The annoying no-see-ums flirt with our helmet straps and ears as we stop the stationary torture of our rest by removing the funky masses from our heads….the early times of summer belie our intent as we pierce into the singletrack on a precious schedule not seen since winter. Cactus wren males squawk upon high; lofty perches of butter-pearl saguaro flowers bloom…..the females perceive beyond their behaviors, the male flight into summer……long yet to appear in full, and yet flirting with the participants of it’s seasons.
Our flight north is met by a climb that hits in the gut….a gulp for energy that was once there, but no longer……a gasp of atmospheric pressure one expects at lower elevations and is absent in the sweet, breezy aspects of a ponderosa forest. The Carmel-vanilla scent of a warm day upon the salad that becomes a bowl of Pickle, Red Onion, Ginger and Wasabi is intoxicating……Stage Left subs with a White Russian cocktail makes things even better…….anyone wanting more….well, they can tell their stories over camaraderie and beer…….
The Coconino is like none other….the sight of bikes flowing upon descents of lava and climbing on stratospheric heights leaves ones taste a memory marked in tone and note…..the song remains the same.
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