Mountain Biking Blue Diamond
Pedaling up a nasty switchback trail, it's hard to believe we are a half hour away from Las Vegas. Okay, half an hour drive and fifteen minute ride. But still. The mountains to the west loom, a colorful rock monument towering above the desert floor.
And, except for my gasping for breath, it is quiet as a- a desert. I haven't ridden a mountain bike for two years, due to shoulder issues. The Little Woman thinks it's from riding and racing motorcycles, but that's simply not true. Every time I jacked my shoulder, I was not on a motorcycle. Usually, the motorcycle was laying on the ground a few feet away. But I digress.
My friend Lars says he hasn't ridden mountain bikes for a year and a half. That may be true, but he's been riding road bikes. The proof he's in good shape is the vast desert, intersected by a trail, with his cupcake shaped helmet a distant dot on the horizon. He'll have to wait for me today. Well, I had to wait for him while he fixed the chain rings on his bike,so we're even, I suppose.
Lars is a great friend. We have ridden in every condition imaginable. We rode pretty religiously for a couple years after work (back when we had jobs) and even rode at night. The worst was one night, around twenty degrees. My feet were like two blocks of ice.
I haven't found anything better for cardio than mountain biking. Pedalling up a steep trail, each stroke feeling like perhaps the last as speed drops rapidly, the quads cry for mercy, and the rear wheel threatens to spin on loose rocks. Then a small ledge looms. Lift the front wheel, pedal one stroke, the back wheel catches on the edge, and a stop is imminent. Bear down, one big stroke, and what do you know, a fraction more speed, and the crest looms. Can't stop now! Where's the Rocky music? This is a great time to stop and gasp for breath.
Lars didn't want to ride in the afternoon because it would be too hot. I remember thinking he was a weiner. Yet now, it is getting pretty warm. But then again, it is mid-October, and while a bit warm, generally the weather is awesome. Clear blue skies give the mountians a carved-with-a-knife edge. We are reaping the rewards of suffering through triple digit summer weather.
Cruising back into the quaint little town of Blue Diamond, we were rewarded with friends greeting us-the wild burros stopped by to cruise through town. I grabbed my camera for a great shot; burro, Harley, and a couple sitting in the chairs at the grocry store veranda in the background. Perfect! Click. 'Memory is full.' Dangit! Scroll through photos, searching for a few to delete. The burro moved on. Searching and muttering, the others move into the shade. Drat, drat and double drat! I'm learning the basics of photography. Keep the battery charged. Have the camera handy. Leave plenty of memory. Now I must rely on my own memory. Good luck with that!