In one month and a few days, I’m going to be filled with a little fear and anxiety like I haven’t experienced since the night a few years ago in central Nigeria when we had to navigate a police check on the road. Well, it’ll be a little less tense in that no guns will be involved this time around. Actually, now that I’m tapping this out on the keys, I’ll offer that the fear and anxiety I’m feeling about what is coming up around the bend has a tinge of anticipatory adrenaline-fueled adventure edge to it, if I can say that, and isn’t much like what the Nigerian experience was.
I emailed an MTB guide company in northwestern Costa Rica a few weeks back, suggesting that I’d like to take a two day backcountry ride and offering that I didn’t want to go on a “tour” ride like what is set up for los turistas. We’ve been emailing back and forth, and as of this morning, it seems like they’re putting together a ride connecting their favorite trails, which may involve riding up and down volcanoes, through cloud forest and rainforest singletrack, dirt roads and pathways to Pacific coast beaches, and in and around what will be dry season sun-baked African-like savannah where local ranchers ride horses to round up the cattle. Though not the location of the infamous “La Ruta,” short for La Ruta de los Conquistadores, arguably the world’s most grueling mountain bike stage race, the Liberia area (where I’ll be) was recently home to the country’s national mtb championships.
The details of the ride aren’t yet there in the inbox. To be completely honest, I don’t care. I need an unknown, an unplanned, a let-myself-reside-in-someone-else’s-hands experience.
Tomorrow, 2011 riding season begins. Long road rides on the beater bike and hopefully some trails on a weekend road trip or two before departure will be my training, along with some raquetball and possibly inline skating.
Still, I think the guys at Guana Bikers are going to put a hurtin’ on me!
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