Adventuring in Vegas with Ben Bostrom
I know this happened a month ago, but I have a giant list of blog entries I really wanted to write. This ride with Ben Bostrom, pro MTBer and motorcycle racer, was one of them. Even as we were on the ride, I was mentally writing it out. Partially for the story I’m working on, but also for right here.
The ride? 4 hours. Lost in the desert, sun setting, 2 flats, 1 broken cleat, 3 crashes. All of those were me. Easily one of the best days I’ve ever had. Sometimes, it’s more about the adventure and the challenge than the smooth ride, and this was definitely one of those days.
Of course, I should have known that would happen, since we started the ride at 5pm with me (5’3″ on a tall day) riding Ben’s size medium mountain bike with the seat slammed. On a trail called the Cactus Trail.
But before that, there were some mechanical issues to contend with. First thing, a flat. The flat was caused from (the trail’s name should have given it away) me falling into a cactus. The second? Who knows. The cleat? Well, thankfully the rotor bolts are the same size of the cleat. And you know what? Those mechanicals gave me a few seconds to breathe and drink. Thankfully Ben made me bring two bottles, which was smart. We were supposed to be out for two hours but clearly he knew himself well enough to know that I needed to be prepared. It was exhausting.
And then, Ben gives us the good news: “We can get home before dark, if we gun it.” Of course, I was already redlining the entire ride. And Ben thought he knew the way to the bottom, so we decided to book it downhill.
Guess what? The sun set faster than we thought, and that trail wasn’t exactly in the right direction. So it ended with us scampering up ridges looking for lights from the highway, and racing down barely maintained fire roads. I’ve never felt so good about riding, and never felt so good about my actually solid night vision.
So, we didn’t quite make it home in the light…