Now I'm not big on New Year's resolutions, but I do like a challenge. So starting in December last year I decided to do at least one century ride per month and at least one overnighter per month for 2016. During warm months this isn't too tough and with the trips I have in the planning phases I'll get several centuries and overnighters on consecutive days. But during the cold months in Colorado it can take some gumption, planning and fortitude to get out, especially for the overnighter.
Last night was my first time sleeping outside in 2016. It happened to almost coincide with the full moon (that's tonight by the calendar I checked). I got an early start and did most of my two-hour climb with daylight guiding me. After dark, thanks to the moonlight and the lights on my bars and helmet, I did a bit of exploring, looking for new spots to lay my head for future trips. No luck, even after post-holing for 20 minutes, pushing my loaded fat bike. Alas, I turned around and headed to a familiar location for the night.
It was a bit colder than I expected (I woke to temps in the teens) and I ended the night sleeping in most of my clothes. I was really glad I brought a tent as I had room to add layers in relative comfort. The moonlight woke me on a couple of occasions but pulling my hat over my eyes helped me snooze in peace. Unusually I slept past the sunrise and got up at 7am. I used my soda can stove to make a breakfast of oatmeal and coffee. Hot liquids were amazing! I leisurely loaded up and was back on a favorite dirt climb heading up at 8am. I took my time, warming myself in the sun and thankful for the uphill effort. Soon I was shedding layers.
It was a beautifully clear and calm morning. I climbed to a more travelled dirt road and dropped into a once prosperous mining town. The cafe was closed, a bummer as more food was calling my name. I downed a Clif bar that I had kept warm in my jersey pocket, finished my water and climbing the last few hundred feet before a long descent back home.
It was a great night out, and not because I slept like a baby. I didn't. It was great because I rode a moonlit trail, turned off the day-to-day world and started the year right. Here's to at least 11 more!