05 May 2012

Peaks pavé

My recently-unbroken fancy-bike and I went on a fine long solo-ride today to celebrate the ending of my most recent grad-class. The ride wasn't fast. Nor was I especially skillful along the way.  But it was nice to be out, freed from the constraints of what has become the standard-fare of my weekend: spending my Saturdays buried under a mound of homework.  

Peaks pavé
I had a little extra-time on my hands today.

My homework was mostly-done, and the day ahead was generally otherwise uncluttered.  So I planned to head out on a somewhat longer ride than I've been on in a while this morning after breakfast.  Two hours.  That's what I wanted.  Just two solid hours on the bike.  Two hours of riding never used to seem particularly long.  But these days, what with work and life and the classes I'm taking, I cannot recall the last time I got out for a ride so lengthy.

The hint of a tail-breeze going up Schultz had me feeling pretty great on the way out. And post-ride, seeing a new season-PR on the stretch from the parking lot to the Lincoln logs, confirms the sense of well-being I had heading up to my climbing-goal: Weatherford.

I typically only ride Weatherford Trail a few times in any season.  It doesn't really connect to much of anywhere.  And it never seems easy.  But it felt especially-not-easy today.  Having recently served duty as a major fire-line, the first half of Weatherford has been trashed and reassembled since the Schultz Fire a few years ago.  But to say the trailwork that got done was an improvement would be to overstate the facts; it's still pretty sucky.  But it's lovely compared to the upper half, which is still just as bony and loosely-cobbled with Peaks pavé as it always has been, for as long as I've known it.  Makes for slow-going and calls for the occasional dab, too.

Nevertheless, the trail tops out at the wilderness boundary at 8880 feet, the climbing-limit for bicycles on the south-facing slopes of the Peaks, in the middle of a beautiful high-alpine meadow with broad views of the landscape above and below, which tends to make the whole suffer-fest of getting there feel almost worth it.

Got home with a total riding time of 2:02.


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May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. -- Ed Abbey