Sometimes a Ride is the Only Answer

Last Sunday wasn’t a good day. I tried to ride outside of Nederland, a small mountain town above Boulder, but was shut down by an early thunder storm that rolled through at 11am complete with a substantial amount of hail. That combined with a few other factors put me in a bad mood, and I wasn’t sure how to shake it. Eventually I decided to go for a second ride, more locally at Betasso this time, and hopefully get better weather.

Betasso is a fast, buffed out loop just up the canyon from Boulder so I decided to dust off my 29er hardtail for some hot laps. Before getting to the top of the first climb I saw my friend Liam – we’d worked together a few years before at a tech company helping small bike shops stay competitive as the online marketplace evolves. He was training for the Baily Hundo endurance race, and although I had planned to wallow in my bad mood, we decided to ride together for a bit.

“A bit” eventually turned into two figure-8 laps and as we got back to the trailhead, ominous clouds were building for the second time that day. I looked ahead and saw a rider coming towards us, using all kinds of body english to push his neon-highlighted bike through a set of corners. I knew that riding style and bike (and there’s not many people that match their shoes to their bikes) – it was my friend Dane who’s taken a bunch of the Conation Collective photos. I introduced him and Liam, and after a short conversation I decided to push one more lap while they headed down the Link trail.

My mood had been greatly improved, and though I was focused on not getting caught in the rain again, my mind wandered to what an awesome community went into that one ride. I was tearing around on a Waltworks custom frame built by my friend Walt in the height of my racing days. Fresh out of college, I had given Walt geometry specs that would not have ridden well. He asked some questions, tweaked the numbers, and built a frame that is still my favorite bike ever. It’s built up with a singlespeed tensioner I got from the bike shop I worked in during highschool, a small component that eventually got handed down to me after logging time on countless friends’ bikes. The cockpit was even given to me by a friend in the bike media who knew I couldn’t afford the part spec that was laying around his garage. And I was wearing Conation Collective apparel (of course!) – a line that has only come together through years of friends lending a bit of time, or expertise, or both until it all coalesced into the most comfortable riding kit available.

I’m extremely proud of what we’ve accomplished at the Conation Collective, and it was nice to have a reminder last week that sometimes when things aren’t going well, and there’s even literal rain on the horizon, the best thing to do is go cruise around the local trails. Maybe you’ll run into a couple friends. Maybe the rain will miss you. Maybe you’ll get a flat or snap a chain or crash – I can’t predict every ride but I’ll stand by my belief that going for a ride is usually better than not!