my carniage, tangled body. I don’t seek the danger only the quiet and concentration in my mind. I become more focused on the objects ahead. Maneuvering between, around and on top of the rocks. The more comfortable I feel on the bike the more playful I become. Riding up fast on one hill to then ride up that rock up out of the ground to then pop a little wheely.
I grin at myself.
A freeing moment.
I’m a talker when I ride. Entertaining myself between all the quiet. I laugh, hoop and holler when I get something right, curse out wondering how other riders are able to smoothly round that curve going down hill without spilling over the edge. I only get off my bike to walk up a hill with smaller builder like rocks, realizing that I needed more speed to make it. I take my own speed with the ride. I’m not after competing with anyone else’s level, only myself. I know what I can handle and where I can push myself a little more.
I admire the views, have fun with my friends and for brief moments wonder what it would be like with panniers packed on the side, tent and sleeping bag tracking more trails, more dirt, through the trees and the sun beating down on me.