Spring in the desert

My weekly mountain bike ride into the desert was particularly great today. The sun was out, the temperature in the 70s F., and I was treated to the appearance of the first wildflowers of the season!

It started out well. After the climb up to the saddle, I went to the right to go ride that little loop that I like so much. Today I “cleaned” it (rode it clean). I didn’t even unclip from my pedals once as I rode all the little climbs and ledges and quick little turns. I was excited about that. In fact, when I got back to the main trail I stopped for a moment for an air high-five (no one was with me).

Then I rode to the switchbacks. I rode toward the “other” way down and checked it out, which is over a rock bridge. It is actually an easier way, but it looks more intimidating. I am going to choose that way next time I am out there because there isn’t anything more technical than what is already on other parts of the trail. I skidded against a rock a little bit once I got to the main part of the trail. If I don’t hit the line absolutely perfect every time, that can happen. I scraped my arm on the granite, but once in a while I have to give a few drops of blood to the mountain bike gods. At least blood wasn’t dripping everywhere, which has happened in the past when it’s been a more spectacular crash. I was okay with that, though, because I was riding a section faster than I have for a while.

After I got down to the lower part of the trail, after I had negotiated The Wall, I stopped a couple of times, which I normally don’t, to shoot a few photos. The desert was really beautiful today, so I couldn’t resist:

Tangled branches of a fallen ocotillo:


Look at that lovely single track!

Desert penstemon:

Too soon, I was back at the car. Today I drove my ’96 Camry with the bike rack, and I liked that my car and the bike were about the same vintage. I could just hear other people thinking, “old school!” You always know a true mountain biker when the car is worth a fraction of what the bike on top is. I loved driving that car today, though. The seats are lovely, the a/c is super-cold (always a plus in the desert). You just can’t beat a Camry.

Next week is the beginning of spring break, and I am hoping to spend a good part of it on the mountain bike trails!


One thought on “Spring in the desert

  1. It looks like you “cleaned” this post. I don’t see any technical mistakes. It seems you did not have to unclip your fingers from the keys once you got started.

    I did like your choice of expletives about the desert. What? You don’t remember any? Well, what about “desert penstemon?” Yeah. I feel the same way about the desert sometimes. Oh, that is a flower, not a curse word? Never mind.

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