Kerry asked me why I hadn’t updated/posted on the blog lately. I told him it’s because I hadn’t really done anything interesting. At least not bike related. I got skunked last week on the group ride with no one showing up for the Big Springs crit. I blame myself for that one because the email made it sound like you needed to be on a cross bike.
Had a great Labor Day weekend backpacking with my boys in the Uintahs(no bikes) and flaked out on a couple road rides.
So tonight, when we met up at Tibble Fork Reservoir to climb Mill Canyon, I hadn’t even been on a bike since last Thursday. Luckily it was a pretty mellow group, Sally, Wes, Nate, and Paul who got a late start and caught us on the climb thanks to a stitch in Nate’s side. We casually made our way to the top of the canyon.
But something was different. As though somebody flipped a switch, fall has begun in American Fork Canyon. It’s subtle. A few brownish-yellow aspen leaves roll under your tires as you climb, and there is a little bit of a snap in the air. After a summer of dusty loose trails, a recent storm had left Mill Canyon tacky, and smooth. As the sun got lower in the sky, the temperature change was not only noticeable, but surprising. By the time we reached the top it was downright brisk. Not so cold that you needed a jacket, but enough to make your nose run a little on the descent.
Without my camera, I missed the opportunity to capture the half dozen or so trees that have already changed into surprisingly bright shades of red. But seeing them makes me happy.
Wes and I were preaching Cyclocross to anyone that would listen, and he noted that he used to dread fall, because he couldn’t ski yet, and it signaled the end of the mountain bike season. Cyclocross fills that gap and gives him(us) something to fill the void with. In discussing the recent turmoil over teams and who was riding for who, Wes mentioned that he just wanted to go enjoy riding his bike in a circle in the cold on a brisk fall morning. Couldn’t have said it better myself.
As for me, fall is when I start riding selfishly, for me. With several road trips, races, and events over the next few months. Fall is bringing me into the time of year when interest in the group rides begins to fade, and I am left to find something for me to do. Luckily there is no shortage of bike related fun to be had until the snow flies.
I take the turning leaves as a signal to ride as much as I can, in as many places as I can. It’s sort of the two-minute warning. Or at least last call. Quick folks, you’ve only got a couple of months before winter!