Up early, we finished packing up the cars, downed some calories, and were back on the road to the same trailhead as the day before. A week of friends, great trails, many laughs, and lots of feel-good-tired-to-the-bone energy was winding down. We all were a little quiet as we headed out, perhaps a little discontent when looking forward and seeing that we’d not be waking up next week and riding every day.
Donner Lake Rim Trail–DLRT–was on the slate, a trail that is not yet complete, but a pretty good out-and-back at this point. Once we got past the double-track and into the single track, I could not have been more pleased.
Rollable and rideable trail with rock features requiring strength and balance, along with some nastiness and some smoothness here and there, passed through the trees and peek-a-booed into openings with vast views. The blend was well thought-out, and I kept thinking: they did such a nice job … how creative … fun … pinballing back and forth on this a few times would be a good time well spent.
The fun ended, dumping us onto double track. Then we connected back into single track that went way down. Down, down, down. We stopped.
Thinking of the long drives we had ahead of us, we turned around, climbing back up and back into the rocks and trees.
At the brewery in Truckee for lunch, we plotted out driving routes back to Bend, Coeur d’Alene, Indianapolis, and San Diego. I sat and thought about that: 6 people coming together to ride bikes on trails in the mountains. Day after day. Tired, but up early each morning to do it all over again. No complaints. Smiles and joy in knowing that we were alive another day and that we were going to go mountain biking. Camaraderie on the trail that never included negativity, each of us understanding each other’s riding styles and preferred trail riding experience (rocks, flow, downhill, long climbs) and making sure that we all shared in those experiences … and …
We were in it together–mechanicals, crashes, injuries, push ahead, wait and regroup, whatever came our way. From start to finish each day, we were a unit. We never spoke it, but we all knew it: when riding with this crew, you never have to think about whether anyone has your back, or not. We’re all getting back out, and will ride again, hopefully (!–barring any tragedy–!).