Wednesday, July 1, 2009

When stars align

I used to fly fish a lot more than I do since I started riding bikes about six years ago. Rachel asked me at one point whether I liked riding bikes better, and I said “no, it’s just when you ride bikes you’re guaranteed to have a fun time, whereas fishing depends a lot on the conditions.”

Catching a really great fish is a unique thrill like skiing really deep powder. Both are rare moments, and lots of variables have to come into play to make them happen.

Every once in a while, though, the same sorts of variables all align on a bike ride, and it provides the sort of thrill usually only found when catching a trophy fish or skiing deep pow. And sometimes even approaches hotel sex.

Monday night was one of those rides. UTRider, Kris, Alex, and I all met up to ride Millcreek before the gate opens to vehicle traffic. Conditions were perfect, and the company was excellent. We ran into the Samurai, who had the same smile we did—the kind you can’t wipe off your face.

This was my first ride ride with Alex, whom Elden described as “Bill Nye the science guy if Bill Nye the science guy were an extremely powerful rider.” That’s pretty accurate. He’s not just a strong rider and intelligent—he’s fun to hang out with. He’s nice enough that he could probably make friends with a cougar and have it purring and sitting on his lap if he wanted to.

Anyway, Kris and Alex snapped a few photos. They don’t do the ride justice, but it gives a hint of the good times we had. My only regret is that the gate is now open, so we won’t have a chance to bomb those descents without worrying about hikers until next June.