Midnight Rodeo

Short version:

I found a black feather, in the shadow of night, chasing ghosts on the midnight trail.

The longer version:
Salida. Ed and I saddled up the ponies late in the evening, intending to ride the ColoTrail from Blanks cabin, North, into the night. And then back. Not a large ride by any means. But a demanding one, nonetheless.

We left camp in the sweet kiss of evening light, and barrelled down the initial 5 miles high on speed and the magical energy of the last moments of the golden hour. Around mile 6-ish, we found the need to light the torches and ride the ponies rodeo style, in the thick of night.

My pace slowed, to a rowdy saunter, as darkness enveloped us.

I have 3 words for this trail, with a multitude of meanings: That Trail Rocks -- in all possible manners of the word. It is one of my favorites.

The Good news is, I can ride a messy trail of rocks, uphill and downhill, in the dark. Good, good news.

That bad news is: 12 days of 2 different types of antibiotics, a completely compromised diet and all the disorder that creates within the body, have absolutely killed me, any energy store I might have had, and 99.5% of my spirit. Period.

Thus, it was a slow ride for me, chasing Ed, whose black cape feathered behind him, leaving me encased in the liquid night. Alone. And solo. And finally (for once), very, very comfortable. At last! I have found comfort on the pony, in the Wild (and sometimes terrifying) West, in the secretive places of the night-forest.

I won't lie. There was fear. And I struggled for the majority of all that fast, furious and unruly flow, trying to pin down what it was... exactly. Turns out it had nothing to do with the potential of spending 16-20 hours out there alone in a few weeks. Nope. And, it had nothing to do with the depth of the night. It had nothing to do with the rocks or the woods or the eyes flashing in my lights from somewhere deep in the chaotic and black forest. Nope.

Turns out I was simply afraid of riding this section, this night, backwards ... as in: we got ourselves out there, and it was a rollicking, mad hoot to do so. In my mind, and with what I could tell was an absolutely empty inner tank, I had to haul my butt, my pony, my lights, my pack, and my heavy brain back up that rodeo to get to camp. That scared me, because I knew I had less than nothing to give.

The good thing about this section is that in truth, it's not really that long. So, all I had to remember was: no matter what, I would make it back to camp, back to a nice cool shower in the dark, and into my fluffy, cozy sweet bed ... at some point.

I walked a lot of the steep (and not so steep) stuff. But I rode all the chunky stuff. That success alone lit a fire just big enough to get myself back to camp, out of my soaking wet riding clothes (apparently I was sweating like a horse), through the cool midnight shower, and into my pillowy clean bed.

Along the way the universe provided two additional gifts: I saw a baby owl on the trail. And I found my black feather off the side of the trail, settled in a mess of rocks and sticks. And then somewhere in the witching hours that night, as I lie lost in dreams, the coyotes started a mad, mad howl.

For those of you who know what I'm talking about, I hereby pronounce that Section 2 bears the name of: Midnight Rodeo. I also request that all who shall ride it the night of September 12th listen to Beck's, Black Tambourine while riding rowdy through the rocky sections.

I'm just sayin'.



more pix

More pictures from our lovely last weekend!!

You can also see them here.

I wish I was still there!



FriSatSun: Pony LOVE

Thank you, Darling ... for every single second, and every single mile...

a little break-in ride

a lot of pony love in the super-high

you do see Ed in that picure, right!?



new to us trails ... not another soul for 4 hours




another year has already rolled by?

Nothing marks the turning of a full years worth of gears than: Cyn's annual Dirt-Crit Awards party!!

How is it that she seems to give awards to people who never even show up to the dirt crits -- not even once? I think she needs to re-name this little get together, because it truly is a Boulder Annual Event, and it truly is the Highlight of August for many cyclists ... we all need a little BUMP in our summer in August, don't we!?!?

True to form, Cyn always throws a wonderful event for the pure sake of her community. I mean, she IS the center of it, isn't she? Who better than to provide a mid-week get together of comic proportions?!

Looking forward to seeing all The People tonight!!!

Cyn ------- you really are a rock-star, you know that?



maybe... juuusst maybe...


first 40 miles: better than very well
40 mile complete implosion
20 minute break: humming bird landed on my handlebars!
did NOT quit: +20 miles, continuing, taking the long way home (but still missing the larger goal for today -- which isn't bad considering I've not been able to ride like 10 miles at all for the last month (not including last weekend)).

ED, however --- managed to reach our original goal today!!!!: ALL trails at Buff Creek in one thoroughly convoluted set of 8 loops. Or something messy like that! Well done, hon!!! Next time I won't skip out on the last 3 ;-)




I took myself out for a 50 mile, 5000'up, 5 hour ride on my favorite trail in an effort to re-inspire and re-motivate.

However, truth is, most of my motivation came from knowing that I could rendezvous with the CTR racers!!

7:45am, I started at the Buff Creek Ranger Station, as usual, hit Shinglemill, then the ColoTrail up to the top parking lot, then over onto 'top of the world' and headed over to the drop-climb-BigDrop down to the Platte.

I caught them ALL climbing up the trail from the Platte river. The lead racers had crested the summit of that darn hill in just under 3 hours. OUCH. OUUUUCCCCHHH. OWWIE .... Crazy People, I tell you!

This one is for Lynda:

All I said as I saw him flying down then back up the hill was: "CRACKHEADDDDD!!!!".... He just laughed and almost missed the trail as he said: "jj!!!!!!" That was the end of that encounter.

Then... Stefan!!!!

He was lookin' so casual and so not even remotely sweaty ... I had to wonder ;-) He actually wanted to stop and say HI! Sweet man!

Was lucky to see Scott Morris ... the man, the myth, the magical blogger!

Mr. Greg Bachman..... He was sooo mmmeeellloowww and sweet!!!!

Our very own, Dave Nice!

For ALL of the pix, and all but about 5 of the riders, click HERE!

After seeing everyone, and taking pix, I continued to drop all the way down. I crossed the river and climbed up the East side towards Waterton, and blissed my little brain and body out... for a while ;-) I dropped to the Moto-No-No sign and pipes just after the waterfall drop, and turned my sorry ass around.

LOVELY day out on the trail. Good news for me is that it took me 4 hours to hit my tired place instead of 30 minutes. Let's hope today wasn't just a fluke. Or an accident. Or something.



my saturday...

and tonkas saturday, too...