elisa jones mountain biking winter


“If you’re reading this…
Congratulations, you’re alive.
If that’s not something to smile about,
then I don’t know what is.” 
― Chad SuggMonsters Under Your Head

I wasn’t much better today than the day before. Last night was immense suffering. I slept fitfully when I slept at all. This morning I was suffering from a fever of the body and sickness in my thoughts.

But I was still determined to ride. I’ve missed my bike more than I’d care to admit. There’s just some really fantastic freedom you find pedaling yourself around on dirt- or in the case of today’s experience, snow. I ache for the freedom of speed on the trail.

Dave joined me and we hit the Secret Stash. This place is great if you just want to ride and ride and ride. Pick a trail, and go. No planning necessary. No mental preparation for what you’re about to suffer. Just hop on your bike and go.

We didn’t talk much. I was still unwell and really had nothing to say. But as we climbed toward the crest of the hill, the sun broke through the clouds to light the red-rock cliffs of the National Monument directly in front of us. It was as if the world was saying, “It’s okay, Elisa. It’s all going to be okay.” It was an immediate restorative to my soul, if not to my body.

From there the rest of the ride was more enjoyable. My body, though aching in my head and weak from fever, felt powerful. It was, at times, exhilarating. The snow forces you to new technical levels, because if you ride with sloppy technique you fall down. I don’t like falling down.

Eventually, we hit the downhill, and froze. We opted to cut out; Dave had to get to work and I had to get in a hot bath.  But I came away feeling encouraged. Like maybe, just maybe, things will be okay.

Check out that lighting. Heaven on earth, I tell you!
Check out that lighting. Heaven on earth, I tell you!
Yeah. You can see on my face how awesome I'm feeling.
Yeah. You can see on my face how awesome I’m feeling.