I only wanted 40 miles. And I thought 3 hours was my limit for the day. But when the sun is shining and the roads are wide open and when you can talk through and work through what’s been stuck in your head and your heart with a girlfriend—and when you just don’t do moderation—65 miles and 4 hours in the saddle is sometimes where you end up.
But first, my hike.
Saturday was exactly the Colorado day I wanted. It was a great day—and since Saturdays are my only true days off during the week, I try to make them something special.
I woke up to grey skies, but the wind was calm and there was promise of sunshine and low 50s later in the day, and that was good enough for me. I threw on some layers and headed for the mountains, which are, very conveniently, a right turn and two stop signs from my front door. #humblebrag
Hikers, bikers, runners, and tourists drive great distances to enjoy the trails I can get to with my own two feet and I try to remember what a privilege that is when I plod past the trailhead sign.
It was just about 8 a.m. when I passed that second stop sign and made my way onto the snowy trail.
“It’s like an Ansel Adams photo, isn’t it?”
The lady behind me stopped when I did and let me capture a few (dozen) photos of my backyard mountains. When it snows like this, it feels like the whole world turns white. The skies turn white, the mountains, the trails, and the higher I went, the brighter and whiter things got. It is truly overwhelming.
I gave myself just a few hours to play in the snow because at noon I had a cycling date with my friend, Laura. We’ve been talking about biking together for months but our schedules haven’t lined up until recently.
Laura’s younger than me by 3 years but wiser by at least 20. She’s thoughtful and patient. She listens and digests my thoughts as if they were her own. For 65 miles we didn’t stop talking, and thank goodness because you can get a lot of work done in 65 miles and 4 hours.
“What’s missing for you?” She meant in Colorado. For so few words it was a big question. What didn’t I have here that I had in Florida? It was more than I thought as I ran through my list. That made me sad, but I think a few of them will fall off once the temperatures rise and the daylight sticks around a little longer.
“What do you think of Denver?” We asked each other that at some point because we both work there every so often. But Laura’s moving there eventually and I’m…definitely not. It’s nice but the “what’s missing” list doubles when I compare Denver to Florida.
“Are you into ________?” We talked about the guy thing—we’re single ladies, so of course we did. She named dropped and I gave her a hard NO because I’ve stopped trying—for now at least. January suuuuucked and I’m not interested in a replay.
“I think you should stay.” She almost shouted it at me when I mentioned I was giving this place a year and that I’d reassess next October whether or not I wanted to stay. I’m not a patient person by nature so a year feels like a good chunk of time to really figure out whether Colorado and I are meant for each other. And also. It felt nice that she cared.
“I’m getting something salty.” About 20 miles in we stopped at The Mountain Fountain. It’s the cutest cafe/deli/gift shop/market…thing. And they have all sorts of snacks, even a ton for cyclists since it’s a popular place to stop on a ride. Skratch shares a shelf with homemade jams and jellies. We were in the mood for something savory after our dried fruit and nut bars. Then we talked at length about some of our favorite cycling snacks. Very important conversation.
“Those are the cows my family has.” She pointed to a green pasture with big fat black and brown cows grazing in almost slow motion. Laura’s rural roots are fitting. I think it’s why she’s so grounded in a bubble like Boulder.
We kept going for as long as there were bike lanes on the road. There was more. But I’ll keep that between me and Laura and the cows. And when we pulled back into town I was sad we were done and completely unaware we’d been gone for 4 hours and 65 miles.
Thankful for friends. Especially this one.
Push on, PUSH ANIMALS >>>