A wild hair was gnawing at the base of my neck to get back on my mountain bike. When I get back into something, I go full throttle. I wake at 4am and head on up to Bootleg Canyon in Boulder City, Nevada to get my ride on. Four hours later I arrive to a chilly morning out in the desert….
It turns out that the day I chose to ride was the day of a professional biking tournament, and many of the trails were closed for the races, not to mention the place was packed. The energy around me was contagious, but I knew that I’d need to find a less crowded place to ride. I start on a paved loop trail, and head down towards Lake Mead. No more than a mile in though, and I see that I’ll be going straight downhill, which looks fun initially, but I worry about coming back up and think I better turn around and go the other direction. I need more of a flat surface to get started, not a gut busting decline/incline.
What I didn’t realize at the time though was I was on the River Mountains loop trail, which was a 30 plus mile trail that encircled the entire mountain range, went past Boulder City to Henderson, then Las Vegas, descended down to Lake Mead, then climbed back up the canyon to Boulder City.
I figured this out about eight miles in, but at that point I wasn’t turning back. It was also at this junction that I realized the eleven year anniversary of the day my sister was killed was in a few days….
The realization hit me hard as I was riding her bike, a bike that was a part of the last thing we did together only a month before she was gone. Pedaling along the trail I could feel her spirit with me, keeping me strong mile after grueling mile.
I didn’t feel sadness or empty.
I felt hope. I felt joy.
The wind whistled up my nose and in my ears as I flew around corners in the pristine beauty around me. I thought about Sea Bee and how life has been so different these last few months.
I killed the thirty plus miles in just over five hours.
Sis would have been proud. I can hear her contagious laugh as she hugs me.
I think I’m finally turning a corner…..