Elisa Jones mountian bike ride rustler's loop kokopelli trails colorado in winter

Happy Birthday to all and to all a Happy New Year

Okay, maybe not Happy Birthday to ALL, but Happy Birthday to ME. And the “New Year” thing? Well, it’s a new year for me, isn’t it? I mean, I’ve never been this age before. New= better, right?

If you haven’t read my first post, get on it. It will explain what I’m doing here. Can be summed-up in one word: documentation. Or maybe: evidence. Or perhaps: incentive. Any way you want to interpret my insanity, you are welcome to do so. Well met, indeed! Oh oh! Could be called: gibberish. Now. Preliminaries over, let’s get onto the main event.

My first 365 took me to play on the dirty damp bike trails near Fruita, CO. My husband, Dennis, installed me a new dropper seat post on me sweet little 29er. I call him The Mr. Stig. Well I just HAD to try out my new gifty, right?

Had planned on a solo mission (my typical MO), but had a last-minute self-invite from my buddy Dave. It went something like, “Oh, you going to ride? Pick you up in 5 min.” Can’t turn down free trip to Koko/Loma, right? Also, Dave takes good pictures. And he let’s me talk about books, my kids, our mutual jobs, politics, religion…and he took me for Chai at Roasted afterward. Happy birthday to me, indeed!

So off we go to the Koko. Little lap of Rustler’s Loop, working the dropper for the DH bits. Tried it out on a techy climb, too! Didn’t quite clean the tricky bit on the first go, so dropped it and polished on the second try.

(In other words, I had to put my foot down on a difficult obstacle on my first try, so I rode down it, tried it again, and made it the second time without putting a foot down. Now get with the lingo.)

I was suffering due to my hernia being all out of whack. It’s hard to ride when, 1) Your stomach is encroaching on your lungs, 2) Your digestive system is stabbing you in the spleen, and 3) You haven’t eaten properly in days because your stomach is encroaching on your lungs. But I sallied forth anyway!

Soon we were climbing up Mary’s Loop, discussing plans for Thanksgiving. Dave’s family is going to enjoy the posh meal options at 626 (perks to being married to a Dr., right?). I’m going to embark on a journey to the Motherland (Utah), to partake of vittles with my extensive extended family.

We dropped down to Horsethief and decided to do something CRAZY! That’s right, y’all. We rode it COUNTER-clockwise. After the recent precipitation there was only one word for the trail: herodirt.

The weather was also impeccable. When we started out the fog was low, the sun only cutting through to light up sections of the red cliff walls. Without the tops of the cliffs in perspective it was deceiving. They could have reached a mile into the sky. The concept was intoxicating.

As the sun rose to peak, the fog burned off and blue sky dominated over the cracks, canyons, sculpted formations, and lit the sparkling waters of the Colorado River. It was immense beauty that caused us to pause more than once. And we weren’t the only ones. Three others passed us headed clockwise- also partaking in the beauty of that Monday afternoon.

We climbed our bikes back up the drop-in (you’d think it’s just the upper-body portion of the workout/ride, but really it’s a full-body/core thing. Good training.), and raced back down Mary’s. For the second time since sacrificing it to a bash guard, I missed my big ring. I couldn’t shake Dave off my tail! I engaged the dropper a final time a virtually flew down the remaining trial. I was a bird. The bike was my wind. My wings, though invisible, make me look like an angel. I’ll try and get a picture next time.

Other things about this ride I forgot to mention: meeting a pair of gents w/ fat bikes taking them to Aspen for a ski swap/demo who were from a ski company in Utah (Surface); little kid with a bloody knee (I’m super jealous); Dave catching a tree in the shoulder; and quicksand. So Enduro.

The experience was topped off by enjoying a Chai (aforementioned), being met on-scene by my client/friend Matt, and getting to show off my dropper to co-board-member Robb.

All in all, a Happy Birthday!

IMG_4394[1] Elisa on Horsethief 11/25/2013 IMG_4387[1]


Whenever the pressure of our complex city life thins my blood and numbs my brain, I seek relief in the trail; and when I hear the coyote wailing to the yellow dawn, my cares fall from me – I am happy.

Hamlin Garland