Zen On Dirt

Gift of Texas Ridge

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If I had to distill my approach to life into one motto, it would be: Well, something’s going to happen.

Good, bad, success, or failure, you never know until you go.

In 2011, my final ‘big’ ride before racing the CTR was a little jaunt on the Timberline Trail and Texas Ridge with Ms. Jj. It was one of those rides that should have been around four hours according to the training plan, but since my GPS died and neither of us had a watch or phone on us, it ended up being closer to nine. I blame it entirely on not having a watch. It was amaze-balls and Texas Ridge became my favorite descent in CO.

In the summer of 2012, Scott and Chad made an attempt on the same ride but got tired before the final climb up to the trail so they turned down Texas Creek road instead. Sissies. Needless to say, Texas Ridge has been on Scott’s list since then, and it didn’t take a lot of convincing to have me put it on the list of rides to do before summer ended.

Then it snowed. And it snowed again. And Timberline is high, much of it north-facing, and in all honesty, a pain in the ass to get to from anywhere. There’s commitment involved. So we procrastinated until Sunday morning rolled around, and we decided to run the risk of getting completely shut down by snowy trail after a fairly significant drive. If the trail was dry enough, we’d be in for a hootin’ good time. If it was snowy…well, that would suck.

Something was going to happen. 

Because 9-10 hour rides were still ill-advised, we started on Timberline from Cottonwood instead of TinCup and immediately hit snow. But we had first tracks on it, it was still frozen, and was delightful riding. Chunky. Slippy. Exciting.

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We made it down to Texas Creek in no time where I announced: This isn’t going to be a big ride at all!

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Ummm…we still have a big climb to go. And we still have to climb back to the car from Taylor Park. 

Nah. We’ll be fine. 

Apparently I have a finely tuned selective memory because the climb was anything but easy. Steep, but not steep enough to justify walking (mostly). Chunky, but not unrideably technical (mostly). And drop-dead gorgeous (completely).

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We hit snow. We hit mud. We hit bone-dry trail. I remembered bits and pieces.

Oh, this switchback! We keep climbing from here!

I remember this switchback too! The trail keeps going up!

At the top I looked at my watch. Oh, that’s why I’m getting so hungry. So much for this not being a big ride…

We contoured along, commenting that while we’d prefer dry trail to snowy trail, the snow was really only making the going about 10% slower. And maybe slightly more cautious.

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Finally, the famed Texas Ridge. Only one way to go from here: Down.

For a while I thought that maybe the trail only seemed as magical to Jj and I because it was so unexpectedly smooth and flowy after a day of Timberline. But I have to say that even knowing what to expect, I was still blown away and how much fun it was.

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Scott was also impressed. I’m basing that purely off of the grin on his face whenever we stopped to exclaim how awesome the trail was. While we’d encountered a good bit of snow along Timberline, the Ridge was completely/mostly dry. Duffy. An exquisite gift from the universe.

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And the climb back up to the car? Let’s just say Hurray for tailwinds!

As for something happening? It happened, and it was good.

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One thought on “Gift of Texas Ridge

  1. thank you for this little refresher 😉
    sublime in all of it’s ways.

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