Reaching Nirvana


There’s a great place on one of my favorite mountain bike trails called Nirvana. Someone set up a pole with ropes coming off of it and they attached about one hundred flags with Tibetan writing on the flags. Many of the flags are worn from the wind at the top of the bare mountain. There are trees, but not many. No tree there is big enough to block the wind.

To reach Nirvana, you don’t transcend, you ascend.

And it doesn’t take a lifetime; it takes less than an hour. Of course, how long it takes, depends on how many of the nearby trails you ride first.

The guys I was with this time were super fast and ready to go everywhere. We hit at least five of the trails, making our total trip around sixteen miles. Each trail seems to define a whole mountain. It was fun, but by the end I was not so much hitting the trail as hitting the wall. I only had a bit of granola for brekkie, so I was all out of energy by the end. In other words, I wasn’t in Nirvana any more.

From one vantage point we could see Old Lonely Mountain. It was still covered with snow. When it’s like that, it stays lonely.


We won’t be going up there for a couple of months.

No flags at the top of that one, believe me.

Someone used the word forlorn, and I thought that fit Old Lonely really well. It looks that way in this photo, for sure. On the plus side, all that snow is going to keep people quenched for a long time. A little taste of Nirvana-like water from the higher reaches.

Anyway, to wrap up the trip report: No one got injured, but one guy did have his brake sticking the whole time we were riding, so he basically did twice the exercise the rest of us did. I’d hate to see how fast he could go with the brakes unstuck. He’d probably set something on fire. And I did have a universal¬†vision while I was meditating at the top of Nirvana, but it’s too long. I’ll have to tell you about it next time.


Published by Kurt Gailey

This is where I'm supposed to brag about how I've written seven novels, twelve screenplays, thousands of short stories, four self-help books, and one children's early-reader, but I'd rather stay humble. You can find out about things I've written or follow my barchive (web archive, aka 'blog) at or follow me on twitter @kurt_gailey. I love sports and music and books, so if you're an athlete or in a band or you're a writer, give me a follow and I'll most likely follow you back. I've even been known to promote other people's projects.

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