We had a gorgeous weekend here in Western Colorado and I got to go on my first epic ride of the season. To be honest, it was one of the more epic pedals I’ve been in on while. Even though I pride myself on being able to pedal my 36 pound trail bike with flat pedals around as well as most XC guys I have not gone on a ride more than about 12 miles in a while.

One of my buddies has been bugging me to get out on one of his long pedals for a while but I had been a bit reluctant. This is one of those guys who logs at least 20 miles of trail every Sunday and throws in a few 30-50 mile road rides for good measure as well. He’s a strong rider and I was not in any hurry to get crushed by him on a long pedal.

Well, I finally felt ready to go for it on Sunday and we hooked up for a big loop out at the Kokopelli Trails, otherwise known as the Mary’s Loop area. We were going to hook up Mary’s Loop, Horsethief Bench, Lion’s Loop, Mack Ridge and Moore Fun. All told a little shy of 20 miles but the last 4.5 were the toughest climbs on the whole thing.

I’m proud to report that not only did I survive but I pretty much set the pace the whole way. I started to cramp up going over Moore Fun but if you’ve ever ridden that trail you know people can do that when they are fresh. Super technical steep climbs quickly take whatever juice you have left in your legs. I did a bit more hike-a-bike than I wanted but made it back to the car in one piece.

Once again I have to admit that i was suprised by how well I did. I don’t get a chance to log a lot of long rides and rely on strength, mobility and interval training to help me be ready to rock when the chance comes. It feels good to be able to ride something like that, do well and not feel like I got hit by a truck the next day. Long live long rides!

How about you…got any epic ride stories from the weekend to share?

-James Wilson-

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