GOING DARK


At night, you could ride the same trail you’ve been on a hundred times, and it still feels like the first. The soil sounds different, the trail turns in a new direction, and the smell of the air is crisp—cleansed and without the same clutter and chaos of the day.

Some time after midnight we meet up at the trailhead with riding lights and climb onto our Elkats. It’s not comfortable—not at first. It takes a bit to get accustomed and start moving with the trail. Settled in, we push the pedals and roll over rocks and dirt and push the handlebar through berms lit up by the powerful lumens strapped to our helmets.

Our bodies adapt and start to buzz with a familiar warmth. Night glow surrounds us us as the trail weaves throughout pinion and sage. Up on an exposed ridge, wind reaches us, temporarily interrupting the calmness as we travel through. Further along, silence takes over again and we pause to put a foot down on the desert floor.

Lights off—our eyes begin to heal from the artificial daylight and adapt to the darkness. Cactus takes shape in our peripheral, mountains rise on the horizon, and up above—constellations steal the show. Clear skies provide idyllic gazing conditions.

In the distance the lights from town flicker—bringing us back to reality. We click back into our bikes and push off down the trail putting rubber to soil and chasing light beams through another rock garden and on into the night.


LOCATION | COLORADO DESERT

WORDS | RYAN KRUEGER

PHOTOS | CORT MULLER

BIKES | ESKER ELKAT