Grave Range Growler
I borrowed my partners car to get my bike and self to the start. Destination Blue Mountain Recreation Area parking lot. It was 5:45 AM when I rolled in. Disappointment settled in seeing that no one was around. I mean usually no one in their right mind would be out there at 6 in the morning. But today Norman and I planned to start the RMVQ together. And if he was a no-show, I understood. Or anyone for that matter. The RMVQ itself is an insane idea. But to me it is my yearly quest to reconnect one last time with the area before it gets covered with snow. As I Steeped out of the car I saw some headlights coming at me.
“Hi Norman”, my spirits set back to optimal optimism. I felt I needed company for this year’s installment. I did not want to do it. Felt that I could not do it. But was just there to see if my new lifestyle change would allow me to enjoy 24 hours of just plain riding the toughest loop on the planet.
I did not hear any response …, “Norman?”
As he turned the light to the side it was not Norman at all. It was Aaron. It was like we stepped back in time to a year ago while riding the Fitzy Barn. Specifically just topping out on Bannock Pass during the night.
Then a car pulled in and out stepped Norman. And then another car … what the heck? At 6 in the morning Norman, Aaron, and I headed up Blue Mountain. There were instances of being slightly off course. I enjoyed slivers of time when I actually rode with my adventure partners but we all had our own pace. Norman seemed to be the most cautious, which comes with being a veteran. Aaron had all the energy and found himself off the front. Me I was sticking to 133 beats per minute.
The sun came out in a glorious display of color and warmth. When we left the cars it was in the 20s and frost covered our bikes. Then when we all crested the mountain and pulled up to the fire tower we basked in the warming rays. The day was certainly underway. Arron and I bombed off the top of Blue mountain first.
I saw Aaron maybe twice after that. Then Norman happened by on top of the first “Bastard”, once named “Bitch” until questioned by “someone” on what that meant. The three bastards are three really challenging hill climbs that usually include licking the handlebar for nutrition.
Norman and I jockeyed back and forth until the big downhill into Dry Gulch. I use downhills to gain distance lost due to insane slowness on the climbs. At the bottom … Ed, Laurie, and Aaron. We all gathered at the Kona Bridge and got ready for our assault on the Snow Bowl A Frame. A band of 3 turns into a band of 5. I truly love it when the RMVQ brings us together.