Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Pedaling into Summer

Greetings my fellow two-wheelers,

My mountain biking season has officially started and have almost 30 miles logged. I am feeling great. The early season equipment hiccups I experienced gave me an even greater appreciation for these last few rides. I've chosen to spend my time in Lyons, CO lately. It has a few great trails to choose from, each with some good climbs, flowing sections and best of all it's just over ten miles from my house.

My Favorite local spot is Hall Ranch. Admittedly, I've been avoiding the front side of this trail since last season when I begun riding with clip-in's. The front side is a lot of fun with a boulder field to navigate through. Though not as much fun to learn to ride clipped in on as the sandstone is not sand like, that is to say soft.

My choice these days is to hit up the back side access point called Antelope Trail. It has a mixture of sweeping switchbacks, narrow singletrack and an old fire access road. This trail hooks up with the main Hall Ranch Trail granting access to the flowing upper sections of the trail system. Total length for this route is seven miles which makes it a perfect way to unwind after a long day at work.

I have also enjoyed the Picture Rock trail system which connects with the Heil Vally Ranch loop. This trail has about seven miles of uphill before you get to play in a narrow singletrack surrounded by trees through a fast and flowing portion of the loop. One of the fun features of this trail is that you ride past an old silo, car and truck from what appears to be the 40's. This route along this trail system is just under 16 miles in length and is great for that day off escape into nature.

My Diamondback Sortie 2 aka "Orange Crush" chillin with the past. May 28, 2012

The best thing about this season is that I get to play with my new GoPro Hero 2, giving me an opportunity to share my experiences with my friends that don't ride. The best mounting option I have found so far is using the handlebars. This makes the picture a little more jerky than I'd like but the helmet mount is awkward and I have yet to pick up a chest harness mount.

I have included a video from my most recent adventure at Hall Ranch recording the entire decent from the top. It's a little long at 18 min but it's great way to experience the trail. Enjoy the video and until next time...
Have a Camtastic Ride!

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Mental Game

For those of you that live on the Front Range in Colorado, you know we had some amazing weather this last week with temperatures in the 80's. Now the new week starts with snow. Spring time in the Rockies is always interesting as the weather just can't make up its mind.

I ran into a similar mindset as I went for a ride Saturday with late start. I attempted to go to my favorite trail, Hall Ranch, but the lot was full. After trying a few other trail-heads and continually pulling up to completely full parking lots, I found myself back at Rabbit Mountain. Ironically, the lot was almost completely empty. Realizing I left my bike computer at home rendering my heart rate monitor strap useless, I almost called it a day as so many barriers had kept me from enjoying the trails so far. Ultimately, I ditch the strap and start riding. The first few turns on the initial climb go fairly well but I pushed a little too hard, climbed too fast and am soon out of breath, stopping to catch it. A little further along I have to stop again. That's when the mental game got going.

I'm thinking this sucks, I'm dying, I should just turn around now... but the weather won't be this nice next week... and so on. I feel cooked, dead, completely done in. After struggling internally for a few minutes I notice that my heart feels like it's returning to normal speed and realize how much I rely on my bike computer to keep me in the right heart rate zone. I start to think about what brought me out in the first place, the joy I find in riding my bicycle. Deciding to push on, I re-mount my orange steed and pedal my way up to the start of the second section of the trail. Feeling good about my decision to push though my mental barrier, my wall.

These walls creep up from time to time, keeping us from the things and activities we love. Finding a way back to that love can be a daunting task that may seem to be easier to avoid at first. Though, if we can fight our way through, we not only remember the love but feel it again, renewed.

I love riding my bike, have since I got my first one at 5 years old. Sometimes I can be too technical and too detailed, it can distract me from living. Remembering to find the simple joy in what I was doing was the reminder I needed to push though that wall and enjoy the rest of the day's ride. Sometimes we need to take a step back in order to shift our perspective from winter survival mode back to the world of living. Let the joy find you!

Thought for the week...
"Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow." - Albert Einstein

Have a Camtastic Ride...

Monday, March 26, 2012

Springtime Repairs

Spring is here and the weather is beautiful! Last week I got my first ride of the season logged thanks to Rabbit Mountain and was able to grab some maiden voyage video and images with my GoPro Hero 2.