Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Bike Hike

I got to live a dream last weekend. Every time I drive to Utah as we pass through Fruita on the south side of the freeway is a rise of hills that hide a treasure – a single track bike path along a cliff above the Colorado River. Several years ago, when Don and Austin were Teachers, we went on a scout outing to bike that path and I was so miserable out of shape, not having biked for several – I mean several years. It was so embarrassing to prattle along way behind everyone and walk along the scary places, but it was so beautiful that I wanted to come back and really enjoy the challenge, the exercise, and the scenery. The only thing to make it better would be to bike it with as many of my sons and son-in-laws as possible. Well last weekend five of us (Bryce, Don, Austin, Preston, and myself) gathered Sunday evening in Grand Junction to brave the wild winds and threatening cloudy skies to ride my dream on Monday. I have been doing some summer biking to get into shape to keep up with crazy Bryce who wants to kill people on his bike hikes.

It was cold and windy and we really didn’t know where in the world we were going but we ventured forth up a long smooth dirt road with the wind in our face. It was a great warm-up for a dandy uphill slog to get over the hilly ridge and then a nice downhill run to get started on the trail. There was a trail Bryce was contemplating called, “Moore Fun”, but the trail guide called it “more pain” so we decided to torture ourselves in different ways. Right at the start, we ALL consciously peddled right past a sign clearly marking our trail as a dead end and thought it was the right trail. We explored this little used rocky road for a couple of miles until – surprise/surprise it ended in a dead end at a cliff with a nice drop off but a great view of the river and trail we should have been on below. When it was determined we need to go back and start over again there was an audible groan.

So after an interesting detour we finally got on the correct trail and enjoyed a spectacular ride through the rough countryside, along a dramatic hillside, and a couple of sheer cliffs. Along the backside run it was this cool downhill with stair stepping rock drop offs. With every drop I though I was going to go “a__ over tea kettles” but managed to hold on. Don had the dramatic move of the day as he skidded, laying rubber, over 10 yards as he tried to avoid slamming into a parked Bryce and ended up parked parallel with just two inches to spare in Hollywood fashion.

Hey, I tackled and conquered the last long uphill pull and relished the coasting ride into the parking lot. It was a great day, I felt redeemed from the previous outing and I got to spend time with some of the most important people in the world to me in an incredibly beautiful place – so what if my legs felt like they were going to fall off and Don had to drive home because I was so tired. Where are we going to go next month???

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