Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Catch my drift(s)

I rode my bike in the Rockies yesterday, and it was lovely. Mostly. Brilliant sunshine and gusty winds insured that the day sparkled. At the highest elevations, snow patches still stood out against the dark peaks while scattered wildflowers splashed colors down lower. Temperatures in the 70s meant streams gushed with run-off.

I picked a stretch of the Colorado Trail that I had ridden before, which meant I started pedaling up a dirt road to access the trail. About an hour later, I hooked into single-track and started a stouter climb, happy for the trees's shelter from the breeze. A thrilling, jouncy descent brought me to a bridge and across a creek. I knew that meant more climbing in order to escape that drainage. What I hadn't anticipated was how high I'd have to go. As the trail crossed 11,000 feet in elevation and curved around a ridge to a cooler, shadier aspect, snow patches started to appear with more frequency. Drifts of varying sizes encroached on the trail. Footprints and tread marks told me I wasn't the first person to cross these hurdles. The next hour was a grunt, offering short, dry trail stretches between squishy obstacles that necessitated carrying my bicycle. I felt enough frustration to consider turning back, but made enough progress to press on until the aspect and elevation changed in my favor.

Lesson mostly learned: While being in the right place at the right time can deliver abundant joy, a few subtle changes (say: direction and elevation) can send that moment sideways, toggling those rights to wrongs. At the time, the stubborn Capricorn in me offered up a silent serenity prayer, then kept pedaling; or walking; or, in a few chilly cases, post-holing.


12 comments:

  1. I celebrate your perseverance. I was shocked to find myself thinking "Was Brian alone? I hope he had his phone with him." Who is this grandma that invaded my brain?

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    1. That protective grandparent voice cropped up in my brain as well. "I have my phone," I told it. :)

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  2. Our biking trip didn't deal with altitude and cold, but heat. We had to pace ourselves as my wife gets over heated very quickly, and we've learned to listen to ourselves.

    Not going to lie, I had no idea what postholing was, though with the post holes I have to dig, the definition made perfect sense! :)

    Thank you for the great slice and happy trails!

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    1. Thanks for reading, Darin. Happy trails to you, too, in hopefully temperate climes!

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  3. My hero. The closest I will ever get to this experience is right here and now... through you. Thanks and stay safe, PLEASE Brian,
    Bonnie

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    1. And I do not expect to star in a guitar house concert, Bonnie, so I'm happy to swap experiences with you via written slices.

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  4. I loved the idyllic description in your first paragraph, but I would have stepped away as soon as a dirt road was involved. Yikes! What an adventure! Loved your hyper-links embedded (definitely used the post-holing one).

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    1. Happy to hear there was both enjoyment and education to be had, Elsie. Thanks for stopping by.

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  5. At some point in an adventure, the only way through is forward. But post-holing with a bike? Better you than me....
    Karen

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    1. I love the blend of can-do spirit and skepticism couched in your comment. Both, in this case, are warranted.

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  6. As a fellow Capricorn, I get your push-on-against-all-odds approach to this challenge. It has often served me well; most of the time I finish what I start, no matter how challenging. Occasionally this approach backfires. It's a fine line....

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    1. Thanks for the deservedly qualified validation, Barb. Stay strong, Capricorn buddy, even as we do our best to respect the fine lines we see ;)

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