Tag Archives: kessel run

Matt Janson and Elisa Jones 18 road trails fruita, colorado sunset panorama chris and joy works

18 Road…with the Works

“Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.”
Mark Twain

I would add to that: good food, good scenery, and good fun.

Here in the Grand Valley we are blessed to have all of the above.

Matt and I closed on our house this week, so we spent the weekend working on the house. That means we spent pretty much the 18 hours before we headed to 18 road scraping 1800 square feet of popcorn ceiling.

We were a little bushed, to say the least.

Nevertheless, I have- FINALLY- come to acknowledge the importance of putting off what you can do tomorrow so you can have some fun today. By adopting this philosophy you end up being able to get that job and MORE done the next day because you’re in top mental and physical form.

Unless you drink too much.

We had only about 80 minutes before sunset when we set out from the TH. Matt and I had made it out there first and waited for Chris and Joy Works to join us. The plan: ride bikes, bbq food, drink beers. As a bonus, we got to watch the winter sun set.

It was our first time riding with this couple- though we have hiked many a mile of trail with them, and truly enjoy their company. We climbed Prime Cut and descended Kessel Run and by the time we conquered that route the sun was not high enough for us to conquer another.

It was all well and good, though, as the SUPERMOON was rising over the Bookcliffs and the sunset gave us quite a show.

We also had some hot brats, Soul Shakin’ from Palisade, and if there is something more delicious than grilled pineapple after a ride, I can’t imagine what it would be.

Once we were nice and cold, I got the privilege of being the DD to drive home.


Here are Matt, Joy, and Chris. I LOVE being out on the trails with these 3 peeps.


Matt was a little worn out. I’ve been working out, though, and was feeling GREAT!img_7343

SUNSTAR! BOOM!img_7344

A man of many talents- not the least of which is beard growth.img_7348

Obligatory pano.img_7349

Chris does a chips+salsa photo bomb. Again: BOOM!img_7351


Mountain Biking in the dark


“Those who dance are considered insane by those who cannot hear the music.” 
― George Carlin

“I’m not in search of sanctity, sacredness, purity; these things are found after this life, not in this life; but in this life I search to be completely human: to feel, to give, to take, to laugh, to get lost, to be found, to dance, to love and to lust, to be so human.” 
― C. JoyBell C.

Wow tonight was great. I had some business in Fruita, so I headed that way and decided to bring the lights and ride a little night solo at 18 road.

I’ve been feeling really strong lately, so I hit the Prime Cut climb hard, racing the sunlight, and floated down PBR in the shadows long-past sunset. It was borderline insanity, and very fun!

I got back to the lot and donned my lights, headed up for round three and did Joe’s Ridge as well. It was freaky riding along the fin with only dark air on either side of me. But my music was pumping, and my heart raced. I felt amazing, despite fighting the fatigue of the day.

Round three I went up Prime Cut and down Kessel Run. At the top of the climb I was tired and needed some calories,  but I didn’t want to eat anything that might keep me up all night, so instead I took of my pack, turned off the music, and laid in the desert; completely alone but me and the stars and the sounds of night.

The run down Kessel was a blast, and I  mused about the first time I had ridden it- the week we moved to Grand Junction and were forced tourists due to not having a place to live. I didn’t know how to ride very well then, and it was more than terrifying. Then here I was 2.5 years later, flying through the dark- comfortable, happy.

When I got back to the parking lot, my little red Jeep was the only vehicle left. I removed my sweaty clothes and put  on my sweat pants. But before I was totally clothed the moon asked me to dance. So I obliged. He and I partied in the empty parking lot, dancing like no one was watching, because no one was.

It will remain one of the best moments of my life.

Here’s one of the songs that set me grooving: IN YOUR ARMS

Here’s some Strava action: NOCTURNAL EMISSIONS

Here’s some pictures:

IMG_1891 IMG_1892  IMG_1950 IMG_1951IMG_1893What a great way to start off my last month of this experience.


mountain biking in the dark


“If you can’t fight and you can’t flee, flow.” 
― Robert Elias

Sometimes I feel like I can’t run, I can’t crawl
And sometimes I feel like I ain’t nothing at all
Life is a journey where you stumble and fall
But I’m okay” – Nico and Vinz, In Your Arms

If you know me,  you know that I like structure. I like predictability. Poor Dave, too many time has inadvertently shaken me by requesting a change of venue. Not of time, mind you, or even activity,  but just CHANGE OF VENUE. A matter of miles. Secret Stash instead of Lunch Loop or the Monument. I go NUTS. I had one thing planned and that’s what I had planned! You can’t change it.

Needless to say, I suck at spontaneity. Not that I’m never spontaneous- I certainly can be. But when I have something planned, it’s hard for  me to change those plans. So, luckily for Melinda and I, we had only planned on a ride, not where or when.

Someone posted on our SSTS Facebook group an idea about a moonlight ride out at 18 road. So I pulled out all the spontaneity in my being and talked Melinda into heading out there for our ride. She was a good sport and we had a FANTASTIC time!

We arrived at the TH just as the sun was fully set. The views were incredible, and I couldn’t even hope to capture them on camera, though I tried.

IMG_1104 IMG_1105 IMG_1106


We chatted a bit with Tom who was just getting off the trail, and some dudes visiting from Iowa. Before long we were full-dark and climbing up Prime cut. The climb was pretty dang fun, but the descent down PBR was a total blast! I couldn’t believe the difference from the last few times I’ve ridden this trail. I was relaxed and had perfect form. I felt fast and free and I couldn’t stop laughing!

I’d given Melinda a big head-start, and nearly caught her. I really had no chance, she’s very fast! We headed back to the TH to see if any of the other ladies were to meet us. Jen found us and we had a fun time riding up Prime Cut and down Kessel Run with her. We stopped to chat, laughed a lot, shared personal stories and had fun trying out new lines.

The descent down Kessel Run was incredibly fun! I really felt like I was flying the Millennium Falcon.




Ha ha ha! Just making that made me laugh really, really hard!

We even tried to get some shots in the dark.

IMG_1099 IMG_1100 IMG_1102 IMG_1103

Melinda is so patient with my photographer aspirations.

By the time we were done it was way, way past our bedtimes. I can’t speak for Melinda, but I sure slept soundly.