Monday, May 7, 2012


yesterday I rode up to brighton ski resort.

I had a (woo hoo!) tail wind on the way to the mouth of the canyon, and then a tail wind (woo hoo!!) almost all the way up the canyon.... these are always beautiful things.
until you turn around, of course.

but this story isn't about that.
this story is about the store at the top of the climb, the Brighton Store and Cafe which has been there since the first time I went to brighton ski resort, probably 23 years ago (and how long before that it had been around, I don't know).

an old, weather-darkened A-frame wood building, the Brighton Store and Cafe had a sign out front proudly declaring the elevation (8645'), sold awesome brownies, and had employees who would fill water bottles with ice for you, or serve you hot chocolate or tea by the fireplace as you tried to warm your core.
they sold t-shirts and nutri-grain bars, licorice ropes and silly what-nots with "brighton" painted on them. cold ice cream bars, big huge cookies, GU's and gatorades and mountain dew and popcorn balls.
there were benches out front, tables with umbrellas, on the asphalt of the parking lot, where we could sit and soak in the sun, munch our treats, rehydrate.
the bathrooms were clean.

and I write of everything in the past tense because it is no longer. when bob, andy and I rode up at the end of march, we saw that it was closed, but it wasn't until yesterday's visit that it became reality.

when I reached the top of the canyon yesterday, I rode past the no-longer-store and waved at two cyclists who were lying on the asphalt of the parking lot, their bikes propped against the thick wooden posts holding the brighton ski resort sign. they were soaking in the sun, sans chairs and table.
there was nowhere to buy a drink, a granola bar, a big fat cookie.
there was nowhere to use the bathroom.
there was nowhere to sit and savor the joy of being at the top of the hill.
there was only a sign that stated "child care" and another that simply said "closed for the season."

a cycling favorite is gone; a landmark has quietly shut its doors.
a tradition---to eat, drink, rest at the top of the climb---has just been removed from the local cycling world.

it just doesn't feel right.


gregclimbs said...

That makes me terribly sad. I have spent many a day doing just as you describe. And have had many a ride where the promise of a popsicle or some other sweet treat was about the only thing that kept me from succumbing to the sweet siren song of the downhill before reaching the top.

I hope someone else will come and put a similar establishment in place in the very near future. But it will not be the same.


p.s. sorry I missed you at the shop the other day...I did ride up and float around the res in little dell and it was awesome.

susan said...

thanks, greg... my new tire (from your store) is awesome! I, too, hope a new owner will open a store back up at the top of the hill. and little dell is truly one of my favorite places on earth....