Six Minutes of Joy

Susan’s mom and sisters (and one of Susan’s sister’s daughters) arrived yesterday afternoon to see Susan. Which meant, suddenly, I had time for myself.

Which meant, of course, that I was going to get out on my bike for a while.

The thing is, the temperature was hovering right around a hundred degrees. And while I can — and have — and do — ride in that kind of heat, it’s not my favorite.

And that’s when I remembered: I live near the mountains. Which means I can always climb to where it’s cooler. Seriously, between the shade and the higher altitude, it’s fifteen degrees cooler.

Thinking back to how great riding Tibble Fork was a few days ago, I decided to ride it again. But this time with a geared bike. And a working helmetcam.

I got the whole thing — all two hours of the ride — on video, but rather than put together a Cliff’s Notes version of the whole ride the way I usually do, I want to show you one particular section, in its entirety. That section of trail is officially named “South Fork Deer Creek.”

But we — the people I ride with — call it Joy.

We call it that, because that’s the feeling it brings. (And also because we like to give trails people names.)

After a difficult climb — three remarkably brutal uphill miles — there’s nothing quite like six perfect minutes of fast, swooping downhill. Trail that is so good that it fills your brain completely. There is no room for anything but pure joy.

Except for maybe it’s a good idea to reserve just a little bit of extra room in your brain for thinking about how it’s a good idea to juke left right now or you will hit that tree.

Tomorrow morning, a group of us will ride Tibble again. I’ll video it again, and I’ll show off some snippets of the rest of this unbelievably good trail.

But Joy deserves to be experienced in its entirety.

So here it is. Joy.

PS: Mud Springs — the second iconic descent in the Big Tibble loop — is the polar opposite of Joy and is just as good. It deserves — and will get — the full video treatment as well. Soon.

PPS: Thanks to the hundreds of people who commented yesterday. I really appreciate your encouragement and your support.

PPPS: I don’t want to give too much away, but very soon I will be doing my next big LiveStrong Challenge contest, and the prize will rhyme with “Orbea Orca with a Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 build.” I wonder if that’s too obvious of a clue.

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