Boulder has more bikes per capita than any other town in the U.S. (or so I'm told), and this spring I've joined those who have one bike for mountain biking, one bike for road biking, and one for commuting. And while this seems an ideal situtation, it will result in the occasional conundrum when trying to decide which one to ride on your day off.
Road or mountain? Road or mountain? This morning I agonized over that decision for far longer than I should have. In the end, I chose mountain, and upon getting geared up, hopped on the bike path to the RTD station in Boulder to catch the N to Nederland for some spring riding in my former backyard.
It ended up being a fortuitous decision. While waiting at the bus station, a guy came rolling up on one of our demo Maverick ML8's. I introduced myself to him and found out his name is Francois (or something like that, I can't manage anything in French). He was on vacation from France of course, but with only a map and a recommendation of where to ride, I felt he might not get the full picture of Ned riding, so I offered to show him some exclusive trails that weren't on his map.
On the way I pointed out various points of interest like a tour guide, explaining the mining history, popular landmarks, and animals of the area. Occasionally, he just had to stop for a picture. I can't say that I blame him. We made a circuitous route back to town where we dropped in on Randy at his new digs for the Happy Trails coffee shop and bike info place. It's right across the street from where he used to be in the old train cars. It's a neat place and he's settling in nicely. Not only that, but he's also decided to start doing burritos soon- a veritable staple of the Colorado cyclist's diet. Sweet.
Then I took Francois up to Sugar Mag where we connected to the West Magnolia Trail system- his original destination. In the afternoon on a Monday there is almost nobody up there and that's the way we like it. I gave Francois some last bits of advice before splitting off on my own, heading up to Magic School Bus to see how the conditions were. Up by the old mine, the answer to that question was snowy and wet. I turned around there and descended back into the trail network after plowing back through the creek at the bottom at full speed- gave myself quite a bath there, but hey, it's a dry climate and it washed some sweat-stink off to boot.
At the trail head on the way out I ran into Mike Barrow and friends from the Boulder Mountain Bike Alliance doing good works as usual from the saddles of their trusty Maverick full suspension bikes. His comrade had a chainsaw in a Bob Trailer (the most useful of trailers ever, I can attest) and they were clearing downed trees left over from the winter so no one makes a mess of the trail trying to ride around them or, conversely, makes a mess out of themselves trying to ride over them.
I tried to pick up the bus back down to Boulder at the Park-n-Ride in Ned but it turned out the schedule got botched by one of the drivers or something, so rather than wait there another hour for the next one I decided to ride down. This, despite the fact I had no food left, no money, and little oomph left in the legs. Peak to Peak, to Magnolia, to the Canyon Road, to the Bike Path, to the Bike House- home sweet home- that is to say, where the refrigerator full of food is. I stumbled in through the door five and a half hours after I left it, feeling like I had just done one hell of a bike ride, clamoring for food, liquid refreshment, and a cold shower. A bit of an epic ride for so early in the mountain bike season, but hey, the Full Cycle guys? That's how we roll. I suspect there'll be a few more of those before the season is done for.