Busy Weekend, Part 2: Rode Hard and Put Up Wet
After the turnaround, we headed back up the hill we had previously come down at 38 miles per hour.
Brad Click, Male Model
You can see the lie of the land in front of Brad, here. The hills seemed a little steep on the first go-around, and no less so the second time we rode them. I have to admit, though, that I enjoyed this part of the ride, a lot. I am so tired of riding in and around town, that getting out into the sticks, a bit, was nice.
We rode along, back into Castlewood Canyon, discussing how to make up some of the miles that we had missed when we had to skip the loop in Larkspur. It seemed like a good idea, at the time, to hit the Mesa Loop mountain bike trail, which can be accessed from the Cherry Creek Trail just outside of Franktown.
And so, we took the dirt turn-off and headed toward the mesa. Brad had ridden the trail, once before, and figured it would be a fun detour. I had never ridden it, and was looking forward to seeing a new track.
Of course, 50 miles into a ride like this, a nice steep off-road climb is exactly what you are looking for. Jacquie Phelan says there is no shame in pushing. I hope not, because I had no real choice at this point. Brad did a bit of hoofing it, as well. I don't know if he really needed to, or if he was making me feel better. Either way, once past this little pitch, we were at the top of the mesa and riding some pretty nice singletrack.
Halfway around the loop, we stopped for a bit of scenic overlooking. The sun was hot, the wind was just picking up, and it felt a lot like summer (which made my second t-shirt a bit of a cross to bear).
The hill was a bit more fun on the way down, as they tend to be. This was my first off-road excursion on the new bike, and I am pretty happy with it. having a bike equally as at home on the dirt as the pavement, without being overly compromised on both, has long been a dream of mine.
Brad was quite pleased with the off-road capabilities of the Bleriot, and was surprised at how well the fatty Rumpkin tires acted on the dirt. The FR tires don't look particularly off-road capable, but they grip well and absorb the surface irregularities like a much bigger tire.
Me, on the same section of trail...
After our little off-road foray, we set about racking up miles. We knew that we would have to put on some extra paved trail miles, so we put our heads down and ground them out. While we were at it, we talked food. Specifically, Brad talked French Fries. Both of us were riding toward a big plate full of salty fried potatoes for the last 25 or 30 miles of the ride.
Eventually, after riding back and forth with, seemingly, a headwind no matter which way we headed, we were approaching the truck and I called out to Brad to ride up beside me.
"Hundred mile high-five!" I called out, as we smacked our gloved palms together. The total, at the truck, ended up being 100.4 miles (plus about a mile we rode before I remembered to zero out my trip meter at the beginning of the ride!).
From there, we invaded a local Chili's Restaurant like the Mongol hoards sweeping across the plains. Bacon cheeseburgers, fries (of course) and a Margarita apiece brought us back to life. I was walking like John Wayne, since both my right achilles tendon and left knee were complaining, but I was walking proud and happy.
There's nothing quite like spending a long day on the bike, in the company of a great friend, to make a little fatigue worth it.
I dropped Brad at his house, went home and played with the dogs for a while, jumped in the shower and then fell into bed. As I turned out the light, and fell to sleep, I couldn't help but think that I am so lucky to live a much better life than I ever thought possible.