Richard had me howling with laughter through one section -- laughing so hard I nearly crashed myself out. Usually I struggle to keep up with him on the climbs, and then he follows me at a distance on the descents, but through this section I pursued him through a nice long, twisty downhill with lots of tricky bits. His Cannondale was in the shop, so he was rockin' his old Kona titanium hard-tail with cross-country tires pumped up to about 60psi for the road. And he went flying into this section with way too much speed and just kept it right on the edge the whole way down; rocks making his wheels ping and pop as he pinballed through them, steering more with body language than conventional steering, both wheels skidding into the turns counter-steering like an old-school flat-tracker, covering territory like a terrified jack rabbit. A memorable performance indeed, and reminiscent of my brother Ryan's rank downhill attacks on his old clapped-out Norco.
The solo ride was fantastic too, but for different reasons. Perfect 24 degrees and sunshine, trout creek rushing below, apples ripening in the orchards, touches of vertigo looking down into the canyon...I was in a thankful space and loving life. I also ran into a small group of wild horses and got some photos of a beautiful mom 'n foal pair. This guy wasn't so sure about me. Anyway, wild horses had me thinking of one of my top-five songs off one of my few desert-island albums:
"Who's gonna ride your wild horses?
Who's gonna drown in your blue sea?
Who's gonna taste your salt water kisses?
Who's gonna take the place of me?"
Wild Horses, U2