Big Ride, Big Mishaps, Big Fun
Naïveté: (noun) lack of experience, wisdom, or judgment.
I generally do not think of myself as being naive, but today proved differently.
Having spent the past few days riding trails here in Flagstaff (Arizona), I was keen to complete the “Round the Peaks” loop – an approximately 50 mile loop (+/- depending upon where one starts) circumnavigating the base of Humphrey’s Peak (12,633 ft). Locals I spoke to – in some form or another – consistently described this loop as being “quintessential Flag”.
Capturing a variety of terrain, offering stunning views, and presenting challenging climbs and technical downhills, I was told to find time for this ride before departing the area.
I was giddy.
Along a route beginning at 7,174ft elevation and peaking at 9,329ft, originally my thinking was to bike camp the ride, overnighting on the mountain, and in the process, splitting the distance into two reasonable day efforts.
However, because I continue to change my ‘perfect’ bike camp set-up and haven’t actually yet bought any gear, I find myself in a situation pretty much devoid of most necessary bike camping essentials.
No worries, I’ll do long day ride. On the trail early, home by mid-afternoon.
In hindsight, I can now see that my actions this morning were pretty much naive from the start: 1) allotting only 6 hours for the ride, 2) assuming 2.5 liters of water would suffice, and 3) underestimating the toll 5,100ft of climbing would have on my legs.
I missed the 6 hours by 90 minutes, ran out of water 45 minutes from finishing, and hopelessly suffered from legs that turned into jelly.
And, I broke a spoke.
Despite a day littered with mishaps, I nevertheless had a great (and very long) ride.