It's the weird time of year for most of us.
Weather tempts us to ride with rays of sun peeking through clouds, but the bitter cold air drives you inward, home bound.
For some it is the best time of year, the desert heat retreats to bring all day long adventure and moderate climate. The rain turns every corner into a slice of pie, freshly cooled and waiting to be sliced.
I miss that sweet desert smell.
Unless you have experienced it there is no
way to describe the way the desert floor smells when the ground can finally drink water.
I am not talking about the flora.
I mean the actual dirt, sand, and rock.
Any mountain biker worth their cuts knows what the dirt they ride on smells like.
It's simply inescapable.
In my youth, earning my scars in Michigan, the earth smelled of death and life itself.
Earth wormy topsoil gave way to leaves rotting on the beach. That is the smell I grew up riding.
A very unique blend of rich leafy decay hiding sand.
Your tires cracking open the topsoil gave subtle whiffs of the beach.
Spring time brought about the smell of babies.
How else can you describe the complete onslaught that is Spring in Michigan?
Rainy, humid days giving way to cotton ball clouds swimming in a sea of perfect blue.
Life erupts from the ground, and from every pore in every cyclist.
I moved from the world of grey and greenhouse to the Sonoran Desert.
People imagine images of wastelands when you mention the desert.
Keep thinking that lemmings.
There is no greater misconception that I know of, and that I welcomed.
I was fortunate enough to live in the desert during two La Nina/ El Nino phases.
The desert Flora opens up in ways that are both mystical and unimaginable.
Sage, mesquite, and floral bouquets that mingle with your soul as you carve your way
further and further away from the well worn path.
The Sonoran Desert creates a drug that drives you,
invites you to push it further,
explore that area,
drive deeper into yourself and
There is no greater spectacle I have experienced on two wheels than
the three months of riding created by nature during the La Nina/El Nino phases.
It is something every rider should be graced with.
It will fill your soul,
encapsulate your body,
destroy every preconceived notion you ever had about the desert.
I am resurrecting myself from the pits of a three week hell. The flu and a sinus infection tag teamed me.
Sub 20 degree winter weather joined in the party for a menage a trois of epic doom and gloom.
As I am getting older, I realize the body hurts more when not used.
The bike becomes a temptress dressed as a dungeon, its chain shackling me to the bed, and smothering me in mucous and full body molecular pain.
Yesterdays ride on the front range was as pathetically delicious as one would imagine.
A terrible performance driven by the joys of sun, warmer temps, and thawing high desert floor.
I am in a mix of geographic regions. Trees share fields with grass and cacti.
Dirt is a mix of decaying leaves and granite heaved from the earth.
My nasal passages hide the beauty of smells from me.
Still plagued with the aftermath of the sinus infection, my body is driving me forward
to explore the dirt.
The smell will come. Its sweetness pangs at my soul.
For now I will enjoy its feel and sights.
I will ride until I can experience the hidden treasures of its bouquet.
I am eagerly awaiting adding another aroma to the palette.