Saturday, March 2, 2013

Chasing the Sun

As the winter rolls on, the anticipation of spring grows ever so strong. By the time March arrives, us mountain bikers want spring so bad, that we start to believe that it is actually here, when it is not. And then, right on cue, March inevitably bites us on our backsides, forcing us to accept another month of winter. Being a trail builder makes this time of year even more difficult, because I want to ride in the woods more than ever, yet daily freezing and thawing of the ground makes most trails a mess. My best judgement steers me to facing the chilly winds on the road bike.

My solution to this dilemma is to leave New Jersey and chase some sunshine in a foreign place where the sun shines strong and the trails stay dry more days than not. Destination: Santa Catalina Mountains in Tucson Arizona. A mini blizzard on arrival made for some beautiful contrasts in the dessert. Hard to believe, but five inches of snow was completely gone at trail level in a day or two. Wildlife sightings over those fews days were incredible. A hawk with a broken wing, unable to reach his nest, had created a war for nesting in the big pines and coyotes were wondering through the yard multiple times a day.

A few days later I was enjoying a variety of single-track in shorts and short sleeves. The injured hawk went missing, and was most likely eaten by coyotes, picked over by ravens and feathers used for nesting by birds. Just like the snow that came and went, supplying moisture for life, life itself is completely absorbed quickly, feeding itself. Life goes on in this harsh but beautiful sunny place. There is perfection in the system.

My visits to WOW in Arizona are always appreciated. ....Back in New jersey, recharged by the sun and the beauty of the desert, I wait for spring alongside the daffodil sprouts in my back yard. As an athlete, I have great appreciation of the seasons. Just like our bodies needing rest to grow, the seasons supply rest for the forest and all it's wildlife. I am glad to be over the hump of winter and waiting for the next stage ahead.

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