Saturday, October 11, 2014


I've been telling J for a while now, that instead of her riding a horse on the trail with me, we should get her a mountain bike to ride. Her current bike is more of a street bike and she's had issues with it on the harder trails. Once she decided she wasn't going to take any more lessons, I told her to start looking for a better bike. Just like riding, having the correct equipment that fits is key. She spent some time looking at bikes online, checking components and comparing models. When she got home on Friday, she mentioned that there was a bike on sale at a nearby bike shop, so I immediately drove us over.

Diamondback. 15.5" frame. Disc brakes. Shimano components.
27.5" wheels.

While we were in the bike shop, J was talking about how she was happy that the tires were a smaller size than those on T's bike (she had tried T's bike and it was too big for her) and she hoped she could handle them on trail. When we got it home, it was the exact same height as T's. I laughed. Course, T's is 18" frame and J's has upgraded components. Kind of sad when the kid finally get bigger than you. He's got maybe a quarter inch before he is taller than me. Both of them, however, are very pleased with their choices.

J named her new steed Coyote. We had to do a trail ride today to see how it went.

We went to Spring Gulch Equestrian Center (E and Grace - Ashke's girlfriend - were there competing) and discovered a ton of horse trailers, horses and spectators for the eventing event going on. We turned and parked by the gate, away from the other riders. The man who was telling everyone where to go and where to park and when their time was walked over. I told him we were just parking there so we could ride the East West Regional Trail. He waved in agreement and went back to his chair.

You can't really see it but the foothills are reddish with autumn bushes. We rarely have a long autumn here. It has a tendency to go from really warm (upper 80s) to cold (upper 40s) in a week. This year, we have had a month or more of warm temps in the 70s with overnight lows in the low 40s. Today was perfect weather for riding this trail and the cloud cover provided enough shade that we didn't get overly hot. The only real issue is crossing Highland Ranch Parkway at Sante Fe. Still pretty freaking scary.

J liked her new bike a lot. She was showing us how she could swing her entire body to one side while tilting the bike the other and the bike tires would hold them upright. N was pretty impressed. J is really so much more at home on the bike. And she seems very pleased with her choices. She has 30 days to try out the bike and if she doesn't like it she can return it to the shop. I'm thinking we are going to keep it.

J rode the entire ride, except when she stopped to wait and film us riding up to her. The bike gears down really easily and although it is a little heavy, the tires and brakes made up for it. She almost dumped herself twice with the disc brakes. 

 The kimberwick did not work as effectively as I wished. Ashke disregarded it at will.

It didn't take much time to get to the place where we turned around last time. I have an insatiable need to see what is just up over the hill.

Very nice singletrack but a little wider than that trail.

We cantered some pretty technical trail, with dips and ups and downs. Ashke did awesome. So did Cali.

That medievel bridle looks pretty awesome on him. 

The trail follows the contours of the land, rising and falling in winding, gentle loops. J bombed down the downhills and biked up the uphills. We walked down the downhills and raced up the uphills.

I wish you could see it, but J was flying down this track and is a little speck out in the meadow below.

The track goes on like this for twenty miles.

J said this was the best trail of all.
I'm thinking Coyote made all the difference.

Stopped for lunch.

Everyone got lunch. Ashke ate half my sandwich. Little beggar. 

 We went ahead about another mile and then turned back. J didn't want to over do it on her first ride.

I live in great country.

The horses were still pretty motivated to canter on the way home.

N and I even had some nice cantering movements while we were riding side-by-side.

Making our way home.

About a mile from the trailer, J got her first goathead (sticker with three prongs) and ended up with a flat front tire, so she hand-walked Coyote back to the truck. 

N and I left the trail and headed toward the neighborhood. We crossed the road in the suburb, rather than at the intersection. It was easier and we didn't have to get off. Although the idiot woman who almost didn't stop gave me a heart stripe.

 Our top speed was going uphill toward J and I was encouraging him to really run. Might be part of the reason we looked like a runaway race horse in that second video.


  1. I am having severe trail envy right now. Those would be amazing trails to drive down!

  2. Congrats to J! Let the good times roll!

  3. I think this is one of my favorites so far! What GORGEOUS views!! Love the canter videos of you and N. And YAY for J and Coyote!!!

  4. I'm having trail envy too!! Congrats on the new bike. It looks awesome! I want bigger wheels on my next one. They are so nice.