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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
See, this is why you should always take someone with you when you do night rides. After failing to get any takers for my monthly FNR (Friday Night Ride) in Vegas I decided to go it alone. Something I'm used to normally, but not at night. But, dang it, it just keeps snowing up here in Ely and I needed to put some miles in before I went crazy... or got stupidly fat and out of shape.

The bike felt really good when I launched at 5:45pm from the Late Night Trail head (I know why they call it that now,btw); sun still blazing though starting to sag near the red rock cliffs. I remember thinking how soft and comfy the seat felt with my new bike shorts, and how compliant the suspension felt after sitting in a hot car all day. The climb up Badger pass seemed easy despite a nagging head wind. "Wow", I think to myself. "Maybe all that sitting around this winter hasn't wiped out my studly bike fitness after all?" Having obviously cheated reality and nutritional science and common sense I decided to forge on, taking in a much bigger loop than I had planned.

Dropping off of "Techno" with a nice wind at my back, I'm fooled by the ghosts of Cottonwood Valley into crossing the highway and starting up Late Night so I could take in the sublime swooping descent towards Blue Diamond. I'm not sure what happened to my wind but somehow it continued to be a strong head/side wind as I started down Latenight. Taking the next most logical step (at least for a die hard passionite looking for some good singletrack therapy) I decide to press onward. I come to a fork in the trail. One trail looks smooth and well used and kinda heads back towards the car. It's getting late and kinda dusky so you'd think reason would take over and I'd opt out, right? Nooooo. Not me. I forge ahead on what soon becomes obvious is the wrong trail.... You'd think the rocky trail, totally lacking in bike tracks, the gathering gloom, the strange look from climbers coming back up the trail from some cliffs in the distance would clue me in. I'm not easily dissuaded from a path once I've set my knobbies on it though. But after only a mile or so even I realized the error of my choice and backtracked. Come to think of it, it seems like my Dad and I took this trail once and ended up wandering around, hike-a-biking cross country half the night trying to get back to civilization. He's even more reluctant to backtrack than me. In this case Robert Frost was wrong.... the path more traveled was the one to take.

The smooth, well-used connector took me back to the real trail which I hooked up to the Cactus Garden then to the Old Spanish trail down. What a freakin' screaming hoot. The ghosts kept teasing me down with a voracious tail wind on a bissful, buff, swoopy rampage. I didn't care that I'd passed a couple of opportunities to cut off back to the car without having to face a climb in the head wind. This was fun, dammit, and I needed it. I'd pay later.

Then I came to another fork.... "Hey", the demon ghost at my back says to me, "isn't that the trail that takes you up the back side of The Hurl?" This is a sweet technical climb that puts you up on a pretty good hill overlooking the town of Blue Diamond. I'm in full binge mode now so my neandrethal, primordial, gotta-ride, subbrain says, "yeah, grunt, maybe I'll just climb that, grunt". Never mind that it's pretty dark now, no one knows where I am, and that dropping down the Hurl into Blue Diamond will be scetchy at night and I'm wearing no armour. This is where having someone along with you would be good. They'd say (assuming of course they'd stuck with me this long), "No you stupid freaking idiot lets just get back to the car."

With no one there to talk me down, I climb on. Half way up I finally have to switch on my light, but I keep climbing. "Me Ugh, me climb to top. Me strong caveman." I start to rethink the notion that winter hasn't taken it's toll on my endurance. My right knee starts to hurt and I my adled brain starts wondering if mountain lions come down this far in the desert. The wind at the top almost blows me over. I bolt down the plunge taking the right fork onto the south side of the canyon hoping it will keep me from dropping clear down into Blue Diamond like the left fork does. It does but it also takes me on some sketchy sidehill stuff and switch backs that should be left for daytime rides with armour and riding partners to call your next of kin should something bad happen. I hear the ghosts laughing (or was that just the wind howling?) as I try and kept my tires between me and my bare, goose pimply flesh and the jagged, loose rocks below.

Somehow I cheat death and dismemberment and make it down unscathed, but now I face the payback..... about a five mile climp back up to my car. The grade isn't too bad, but needing some company and reassurance, I decide to take the trail that more closely follows the highway. Problem is, it's also the trail that's loose and gravely. And with a stiff head wind I just have to put my head down and keep spinning. I spin. I spin. I spin some more. I'm starting to rethink how comfortable my seat and new chamois are as they don't seem to be getting along real well about now. My knee starts hurting more and try pulling just on the upstroke with my right leg. All is pitch black but for my lone 10 watt halogen helmet light and the stream of commuters heading up and down the highway off to my left and I can't tell if I'm getting any closer or not. No familiar features are visible to give clues. I'm pretty sure I am, but my bonk-doped brain doesn't know if it's been spinnig for 10 minutes or 10 hours.

Just when I think I'm almost there and my foggy brain and the ghosts start making me worry about getting jumped in the parking lot by some crazed mountain bike killers, I come to another fork.....duh.......Wasn't expecting that. My neurotransmitters have long since signed off to go soak in a nice relaxing jacuzzi somewhere so they're no help. The rocks on the outside of the path tell me to turn away from the highway. My legs want to just keep gong straight but one of the more merciful memory cells soaking over in the hot-tub reminds me that straight leads to really loose gravel and braided washes and no trail. . I would've just hike-a-biked over to the highway and rode up it, but I have no reflectors on and I'm pretty sure riding on that busy highway in the dark would end in certain death, so I reluctantly turn away from the highway. At least the trail turns buff again, but after a mile or so I come to another fork and my feeble mind and the ghosts gang up on me and convince me to turn back to the last fork. When I get back there, I see what I already knew... the way I had gone was the only option, so I have to retrace back up the trail to the other fork. I cross the dirt road and continue up the trail.

Within a half a mile I'm at my car. D'Oh. All in all a great ride, but somehow I feel like maybe I escaped some bad juju. Good. Cause my wife woulda killed me if I got lost and left for dead out in the desert.

The next day at the Cowboy Trails was bright and cheery and only notable for its lack of ghosts and darkness. .... Oh, and of course, the phenomenal trails.

Here's the images for all you who just scrolled down and skipped the blather. Sorry, Not much to look at here.
 

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Awesome scenery you have there!!!
Looks like a great place to ride.

But as scary as that night was, it will be one of those times in your life that you will reflect on for years to come. Like when you are old and crusty and no longer able to do stuff like that! I have similar experiences on bicycles and motorbikes, wouldn't trade those memories for anything. There is something about cheating death that just makes you feel so ........ ALIVE!!! :)

Sure would have been good to share it with someone though, would make for some fun fireside stories!
 

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Yo Krob, you are one sick son of a ***** to ride the spine of the hurl at night. The climb up the back side isnt bad but the spine side ride is sick and should be left for daytime. There must have been ghosts out there to keep you from getting ground up:)

Shawn
 

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Nice story krob

Are you an author also? Your gonna get killed by those inner demons one day. Don't give in. (LOL) Nice shots as usual. Is your but getting bigger? Sorry, had to throw that in!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Picard said:
Nice pictures of desert. Are you having pschological problems? Perhaps you should discuss it with a therapist. You sound sad , man :eek:
Thanks.

Yes, as a matter of fact I was having psychological problems...... Not riding makes me kinda funky in the head...... That ride was my therapy. :)

The dark just kinda freaks me out a bit. Grumpstumper's right. I face it anyway...... because.... I gotta ride.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
mr plow said:
There is something about cheating death that just makes you feel so ........ ALIVE!!! :)
True dat! I do dirt bikes along with mtb also. Double your pleasure.

mr plow said:
Sure would have been good to share it with someone though, would make for some fun fireside stories!
Yes.... but then it wouldn't have been scary. Still epic... but not scary.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Redmon said:
Yo KRob, you are one sick son of a ***** to ride the spine of the hurl at night. The spine side ride is sick and should be left for daytime.
Shawn
No kidding. Had I known that I wouldn't have done it. I was just looking for an easier climb out of Blue Diamond. LOL. I had only ever come up the north side of the canyon and I knew it dropped clear down. That Spine would fit right in over at Bootleg Canyon. :eek:
 

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bump/recycled passion

Good passion hit here.KROB does some really nice write-ups. He's also a really nice guy in person.See ya next time your down krob. That's if i can get out of bed in time.
 
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