The song was Take me Away by Hayes Carll, but that wasn’t the important detail.
I was standing at the back door of my truck completely naked getting ready to slip my bibs on. What we call the trailhead was completely void of humans with the exceptions of KB and I. We were readying ourselves to enjoy a little mesa time on Little Creek. It had been ages since we had been out there and the cooler weather afforded us a window in which to pedal.
I looked across to see my wife standing in the same state that I was in. She didn’t notice my look, she’s become accustomed to ignoring my gaze. And to be honest, I’m not sure why this moment stood out so fiercely in my psyche but it did. In that instant, that moment, the entire universe aligned itself for me. Everything was perfect standing there naked looking at my naked wife in the middle of a parking lot that only exists because we park there.
It’s not often that I experience the “stars aligning” for me feeling, but when it does I like to pause and enjoy the instant. Listen to the music that may or may not be accompanying this Kodak moment. And I guarantee you, no picture will ever do it justice.
It’s not often that I ride behind KB, I’m usually out front doing something stupid and she’s usually screaming at me that where I’m riding isn’t the right line and that she thinks what I am doing is stupid, because, well you know, it is. There’s also usually a few other idiots following me and interfering with me trying to see how well KB’s ride is going.
This weekend was different.
It was just her and me. She wanted to lead to start to get a feel for Little Creek so she could lead girls rides on it. I followed. Stopping occasionally to point to where the trail had disappeared on her, but mostly I watched in awe as this woman who I have been riding with for eight years completely blow me away. Moves on the Creek that I was sure she always struggled with she cleaned without even thinking about them and when I congratulated her she was shocked that I thought it was a hard move.
And the odd occasion that she didn’t make something, she turned around and lined up for another go. If my memory serves, which most times it doesn’t but I think this time is different, she made everything accept one move. I don’t recall which one it was.
If I may be allowed to gush a little bit, the Alliance has become a place where bad ass ladies come to ride. I’m not just talking about KB. I won’t make a list for you, because if you don’t know who I am talking about you need to get out and ride with us more often. Ladies that clean trails, not just follow their significant other around and ride because he does. Ladies that rock out big rides by themselves and don’t think twice about it.
I’ve always known my wife was a bad ass, but it wasn’t until I followed her that I realized how big of a bad ass she was.
I’m not going to say what you are all thinking because it’s cliché. And in many ways demeaning of the much better gender and it’s something that I hate to hear. What I will say is that my wife rides like a girl, a real girl that rides and rides like a bad ass. She doesn’t have anything to prove, but she goes ahead and proves it every time she rides anyway.
I rarely encourage anyone thinking about attempting a move they are uncomfortable with. However, I do find this policy particularly hard when I see her standing at a move that is way below her skill level, one that is more mind fuck than a real challenge, but I always bight my tongue and let her decide if she wants to try it.
She’s wanted the roller into the Water Fall on Little Creek for some time. She was ready to roll in once when one of my dumbass cronies who will remain nameless, jumped in and almost ate shit. She’s left it on her to do list ever since. Looking at it, thinking about it, but never quite sure. It’s steep. It has a hard left at the bottom, there isn’t any kind of roll out. And there it stood waiting for it.
KB wanted me to stand at the bottom or I would have gotten a better picture. I’m not sure what I could have done to help had things gone awry, but there I was with my phone in my hand watching the most amazing woman I have ever known roll down that slickrock. I may never have any children, and she’s definitely a proud, independent woman that doesn’t need me, but that’s probably the closest I will ever be to feeling like a proud papa.
I guess I need to pay more attention. I’m grateful that the universe aligned to let me know that I was in store for one of the best rides of my life, a ride that would have nothing to do with me, but one that three days later I still can’t stop gushing about….
My wife’s a bad ass and I’m one lucky piece of shit.
P. L. and R.