In part to celebrate my new job, in part to indulge my long-deprived splurge gland (it was on a drastic time out; the last ill-advised expenditure I made was an LSAT registration…pretty lame), I bought a mountain bike. They say you never forget how to ride a bike. This is all well and good—a veritable chestnut of American collective wisdom—but it doesn’t do me much good when I’m facing a 45-degree downhill incline snaggletoothed with rocks and crags intent on finding which parts of me break the easiest.
The place was Lair o’ the Bear Park (http://www.co.jefferson.co.us/openspace/openspace_T56_R11.htm), an open space park outside of Morrison, CO. I went there earlier this summer. It promised the perfect blend of technical and easy riding, so I felt it was the best option for a first attempt. Upon arriving, I biked past some picnickers, enjoying an even trail through cottonwoods.
Now, I’ve mountain biked before. In fact, in my younger years, I wasn’t half bad at it, but you can never go home again. In this instance, I found that time had not only redone home; it had completely rearranged the furniture of my abilities. Any feng shui of my previous talent was out the window. For a minute or two, it wasn’t pretty. Soon, though, I found my footing, adjusted to the shocks, and was maneuvering the technical stuff fairly well.
I was riding easy. I saw a rock, I jumped it. I saw a stream, I sent it spraying with my treads. No log, boulder, or hill was too much for me. I was feeling good. Then, I saw a snake. I thought it was a twig strewn across the track at first, but then I saw it move. So I naturally thought: demon twig. But then I saw a head. Ergo: snake.
That confirmed, I remembered that Fiancee absolutely hates snakes. Something about them being the “legless embodiments of all that is evil,” I can’t remember for sure. So, honorable chap that I am, I killed it. Without horrifying you with all the serpentine details, I ran over said snake right at the midsection, where I estimate its black heart to be. Snake no more.
I’m not going to lie, I felt good, like a valiant knight or something. It was a modern-day St. George (me) slaying the dragon (snake) for a fair maiden (Fiancee). Never mind that it was a garter snake; it could just as easily have been an Amazonian Copperhead Constrictor Hose Beast.
Anyway, it was a good two-hour ride. As I said earlier, there was some technical (rocky and slopey) stuff and some more relaxed stuff along Bear Creek. At one point I passed a private property sign demarcating a medieval castle. Someone with way too much money has built him or herself a replica medieval castle just west of Morrison. I’d kind of like to rally some blacksmiths, pikemen, and siege weapons and show him what becomes of people who build medieval castles just west of Morrison. Needless to say, this did not help my illusions of grandeur.
Sadly, my time to bike is drawing to an end for the year. Autumn’s coming, and I maybe have only one day a week free enough for an excursion to the foothills. I’ve managed some good rides (Apex Park and Elk Meadows both stand out as solid outings), with friends and solo. Hopefully I can get out a couple more times and, come spring, I’ll be bunny-hopping the Lincoln Memorial, no sweat.