I have gotten spoiled riding all the alpine singletrack over the summer. I admit it’s my favorite flavor, but I do like to try other flavors from time to time. Since my next race is 24 hours of fun on rocky, sandy, technical terrain, I figure I should probably start training on that type of terrain. It’s a lot more physically exhausting than flowy and even techy alpine singletrack, and for me, it takes a mental commitment to get through some of it. Rebuilding my confidence on the desert tech was in order, so I went to work.
Monday, I unearthed the SS that’s been sitting in the garage. It’s not really a SS frame – I took my 09 Rotwild HT frame and bought a conversion kit. I’ve only had a chance to ride it twice. Once in Durango with Turgeon-boy, and once on a lame ride where I was way overgeared. I picked one of the more technical trails in the area – Picture Rock and Heil Ranch. I THOROUGHLY enjoyed riding one gear. You don’t have to think as much – it is simple. You just pedal, which can become challenging when the terrain gets technical and you need to carry speed through it. I managed to clear just about everything and only almost knocked my teeth out once. The only place I was sad I was on a the SS was on the DH! I wanted to pedal and go faster! I’m hoping to get out on my one-speed later this week. I couldn’t help but lust for a 29er SS frame on that ride, but I had to keep that under control.
I attempted to use my Epic Cam , but I failed with the camera angle. It’s still entertaining, but hopefully my next video will look a little better. It’s a learning process, right?
Here is what I came up with:
The next day, I decided to go out to Hall Ranch on my FS bike. It’s one of the most technical trails that I know of in the area with the desert scary rock type riding. I only ride out there a couple times a year, and this was my first time this year, admittedly. I was really happy with where my abilities were at. I admit to having to go back and try some spots 2-3 times, but after I committed to them and got through it, I felt that familiar rush of excitement – like “Hell yeah, I did it!” I should have had the helmet cam on that day! On the back more smooth side of the trail, I shoved it in a big gear and stood on my pedals. Pushing a big gear and also riding the SS is good upper body/core training for Moab.
This is what I was dealing with.
Boulder smells like a campfire as does the inside of most buildings at this point. I usually love that smell, but not when it means some of my favorite local spots are being charred and burnt to bits. I feel so sad for everyone who had to evacuate their homes, who may lose everything. Over 7000 acres have been torched. I started thinking about how I would handle it if someone knocked on my door and said I had 15 minutes to pack up my valuables and go. Can you imagine most of the things you surround yourself with at home most of your life on fire? Pretty intense. Imagining those poor people sitting in a rec center and scattered anywhere Boulder residents had an open door and heart, waiting to hear if they are homeless or not is a pretty vivid and emotional image for me. It makes me hold my breathe. Fire is a part of nature. Fires need to occur in the forest every so often to keep them “healthy.” It’s just sad that it has to be this way. Our foothills will be a different place the next time we see them. Call me overdramatic, but certain places in nature are special, even spiritual places for me and when those burn, I feel like a part of me is burning away too. I feel a personal loss, and I don’t even have a house up there! We got a little bit of rain today, let’s just hope the wind stays down. Thanks to all the countless hours that everyone is spending fighting the fire. It makes me feel selfish when I feel bummed that I can’t go ride the trails up there when there are so many more serious things at hand.
Tomorrow, I will be on skinny tires.