Spoke Talk: Mud season? What’s that?
It is spring in the Rockies, and the weather is sweet. One morning you can wake up and skin to the top of a snowy covered mountain for a track free descent, although it may take a bit more hunting this week. The next day, you can ride up an untracked, pristine dirt singletrack trail. It all just depends on what is out your window when you wake up to spring in the Rockies.
Riding in the spring is much like riding in the late fall. Hardly anyone is out on the trails, and the daunting feeling of solitude within the forest compels you to feel alive and survive through each adventure as you get your lungs and legs back into condition.
The benefits of making the choice to go out when others are not certain about conditions are usually rewarded. Whether you’re skinning up Storm Peak or riding up Ridge Trail, you can guarantee the ride down will be much easier. The pain of ascending the mountain seems endless; however, the pain of the descent seems non-existent. When the snow is untracked or the dirt is so fresh, your skills and talent thrive in the natural element of free riding.
In my experience an unknown level confidence is gained through epic conditions. It’s a peculiar feeling when your brain tells you how well you are riding in a fog of concentration. As soon as this thought comes up, you may lose the trail or hit a tree, resulting in your attempt to reset your mindset. Trying not to think is an art of losing yourself in recreational endeavors, no matter what the sport.
Some of the best moments in life, specifically the ones you will recall down the road, are created by using your extreme mental state of mind; in essence, it is a undefined sixth sense. This pure state of mind comes from a collaborative effort caused by physical conditioning, epic riding conditions and timely star alignment.
When you’re in the moment, there are no thoughts at all, and your instincts take over. You can focus on the background noise such as a the flutter of a bird’s wings, a squirrel jumping from one tree to another or the sound that the rubber on your tire makes as it rolls over rocks and dirt; these sounds are your gift for the motivational effort to get out into the woods during spring in the Rockies.
You can try and prove that this isn’t true, but I am confident you will have fun attempting to prove this method wrong. If nothing is lost, then nothing can be gained.
Get out there. Mud season is a myth.
Chris Rhodes is a Routt County Riders board member and a firm believer that mountain biking makes your life better. Routt County Riders advocates to implement positive change for cyclists in Northwest Colorado.
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Work to form a new strategic plan for the Steamboat Springs School District will start next week with the first sessions of a listening tour aimed at getting broad community feedback.