The opening of Lupine marks the start of riding on the north end of the Gunnison Valley. With South/Southwest facing aspects, the full exposure of the sun melts off the snow and makes way for flowers.
Spring has been super busy for me this year. The chaos of life sometimes blurs what is important. A lunch bike ride is the best way to take a step back and enjoy where we are.
After lubing up my bike, I left from my house in Riverbend and made my way over to the top of Lupine Trail out Saddle Ridge Rd. At the trailhead, another biker was sitting on the ground, I asked if he was doing ok. Although winded from the altitude and sweating from the climb, he got the biggest smile on his face and said, “How could I not be doing ok, isn’t it just incredible here!”. After speaking with him, I learned he had made the trip out from Arkansas and the huge mountain vistas had him awestruck.
My encounter allowed me to reopen my eyes and soak in the beauty of the Slate River valley. When you have the pleasure of seeing these vistas everyday, sometimes you become numb to them. It takes another person’s excitement to forget about life and enjoy the surroundings.
As I hit the singletrack, I stopped to snap a couple photos of the flowers starting to bloom. For the first time, I felt like summer was here. The larkspur had bloomed and the lupine were close behind. The gradual singletrack climb led to some super fun downhill switchbacks. Then onto the doubletrack road to Lupine 2. At the top of the doubletrack, I stopped for a photo up the Oh Be Joyful drainage. As I sat there, another rider from Evergreen, CO came by and stopped to say hello. He exclaimed, “I just can’t believe this, it’s like riding through Narnia!”. His excitement was contagious, and I felt overwhelmingly lucky to live here.
For the rest of my ride, I was in the moment. Each flower that whizzed by and every banked turn seemed so clear. All of my stresses and worries about life seemed so distant. By the time I got back to my house, I had been completely reenergized and attuned to my beautiful surroundings. Lunch rides will be happening more this summer.