Monthly Archives: April 2014

elisa jones mountain biking

The One Where I Get A Little Racey

“If everything seems under control, you’re not going fast enough.”
― Mario Andretti

So I was lined up to host a ladies ride tonight, but no one showed. It was okay, though! I opted for a little solo ride with some obstacle sessioning- which is what I was planning on anyway. It was good for me to ride up clean and conquer some challenges that had yet to allude me.

And I’m such a weirdo about it. I’m so glad there aren’t peeps around most of the time I’m working on things. I cuss and shout and swear and scream and cheer “BRAVO! BRAVO!!” when I make it up something. And in true classically-trained-musician fashion, making it once doesn’t cut it. You have to perfect it. As I’ve been told many times, “Don’t practice until you get it right. Practice until you can’t get it wrong.”

Once I was satisfied progress had been made, it dropped back to the TH just in case someone had the time wrong, but was found alone again (“alone” being a relative term because these days the weather is so nice and the trails so prime that we’re hosting many many peeps).

I decided to pop some chews (like caffeinated gummy bears), and try to get my race on. Sparky had taken my coveted QOM on the Lite Lunch Strava segment, and had even beat me on the Pet-e-kes climb. I had to prove I still had the skillz to be competitive, even though I choose not to compete (most of the time…ha ha ha).

So I hit it. Blazing. Caught several people on Pet-e-kes, cleaned every obstacle (see reason above), and continued onto High Noon, and Raven Ridge. I was pelting down the trail and BAM! Pinch flat. The air went out of me as fast as it went out of my tire. I pushed “Stop” on Strava and stood there on the edge overlooking the Loops while it uploaded.

I couldn’t be too disappointed when it showed I’d taken the 7th place spot on the Pet-e-kes climb and 5th on the High Noon descent. Not bad for having taken the opportunity to be polite to other trail users.

As I hiked down Raven Ridge I ran into John (not the same one as yesterday), and after hiking down Bentonite Hill into David W. and a group of riders, who talked with me about the Sarlacc trail work and opening ceremony coming up on Saturday. It was nice to hear their enthusiasm! For me it’s felt like a lot of work and worry and I’ll be excited to partake in the fun of the actual day.

But for now, I gotta get my tire fixed.

Panorama taken from Curt's Lane.
Panorama taken from Curt’s Lane.
grand junction mountain biking


Friendship is the only cement that will ever hold the world together. – Woodrow T. Wilson

One of the things I LOVE about living in the Grand Valley is that it’s a small enough town that I frequently run into people I know when I’m out on the trail. Even at 6 am. Or 10 am. Or 9 pm. Now, granted, I try and go out of my way to meet people and am oriented toward the trail community right now… but that doesn’t lessen the enjoyment at all.

Today I was riding over to Dave’s for a meeting (since he just got back from the Epic Rides’ Whiskey 50 and had a lot of information to talk over). I decided to take the most-direct option through the Secret Stash (though I didn’t really go direct, but more of a round-about doddering route). The wildflowers are out in force and the morning was perfection.

I was on a singletrack skirting high on a hill and saw a trail runner far below me:

Runner aheadYou can maybe just see him as a dark spot on this picture. But my thought, whenever I see people ahead of me on the trail, is “Peeps. Let’s go get ’em.” (Thanks, Dennis, for that one. )

So I hit it. I had no idea where he was going or who he was or from whence he came, so it was a pleasant surprise when I did catch him and it was my friend, John! We both stopped and had a little “How are you? I’m fine. How are you? Good. Busy. Busy? Me, too. Stressed. Feels good to get out.” Seriously, I could spend a whole post telling you about how cool John is.

Went our separate ways, and I headed down one of my typical descent lines. But when I got to the wash, I was disappointed to find that the trail was largely obscured by massive piles of tumbleweed. It was interesting to observe the variety of emotions that provoked me in quick succession: frustration, anger, patience, then…. intrigue.

You see, the trail had started to change. Because there was far too much tumbleweed for a single-person extraction, the natural tendency of people to go around challenges rather than face them, had begun to alter the trail. Rather than keeping to the relatively-straight line of the wash, a trail had started to develop that rises up the walls of the wash to avoid the piles of weed.

It was fascinating to me. “Nature finds a way.” Or something like that. It felt profound.

IMG_8062 IMG_8064 IMG_8065 IMG_8066



grand junction mountain biking

Girl’s In the Morning

“Wake! For the Sun, who scatter’d into flight
The Stars before him from the Field of Night,
Drives Night along with them from Heav’n,
and strikes
The Sultan’s Turret with a Shaft of Light”
― Omar KhayyamRubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

Tricia made the arrangements. We were going to meet at Lunch Loop at 6:15. I knew that she’d invited another girl, Maggie, but when I got there Maggie and I discovered Becca had been invited as well. The three of us got to know each other a bit while waiting for Tricia. 15 minutes later we decided something had probably come up for Tricia so the three of us- who had met for the first time- decided we’d hit the trail together.

Half-way up Pet-e-kes while we re-grouped, Tricia caught up to us, and we were four. We continued up, took a left onto High Noon, Raven Ridge, and looped around Miramonte Rim. By then it was late in the morning, so Tricia and I cut out for home while the others continued on.

There’s something about riding with such agreeable women that you just don’t get elsewhere. There’s an instant camaraderie. We come from a variety of backgrounds and we are all in a different phase in our lives (though to be fair the three of them all have babies around 1-year and my “baby” is now 6). But through a shared enjoyment of riding our bikes, we have a common bond. I used to feel so intimidated riding with other women- other people in general- but the women I’ve ridden with lately are just so chill, accepting.

I can’t help but miss my sisters, in whose company I feel a very similar emotion- or I used to. There was a time I would see either or both of my older sisters at least once a week, and Lindsay more than that. Part of me misses those days, and part of me recognizes the growth I’ve embraced since then. I am content.

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