I hadn’t quite gotten around to posting about my team mountain bike trip the last week of July. Simply put, it was fantastic. I came home with a black eye, broken oakleys, new scars, & amazing memories with some of my best friends.
A little bit of background about my team.. We are probably THE most unorganized and spontaneous team of elite and junior racers in Texas. At the same time, we are WELL known to be the most family-like, biggest hearted team out there. Racing can get pretty intense… and it can get dirty. However, my coach does a great job reminding everyone the reason we ride – because it is something we love. We actually sign a contract each year at team camp pledging to ride and train with integrity. Every single teammate would do anything for one another. Some of our racers are younger than me (and I’m only 23), on the path to racing professionally one day, and regardless of their age they have taught me a lot about what a team really means. So much love and loyalty is running through my heart right now that I feel I cannot express it just in this one post. So I’ll leave it at that – we are one happy family, and we LOVE adventures.
So. Every summer as many of us as possible take off on a mountain bike trip to Durango, Colorado. Lucky for me, I was able to take off work to join. So on Friday night/Saturday morning at 3am, I arrived at my coach’s house to load up and head out in one of our beloved team vans.
First stop: Palo Duro Canyon in Amarillo, TX. The trails were fantastic and the scenery was unlike anything I had ever seen. Red dirt, boulders, cacti, tarantulas crossing the trail at their leisure. It literally felt like we were mountain biking on Mars.
Me riding in Palo Duro Canyon.
We then headed out of Texas, into New Mexico, and finally COLORADO.
We arrived in Cortez, Colorado to ride Phil’s World. These were probably some of my favorite trails – lots of options, fast rolling sections, etc. This is also where I had my first BAD crash… I took 2 downhills fast in a row, and my bike tire slid out near the bottom of the 2nd one. Body over bars and I landed on my face… My team Oakley Radars were ruined (devastating), but they did a hell of a job protecting my eyes. I escaped with only a cut and black eye.
Without having actually “stopped” anywhere yet (until this point, day 2 slash 3 of the trip and we were still living out of the van), we finally headed to check in to our campsite in Durango, just a few hours away. We had a great spot literally on top of a mountain – no cell service, no power, no showers. Our kind of life :)
Luckily, we had a great “shower” spot just a little outside of town – the water was FREEZING. But. Gorgeous. Also, I will say we got some laundry done here :)
I’m starting to get a little fuzzy on the daily details whilst in Durango, but we did hit up the Colorado Trail (so much climbing, and on the edge the entire time); Telegraph hill (where I had BAD crash #2); and the Durango BMX course (one of our kids broke his collarbone and had to fly home). Then, on the drive back to Texas, we stopped in Palo Duro for a full day of riding and making it up to the Lighthouse. Fun pictures:
Sno Cones on Lighthouse trail in Palo Duro Canyon – we took a picture then rode with our sno cones!
Top of Lighthouse
A lot of the team at Phil’s World (I think) in Cortez, CO
Me and my black eye
Durango BMX track – totally fun!!!
While I managed to leave out probably 75% of the details, all around it was a great great trip. Riding 30-40 miles per day in altitude on my mtb was definitely a change, but I survived pretty well!! I’ll say that our “hills” here in Texas seem like nothing now :) Ready to tear up the trails this race season!!!!
until next time. -BECCA