Weekend Riding: Coffee & Rabbit Mountain

“I don’t know if Boulder is for me.”

A friend and I were on a bike ride on Sunday morning to enjoy some miles in the sunshine before we get more snow this week, but, more importantly, to get coffee. He moved here around the same time I did almost two years ago, and we were talking about our time here so far, living and learning and riding through all the seasons.

His doubts about Boulder reflected mine, though I never said it out loud. I’ve been feeling like Boulder isn’t going to be forever for a few months, and it makes me sad to think about because the city and the people here have given me so much. Because they’ve brought me so much joy when I needed it most. And because in October 2017, I took a chance on this city hoping it would be the end of my search for happiness and safety and community. I took this huge leap of faith by moving to a city I’d never visited and I wanted it all to work out so badly. Maybe that’s crazy, but it’s where I was in my life.

I’m not sure any city will ever be perfect, but Tampa has come the closest so far.

One of my friends moved from Tampa to Salt Lake City last year and made it one year before she moved back. “I think I’m just a Florida girl at heart.”

“Me too,” my heart said back.

So many things would have to change for me to move back to the Sunshine State, and maybe one day they will. For now, I trail run and ride bikes and drink coffee in the sunshine with friends, which is what we did this past weekend.

Backing up, on Saturday morning I went for a solo spin up to Rabbit Mountain in Longmont.

This wasn’t a planned ride, but after I missed a turn to head back into town, I decided to extend my ride and visit Rabbit Mountain, a beautiful open space at the easternmost point of the Foothills in Boulder County. The climb to the top is a slow and steady one until the final 100 meters which turns into a brutal churn in the lowest gear to the top. It knocks the wind out of me almost every time, but it’s worth it for the sweeping views of Boulder, the mountains and the nearby towns and then the fast and flowy descent back to the main road.

I covered about 70 miles on Saturday, was totally cracked when I got home and promptly fell asleep on my bedroom floor while I was stretching.

^^^ Favorite snack after a long ride: Bobo’s Bars.

Sunday morning I was up early for a ride with a friend to catch up and get coffee. He works a weird schedule, which means we finish up our rides early and then I don’t know what to do with myself the rest of the day.

The thing about living in Colorado is I always feel like I need to be doing something outside. If the sun is shining, I feel like I’m wasting the day if I sit indoors or do responsible adult things that actually need to get done on Sundays like laundry, dishes, meal prep, and vacuuming. So it makes sense that I always return home exhausted, suntanned, and completely unmotivated to deal with my laundry which is in a perpetual state of either needing to be washed or folded in the corner of my room.

Since Sunday turned out to be sunny when clouds were in the forecast, I went for a walk on a local trail and listened to some podcasts. I just can’t sit still this time of year when I’ve waited all winter for these shorts-and-a-tank-top type of days.

One of my favorite podcasts these days is the Citius Mag Podcast with Chris Chavez. I listened to an episode where he talked to Scott Fauble about his insane sub-2:10 PR at Boston this year and the training leading up to it. I love behind-the-scenes looks at how elite athletes prepare for big performances like this, what they were thinking and feeling the morning of the race, and whether the plan matched the result. I definitely recommend this one as well as Jordon Hasay’s interview with Chris.

I finally got my act together later in the day and meal prepped some lunches for the week—I’m doing really great at bringing one every day—and I kept thinking about the living in or leaving Boulder thing. By the time everything was out of the oven and portioned out and packed into to-go containers, I decided I’m not ready to move back yet. I can’t leave my people and the long weekend bike trips I have planned to Santa Fe, NM and Steamboat Springs and Fort Collins in the next couple months. I can’t leave Colorado before I have another crack at cyclocross season in the fall. I can’t leave those glorious trail runs and hikes in our nation’s national parks. I can’t leave these mountain views from my kitchen window.

Last year I said I’d give this Colorado thing a year. This year I’m saying I think I’ll give it two.

How was your weekend?

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