This time I will start with a turkey – actually I saw about 20 of them, but I only had my phone for pictures so its hard to get a good image. Please don’t ask me where I was though, I will not answer! Thanksgiving is getting close and I suspect not all my readers are vegans like me. I really do see a lot of wildlife out riding in Colorado, both on the road and on the trails. You get to cover a lot of distance, but are still quiet enough that you don’t scare everything away. That said, some animals, elk in particular, are exceptionally spooked by cyclists. I think the combination of speed and silence does it. Nothing like being on a bike with a herd of 500 lb animals freaking out and running all over the place!
I really should have call my previous post The Ying of Road Biking (instead of Zen.) For being the same basic sport, Mountain biking couldn’t be more different. On a road bike you can let your focus go, if you do that on a mountain bike you will quickly find yourself flying over the handlebars. I regularly hit 50 MPH going downhill on my road bike, but going 15 MPH downhill through the trees and rocks feels WAY faster. You are constantly on the edge of disaster.
I have had one crash on the mountain bike this year… I was feeling especially good and flying through the woods full speed. I was going through a very easy (but fast) stretch of single track, but I let my mind wander up ahead to some technical rocks. I still don’t know why, but all of a sudden I was flying over the handlebars at 15-20 MPH. No real damage – just some loss of skin. My best guess is that I clipped a handlebar on a tree.
I have not done any races this year. The past 5 years or so I have done the Mt Evans and/or Mt Washington road bike races. Last year I did very well (by my standards) on Mt Evans and I think that maybe I am done with it for now. This year I have not been motivated to ride on the road anywhere near as much as in the past, but I have been out on the mountain bike more than ever. I am thinking that for next year I will enter the lottery for the Leadville 100 mtb race. That should give me motivation!