We Have Legs...

stephanie's picture

We pulled out of Durango to make the long and winding journey back to Pueblo. On the radio ZZ Top jammed with a fabled classic "Legs". It was a brilliant and bright day in Spring full of vibrant colors, awesome Rocky Mountain scenery, and the feeling of hope that comes when you witness the world waking up from a long winter nap.

I wish I could say that was the atmosphere of the entire Memorial Day weekend, but the fact is that it rained. The cold, hard, blowing, nearly snow type of rain pounded down throughout most of the weekend and the 2 nights we were camping.  But feel no sorrows, because just like the ZZ Top song from the 80's, “We have legs and we know how to use them”.  Legs that have seen us walking on the Appalachian Trail in sub zero temperatures. Legs that have taken us cycling and camping in a miserable Dutch downpour in the northern Netherlands. Legs that cycled us through cold, torrential rainstorms in Montreal as we explored the city. We are well equipped and have evolved to handle such things.  We had a great time.

My husband and I went to Durango to experience the Iron Horse Bicycle Classic weekend of activities.  We were ready for a full weekend of cycling fun and even piled 4 bikes onto the back of our small car.  The Iron Horse concept began in the 1880’s as a challenge between two brothers.  The older brother was a brakeman on a steam powered train, and he dared his younger brother, who loved bicycles, to race the train all the way from West Durango to Silverton – 52 miles away.  Eventually, the younger brother won and everyone in town knew it!  92 years later, a group of 36 riders decided to pick up the tradition and started their own challenge to race the train every spring.  Fast forward 41 years, and it is now a tradition where thousands of riders from all over the world to compete and ride the famous course. The field leaves Durango at the same time the old steam engine does and traverses over 2 high mountain passes to end in Silverton. There are also plenty of other cycling events including a citizen ride on the same course, a mountain bike race, city critterium races, kid’s races, and a costume parade. 

This past year, most of the events were shortened, or even cancelled citing weather. Sadly, we weren’t able to Mountain Bike, but we couldn’t feel too bad, since riders who paid to race weren’t allowed to either due to trail conditions.  But, “we have legs” and Durango has a plethora of multi-modal trails, interesting shops and historic buildings to explore, and like any city it is best explored via bikes and walking.

Since we were camping in a very small, 2 dwarf tent, we spent much of our time huddled in the crowded micro breweries and tap rooms that dot the historic district. We found amazingly creative flavor profiles from near monk quality Belgium styles to the harsh ultra hoppy.  One very interesting place we must revisit was Steamworks Brewery where they served The Cajun Boil.  My mouth watered as they rolled out the waxy butcher paper and dumped steaming piles of spicy, Cajun seasoned king crab legs, shrimp, sausage, potatoes and corn served with fresh lemon slices and melted butter.

From an outsiders perspective this ordeal might seem like a miserable affair. But in a time in which spouses rarely speak, and when they do it is about bills or schedules, it was great to huddle in our dwarf hut under a big pile of blankets and listen to the rain hit the tent. The topics of discussion were random at best ranging from past vacations, nocturnal rabbits, and old 90s horror flicks.

Through cycling our relationship grew stronger, and we had an adventure, even when we weren't able to ride that much. All it took was a will to have fun, some legs, and using them.