Bend. Big Bend.
Can you think of any reason you might not want to attend the Chihuahuan Desert Bike Fest?
Well, if you're you, there might not be a reason, because it's awesome. Riding a bike off-road is awesome. Big Bend is awesome. Here, by the way, is the moon setting over Terlingua at sunrise as we headed towards Big Bend Ranch State Park's Lajitas station, where most of the rides begin.
The only problem with attending this event, of course, is that we suck. The boyfriend is slow, but soldiers on through moderate obstacles, whereas I tend to stop and dismount if I see anything likely to exhibit unpredictable behavior, such as a rock.
The people who sign up for the Bike Fest ride off cliffs as a matter of course. If I go to an event like this, I am participating as obstacle, not rider.
Nonetheless we put in several very fun miles along the easy routes (fire roads) and met some extremely friendly and tolerant people. Not to mention brightly dressed. One tremendous rider dropped off a steep descent and flew past me, walking my bike, and overtook my boyfriend, riding (but slowly and cautiously) a couple hundred feet ahead.
The rider was wearing a bright pink kit, the same shade as my jersey. For a split second, as he approached and passed, my boyfriend had a momentary impression that I had grown a pair. It only takes a moment - and one can only hope that, as the actual serious badass biker blasted past, he found encouragement in the heartfelt shout of "GREAT JOB, HONEY!" that he received.
Otherwise, better luck next year.