Sometimes the best rides come together last minute. This is one of those rides. The invite went out late in the day Saturday for an early Sunday departure. I didn’t know if anybody would be able to come. I didn’t even know if I wanted a big group or not. I was heading east because nowadays east is where I go to clear my head.

Sometimes you put out a ride invite and optimistically hope that only the right people show up. The “right” people are people that want to ride about as fast as you, that don’t mind stopping when you want to.

The right people are also easy to talk to, they laugh at your dumb jokes. You laugh at their dumb jokes too. The right people consider dumb jokes to be an art form.

The right people don’t mind wind, don’t mind flats, don’t mind washboard, and don’t mind getting up early.

Tom, Josh, Geoff, and Patrick were the right people on Sunday. I’m really glad that they showed up. It was a great ride.

Geoff heading east on Quincy. Probably smiling because conditions couldn't be better.

Geoff heading east on Quincy. Probably smiling because conditions couldn’t be better.

Gravel grinding. Long, straight stretches of hero dirt were a welcome sight.

Long, straight stretches of hero dirt were a welcome sight.

Tom amused us all day long by attacking and winning pretty much every climb over 50ft tall, of which there were many.

Tom amused us all day long by attacking and winning pretty much every climb over 50ft tall, of which there were many.

The rollers heading east are straight and nearly never ending. That isn't necessarily a bad thing.

The rollers heading east are straight and nearly never ending. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

One of the reasons to go east is to be awed and overwhelmed by the scale and minimalism of the pace. Contrasted against our Rocky Mountains the prairie has an equal, if distinct beauty.

One of the reasons to go east is to be awed and overwhelmed by the scale and minimalism of the pace. Contrasted against our Rocky Mountains the prairie has an equal, if distinct beauty.

For ten minutes we absolutely OWNED this intersection.

For ten minutes we absolutely OWNED this intersection.

I'm not really sure how it works, but sometimes the gravel is white, then you take a right turn and it's black.

I’m not really sure how it works, but sometimes the gravel is white, then you take a right turn and it’s black.

One man's dumping ground is another man's epic group photo.

One man’s dumping ground is another man’s epic group photo.

The other guys don't freak out like I do when we spot pronghorn, but I can't help it. Fastest land animal in North America. There one moment, gone the next.

The other guys don’t freak out like I do when we spot pronghorn, but I can’t help it. Fastest land animal in North America. There one moment, gone the next.

Pretty sure this is Josh's happy face. It's subtle, but fairly constant.

Pretty sure this is Josh’s happy face. It’s subtle, but fairly constant.

If you ride far enough east the mountains will disappear. It's a singular feeling when you look back where they should be and they are no longer there. Plains vertigo, if there is such a thing. When they reappear it is reassuring. You are almost home.

If you ride far enough east the Rocky Mountains will disappear over the horizon. It’s a singular feeling when you look back where they should be and they are no longer there. Plains vertigo, if there is such a thing. When they reappear it is reassuring. You are almost home.

14,265′ Mount Evans welcomes us home every time.

14,265′ Mount Evans welcomes us home every time.

 

 

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