It's all about the mornings. 36 crisp degrees when I started my ride, a sultry 46° now. Up, up and up and then…exploration. It's been awhile since I've been in this mode. But there is a new territory, one that I realize I have never explored. Followed some old mining roads and would have kept following them except for I was riding straight into the red mountains of the divide, when I wanted to head the other way. Onto a shit track – rocky and vertical – so I left that and started heading north through the woods in search of something better. And that's when I remembered – walking the bike, through the glowing pines and aspens, not completely sure where you are is one of the finest sensations available. It was Lewis and Clark style again, and I missed it. The singlespeed – light, agile and it doesn't suck big logs into the gear shaft. After a bit of walking, observing the ground folliage and feeling the crispness in my lungs, I found a trail. Nothing spectacular, but a find nonetheless.
I've been taking Stella on these early morning rides rides, and why not? She's an Alaskan Husky, 2-4 years old, sticks with me and loves to run. She's a great partner in the woods, and a great member of the family. The third element, the comic relief, the thing that helps bring us even closer. Near the end of the loop we often do, we pass a house with two border collies. They do the standard meet-and-greet and there is little drama. Border collies have a way of moving – it's almost like herding – that is very wolf pack like, and Stella looks like some sort of wolf/fox mix (a woman the other day commented to me "incredible dog, and it looks like she has some of the old blood in her." Indeed.) so it's cool to ride by and see the pack merge and then separate.
Fall is here. The stifling days of summer are done…the cool, alive feel in the air has arrived. It's the shortest season, and the best one too.