Grand Junction / Moab

Why do we ride? Yes, we ride because we love being on two wheels, but it’s the adventure. It’s the times when you realize that these are the moments you will remember forever. It’s about the memories with friends and the crazy stories about not just the big things, but the small thing as well. The views, the close-calls, the laughs, the coffee and the embarrassing times.

My birthday came around on October 19th and a big goal of mine was to spend more memorable moments with friends. So I made sure to plan with my best friend, Kahlo, to go visit him in Grand Junction to go ride and do some of the many adventurous activities they have around GJ.

I left with a friend, Isaac, on Friday at 1am to head to GJ and we got there at a little before 12pm. Then the adventure clock started with a loud ring. The weekend consisted of a small get-together with a lot of Kahlo’s friends from GJ. The next morning, after pancakes and coffee, we decided on the spur of the moment to pack our bags and go camping in Moab with some GJ folks. The drive is usually a decent 1.5 hour drive, but we decided to take the longer, exciting route through the wilderness, stopping to take a breath of fresh air and to look at fossilized dinosaur tracks.

Once we got to Moab, we made a point to stop at the famous Milt’s for hamburgers. After hearing about the hour wait for our burgers, we decided to split the group. Kahlo, Isaac, and myself would go for a run while the rest of the group went to grab firewood. So we braved the 30-40 degree weather and started our jog. It reminded me of my XC running days when we reached the offseason and would have runs with small groups and just get lost. No training intensity, no duration, only goal is to have fun and get a decent workout. We ran to the top of what felt like a small mountain as the sun set behind the mountains leaving a aweing silhouette. Running down, we had the crescent moon giving us just enough light to see where we were planting our feet as the cold air rushed our lungs and the starry sky was the main attraction. Never before had I seen so many stars. So bright and the occupied the sky like a pointillistic painting. Another memory.

After the run, we had some of the best burgers EVER and then drove to our campground. Telling stories, burning firewood, and asking questions to finish off the day. The next morning, we packed out bags and that headed back home, concluding my time in Grand Junction.

I originally left to Grand Junction to go ride bikes with the Colorado Mesa University cycling team, hang with my friend, and to do some work. However, I left with a wider perspective on life and a deeper bond with my closest friend. No bikes were involved and, in the end, I wouldn’t have had it any other way. This story is to show that, yes, I love bikes, but they aren’t the end-all be-all of my life. Forging memories with those that matter is why I went and that is exactly what I got.