The Big 6O BD Adventure
I celebrated a big birthday last week, 6O! I knew deep inside that this should be one to give back to, rather than receive from. A little pre planning made for an unforgettable and successful day. Experienced the most stunning sunrise on the Continental Divide with Annie to start the day. Starting what would be a mind-blowing day, on the 36er unicycle, at 12,095’ (3,687 meters) in 22F (-6 C) temperatures was so insane. Wearing all the clothes that I had brought; I spun my way down the magnificent Independence Pass #independencepassfoundation in all its fall splendor. The sky got bluer and the temperature slowly warmed on the descent into Aspen, all 4,000’ (1219 meters) of it. Waiting in Aspen was Jesse, of Jesse’s Barber shop, #jessesbarbershop I had planned to stop at his recently opened barber shop to get my 12” blonde/white ponytail cut; so I could donate it to #childrenwithhairloss, #cutpasslove. Children with Hair Loss is a legit organization; donated hair ends up on children’s heads. I truly believe in their mission so much so, that this donation was my 3rd in 4 years. #lifeisgreatdonate Cruising onto the Rio Grande Trail with a gratifying smile covering my face, I pedaled my way along next to the calming Roaring Fork River. Running into friends on the trail along the way kept the stoke high. With the lack of hair on my head, I felt like I was riding like the wind, as the middle miles of the adventure came and went quickly.
Red Flag Warning #redflagwarning for the afternoon was the weather forecast, which meant high winds with low humidity. They were right; 50 mph, (44 knots) gusts with steady 20+ mph, (18 knots) winds. Fortunately for me, the vector was mostly from the side, with some tail wind; albeit there were many miles I had to keep the head down and think small on the giant 36er Uni as the headwinds created very challenging riding conditions.
Rolling into Carbondale, I knew the homestretch lay just ahead of me. Stopping at a favorite coffee house for my double espresso, I realized just what an incredible BD adventure I was having. Jacked on caffeine I got back on the Uni and headed towards Glenwood Springs, only 10 miles (17 km’s) further. I continued on the Rio Grande Trail, crossing over the Roaring Fork River for the last time. Winds at this part of the trail were so strong and variable, staying on the Uni after 50 miles, (81 kms) was truly a struggle. Head down, I pushed hard on the pedals trying to keep a sustainable cadence to keep the wheel moving forward.
Glenwood Springs, my final destination was in sight. My Garmin confirmed that I had indeed ridden my miles in age; only 4 more to go. I stopped to take it all in, at a most spectacular scenic spot on the trail. Cottonwoods glowing in their fall yellow hue, the Roaring Fork River flowing freely just below me, the Flat Top mountains looming high ahead, and dark storm clouds building over me. It was a spiritual moment; I look up and a bald eagle is soaring right above me. Damn, I am the luckiest person on the planet, and I am so grateful for that. I did not want the adventure to end, I was not quite ready. Closing my eyes and meditating for a little bit, I find peace and harmony in such an amazing piece of paradise. Finally, after calling family and friends to share my joy and thankfulness; my inbox/texts were full of birthday wishes, I hopped back on the 36er Uni and finished the final mile. The confluence of the Roaring Fork River and the Colorado River; I had just ridden the complete length of the Roaring Fork River. What a perfect place to throw the hands up in the air and yell a big “Life is Great”! 8 ½ hours, 64 miles (103 kms), 150 pictures, and a 12” donated ponytail later I was honored, humbled, and grateful to be one year older! The big 60