Walker Ranch, Boulder, CO
Monday morning. April in the mountains. Waking up to overcast skies, I can see that the velvety half-inch of snow that fell overnight is already starting to melt. Perfect. Perfect for a ride, that is. For I know that the ground is dry underneath that snow. And the decomposed granite of Walker Ranch doesn't get muddy. On the contrary, the pine needle covered earth becomes tacky and silent.
A light snowfall has started and the air is completely still, even mystical. Hopping on my Specialized Enduro, giddy as a child, I buzz down the dirt road to the trailhead. A lone bird chirps. An Elk dashes through the trees. And there is no one else around. It's going to be a good morning.
Dropping my seat post, I start the first descent down the sweet-scented damp forest earth. My bike is happy. I can just tell. For every corner is sticky and fast. Every drop perfectly controlled. And every root, every rock, every little imperfection in the trail becomes our launching pad. Flicking us into the air, over entire sections of rock, and landing with that soft, silent sweetness that plasters an early morning grin upon my dirt speckled face. And I am high. High on that almighty drug adrenalin.
I've ridden this trail over a hundred times but it is still different every time. Dusty in the summer. Tacky in the spring. Snow covered in the winter. Cold. Hot. Wet. Dry. Fast. Slow. Always good. But today is one of those days that is really good. And I continue the hour-long roller coaster ride. Dipping. Cornering. Climbing. Descending. And as I head up that final steep pitch back toward the trailhead, I can smell the fire from my wood stove, still burning. I think of hot tea. And coconut banana pancakes. It's gonna be a good Monday.