DangerBird Diviner (2021 Event Recap)
This unique event recap from the 2021 DangerBird event in New Mexico combines a poem from Hayley Clifford with photos from Nathan Burnside and Patrick Farnsworth. Find it all here…
This year’s was the fourth group start we’ve hosted on the Monumental Loop, but the first on the revised route. Apparently, folks had been waiting for me to come to my senses and cut out much of the sand before coming, because the group swelled from the usual 20 riders we’d seen in the past to 120 this year! My vision of seeing Plaza de Las Cruces packed with dirtbags came to fruition and brought tears to my eyes. To get everyone else crying with me, I invited my friend Grace Holguin, a 14-year-old with Down Syndrome, to lead the group out of town. As she rode, followed by a somewhat intimidating-looking group hiding their tears behind oversized sunglasses, she repeatedly yelled out, “I’m having so much fun, I love this!”
After the emotional start, folks went out and enjoyed riding through OM-DP and eating countless burritos along the way. Bailey Newbrey went the fastest and set an FKT at just over 30 hours, but that hardly tells the story of an event centered on making connections with the land and each other. I struggle to tell such a complex story involving so many people spread out across the desert, but thankfully my friend Hayley Clifford is better with words. Her poetry about the event sums it up perfectly.
By Hayley Clifford (@haylady)
This route is comprised of two loops: North & South, counter-clockwise & clockwise.
Seen from above, an infinity symbol. Seen from within, a vast, arid, and abundant abyss.
As above, so within.
This is The Liminal Space.
Settle into the process. Let each rotation of your wheels soothe that thing in you that won’t let you rest until you’ve accomplished your goal, completed this task. There is no destination.
Only this journey. You have arrived.
Ask questions here, but keep in mind that this is not where you will find answers, only portals and passageways to new dimensions. Speak them aloud to yourself, your companions, the ocotillos, the yuccas. The wind will give them life. Let them go. They will leave and lead. Now follow.
Fill up your vessels whenever you come upon water. The weight won’t burden you, only give you more depth and nourishment. Drink often. Feel it, really feel it running down your throat. Is it hot like passion? Warm like love? Cool like bliss? Cold like fear?
When possible, move under the moon. It will softly light the dark and wild places, the parts you are afraid of. Gaze into the reflection, follow your curiosity, and step through. This is where you will find your wildness, your paradox, your duality, your totality, your wholeness.
Lastly, remember that there are others here. Their individual paths will connect, parallel, transect, and align with yours. Move in a group. Or alone. Or both. Either way you will not be alone. Here the myths of separation and isolation cannot be believed. This intersection of space and time is the embodiment of connection and community. Live fully in its truth.
It is with softness that I have let the desert flow through me, and it is with love that I offer you the gifts that it has left in my hands. But please remember I am only human and therefore a cloudy mirror, an imperfect oracle, a medium only able to project and reflect. Take what serves you. Leave the rest.
About the Monumental Loop
The Organ Mountains are a geological highlight of Southern New Mexico. Visible throughout the route, they form the backbone of the newly created Organ Mountains Desert Peaks National Monument. Weaving together a network of rarely ridden singletrack, backcountry dirt roads, and sandy washes into an expansive Figure 8, the Monumental Loop maximises time spent exploring the monument and the surrounding Chihuahuan Desert… whilst still providing ample opportunities for those all important burrito resupplies! Full route guide here.
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