Happy Holidays. I hope this finds everyone enjoying time with their family while staying healthy and safe.
I want to thank everyone for my present of being able to do what I love with the group of young people that I admire so much. It has been a joy to be able to come back to the club and to be able to help, assist, and coach again.
I also want to thank every family and rider for doing their very best to keep each other safe. I very much appreciate that everyone has been very mask conscience and aware. Who knows how crazy things are going to get with the pandemic, but we can control how we act around each other and the decisions that we make away from the club. So thank you all for being so mindful of each other.
BIKE TOUR RECAP
Last weekend I was fortunate enough to lead a group of riders on a three day bike tour of Southern Arizona. I worked hard to build as many gravel bikes as I could so as to invite as many riders as possible. I hope in the near future that we have such a bike for everyone.
The idea for this trip was conceived because some riders had expressed a desire to go on a bike tour, others wanted to camp with their friends, and others wanted to try gravel riding. After receiving all this input I decided to try and put something fun and safe together.
So first we mandated that riders take a covid test with in two days of departure and to quarentine as best as possible after the test to ensure results. We wanted to be as careful as we could. I also constructed the route in such a way that youth would be in cars as little as possible and outside as much as possible.
Day 1– We rode from the Clubhouse to Arivaca. This was an 80 mile ride and we camped just outside of town close to the lake. We arrived at the lake at approx. 1 pm and riders where then able to maximise their card playing time. It was a joy to watch how easily everyone fell into the camp card playing and that everyone respected my no electronics mandate.
Day 2– Was the big gravel day. This was another 80 mile day but this time we had to ride 60 miles of it on very rough dirt. For many riders on the trip this was the hardest bike ride they had ever been on. It took my group more than 6 hours of riding and 8 hours total. The highlight of the ride for me was the last hour. Everyone on the ride had cracked physically and emotionally,we were spent, but spiritually we came together. At the 7 hour mark of being away from camp, I stopped all of us on a random stretch of dirt road, just north of Mexico, and we created a power circle. We all came together and acknowledged that we were going to need everyones strength to finish the day. We were all spent and the ride was harder than anyone one of us prepared for.
But magic happened. That beautiful magic when you are your body and soul do something above and beyond anything it has done before. This alignment of energy I believe only happened because we as a group had decided to ride together and to care for each other. As we got the extra flat tire no wanted to deal with and the road seemed endless, no one complained. We just did the work. This was an instant classic of a day. It found that perfect space where you over reach to do something special. It was the most brutal of days, and yet it brought each rider massive amounts of pride.
These are the days that I missed as coach. The days when that new lesson is learned. When the comraderie of the team pulls each rider up to do the impossible.
Day 3– Parker Canyon Lake to Tucson. Only Myles, Axel and Elliot actually made it the whole way. The rest of us were transported to Sonoita and we enjoyed another perfect day. We rode 65 miles and were able to ride up and over the Santa Rita mountains via box canyon.
We may have been only gone 2 nights but I think for all of us it was what we needed. Just a few days to explore and to forget. 3 Days to let nature encompass us and to remind us of the beautiful world we get to call home. We have not had space or time to get out like this and we certainly needed it.