Mountain biking!


I wanted to ride my dual sport motorcycle today, but I had no riding partner to go with me. As it is always a bad idea to ride dirt alone, I went mountain biking instead. Alone. LOL.

I guess the difference is that I’ve ridden by myself on the mountain bike for about 12 years, or more, and the only thing I am really afraid of out here on our “secret trails” is mountain lions. Lots of them live here, and it kind of freaks me out when I am riding in high, close-in rocks. These trails are remote, and technical. Most people who discover them ride here once and find it too challenging. That’s the beauty of these trails, not many people are on them. Today I think I met only three other riders during the entire ride.

It was an extraordinary day! Clouds and sun, a little rain, cold air. I could see Four Peaks, and it looked like it was stormy near the top. I appreciated being able to go mountain biking, and I loved every moment. I felt strong, too, even though I haven’t been riding much. Apart from a ride two weeks ago on an easy trail, I hadn’t ridden in about a year. I made all my climbs today, rode them without stopping, which totally amazed me. These trails are not easy.

On the way to the trail network

I started out on an easy trail to warm up. It’s one of few ways to get into this network.

Red Mountain in the distance

I was so lucky that a storm blew in from the Pacific on a day that I was not working and could ride, and I could enjoy it so thoroughly.

Dramatic clouds

This is where I started one of the long climbs.

Fallen cactus

I felt a little bit of rain, not much though. It was as if someone were in front of me intermittently spraying a spray bottle. My jacket lasted about 2 minutes into the ride, though. I ride hard and I am never cold once I get going.

View from the top, the top of this trail, anyway

I hate how these horrible people have built their homes right up to our trails. We were here first.

Soon, I came to the more difficult climb of the day, but I went right up. I was pleasantly surprised. On the other side there is a large development. I hate it because when I first started coming out here in the late ’90s, there was nothing around. Now it’s ruined by having to look at the backyards of houses that come right up to the national forest. I wonder if anyone ever thinks about how much we hate looking at their crappy houses? Probably not because it’s obviously all about them.

Plant with white "bubbles"

Soon I was flying down the downhill part, then up a short but steep climb, and then another downhill all the way back to the warmup trail. I only rode about an hour, but it was so great. Mountain biking is the one thing that I do really well, but it certainly isn’t a spectator sport!

Flowering Palo Verde tunnel (last mile)

Back at the car, my husband was waiting there, reading a book. He kindly offered to go with me. “I can read a book anywhere,” he said. I liked having time with him while we were driving.

When I finally got home, I peeled off my dusty clothes, got in the shower, and felt that tired glow that only mountain biking gives me. I love that I can do something that 99.9% of other people can’t, and probably don’t want to, do.

(The photos today are from my little Canon pocket camera. I don’t take my big cameras out mountain biking for obvious reasons! I think it’s a great little camera.)

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