All Things Inspired By Desert Living & Loving ~ Big Bend Country, Far West Texas ~ Graphic Designs

Guest Blog: “How best to kill yourself mountain biking in the Big Bend of Texas”

I know a lovely lady.

She happens to write.

And happens to be such a great friend.

And best of all . . . she loves my desert!

I witnessed this incredible time in her life and asked her for a revisit.

I thought it would be such a great blog post. A great moment to share for those interested in mountain biking, Big-Bend-style!

how best to kill yourself mountain biking in big bend of texas _ MyDesertLove


When asked in 2014 to help with the Chihuahuan Bike Festival yet again. Instead of responding with a grown up “of course”, I responded with a rather offended, “No, I want to ride, not check people in.” Which was not the wisest thing I ever said, considering I had not ridden in over ten years! Much less through treacherous cactus, gravel and sharp rock covered terrain that not two months before I swore I would never be dumb enough to bike through.
But somehow once I said it? I seemed to not be able to unsay it.

My Desert Love Guest Blog wants to ride

Guest Blogger Tammy Watson captured on the day of her Big Bend riding adventure.

First and foremost in order to mountain bike. One must possess such a contraption. Which I do not. If you will recall my ten years ago statement and my swearing off ever riding this rough country on a bike, you might understand me not having one. So, I borrowed a bike on the day of. We had never met before that day. The bike and I. But by the end of the day. It was my best friend. Well, as soon as I removed the cages of entrapment and received a quick reminder of shifting etc. Hey, it had been awhile.


My Desert Love Guest Blog on a Bike 02


Knowing I was perhaps a little over my head.

And sinking rapidly.

I chose the shortest trail (11 miles) supposedly mostly on an old road. Smiling, I felt better. I could do this. I had some sense after all, even I could do a stupid road. When I reached the first hill and at the bottom was a gravelly grave of ten different ways to die awaiting me…was the first indication that shortest does not necessarily mean the easiest. Unless it was the easiest way to go out. I should have slammed on my brakes and got off immediately and turned that bike right back around.

I should have.
Any sane person would have.
However, I did not.


As I was sailing to my death much more quickly than I planned I knew then I had to find a way through this first death trap. My mind quickly went over each path I might go and after careful consideration as the hot winds whipped past me, (a little like Sherlock Homes does) I came to the logical conclusion, that none of them were free of peril. So I decided instead to follow someone who was fearless (young) and who had actually done the trail before (handy). Then I knew the only way I was to survive this really bad idea was to commit. So the closer I came to my death. The faster I pedaled.
Whew! And you know what?
It really does come back to you. “Like riding a bike”, as the saying goes.


I am not quite certain which emotion or source of adrenaline carried me over each hill and hopping over ditches and skidding sideways only to right myself yet again. Truly I don’t think it matters. The main thing was it was such a powerful rush. Me and that younger woman in front of me, were conquers of the elements. The desert was not defeating us. I was actually flying. No matter that sometimes it was not in a good way. I learned something that day.

A hundred year old woman was asked once what her secret to a good long life was. She said do something every day that scares you. And she was right you never feel as alive as when you are scared out of your mind.
So, if I knew what I know now about mountain biking in the desert. Would I have done it? Probably not. But then I would not possess one of my favorite moments. And truth be told when you dare to do a challenge you are afraid of, you become a little “Braver”. And that is never a bad thing to be.

My Desert Love About Tammy Watson

Here are more works by the talented and clever TAMMY WATSON available at:


@ 2015 Vi Dotter/My Desert Love Designs & Blog All Rights Reserved.

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  1. March 8, 2018    

    It’s very excellent mountain biking guideline. Your tips will help us to increase our riding skill. I am so much of your excellent work. Thanks for sharing this mountain bike guideline for safe cycling.

    • Vi
      May 10, 2018    

      Such kind words – Thanks so much for your eyes on my desert corner of the world.

  2. January 27, 2016    

    Well I guess congratulations are in order – You lived to tell about your adventure. I’m a slow sport kind of gal – hiking, snowshoeing, relaxing on the beach…
    Tara recently posted…Romantic Winter Adventures in Your National ParksMy Profile

    • Vi
      January 27, 2016    

      So am I! I think my friend Tami, the guest blogger – would say the same before she went on that wild ride! One of these days – maybe . . .

  3. January 26, 2016    

    I totally couldn’t do it! What an adventure!
    Kristin recently posted…January Coffee Date, If We Were Having Coffee…My Profile

    • Vi
      January 27, 2016    

      With the right bike – the right butt pads – gloves, hahaha – anything’s possible!

  4. January 26, 2016    

    What a cool experience!
    Kari recently posted…Healthy Panko SalmonMy Profile

    • Vi
      January 27, 2016    

      Life is an adventure – right?!

  5. October 14, 2015    

    this was hilarious. I loved the part about the little handy gal.

    • October 14, 2015    

      Elizabeth really knows how to spin a yarn, huh? I have a lot to learn. She shares more on her author’s page. Glad you enjoyed it too!

  6. October 14, 2015    

    Mountain biking is no joke! Crazy workout and very tough!
    Natalie @ A Fit Philosophy recently posted…Gluten Free Halloween Inspired Recipe Round-UpMy Profile

    • October 14, 2015    

      Absolutely. There’s no comparison to riding a bicycle elsewhere. Total mind, body workout – so challenging in all respects. Thanks for visiting Natalie.

  7. October 14, 2015    

    I couldn’t do 1 mile, let alone 11 haha.
    Definitely a braver woman than I.. A much braver woman than I.

    Christie’s Take on Life. x
    Christie recently posted…Summer Vibes.My Profile

    • October 14, 2015    

      Christie you never know – the first mile on a bike goes by pretty fast and if you do it with a group, somehow there’s no stopping you! I remember all her trepidation prior to her ride and how exhilarated Tammy was afterwards. I really love how she shares her experience. So much fun to read.

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6 days ago

My Desert Love Designs

Just wanted to share something that REALLY made my day.
Such super generous words - I swear I didn't edit or encourage her in any way ;-) -- Just a relief that it all came through.

It was a really great opportunity to touch over 200 people with my handmade goods. For the Annual Javelina Club Women's Brunch 2018 -- Eeek it was nerve-wracking, but my trusty partner USPS came through once again!

Lordy - I don't know if there's a notification on Etsy for when you get a review posted - probably is, but it always takes forever for things to "click" in my world. I came across my latest review just yesterday - hello! It was posted on the 1st - ugh. Goes to show how the days blow by for us up here on this desert mountain. I admit I kinda avoid my reviews - waiting in trepidation - you know putting yourself out there creatively is SO rewarding, but also a bit of self-torture. hee-hee

#javelinas #kingsville #javelinaclub #texastech #writereviews #etsy #handmade #custom
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1 week ago

My Desert Love Designs

I help admin #bigbendranchsp -- Big Bend Ranch State Park's official fan page - and found this awesome pic . . . so awesome that I had to do a double-take.
I posted "Do you need a moment like this?"
Lordy - don't we all?!
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