Today's ride, exploring Canyonlands National Park and climbing 2800 feet over 25 miles from the turn off HWY 191 marked the official close to Jen and Dave's Moab Training Camp for 2012.
The National Park "drive through" has never been a satisfying experience for us- the "ride through", however, is becoming a favorite training strategy. Exploring the great paved expanses of the west allows us to create perfectly tailored training rides that satisfy our underlying need to get out in it (the great expanse of the west that is).
These adventures always remind us of how fortunate we are that the thoughtful generations of men and women made up by our parents and grandparents had the community mindset to preserve thousands of acres of magical land for every one of us to find our way into. Had it not happened when it did, it would not have happened at all given our current allure with me, me, me, mine. Had it not happened when it had, these majestic landscapes might still be being grazed into extinction and exploited for the personal gain of profiteers- instead, these lands are ours, all of ours to get out into and find our way.
20 miles into the ride- the bulk of the climbing behind us (all of it into a chilling headwind) Dave takes in the expanse of Redstone formations stretching 31 miles to the La Sals on the horizon. Below us we see Mountain Bike tracks cutting through new snow on the White Rim Trail- we wonder if we know whose tracks they are and try to imagine their offroad adventure.
When Dave posted about my maiden road bike voyage a couple months ago, he said we had never seen any Desert Bighorn in Utah- but today, pedaling into the snapping winds of spring on the high meadows of Canyonlands National Park, we encountered an entire family.
We rode another 5 or 6 miles into the wind before turning around to start the tailwind fueled rolling descent.
I am not skilled enough to enjoy the landscape during my descents (Dave, on the otherhand, costantly releases the bars to snap photos, adjust his windbreaker, eat a bar all while hurtling down the 2800 feet we have climbed). For me, the 25 miles back to the barn are an exercise in bike handling in the drops (more like mind handling) fighting to relax the neck and maintaining cadence in the rollers.
A fantastic close to Training Camp 2012...
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