Home in the Rocky Mountains

Driving from the Pacific coast to Ottawa, ON, a few weeks ago, I enjoyed a wonderfully rewarding visit with family and friends. My only regret was missing a few dear folks and not having enough time with you all.

Last Wednesday at 6:45am I hit the road for three days of driving back across the continent to Salida, Colorado. The border crossing was quick and easy and the drive was uneventful.

Friday around 1pm I pulled into Denver to reunite with my pal, Darren. We had met at a brewery several years, enjoying a beer-infused night of riding big wheels around Denver. Though the meeting was brief–just enough time for a pint–it was so well worth it. From there I drove another ten minutes to meet up with my best friend, Reilly.

Darren and myself hangin’ in Denver. Go Broncos!

Rolling into the Absolute Bikes parking lot just before close, we were treated to a truly awesome Rocky Mountain sun-set. Once inside, hugs and handshakes were immediately followed by beers and a bottle of rye. I even learned a new way of opening a beer bottle. A little messy, but a crowd favourite for sure. Within moments, I felt back at home.

Sunset over the mountains as we arrive in Salida.

Friday night finished late at the Vic, which meant that Saturday morning started a little late and a little rough. By about noon, ten of us rallied for an idyllic fall day riding mountain bikes. Shawn Gillis, owner of Absolute Bikes, loaned me his super-bad-ass Yeti SB-4.5  We rode up North Backbone, including the new connector trail, then down Cottonwood. Classic Salida ride. Despite not feeling the affects of the elevation too badly, I was all over the trail, unable find my groove. Regardless, I had a blast, so happy to be back in Salida with this group of people.

The legend, Ryan “Squirrel” Knobbe and myself.

Feels to great to be back riding with this guy.

Just a few of our 10 man riding posse on North Backbone

Sunday morning, myself, Reilly, Craig and James met for brunch. Fuelled up, we set out to ride the Bear Creek loop. Up Bear Creek Road, east on the Rainbow Trails, then down Guts to Race Track. This time I suffered on the climb, quickly falling behind the boys. Happily, I felt great once we started zooming along that fast alpine single-track. Despite Reilly going down once when his front wheel lost contact with the trail, we were hooting and hollering as we flew along those trails. Yup, just another day in paradise.

Reilly nearly falls asleep waiting for me to finish the Bear Creek climb

What a great crew!! Reilly, Craig, James and myself.

Today is Monday. It is cool and the clouds have rolled in, there is the threat of snow. Fine, let it snow; those two days alone made the trip to Colorado completely worth it. Though, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t pleased to see the rest of the week should be sunny and warm.  Guess that means I just might have to go turn the pedals a bit more while I’m here…

 

 

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