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Silent Singletrack

imageWhen will I learn? The sweetest things are silent. Unspoken. Observed. The irony is…me. I speak as fast as I can get the words to form; nearly instantaneously as the thoughts have materialized, synapses have fired and communication relayed through and out of my pie hole. But we’ll get to synapses yielding misfired words in a moment.

We got us done a nice epic yesterday. The W-J brought P-Dub and I up to the goodness…all on marked trails in National Forest. All on trails that are prototypically Colorado: crushed granite sediment, much of which was bar-width apart, perfectly tacky from the wetness we’ve had as of late, woven in and out of aspens and pines at 9-10,000ft. And all silent.

The W-J and P-Dub are something to watch. Two genetic freaks who’s mitochondria, like the surroundings, defy explanation. But what I witnessed was two old friends in their element. Hours and hours, miles and miles ridden together over the years. They both float over the singletrack like only those who’ve spent 20+ imageyears on mountain bikes can. The most remarkable thing though was…the silence. I think the communion for these guys and what is most appreciated is hearing the sound of perfectly inflated tires float over terrain. You know that sound, right? They made it a point which I gleaned from them…without them having to say anything to punctuate that fact. It was just obvious. So while we broke out like schoolboys in laughter when someone cased something or blew a line, the long stretches of silence with only the sound of those tubeless tires making their beautiful hum as the three of us grooved in and out of the aspen groves was priceless.

While railing some of these stretches, many of which are just too hard to be accessed by hikers and bikers given their distances inland, we’d come upon fallen aspens and other brush. W-J, ever the Boy Scout, would whip out this ingenious tool…a chain saw blade connected on each end with nylon loops for your hands…and would hack away at these fallen timbers. He and P-Dub literally cut through a 8” aspen in 30 seconds. imageUnbelievable. We got the fallen stuff cleared so the next folks using the trail could have clean runs.

The ride was beautiful, all 5+ hours of it from and back to Boulder. We have so much epic National forest land it’s crazy to think about. Moreover the value of silence and its virtues has taught me a lot these last few weeks. It’s not due to a lack of appreciating silence. It’s knowing when to practice it. When to observe it. When to enjoy it and relish in it. And on the topic of silence: it should have played a role in weeks prior for me. And for that I am so sorry. It’s a very large lesson learned. Sleep cycles lost for lack of it and my unfiltered naïveté. You know who you are and I long to rail the woods with you at some point. I’ll bring the silence in tow.

Reader Comments (1)

I think that I appreciated this post more than anyone else. W-J alerted me to it. Don't lose any more sleep. It sounds like you 'get' the mountain state of mind. I bet that we'll meet in the woods someday, each on our bike, and share the silence. I hope so.

June 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKB

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