elisa jones mountain biking lunch loop

Must Get Out

“‘Cause I need freedom now
And I need to know how
To live my life as it’s meant to be.”– Mumford and Sons, The Cave

It took a literal eternity to get out on a ride today.

Here’s how the day went. Wake up at 3:30am. Battle demons until about 7, when joined by two little boys. 7:30- get up and take care of little boys. 8-9, listen to Dennis complain about trying to find stuff to go for a ride. Why do I always feel it’s my fault when he can’t find tire levers? I need to get over that! Bathed and dressed kiddos. 9:15- got on the trainer, good hard interval workout to burn off all this…muck? Negative energy? 11:30- finish that up, feeling better…make lunch….shower, dress, do hair…Dennis eventually gets home about 12:00. 12:30 leave for church. 1:00 do the Sunday Christmas worship stuff (I played horn, led the choir, sang). 2:30 get home from church. 2:30-3:30 I have no idea what actually happened this hour. I think I ate a sugar cookie and did some laundry, started to pack for my trip….

And I don’t know why, but I couldn’t get out the door. I think part of me was (wait for it….) afraid. It was cold, but I was used to the cold. I wanted to ride, didn’t I? What was I afraid of? The frozen trails? I’d ridden them before. I’d RUN them yesterday. Was it the still-healing incision wound? Maybe. What was I stalling for? What am I stalling for now? Why do we stall? Why is it called stall? Isn’t that where peeps who have horses keep them?

Okay, so I finally staunched my courage, put my shoulder to the wheel so to speak, and got out. Opted for the Secret Stash again today in hopes the trails would be more snow than ice and provide me with fairly-easy ride. And for the most part it was. Except any time I got remotely off the packed trail, then I would sink in 4 inches of snow. This was not an uncommon experience for this area of trails. In the summer if you go off-trail you are in 4 inches of sand.

I will tell you this: I felt amazing. Maybe I’m in shape, maybe I have just been going so relatively slow for so long that eaking out a bit of speed on the mtb feels like going Warp 7+…but whatever the reason, it felt good.

I got to the top of the major climb and shot a couple pix. Then began a very tricky descent. This trail is tricky without snow. With it the trail is more smooth, but also more technically challenging. I’ll be honest, I got a little terrified. And then I was going so fast that the vibrations gratis the ruts in the snow began to pulverize my arms. I felt a sting in my wrist. My arm was going numb.

Soon the sun tipped below the Monument and it immediately dropped 20 degrees. I had exposed flesh thanks to my warm tights being in the wash. Before long I went from cold, to frozen, to burning. Like freezer burn. Stinging and searing ice into my epithelial cells.

Here I showed wisdom and opted for the swiftest route back to my Jeep. I had ridden for a total of about 35 minutes. I decided not to bring my bike with me to San Juan County, Utah.

When I removed my gloves in the Jeep, sure enough, my incision had split open and was bleeding. Not bad enough to cause any real concern, but enough that I worried somewhat. Perhaps I’ll wait a couple days before attempting to ride again. (Insert extreme frustration here.)

But at least I got a couple nice pictures.

Shadowy figure, Bookcliffs in the background.
Shadowy figure, Bookcliffs in the background.
Sunkissed.
Sunkissed.
Because Dave teases me about tilting my head in pictures.
Because Dave teases me about tilting my head in pictures.