Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Random Roads - New Found Adventure


Along the broken highways of this country lies one of our most cherished resources: dirt roads. For countless years, they have served us, and most of humanity, as the foundation of travel. Part creation and evolution, they represent more than the to and fro of our lives. They are part of the ever-changing expression of nature. A dirt road is a dynamic entity. With every tire tread or foot print, the road gives. During a rain storm, a dirt road’s muddy ruts might hinder even the most sophisticated of earth-altering machinery. A dirt road is limitless and restrictive. Not many mountain bikers venture on to these forgotten gems. We typically stay near the trails and parks. However, with the winter upon us, maybe it is time to drive down a farm or county road, park your car, saddle up and begin an adventure.

Having lived near farming and ranching communities for most of life, I’ve been fascinated with dirt roads. As a mountain biker, I’ve found that winter dirt road riding can be one of the most rewarding experiences. They are quiet and nature rests along the ditches and fences. Sunsets are more vivid on a dirt road. People seem to be nicer on a dirt road. Finally, traffic is at a minimum on a dirt road.

Yesterday, I took a ride along one of the many oil roads in Northwest New Mexico. I had no particular direction in mind. My only objective was to ride as many new roads as possible. I thought about the memories of the road. A tire tread could be an oil truck or a couple on their way to see a Medicine Man. I wanted to drown in the possibility of this road. Occasionally, I stopped to check out an arroyo (dried river bed). Hawks, Crows, Jack Rabbits and the sporadic Coyote paw print were my company. The ride was glorious. I’m hooked on dirt road riding.

This winter I have a goal for each of you. Drive somewhere new, open your eyes a little wider and get out in to the dirt roads of this beautiful country. If you have the opportunity, please send me a comment about your riding experience! If the road was really good, maybe you could send me directions…

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