5 Photos, 1 Ride into a New Season

It had been a while since I last I turned the pedals through Marshall Canyon, and along the Palmer-Evey to (or in this case towards) Potato Mountain. I am quite sure Spring flowers were blooming, and we were yet to face up to the heat and dryness of Summer. I usually abandon Marshall during the months of longer days, not because of the elevated temperatures, but because there tend to be so many more people. It is the same excuse I use to avoid riding the paved roadways of Bonelli Park (dirt is okay). Seasonal changes in my riding habits have less to do with weather than they do changes in traffic patterns, or at least the way I perceive those patterns making a given route more or less enjoyable. Connections. Seasonal changes and riding patterns shift in many places around the country this time of year: Those race-paced training rides draw to a close, or begin to change pace, cyclocross kicks into gear, lights make their way out of closets or cabinets and onto bars and frames, we contemplate the condition of our cool-weather gear.

Speaking of seasons, the year has now stretched past summer, or so the calendar says. I think we can all feel it too; the days may still get warm, but the evenings have turned pleasantly and comfortably cool. A sure sign of mid to late September. Other signs are around as well - the mixing of late summer wildflowers with the, now, russet blooms of buckwheat, clutches of deer feeding on buckskin colored hillsides, collections of acorns and the first of the seasons fallen leaves. And then there is also that shift in my attention; while the dirt of Bonelli hosts my wheels during the long dry, the higher trails of the San Gabriels have begun to call out. Now is the time to find traction higher up; must be about time for the annual Ride in Search of Autumn.