Inspired by my state-this time on the bike



I’m on the road again for field research. This time I came prepared and brought my bike.

Who says that you can’t mix business and pleasure?


Last time I travelled to this area, I wrote about how this state inspires me as I drove through it.

Happy to be road trippin’


Today, as I pulled off the road en route to my destination and put the skinny rubber to the single track, I realized that this state inspires me on the bike as well.

I first began exploring the state of Wyoming while assisting a geology grad student 8 years ago. It was my first summer in the west and I was still completing my undergraduate degree.

A journal entry from that time: I drove the 10 hours from Fort Collins to Cody. My joints were achy from sitting in the car as I dialed my Dad’s number and got out to stretch. He asked where I was and I looked around at the desolate landscape; a two lane interstate breaking up the monotony of rolling hills and brown grass waving in the howling wind. I laughed, replying “The end of the earth.” My eyes landed on the sign above the gas station and I interrupted my Dad’s laughter at my exaggeration, “No, really Dad, the sign has a big green Dinosaur on it.” I told him I was at a gas station somewhere between Colorado and Cody, Wyoming. As I fumbled with getting the 1970‘s style gas pump to work, I told him, “Even the pumps are archaic, they don’t even take credit cards.”

The roadside geology of Wyoming historically engages us to appreciate how this earth formed to what we know it today. The stratified layers create a rainbow of stories from oceans, to dinosaurs, to humans. I appreciate this landscape for the story that it tells us.

The gradated cake layers of the earth’s surface tells a story.

I try to conjure up my geological knowledge as I ride along on the red rim trail. From the cretaceous period to the Jurassic period, the layers change as I role along from red sandstone to white crumbly limestone. The flora changes as well from green bushes sparsely populated along the trail back down to sage brush.


Singletrack in the sage.

Red sandstone singletrack


It is unique, incredible, and most awe-inspiring. In the end, I managed an 1.5 hour ride over about 12 miles before heading into town and checking into my hotel room for the week. I am hoping for one more evening ride while I am here-fingers crossed, of course.

Where is your favorite place to ride or hike?

Any fun vacations this summer? 



10 responses to “Inspired by my state-this time on the bike

  1. I’ve never been mountain biking before, but it seems like fun! Maybe that’s a project for next summer lol! Favorite places to hike? Well, i did my first 14er today, and I love the Hanging Lakes trail in Colorado. Vacations? I already took mine this summer to alaska!

  2. I’m going Vancouver/Tolfino this summer for vacation. I’m so excited to try to surf, run a trail and hopefully climb outdoor there.

  3. What a good idea to bring your bike! Random question, do you ever worry about pulling into a garage or something and forgetting your bike is on top? It’s some random fear I have and I just noticed it was in a commercial I saw the other day 🙂

    • Yes. One time a couple of years ago I had my road bike on my roof and was looking for parking at Vail resort. The only parking left was in the parking garage. It was a huge event and cars lined up behind me to get into the garage, when I realized my bike was on the roof. My friend had to get out and ask cars to back up so that I could back out and get out.So embarrassing. Thankfully I realized it just before I drove through.

  4. I’m still working on favorites in CO. It’ll help when Kevin graduates at the end of August!! Woohoo! We were just talking vacation during dinner, but I think ours will be in Feb.

  5. Pingback: What I did on summer vacation « Mountain Kait·

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