Spoke Talk: What’s in a trail | SteamboatToday.com

Spoke Talk: What’s in a trail

Ryan Yeats For Steamboat Today

Somewhere, up there, a scratch in the dirt on the side of a mountain departs its trailhead. This, like many other trails, can tell a story. Just like the rest of them, its story is unique.  Maybe its rough trodden, primitive nature speaks to origins of a high-country supply route.  Perhaps a trail that once sustained lives and livelihoods now serves to sustain our recreational inclinations. Maybe its purpose-built berms and technically challenging design aim to encourage progression and confidence. Or maybe children’s laughter and dogs scurrying belies its suburban thoroughfare.

A trail can be a portal.  It can transport a rider from alpine desolation to desert swelter in just a few dozen magical miles.  It can carry a person from peak to peak to peak at lung bursting, eye popping heights. A trail can provide the sole passage in an otherwise impassable landscape.

A trail can be therapy. Often, the primeval connection between human and nature can return us to our basal instincts, clearing minds and relieving stress, if only for the short time spent zipping down that scratch of dirt.

In theory, a trail simply connects two points. But in reality, there is so much more. That specific "more" is what drives us time and again from our comfortable couches and back up into the hills. An urge to recreate a sensation, a thrill, a connection with the dirt, rocks, trees and air. If each trail tells a story, then every time you put tires down (or up) it, you add to the narrative. What will you say?

Ryan Yeats is a board member for Routt County Riders. Routt County Riders is the local source for grassroots advocacy and information for all types of cycling. Find us at facebook.com/rcriders, routtcountyriders.org, or email rcriders@routtcountyriders.org

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