Sunday, October 3, 2010

Take me out for a bike ride

I’ve returned from a fantastic trip to the mountain town of Canmore. We stayed with friends and enjoyed their cute little backyard with magnificent views of the Three Sisters. However they aren’t allowed to have an outdoor compost due to roving bears. Ah, ha, we said (Doom and I together), you gotta get worms. Unfortunately, even though Ally is a pretty tough cookie she’s a little squeamish about the idea of worms in her kitchen. We’ll have to work on her………

This beats giving financial advice
Anyway, after weeks of unseasonably cold and wet weather, Doom and I took the unfamiliar sun as a good omen to escape into the mountains for a few days. On the way out driving high up on the Sarcee trail, Calgary was laid out before us bathed in a sea of golden leaves with a dab of red and green here and there. Autumn is so amazingly beautiful and I looked forward to see how the mountains wore their cloak of fall. But when the peaks came into view, a heavy blanket of grey cloud hung over them and it wasn’t long before the disappointing drops of rain fell onto the windshield.

Actually I often find going downhill on single track is easier than uphill because gravity will take you over those rocks and tree roots. Going up though, you have to pace yourself and just have the right momentum and force to get yourself up and over these obstacles. So we let Doom go first.  There were a couple of times where I struggled and I unclipped out of my pedals before I fell over still attached to my bike but the going wasn’t too bad. The trail led into Ziggy’s that at last led down hill. I lowered my seat, clipped one foot in, took a deep breath and watched Doom take off. Then it was my turn. And it was great.
On the right side of the tracks
It’s been a while since I’ve biked in the forests, and I’d forgotten the exhalation of splattering through mud, weaving around the bends, and feeling one with the bike as tree roots and rocks skip away from under you. That was until we found ourselves on the flat swamp trail rated an easy green, piece of cake, no worries trail. A slippery tree root surrounded by a thick goopy puddle of mud whipped my tires from under me.
I managed to unclip my foot before I did something akin to the splits and felt the sharp teeth of my bike’s chain ring gouge my leg. I could see blood mixed in with the mud but it was my renewed confidence that took more of a batting. Doom remained unscathed up ahead.
But when we turned to ride uphill again, it was as if the power of the mountain air was infusing into my blood and I felt recharged and eager to tackle the next trail. I basked in the re-appearing sunshine and felt blessed to be surrounded by the magnificent Rockies.

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