Nate said "What are you doing on the 4th?" and neither Greg or I had anything planned. We decided that a trip up to the Sandy Ridge trails would be a great way to celebrate our nations independence. We met at the shop at 9 and loaded up the prancing moose (my Volvo 240 wagon) with three cool steel bikes and pointed the hull toward Ristretto Roasters up on Williams. It is a well known fact that bike rides cannot begin without sufficient consumption of caffeine, and Ristretto makes a mean espresso.
Riding mountain bikes is the surest way for me to turn off everything in my brain except my most basic instincts and I think that kind of exercise is really valuable. Instead of having time to dwell on the injustice of humanity or the state of the world my children will inherit (I know, bummer, right?) all that I have room in my brain for is "Pedal, pedal, watch that root, uh your back tire might hit that rock if you don't push up here, do I go above that root or under? Look ahead and don't forget what is right under you!" and that all happens in a millisecond. Being able to focus so clearly on one activity is pretty liberating. I realize this is a luxury that many of us living in a country of such wealth can easily take for granted.
We rode up the climb and hit the trail. after about 10 minutes, I felt the squish of my back tire losing air. Pinched on a rock that I didn't even feel. A quick change and we were back on the trail. After about 30 seconds, Nate let out a yelp and broke his chain charging into an uphill switchback. Another fix and we headed to the lower trail called hide and seek.
About 5 minutes into that amazing fast rocky sidehill decent Greg flatted. Since none of us had put many miles on our mountain bikes this year, Greg said "Maybe our bikes are trying to tell us something." After the third and final mechanical of the ride, we flew down the rest of the way to the car. There are so many berms and bumps and smooth rolling sections of that trail that it's difficult to wipe the smiles off once you come out back on the road. Spending the day with friends in the sunshine on a fun trail is a great way to ring in independence day.