It has been a very busy year at Rodeo and that in itself has been exciting and exhausting at the same time. We haven’t quite had the time resources to plan Rallies or Roundup this year but we did kick off a weekly Tuesday night ride in Denver called Table Top Tuesdays. The rides are open invite to anyone who wants to go wring themselves out on the local roads and trails in and around Denver, Golden, North Table, and South Table mountains.
With my stomach growling from hunger I nursed the dregs of my nearly empty Camelbak and scanned the trail ahead. Rocks. Endless rocks. The slight uphill of the trail told me I had yet to reach the top but just how much further before the final descent, I couldn’t recall. Twelve hours on the bike had taken its toll both physically and mentally. My mind was clouded, buzzing with that blurry feeling that happens right before it all starts shutting down. And with the exhaustion and pain, the doubt started to creep in. What the heck was I thinking? Didn’t I swear I’d never do this again? Once was enough. It’s too long. Too hard. It had been nearly a year since I’d ridden this stretch of Short Mountain and all I could focus on was getting to the long descent down to the trailhead. Just a bit further and it’s all downhill. All downhill to dinner and a break from the rocks. And with the thought of food and water on my mind, I pushed ahead. Just a bit further.
I believe Adventure does not have to have a logical purpose.
I believe Adventure for adventure’s sake is reason enough. A reason to try a little harder. To dig a little deeper. To find out what one is truly capable of. And often times, reflection on our most memorable Adventures starts along the lines of “I don’t know what I was thinking, but…”
I would not classify myself as an “adventurist” by any means—I have a half-dozen kids, a demanding job, and other adult responsibilities. But the lure of an Adventure is enough to keep me going thought the minutia of long meetings and tiresome commutes during my daily grind. About a year ago I wrote a note to my buddy G. He and I had spent several rides together on the rocky, technical trails along Massanutten Ridge in George Washington National Forest, Northern Virgina. I had a fleeting vision of something completely irrational and illogical. In short, an Adventure.
We all laughed when the name popped out of my mouth over a morning coffee. I was describing to Chris and Peder that I wanted to build a new cyclocross bike. My 2001 Bianchi Axis, though still a worthy steed, is showing signs of age. It still gets the job done in a standard cyclocross race, but over the last year I’ve been taking the bike places it just wasn’t built to go, and it’s struggled to keep up with my demands. I am, to a fault, loyal to my beat up old warhorse bikes. My stable includes a 2001 Yeti AS-R MTB, the 2001 Bianchi Axis, and my 2007 Felt FA road bike. I recently added the Cannondale SuperSix (which I won), but it is the exception to my miserly bike ownership. When I was a bit younger (and single) I wanted bikes that were the lightest, fastest things out there, but now I’m more pragmatic about the hardware and the true performance gains it affords. Only when I come to the end of what I think one of my bikes can do do I start looking around for a new bike.
By Chris Joseph
Kokopelli Trail May 1-3 2014
- 136 total miles (218 km) in 22 hours ride time, 50 hours Total time
- Lessons learned:
- Good people and water are very, very valuable
- Bike shoes are not made for hiking
- Garmin doesn’t always know the way
- Cliff bars make a good adhesive for gluing teeth back in
- Taking photos requires energy. Less energy = less photos
- The comfort of sleeping on the ground increases exponentially depending on how tired you are
- When very dehydrated and hallucinating rocks can sometimes look like boxes stacked neatly on the trail in front of you
- The words “man up” can be humorous or humiliating depending on the point of origin
- Chainring wounds look similar to shark bites, only with a little grease mixed into the blood