31 days. 4 states. 200+ miles.
In July I did the 30 day ride challenge hosted by Trailforks and Anthill Films. The challenge was simple: ride each day, including at least one full trail as mapped on Trailforks.
Tijeras, New Mexico trails
My month started off with lots of rides close to home. Luckily, I live close to some of the best mountain biking trails in New Mexico.
I tried to ride some different trails and extend my reach a bit, but there were also a lot of days when I just rode my favorite loop.
While I still can’t ride one difficult section of my fave trail, by the end of the month, I did get to where I could ride the entirety of the rest of the trail which felt like a huge accomplishment.
One thing I’ve noted before about New Mexico is that our roads and our waterways tend to be one and the same. This means it’s a really good thing it doesn’t rain that often.
Out in the desert, we just drive in the arroyos which are normally dry and our towns and cities generally lack good flood planning so when it rains, the streets just flood. Now, I have come to realize that this might also apply to bike trails.
Pagosa Springs, Colorado
I also made a trip to visit an old friend and some family. So I took my bike along and made some people babysit B for me each day so I could go ride. Priorities, right?
Farmington, New Mexico
Farmington is my other hometown. My mom lives there and I went to college there. But I didn’t mountain bike when I lived there, so the excellent mountain bike trails were something of a surprise. A pleasant one.
I was out to ride early on the two days I went on these trails and the sunrises were amazing. Also, sweeping views and bushes that smell like home. And crazy fun bike trails. Not the gnarly, rocky, hardcore trails I’m used to. Smooth, flowy, trails with little bitty hills that are just big enough to be a ton of fun but not a ton of work to pedal up.
One of the joys of this challenge was biking in places I wouldn’t have otherwise tried. Most of the time when I travel, I leave my bike at home, but I may rethink that.
Aztec, New Mexico
I also went for one ride outside of Aztec, New Mexico: The Alien Run. It was a blast. I’m totally riding it again next time I’m in the area.
After my trip, I returned home for a few days and then it was off on another adventure. This time for work, but with a bicycle stop thrown in on the journey.
Palo Duro Canyon State Park, Texas
My last ride of the 30 day challenge was at Palo Duro Canyon, which has more pictures than it’s fair share for only one ride.
I have a thing for State Parks with cabins because I wish I lived in an RV and traveled everywhere, but I don’t actually have an RV right now so I need alternative accommodations.
I’m all for tents under some circumstances, but July in Texas is not a circumstance where I’m all for living without an AC and a shower. Also, business trips and tents don’t really go that well together.
Anyway, on this trip, I was staying at the Lighthouse cabin on the rim of the canyon which made me feel a sort of obligation to make it out to my cabin’s namesake and the park icon: The Lighthouse Formation.
I was at the trailhead for this ride before the sun was up. But it was still by far the hottest ride of the month. By nine in the morning, I was totally miserable. Still, my ride through the canyon was worth it for the cool views and the neat rocks.
So after doing the 30 day challenge, I figured I was only 1 day away from riding every day in July. So I went out for the 31st day in Tulsa.
I loved discovering the Turkey Mountain wilderness area because it is a great pocket of nature in the city. But I felt sad I hadn’t discovered it sooner since I’ve been traveling to Tulsa for work for the past 12 or so years.
The only downside was that it was just so humid. I am not at all used to the humidity and I suffered from it, feeling all wet and sweaty and gross and also missing the cooling effect that happens when sweat can actually evaporate.
First off, a few real selfies:
Fitting in a ride every day was tough. Sometimes I rode at sunrise, other times at sunset. A lot of my rides ended up being mid-day because afternoon thunderstorms ruled out the afternoons and left the trails too wet in the morning. Riding during the hottest part of the day was not my idea of ideal. But it happened and I’m so proud I rode every day.
This challenge was amazing. My strength and endurance improved. I lost weight. I saw some amazing places. I pushed through the days that it was tough. And I’m super pleased with myself. 🙂