Wednesday, January 13, 2010

First 2010 visit to Lake Pueblo State Park

In winter, a Colorado mountain biker craving a singlestrack fix can visit a state park on the southwest side of Pueblo and almost always find it dry. And it's fun there.

Yesterday I headed down there primarily because I needed to do some things that are not available in Salida. I had planned a bike ride into the trip.

I got up yesterday morning and looked at my email, as is my habit. There it was, a reminder that I had a meeting at 3:30 back here in Salida. Dang! I considered re-scheduling, then decided that there was one time-consuming task that could happen some other time, and that I could make it work even with a bike ride, though it might have to be time-limited. But making that happen meant leaving the house earlier than I'd planned. Like, as soon as I could get going.

So I hurriedly got my stuff, loaded the singlespeed, started up the cold, cold truck (it's been plus or minus 0° F every morning since Christmas) and rolled east on highway 50 down the Arkansas River canyon.

I got stuff done quickly and methodically, and then made my way to the trailhead.

By my calculations, I had about two hours to ride before I needed to head back. The weather was idyllic. Not a breath of wind. Not a cloud. Right around 60° F. Ah, lovely. I looked at the trail snaking off into the canyons and had a giddy little flutter in my heart. Other riders were embarking.

I put my bike together. "OK, need to do the parking lot superman routine. There are my shorts. Oh yes, I should have the sidis handy so I can step right into them. Wait, my shoes? Did I bring them?"

The reality washed over me. I never put them in the truck. In my rush to leave the house, I left probably the most necessary part of my riding kit. I could ride with whatever shirt I was wearing, and even could ride with my carhartts. Gloves, sunglasses, not necessary. Helmet is pretty damned important.

But shoes are a show-stopper.

I gazed sadly out at the singletrack, a rider happily rolling down a gradual hill at the beginning of his ride. I kept my temper in check. For a long minute I stood looking out there. Then I decided to just make the best of it. I put my bike away, locked the truck, and strode off down the trail. I took a walk.

Sometimes the day just doesn't go the way you want. Sanity comes from learning how to deal.


Ed said...

I would have ridden anyway :-)

So Salida singletrack is no good right now even on the boring south-facing slopes? We're considering a trip.


Tom Purvis said...

I considered riding, but soft walking shoes on SPD pedals hurts my feet, and I was concerned about being tempted to ride some of the drops and having a shoe slip off a pedal with possible adverse effects on my junk.

Salida's Arkansas Hills Trail System trails have snow on any shaded portions. If you ride early enough in the morning the mud at the edges is frozen, but so are your hands and feet. Once the day gets warm, the mud gets to be gloopy and sticky. I'm just riding tarmac during the warmest part of the days.

There is some dirt road that's rideable...

Matt said...

I've forgotten helmets, shorts, and yes shoes. Someone once told me of the ultimate case forgetting something: their bike.

Can't remember who it was but that one takes the cake!