Seven of us gathered at the house of a man I had never met. My buddy Andy had told me that there would be a night ride leaving at 830. Once the crew was assembled, pre-ride beers were polished off and tossed into the recycling bin. Six of us lacked gears, one of us was on a 36 inch wheeled bike, and all were in good spirits. We headed out to enjoy some fine Fort Collins singletrack, no timetable related to a finishing time, just a location, we would get there when we got there. We made a stop at the last liquor store in town before the trailhead. A couple six packs of pounders of Bud and Coors were purchased, then passed around and stuffed into backpacks, or water bottle cages if room was scarce.
I wonder if the folks over at King Cage would make an appropriate cage for a 16 oz can?
Once at the trailhead, the lights are turned off, beers are passed around, speculation is made in regards to what weather the lightning we see to the southwest of us will produce. We climb, then descend, climb one more time, and a quick descent before we hit Blue Sky. More beers, more bullshitting, seven guys who seemingly dont have a care in the world. The wind picks up, and we can see more lightning off in the distance, we make the only logical choice, ride towards the lightning.
The descent is completed, and the bar across the street is calling our name, we stop in for a quick moment with our friend Mr. Beam. It smells like burning, tastes like burning, and once consumed I can actually feel the hair on my face grow. Time for more trail, the wind has died down, Thursday has turned to Friday, we make another stop, where more beers are shared, this must be “the good life” that soo many people search for, and I cant think of a better way to kick off a new day.
One last stretch of road, leads to the final singletrack descent, I get cocky and go over the bars, the right side of my face kissing the boulders on the side of the trail, no physical damage, just a slightly bruised ego. From there we polish off the last of the booze, before heading back home.
I got home somehwere around 1:45 in the morning, and it took me an hour to “come down” from the high and buzz of the ride. I get in bed, tossing and turning, trying to fall asleep, visualizations of the trails pass through my head, the lightning we saw in the distance, an image I cannot let go of. About four hours later my alarm goes off, time for school, I just finished up my one class of the day. A 8 am lecture is a time and place where few people function well, and I fit this mold, yet I still wear the giant smile on my face leftover from the ride, life is good.by