The Outdoor Life
The Inspiration to Ride
As the days go by and I get older (51 now) I sometimes ask myself - what new adventure can I get into? As my wife and friends can attest - I have a restless soul, and the prescribed treatment is “Get Outdoors”! It’s always been that way, since the time I was a kid playing and “camping” in a fort I built in the backwoods of Texas by flowing creek, to surfing the beaches of Southern California to packing horses on the backcountry of the Colorado mountains. I have always lived life as one big adventure! Some say its where I get my glass half full attitude. I mean, how can you not have a positive attitude when standing in the middle of a million God created acres of wilderness at 10,000 feet above the sea!
I don’t exactly remember when, but I once heard “You must give everything to make your life as beautiful as the dreams that dance in your imagination.” How accurate that statement has become over the past 50 years; as to me it means that I must unlock, unbound my soul from the ties that bond me to everyday life to live the freedom my soul seeks to explore the mystery of what lay just around the bend!
So now what? I am in Colorado, and I have been here nearly 2 decades and even though I have spent days, even weeks packed in the Wilderness with horses - I have yet to venture very far from home on my bike. I can list a plethora of reasons why - but it mostly boils down to two. 1. I’m not fit enough. 2. I don’t have the gear. Blah, blah, blah! I can no longer let these stop me from discovering whats really is just round the bend - it is time to find out for myself!
Our life is so crammed with technology today, as a testament to that I am sitting here at my desk with a desktop computer, laptop, smartphone, tablet, and a smartwatch. Appointments, calendars, email, text, facebook, google, this ringtone, that notification, tv, tivo, instant movies, instant messages. Don’t forget about cars, trucks, concrete, sirens, industrial exhaust, neighbors, trash, pollution, politics. For many of us, life’s most excellent adventure, it’s beauty all it’s sounds & smells flies by - unnoticed and forgotten. Funny thing is, it’s not that far away, and you owe it to yourself to find a way back in!
But why on a bike - in the mountains - with bugs, bears and mountain lions - oh God!
“Born from the earth’s crust. Grown from the seeds of innovation. Forged in the fires of industry. The Earth's most efficient machine creates it’s most efficient animal - the bicycle - our noblest invention.”
The bicycle is the most efficient machine that we have ever created. No gas or electricity needed. It’s quiet and simple. It doesn’t talk back, fight back or feel entitled - it exists solely for the purpose to serve us, or needs and desired - to take us placed we once forgot we could go!
My first overnighter is scheduled the weekend of July 16/17 - it’s a one night trip to a backwoods hut stripped of everything except a bunk in Pike National Forest. With views of Pikes Peak on the horizon, the adventure will encompass 40 miles of trails and abandoned mining roads and nearly 2,500 feet of climbing. I am going with three other close friends who also have yet to escape the technology ladened concrete jungle to spend the night in the woods with their bikes instead of in bed with their wives.