As we are parking we notice two couples riding out and putting their bikes in the back of their blue Ford truck. They stop and talk with us for a moment and we notice they and their bikes are muddy, and I mean pig-rolling-in-the-pigsty muddy. They tell us to avoid trails with names such as Pedro’s Point, Outer Limits and Mucus Ridge for the more favorable terrain of Voodoo Loop, Cuatro Sinko and Chuy’s.
Leaving our new-found friends I turn to Tim and confess, “I have no idea where any of those places are.” Tim replies, “Me either. I am glad I have GPS on my phone so there is no way we can get lost.” “Which way do you want to go?” “Uh, I don’t know. How about we take that trail to the right?” “Sounds good to me.”
As we hit the first turn I realize things have not ‘dried out’ as much as we had hoped, creating an ergonomic problem of sorts: imagine a 275-pound man on a thin frame of steel and rubber propelling awkwardly forward on a slip-n-slide of deep, sticky, boggy tundra disguised as a biking trail.
As I huff and puff my way along the trail, feeling my tires spin in the mud, I quickly realize I am going nowhere. So I get off and try walking my bike until my wheels are so gummed up with mud they quit turning completely. At that point, Tim and I decide to lock up our bikes and try my other new favorite winter activity, snowshoeing, but without the snow shoes. This is also known as hiking.
Eventually we make our way to the tip of the reservoir, talking mostly about how we would survive if we were stuck out here in this wilderness. Tim points out all the great places we could make shelter and I tell him I can catch minnows in the little creek that runs to the reservoir. We talk about how Tim has been taking probiotics to help his digestive track, which is more important than you might think, especially if you end up standing downwind of him.
We talk about juice fasting and how awesome it is. Well, Tim talks about how awesome it is while I mostly nod like I know what he’s talking about. See Tim loves him some juice fasting. He says it reboots your system and returns equilibrium to your body as well promoting peace on earth and goodwill towards men. We hop over a creek that’s still half-frozen from the colder spell earlier in the month, climb up to the top of a mesa and look out to the reservoir and then back on the snow streaked peaks of the Wet Mountains. And I realize what a really great day this is and how good it feels to be outside, mud and all.
What you need:
A mountain bike and dry trails, if you actually want to bike the Reservoir. (Nothing, if you are happy to hike.)
Where to get it and how much it will cost:
The Great Divide on Santa Fe for sales, service and advice. For a refurbished inexpensive bicycle try the Cycle of Life Project at 111 Abriendo or call 719-647-9235.
What to do after:
After working up an appetite on your bike, stop by Shamrock Brew Pub on 3rd