Blue Water

A perfect blue water day. The morning wasn't rushed, 4.30 am, milk for B, full wake up a little later and out the door at 5.15. Town was more quiet than it's been, I only saw one car and one repair truck the whole way. I managed to slide the studs on a turn, pretty cool drift. I can't wait for my mitts to show up, they shipped them wrong so maybe by the end of next week I'll have warmer hands. I'm waiting to get the mac back from apple to past the pics of Tuesday's skin up. They may be a little late but worth it. Early to bed tonight to hit the skis at 6 tomorrow to get in a little effort before work at 7.30 on New Years Day. The one good about this silly holiday, I get to start a little later but work is looooong, not off until 6 p.m. I'll get in a ski session as a lot of folks go to bed, hah!



I finished reading Arthur Nersesian's Chinese Takeout. In it the narrator/main character swims the East River, which to anyone who has been to Manhattan will agree is a nasty proposition. Bad days follow Orloff, he tries in vain to get out from under them. Productive as an artist but flawed. When he tries to swim the river he nearly drowns and feels that subtle relaxation that comes just before the lights go out, no struggle. As he swims the river he's naked no actual weight on him, but the weight of his mistakes and misgivings. A few inches of new today, making for my favorite commute, the quiet glide in darkness over untracked snow. No music, I wanted to hear the bike roll through. So peaceful, the snow still falling, no noise other than Goblin cutting through the snow. I had a full messenger bag of food for the day, my own cereal and soy milk, good stuff to start the day. Great veggie fajitas, good dinner last night, mellow night at home without the bullshit distractions.



I saw an old guy driving yesterday with an oxygen mask on. Alone in his car. I got to thinking if you need an O2 mask that bad should you really be driving? This is a rare site up here, not uncommon in Florida, one of the reasons I don't bring a roadbike when we go to see my grandfather in the land of recounts. As a road user on various levels I hope the DMV can fight the AARP and instill a policy of more frequent driving tests later in life. I don't want the elderly to lose priviledges as much as I want to make sure they are getting ones that they deserve and that their motor skills can handle.


I know that I'm ready for my break to be over when I stop sleeping. I try going to bed, even after a moderate day of a little exercise and I just can't fall asleep. Monday night was just that, I read until 1 a.m. and then finally fell asleep. I woke at 5 with B and loaded up the car to skin up Peak 8 with some friends. My first time doing a ski town staple, pretty cool to see the thirty or so others out there, going up at dawn to "earn your turns" was a cool feeling. If you don't know what skins are here is a brief description:
climbing skins are artificial animal hide that allow sliding one way very efficiently and prevent backsliding when you engage the skin to kick. The skins attach with a glue that doesn't remain on the ski after you remove them and a buckle that clamps onto the ski to hold it in place near the front.
It was about an hour of uphill work, I stopped a few times to shoot some pics. The ski down wasn't great, without Scott to instruct, I got lazy a few times and stopped to think about technique. Little tricks he taught me the other day really help if I remember them. I think next time I'll keep more of the tricks in mind and not get lazy.



Eleven years ago today I blew my knee, trying to be better than I was, trying to do things I wasn't yet ready to do. Being a snowboarder and not a smart rider. Odd how random events and dates stick. I have a lot of other weird thoughts I can place to exact dates...valuable disk space being taken up. I have a problem with the motorists who by being out on the roads feel a sense of priority over the rest of us. Not that they aren't paying attention as much as the fact that they expect the seas to part so their fat ass can get through. Sense of entitlement, the feeling that they deserve what they want because of the simple fact that they think they deserve it.


Good one

Some days just stick out as good ones, mid-break but not sitting around. Shaubie got me out again on skis for a different loop up in Siberia. It was a bit colder and cloudy, the light was pretty secret, making the views and terrain different from Saturday's visit. Just the 4 of us today, Shaubie and Me, B in the sled and the dog on point. I'm happy to have the peace of mind to not care about a race until October. I'm motivated to do the winter rides, the idea of getting in 200k around Denver/Boulder is beautiful. Getting off the bike after 5 or 6 hours feels like little else.


The special olympics (or is it Special Olympics?) were in town recently, not really knowing how long a special olympiad is they still may be in town. Looking around the past few days has me confused, are they still here? The toungue-wagging blank stares are all out there, except some of them are driving and not passengers. Slow going as I weave my way around them on my way home from work, a singlespeed mtb is way more maneuverable than any SUV when the driver is seemingly narcoleptic. I try to stay out of the way and be loose on the bike as I know their bumper will find me soon enough. I hope that when the bumper finds me I can avoid the tires and just deal with body meeting ground. I like the trip to work it makes me happy, no one else out there. The peacefulness of the predawn ride is my time to listen to new musicand make my way to work without hassle. The trip home is a minefield of gaping Texans and lost Midwesterners. I stay out of the busy roads and aim for the snowy bike path or the less crowded streets. I wonder how many people are borderline retarded, are they really that clueless? Can it be that difficult to navigate a new place without acting like your five and it's your first trip to Disneyland? We're not all on vacation...


I saw a bear in a ski jacket and a backpack walking down the street on my way to work. It was pretty early maybe I was hallucinating. I'm going to try and erase the crappy foods from my diet, maybe I'll stop seeing bears in ski jackets around dawn. Because I thought it was a bear I had to get a bearclaw. One of my last for a long while. I should get up early enough to eat a decent breakfast and resist the urge to fill up on sugar. It's not a big deal to eat right, I just need to get good food around me so I don't eat more crap. I'm not trying to reinvent my diet, just put the good stuff in and not the bad. I'm feeling comfy on the single, the studs hook up just fine up front, maybe I'll look around for one for the rear. Simplicity is the best, when it's cold and early shifting is far from my mind.



The really cold weather finally subsided, leaving us with good snow and sun. We got out for a little ski on Siberia Loop with the kid in the sled, we accidently met up with friends out on the trail and had a good group for our tour. The weather was perfect, sunny but cold and clear. The snow was perfect for the three-pin touring gear, good kick and a bit of glide (the 40 pound sled added drag). The cross bikes are all broken down and ready for shipping back to IF. New team colors, clean new rebuilds and slightly different set up, I can't wait! One will be a single until September, maybe longer...



After skiing yesterday we walked off the hill and over to a new French bakery in town, how cool it was to ski and then walk over and have a croissant and coffee. I imagine it to be like that in Europe when skiing from town to town in the alpine regions and having a snack at little stops along the way. The coffee was unreal, thick, proper French coffee, I put in a splash of cream and it just sat on top, good stuff. Last night the snow we were supposed to get was held off by a cold front, we got maybe an inch not the 6 we were promised, it was too cold to snow really well. Coming in today I stopped to get mail and rolling through town (a longer ride than normal) I got to appreciate how pretty winter is after it snows even just a bit. The lights that decorate the lamp posts and the stores all done up for the holidays made me almost forget my quickly numbing fingers. Next week I'm ordering a set of snowmobile mitts and maybe continue looking for my balaclava.



Cold trip in today, I heard it was about -12, give or take. I need to find my balaclava. The bearclaw really went down fast, scary how quickly I can eat those sometimes. The lot at Daylight was such a sheet of ice that I even thought the studs weren't going to keep me upright, they held oddly enough. The single was perfect, sometimes even on the roads going slower is better, no trails today, too soft b/c of how cold it's been. Maybe it'll warm up a bit and we can get out on singletrack soon, a warmer day or two would be the ticket to firm up the trails. Through the miracle of a town job and creative holiday scheduling I got out at 8 a.m. to go skiing. I learned to telemark ski, well I started to learn to telemark ski. Trying to keep up on the blogs w/o a computer at home sux, please read meriwether's points on wilderness travel. meriwether



Today has the prototypical off-season day, normally in the season I would be trying to race the fast guys but today is a mellow, at-home, about town day. we walked around did a bit of-oh, I think it's called shopping, and enjoyed a nice cup of coffee from petal and bean. Really cool stuff, this off-season thing, I like it. No stress, no pressure to produce a good ride, cool feeling for sure. Trying to figure out a skate session for the next week or so, maybe meet the pros from Ned at XG for an evening session. I keep forgetting to eat though, one little morsel earlier in the day and now I'm not hungry b/c I'm past hunger. weird. We did see all kinds of characters walking around town, good people watching and endless possibilities for stories.



I don't remember being this cold last winter on the commute. I wish I knew what I wore that kept me so warm. I may need Meriwether's snowmobile mitts before long. I think I'm missing the boat somewhere, one component is off, and it's making me cold. I think Shaubie may be going full-boat and buying me a fancy coat, but I'd rather not ride to work in a super-guch coat, I prefer my old windbreaker and vest to the fancy stuff, something about riding in a jacket that costs a week's pay. The ride has been really nice, cold aside, the bike feels great and the legs are happy to do the short ride without any training, none of that until August. Just the winter rides in a few weeks and the new challenge of tele skiing, along with nordic skiing to round it out. I have the parts coming to make a single out of a cross bike, save the mtb for the heavy days and the cross machine for the others.



Nobody has told me just how cold it is this morning, it seemed colder than any other day so far. Maybe because I'm on the 1x9 cross bike that is faster than the single but it was butt-ass-cold. I had to stop and put on a turtlefur. It seems the soft tires on the cross bike hook up pretty well overall, not even a slip yesterday or today. I saw a few people out and about (mostly cocooned in metal) but I was the sole participant in the morning in my world. Sometimes it's like I'm hiding beneath a giant shadow as I do my commute, going into the light occasionally for a bearclaw or the Post, but usually darting about in silence and darkness except for the soundtrack in my head. Underworld on the iPod warmed me and got me through to the PO and on to work. Instead of a donut today I used the time to visit the Post Office, I feel oddly productive at that hour of the day getting things done I would normally do after work. Now I can just ride home and get on with my evening after work.



A couple of pics from this past weekend in the Elite race. I'll try and get some more if they are sent to me. Really good mud, proper cyclocross!


Portland seems to be very bike-friendly, lots of cool bikes around the race venue and then downtown on Friday night we saw a lot of cool rigs near the hip area of town. I didn't get to see the DOS, I'm sure Bacon thinks that's a sin. But now I may actually go skate again, X-Games park to start and then see what I can do. Anyway we had a great mellow dinner Friday night at an up-scale Thai place called Typhoon, we got out of there for less than $20 a person. Amazing food, Shaubie would have loved it! The knee thing that kept me from sleeping the other night came back in full force Friday and Saturday night, it sucked, no rest! Waking in pain and trying to stretch it out, trying to get rid of the discomfort didn't work. So, I ended up reading a good part of the night, not the best recipe for good form on the cross course. The infamous party wasn't nearly as bad as the one in Kansas City in 2000, this one was similarly packed but not the level that Kansas hit. Lots of drunk, skinny cyclists stumbling around but no real lows, except for purple bathing suit girl. Odd, that a somewhat heavy girl would walk around a party in a suit with a ton single digit body fat athletes. I heard that she is a local crazy, then her brother put on the bathing suit, Yuck! She definitely got a lot of attention. Now it's going to be nearly a month before any work is done, commuting and the odd ski session until the spring racing starts to eat away at me and the weekend long days start.



I finally have a chance to catch my breath, nats was really hard, anyone who has seen the photos will see that. The course was great, really muddy, but not too technical, bad for me. Mud is good but I need a hard course too. In the age group race I was 27th, not awful but I wasn't happy about it. The start was super fast and then guys kept falling in front of me. I was held up three or four times on the first lap. Once I got going it wasn't too slow, I moved up slowly and then when I relaized it was the last lap as a group of four bridged to me I just easily got away from them, stupid, why wasn't I going harder the whole time? Oh well, I finished strong and called it a day. The helper I spoke with at USA Cycling was very nice a few weeks ago, she spent the time on the phone to help me set up my to race at nats. The problem was that she was WRONG! I needed a UCI Elite License ($150) not a USCF License ($60) I was so pissed. I was torn with what race to do on Sunday, the Elite, and spend the extra $90? Or, the singlespeed race and see what I could find there. The extra money wasn't really the issue as much as the misinformation I was fed over the phone. So I went and bucked up for the UCI Elite. I raced and was doing better than Saturday, I had good legs and was flowing pretty well on the course. The wind on Saturday night dried out the course a ton and they shortened it too, making the laps shorter and faster, scary stuff to come. I got through about six laps before the freight train of Page/Trebon blew past me, a lap down I stopped, pulled over to the side of the course and called it a season. the guys I have been chasing all year in Colorado were lapped just a bit later, what could I do? More tomorrow.



Whenever I get in a moment that seems to be important I try to take a mental picture of it, drink in all the subtleties of it and get the texture commited to memory. A camera helps but a two dimensional image isn't as good as a four dimensional mind. Today was one of those mornings, 15 inches of new snow, 40 mph winds and pretty warm air (25 degrees). I got out of the house at 5.15 and had to run the first 20 meters b/c the drifts were about 2-3 feet deep. Cool way to start the commute! Riding down the snowpacked road I would slow and slip through the drifts and occasionally run and re-mount, good cross work for this weekend. The new tire on the front was great, tracked really well, not much need for brakes, I was steering in to the drifts to slow me and then out onto the more windswept stuff to regain my speed, nobody out there today, not even the plow guy. He must have overslept b/c the power was out most of the night. Walking into Daylight Donuts to get my bearclaw the boys were all sitting around waiting for their day to start. The white out was pretty substantial, a few times the wind would almost blow me over but I survived. The advantage I had was that the wind was blowing in my face most of the way. Instead of getting blown over, it just blew me back.



The link for the above story got me to relaize again how lucky I am to be living where I do. I'll take 20 minutes in -20 degrees over this anyday.


Catching up

Not much to blog about lately, B is recovering from last week's surgery really well-first and foremost and I am getting over a shitty weekend at states. The kid is really good, another follow-up this morning followed by a visit to the closest thing for church for me, Whole Foods. So much good stuff and such a cool shopping experience. Good olives and cheeses today, seared tuna for dinner tonight, mmmmmm. States was bad, a crash on Saturday in the Elite race and then a flat on Sunday spelled early exits from both events. The bad shit is out of my system, two more races and the game is over until September. The clay in the dirt clogged bikes for nearly every race, lots of broken derailleurs and running over normally rideable terrain. I'm over the bad luck, ready for Saturday and Sunday, top 5 and top 20 are the goals.


Diesel & Phlegm

The first sub-zero day for me this year, about -5 I was told. I guess with all of the recent snow and traffic in town they needed to do snow removal at 5 am, lots of graders, loaders and dumptrucks to clog my lungs with fumes on the trip in. I get spoiled, most days to see one car is a happening. The single is feeling really good, still need to do some subtle tweaks to get the postion right but it sure was good today. Not even a slip. Yesterday went well, the kid amazes me, his eye seems to want to create a new lens after the fact, not something most humans are able to do, maybe they can figure out how to allow him to really make a new lens from the tissue his eye is creating. He is such a tough little person, notihng really fazes him!



The worst driving conditions, it took us four hours to get to Boulder. That drive usually takes an hour and a half. Oddly it was too cold to be muddy, the foot or so of snow on the ground washed the landscape so you couldn't make out the lines through the field, flat light. I started a bit more mellow, followed wheels until the selection was made. I faded the way I usually do in the second third of the race, got complacent for a while and then started to really focus for the last 20 minutes. I got around one guy and made a mess of getting around the second and lost him at the wrong time. The clouds that hung low all day had a silver lining for me, 20 degrees and snowing and we still had a solid field, 30-40 riders. I finished strong but not a place up like I should have been. Fifth on the day and fourth in the series, good work. States next weekend, then on to Portland, two more weekends and that's it! The program definitely is working.



A little bit of fresh snow on the ground and some still falling for the commute today. I never had a more quiet ride, the two inches or so I cut through on the cross bike never made a sound. Watching the tracks from the few cars that were out before me to see if they had trouble with the roads, not too bad a few miscues off the road or into the curbs in town helped me see where the ice may be. I got in a great little road ride yesterday in Loveland, just under two hours in the wind and on the steep hills near Carter Lake, low red-neck factor, only one or two. I got to spin for a while with a nice guy who rides a lot in Europe, he was super fit. I hope he gets back there this coming season. The legs felt great, One more weekend of races and then we get into States/Nats mode. More sleep. More sleep. The road bike needs help, full strip and rebuild before the new season starts. mmmmmmm new cables.



A ride outside is a ride outside. Shaubie came home in the middle of the day so I could do a little work. Rolling into a headwind to climb Swan hard, the combination of cold air, headwind and snow made it feel like more work than it probably was. I'm still responding well to training, I guess I have what it takes to make it to States and Nats on form and motivated. Riding today my legs and lungs were super, not even a thing to go hard, no cough afterward, maybe I'm hitting form?! We got finished just in time to avoid the heavy snow, I was inside maybe ten minutes and it started sticking, good timing.



I got to the Rec Center today for 45 minutes of an executive workout (stretching and hot tub/steam room). The legs weren't too bad, except for the IT band on my right leg which is like a wire cable. More stretching, maybe yoga. Then I mananged nearly an hour on the rollers to handle the rest of the knot untying. Lots of food, water and coffee, a good day of recovery.



The weather today made for proper cyclocross, a few inches of snow last night in the Boulder Area and then a cold sunny day to melt some of the snow into a fine muddy mess. Lots of offcamber stuff, plenty of elevation change made it a mudders course, not the pure road stuff we have had a lot of this season. Good friends got me a fresh bike every lap, I needed it. On the first run up of each lap the bike was already 10 pounds heavier, by the time I hit the second run it weighed 20 pounds more. A good start had me leading at the start of the first full lap and then I hit the wall for a bit, suffering around the top 10 somewhere before I got into a better rhythm to rally through. The mud on the descents had a nice mixture of ice-snow and mud. Not enough grip in back cost me that next place, new tires this week. I managed to get within ten seconds of third, fourth, it's better than eighth. I ran well but it was hard to tell under all that mud with a 30 pound bike on my shoulder.



Every fall since I was probably about 20 I have had a feeling that when winter is right around the corner I needed to get ready. Not that the few winters I spent in the East were all that serious, or for that matter the winters here in Breck. No matter what I have felt a need to get ready for the season, eat more fruit, drink more water, lay off the bad shit. Put together my little bag of cold weather riding stuff so at five in the morning I'm not searching the house for a neck gaiter or better gloves. I like it. After picking up Beckham last night at school we are driving home listening to Marketplace and talking about his day, I'm getting myself ready for the onslaught that begins next weekend and doesn't stop until March 31. More cars on the roads but not at 5 am. More people in front of me at the grocery when I try to go on my way home from work, more quizzical looks from tourists not understanding my funny get-up as I go through the produce aisle. I feel good, knowing I am ready, I will be all set when it comes. It's coming, I can feel it. It's in the morning darkness, It's hidden in the mid-day sun.



Not as tired as I thought I would be today, I guess I slept well, riding outside for training instead of just commuting tires me a lot more. Lights cut through the falling snow this morning, showing me where the ice was. Last minute stop for a bear claw. Proper choice of bikes. Single was perfect. The road bike would have been bad and the cross bikes are getting some love. I need clear glasses. Lost traction in a few unintended two wheel drifts but managed to stay up. I saw the fox, I think he's more well-fed than me. No blue water. Another cool link.


Blue water

Not even close to a blue water day. Someone had already beat me to it and left tracks too. Those are the good days when I get there first.



I got lucky today. A mid-day road ride on dry roads, it wasn't long, just right in fact. But since the paths are all snow covered the road itself was the call. Maybe when it gets cold I get more sensitive but the diesel fumes really fried by nose and sinuses. I normally don't notice it, I guess, but today it actually hurt. I got home and hit the rollers for another half hour to cycle through the crap I built up and stinging that was lingering in my nose. I wish I could hit the trails or dirt roads and avoid the diesels but I only had so much time and I had to get home in time. Good work anyway, steady pace and then a few jumps, now I'm tired. Sleep, more sleep.


Minor Victories

My first double weekend of cross in a few seasons and I can't figure out why but it was really successful. Not necesscarily looking for results but just looking for some good training, I found both. The break from racing and training must have come at the right time. Another good course today, plenty of riding over bumpy shit with a lot direction changes and a mud bog with a ton of specatators heckling riders who didn't ride it. I ran. In my defense after yesterday's mud bath I really didn't want to do the heavy-duty bike cleaning I did last night and this morning. And in the end it worked out for me. I came third. When the two fastest guys in the state go off the front after the first lap you race for third. Not wanting to heave up a lung I raced smart and used the course for skills training. I got some company with three to go, he was attacking me, I just needed to weather it. But he let me through at the bell and I got away over the bumpy techie stuff. Good weekend of racing, two solid results, States will be good!
Not bad. After a little vacation and a break form training, a few days on the bike leading into yesterday's race not expecting much. I got a good start, managed to be top 5 through the first lap and then somehow I found vices on my legs for 25 minutes. Riding the mud along the lake shore was where I was gaining time on the roadies and then on the corners, the bike was on rails, if I could only get rid of the vices. Second half of the race I bridged to a group of four while pulling a group of four, that only lasted about a minute, through the top of the dirt road the legs shed the vices and I got away from all seven and started hunting down the guys in front. I got a few by the bell lap but wasn't able to get the last two that were close. Eighth. Not bad for a guy sitting on a beach four days ago. Just fun, cross in the mud when it's cold is the way it should be.



I like to look for patterns in numbers, I find it entertaining. In school I was never a math whiz, but when I applied myself and payed attention it wasn't that hard. Now that I'm far removed from Math Class I look for every opportunity to do math, even skills I never really managed to perfect in Class I can figure out. I like the relaxed thought of going over numbers in my head, the way they seem to fall into a rhythm, something that on the surface seems so removed from the creative has a pleasant artful layout on a page. When doing my mid day work there are constantly patterns poping up. A story on NPR tonight turned me on to the Conet Project http://www.irdial.com/conet.htm two stories that give better background than I can http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A35647-2004Aug2.html They give new reason to wonder what is going on with our governments, what they are up to that isn't being reported or monitored. The subtle eerie sounds on Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot are from these recordings. Akin Fernandez stumbled onto the whole "Number Station" phenomenon in 1992 and has spent the time since trying to figure out what it means or what it is doing. Nobody seems to be able to explain why the Eastern European countries still broadcast and why the Czech Republic broadcasts using all kinds of voices, one in Scandinavia uses a little girls voice. Speculation that it is spy communiques or getting info over private radio waves that aren't open to all. I'm fascinated by the random sequence of numbers, they have that rhythm I find it soothing, and oddly creepy.


Working in a fitness center brings good people watching, I wonder what brings people in, what they don't like about themselves that brings them in here in an effort to change it. I think a lot of people go through the motions to feel like they are doing something, not changing, sticking to their rut. Not that I have room to talk, I have a convenient little rut, it provides enough but lacks a certain, what's it called... oh yeah, Fulfillment. Challenge is found elsewhere. I guess I'm just as guilty as the people who come in here not changing their program. Fear of change or in my case fear of changing my convenient little rut.



I managed to stay up on the last three rides, this morning and the two yesterday. Not that I fall frequently but with the first few snow rides of the year I seem to forget just how fast a bike can hit the ground while going over ice. Last night was cool, a great climb up Boreas to see if I still had sea-level lungs and legs (oddly I didn't) after getting to the gate I cruised home steadily comfortable with two-wheel drifts. The sunset from the top of Boreas was great, getting extra clothes on for the descent and enjoying the view for a few minutes before getting the drop over with. Bright crimson mixed with the dark grey of lingering clouds from the day's storm was perfect, a great way to end my first day back from the beach.


Sitting in airports makes me wonder what people do, not for work as much as what they do for entertainment and free time. Eat? Lots of America does lots of that. I know most of the people aren’t cyclists because they wouldn’t try to run down other cyclists. They lack the understanding of what it means to get out on your bike and do what you love. I wish the other problems we face were as easy to solve, but wait, they are, simple understanding that some people are more well off than others and that some may just need a leg up, not to be run down. Subtle huh?


I'm going to try and avoid the political shit for a while, I'm too depressed and angry that there are that many idiots in this wonderful country, or maybe that the places are wonderful, and the people are, there, I guess. Great mini vacation in Florida, ran a bit ate a bit and got some sun and got rid of the crud that was hanging on me. Going to the beach with B was amazing, he loved all water; pool, puddles, ocean, bay whatever we had. No fear, he'd run fast as he could straight into the breaking waves. I managed to avoid getting a tan, and B avoided getting a sunburn, good sunscreen goes a long way. Not that I really wanted to return with a tan but I wanted to get some color. Getting into Denver last night at sunset, looking West at the Front Range, I knew the drive up the hill wasn't going to be smooth. Not too bad, the new car handled it very well. Waking up to more fresh snow and a B that wouldn't sleep past 4.30, I cut through the snow on the cross bike and managed to stay up, got my bearclaw and saw an odd amount of people out, who runs at 5.15 am? Odd. A warm bearclaw was the ticket today, full of fried flaky jam-filled goodness, mmmmmmmmmm bearclaw. More on Florda later.



Bush won, I hate Bush. I hope maybe he'll be less of an idiot in his second four years. I think that he's been given enough rope to hang himself. We are one more day closer to the day that Bush will leave, I know that I voted the proper way, and when he has lined all the pockets of his corporate backers at the cost of our natural resources, the world can look at the shambles that was created by the Bush/Cheney administration and pretty much disband the Republican Party, replaced by people who give a shit about the environment and progress not American Imperialism. This will go down in history as the worst president to be re-elected, and the darkest hour in our nations history. Bush Sucks. The American Public has been fooled again.


Big Day

Did you know that George Bush and John Kerry are ninth cousins? Ralph Nader continues to be a Republican pawn, but do you think he knows it? I really can't believe that Bush could get that many votes after the horrible job he's done, he needs to be re-defeated again. I'm lucky I voted last week, living in a state that allows early voting is great. I hope everybody voted, and didn't get hassled by voter intimidators.



There are a million things you can control for race day and a few you cannot. Yesterday I was taken out by one of the former. I didn't tighten my pedals, when I got the new ones a few weeks back I put them on and rode them for a few days and then sort of forgot they were new pedals. Well, you can't do that, you need to snug them. Mine came off just I was beginning to move up to the lead group. The good part was I rode everytime a foot and a half high wall that most were not. It was up off the lake shore and presented a good challenge. When the pedal came off I slammed my leg into the bike somewhere and have a nasty bruise on the inside of my lower thigh. Stupid mistake. Now I start a break with a long weekend in the warmth of the Atlantic Ocean, then back to it next Tuesday. Good to plan for this king of thing, I can get rid this cough-crud and maybe even put on a pound or two sitting on the beach, returning refreshed and ready for the final push of the season.



Yesterday it was really slippy on the way in to work, today on the way home. The snow and frozen world of Thursday night gave the roads and trails a donut like glaze yesterday, everytime I had to turn I waited for the front wheel to go out. It didn't even a nice two wheel drift didn't end badly. Today the roads were dry for the commute in, quick stop for a Daylight Special, you can't beat that much breakfast for $2.99. Somehow I stayed upright on all accounts. Cruising home tonight on the single was the highlight, rolling through the trails was great, Underworld on the iPod and my own snowy trails all to myself. Stopping at the top of Gold Run to pee and put on more clothes and a hat for the long descent I had a chance to take in the sunset on the last day of late sunshine until spring. The trails are already snowpacked and only one set of footprints. Well one set of human footprints, lots of pre-winter scrambling by the other beasties though.


mmmm waffles

I'm really sick of all the political ads, my one hour of TV a night has lost a lot of it's enjoyment. All of the politcians are full of shit. Not that they don't care about the country but they use their celebrity in ungainly ways. Can you really trust a guy who has had a silver spoon up his ass his whole life? Or is a self-made guy a better choice? What about wondering where that money came from? At what cost? I would love it if the ads were non-existent and that the future of our country was determined by one-on-one debate, the only mudslinging would be face to face and the guy would have to answer each charge. President Shithead the other day said he welcomes same-sex marriage. WTF? He's been jumping up and down for months saying it was wrong. Last week jitters to cater to another minority vote? I'm sick of it, can I move to Belgium?



One of the good things about my life is that I have a good amount of time to think, not that I have a lot of time to do other stuff. My job is pretty brainless and the time at work is usually spent thinking about cool things I want to do or have done. I think about stuff all the time that is wasted. Paperclips are a common thought. Have you ever thought about the amount of paperclips our society produces, and where do they go? I imagine that the quota has been met, if we didn't destroy so many that energy could be used for better things, like more bike lanes and paths or better schools with more learning opportunites. All from paperclips? Maybe if we start there, it could grow. Just a thought.



Great ride on the cross course tonight, hard efforts, hot laps, good work. The legs responded well after a bit of a warm-up. Riding over the bumpy stuff reminded me of what cross is all about, being smooth over a variety of terrain. Not getting on it for certain sections but getting on it and staying there for the whole thing. Now I kind of feel like doody, tired and I got a chill riding home, now I just want to sleep. I took a bath to bring my temp back to normal but I think I just need sleep. Maybe 9 hours tonight. "A bath Jerry, I was laying in a tepid pool of my own filth." Cosmo Kramer 1996


A little out of touch lately, not that I don't have stuff to write about but I just lack the time to sit down and coherently write about it. Sunday's race went well, eighth against most of the big dogs is a good result, some early mistakes cost me but a good second half worked in my favor. Dinner after the race was the highlight, sitting with friends laughing and eating made the suffer of the race seem not so bad. The course was great, really fun techie sections with well placed barriers made it suited a bit more to me than the pure power guys who lack cross skills. The coolest feature was a little bunny-hop over a ditch, nothing too serious but fun to hop the bike and land it solidly every time. I had a good last two laps to pick off one guy and then had a great sprint with the last for the finish. I think I got him but I still haven't seen results. So eighth or ninth depending.


The Crud

It seems to come and go, I should realize that now I'm training for cross, I need more rest and more food. I get tired and run-down from the workouts and start to feel like crap. Sleep and eat. Sleep and eat. It's kind of nice to be on a loose schedule, keeping the workouts somewhat structured and my focus on States and Nats down the road. The tickets to Portland are looking to be pretty cheap, I can't wait to race in knee deep mud!



I see a lot of odd people, I don't always know that they are odd but when I see a keeper it sticks in my mind. There is a guy in town who walks around with his Siamese cat. It really is a sight, he walks down the sidewalk with his cat strolling alongside and then he wraps the cat around his neck for a few blocks. I wonder if he needs more cats, we have an extra. I usually invent stories in my head about what they are like and what they think about.



I'm over the crud that hung me all last week and through the weekend. A missed race and new motivation are what I got out of it. I will stay healthy and maybe even gain a few pounds. Eat, a lot. Riding yesterday was a victory, it reminded me of the rides around PA when I was rehabing my knee injury. Long fall road rides with questionable navigation and not much daylight. More than once creeping home with just a blinkie for safety. Using the cars light behind to pick out potholes. Once rolling through one of the covered bridges I heard my light scatter it's five or so pieces inside the bridge, so I spent 10 minutes feeling around the darkness of the bridge looking for my light's pieces while listening for cars coming to avoid getting hit in the bridge. Last night was one of those, I really misjudged the daylight, missing it by a good 20 minutes, crawling home in the dark worried that Shaubie was going to be worried. No phone, just a fast ride the quickest way with only a rear blinkie. I felt good, the ride was solid, the kind of work that makes for a great ride at States and Nats in December.



I just killed a spider. I never kill spiders, I feel really bad about this. Normally I'll get him onto a piece of paper and bring him outside while Shaubie insists he die, I just stepped on him, sometimes I really feel like a shitty person. No reason, B is asleep, Shaubie is at work. I feel bad now. I hate feeling like this.


I keep thinking about the guy who had the parrot on his shoulder as he was driving down the road smoking a cigarette. I wonder if the parrot will get lung cancer and die at an early age? Don't they live to be 100 if left alone? Sort of like the canary in a coalmine, not the Police song but the way coalminers would have a canary in a cage to determine if the gases in the mine were deadly. Usually the canary would keel over and the miners would get out with nothing more than black lung. Ah, the merits of labor, somewhat lost on today's white collar world, what ever happened to the Protestant Work Ethic? How is it that an exec can pull in 7 figures and not get a finger dirty but the people that build our houses and schools are lucky to afford a house or school to send their kids to? Our society has some backward ass system going on. 3 hour lunch "meetings" followed by meetings followed by meetings, it makes me sick, what do they do all day? It really is bullshit! What happened to going in and doing your work, they manufacture these meetings to make their jobs justified, when they really only work a total of one day a month, to justify the exorbitant salaries they command. Don't spend it this year, don't get it next next year! How screwed up is that. You save your company a few grand by cutting back in the right place and they reward you by making your budget even tighter next year. F-ed up for sure. "Capitalism is great as an economic system but lousy as a religion."-Steve Earle


I put together a good race. I guess I was on a good day, it never really got that hard for me which is bad because I didn't win. I think I maybe had more in the tank than I realized. I worked in the morning and then we wnet down arriving about an hour before the start. The race was held in the at the Federal Center which doesn't allow pets inside as it is a nature preserve. So we had to ride in the with B in the Burley and Shaubie riding my spare bike. We got to the start about 35 minutes before the gun was to go off. Whatever, a hot lap and then some road stuff to open and I was on the line. The first lap was ok, I followed the right wheels and the fact that there was a beer prime for the winner of the lap never even enterd my mind until four guys went down in front of me at the last turn before the start/finish line. One guy was riding away and I got up to him and he didn't really make a move so I kicked and easily got the prime. Odd. I instantly sat up, 58 minute solo effort didn't seem like a good idea! The first four laps were pretty fast but the group didn't shrink much. Not wanting to deal with that many riders I went on the front to push it and whittle it down to less than 6 riders. Baker attacked and easily got a gap, then Tbrown went and I should have gone too. We rode in a group of 4 or 5 for most of the race until the last few laps got pretty hot, a few thin attacks and a few guys popping left it down to 3 of us. The other two attacked again and I just kind of weathered it until my attack on the last lap shattered it, easily getting a gap I went after Travis and got within two seconds at the line, bad tactics, I could have had a shot at second place not third. On the way home last night I saw a guy driving a car down Loveland Pass on I-70 smoking a cigarette with a parrot on his shoulder. Odd.



Waking up into the fog that is my early morning I get to wander the house and figure out if I forgot to lay anything out the night before, usually this means a more chilly ride to work or a less planned day. I don't need much, thanks to the jacket from Jack The old lobster paws do the trick for my hands. Rolling through the navy blue world today I had the perfect soundtrack for my mood, Beck's "Deadweight" and later on Luscious Jackson's "Love is here" the lyrics echo in my head still. As the echo plays I was thinking how lucky I am to have this world, but luck isn't the best choice of words. I made decisions along the way that brought me here and kept me here. The one constant through it all was the bike. Whenever I felt like my head explode a bike ride put the fire out. Now I roll through my days happy that I stuck it out and that the life I made is the one I wanted, not a compromised one.



Yesterday was pretty crappy weather up here, I tried to go to the cross course for a bit of work but the mud was so thick I couldn't churn through it worth a snot. I went home and ran. Hill sprints aren't fun, but doing them in the snow/rain/cold made me feel good. One of those workouts that when I'm fading in a race I can draw on and use it to get my act together and surge ahead instead of sitting up. DK writes about the current frequency of drug ads on televsion with great wit and humor. I wonder why they are doing this, is there really a drug to fix everything? Is that even a good thing? I kind of figure we all have our problems, what about taking your place in life and improving it, not looking for "mother's little helper." Well worth a read.


The first race in the Boulder series wasn't the shelacking I thought it would be. A modest warm up with a good bit of road spin and one lap on the course was about all I needed. Tim, Travis and Scott had all flatted in the "B" race so I was leery of doing too much on course for warmup. I got on the front line for the start and got my pedal on the first try, easily slipping into fifth or so for the holeshot about a half K from the start. Not wanting to lead and just looking to stay out of trouble for the first lap or two I rode well, good skills through the barriers and diligent of the loose gravel on the turns. The long beach section wasn't too bad, the boys in the earlier race gave me line suggestions. I found myself riding well and following the fast guys without too much touble. As we settled into groups I was happy to be solidly in the top 5, a few laps after I had a little spill, the front wheel washed out on a loose turn. Quick recovery and that was it. The other miscue was a bike switch, I thought I had a flat and changed bikes, with nobody doing support I had to do it ghetto style and get off course and make the switch, it cost me two places I never made up, and I didn't actually have a flat. The last few laps were the most fun, I got to ride with Dougie and we had fun taking pulls and challenging each other. Coming onto the road before the finish I jumped and that was it, I took ninth. Not a bad day.



The rain yesterday wasn't nearly as warm as the rain from the day before. I was really cold and wet within minutes of starting my ride and it didn't get much better from there. I only managed an hour plus before the thoughts of sushi (last night's dinner) and warmth took me home. I feel lazy today, maybe I can redeem myself with a good ride and put things right. The sushi was unreal, as usual, I guess that makes it real if it happens all the time. I can't quite understand why I love it so much.


Proper weather

I visited Belgium yesterday for my one day of cross work this week. It rained on and off all afternoon, when we went up to the course it had soaked the dry spots from race into railable berms of our own making. After 45 minutes of work my front tire went flat. The bike felt great, the lungs are starting to match the legs and the skills feel good. I was rolling through sections that in the race were slippery because of the dryness and loose rocks, in the mud they were tacky and carvable. Good fun good day!



Really cool moon this morning. It made the sky as I was riding almost an inky indigo, like a giant octopus had stained and the full moon was the sun looking up through the milky blue ocean. I couldn't stop staring at the sky, I barely remember what was playing over the Pod. I swam to work through the sky breathing like a natural-born reef fish. My light did nothing other than break me out of the sky/ocean gazing fog the moon/sun put me in. The octopus had painted a picture with his eight arms for a few of us, if you got to see it you won't forget what you saw. A short lived masterpiece, fleeting like the special sunset somewhere you probably won't return to visit. Look around today.



The bears are getting more and more bold. They walk down inot the hood and look for food. I feel guilty sometimes living where we do, taking over their habitat. All wse can do after the houses come in is keep the garbage away and avoid the opportunity for a tragedy. A bear was hit last night around dinnertime on Hwy 9 between Breck and Farmer Corner. Sad. Such beautiful creatures, no different from a raccoon just bigger. Road ride to day easy except for one or two efforts to see what the weekend left in my legs. Not a whole lot of lactic, skating isn't making me as sore as it did the first few times back. I was pulling smith grinds on the mini, it feels really good. I wonder how long I can skate up here before the ramps are all iced over.



I rode Boreas Pass today on the road bike. If you know the Firecracker 50 course it's the opening climb. I made it up and down without flatting, good pace, good work. Little bit of snow, soft road, great views of the peaks all covered with snow. The road was oddly crowded with people in cars too lazy to go up the hill on foot or on a bike. Weird because the aspens are all gone, laying on the ground, last week's snow took care of the aspen colors. They didn't want to stay on their side of the road either, like I was supposed to get out of the so some jackass in a Geo can get past me to get back from his little dirt road journey. Coming down I was passing cars about every 2k, that's always fun!


Better sleep and more time on the road bike is really getting the head cold out and the good training in. I'm eating a lot too, I actually feel like the training is going somewhere. Being an athlete again appeals to me. I overslept today, the extra sleep was worth the quick trip to work a few minutes late.



Getting to sleep early isn't that easy. 8.15 I was in bed, but really not asleep for an hour. Good dinner, grilled cheese sandwich and Tuscan White Bean soup, wow, it was good. A good dinner like that when I'm fighting a head cold is the stuff of dreams. Walking through the grocery looking for the stuff for dinner was like my visit a year ago, odd looks from my fellow shoppers, all to the soundtrack of the Pod. Loaded with my groceries I made my way up the hill, the single carrying me home into a warm shower and a great dinner.


Monochrome Morning #2

Another one today, more snow and more ice. It reminds of the winters on the eastern seaboard, damp and sketchy. Sometimes you get a gem and you see all that it offers. The snow and the heavy tree limbs bowing, the peaks getting their first blanket of real white for the season. And I get to enjoy it before most other people do. My own private screening without a musical soundtrack today, just the sound of my tires on the snow and crackling over the ice. The bridge today was all snow. it froze solid overnight and let the snow fall over it and not melt, I made sure I didn't come in at too much of an angle, no crashes today! The single feels better and smoother everytime I ride her, it just locks in, different from every other bike I have. A few little tweaks and it'll be spot on. Another thing that made Saturday's race cool aside from doing the Open event and having a good ride was it gave me the opportunity to catch up with a friend. He doesn't race a whole lot anymore, but when the rare chance to chat comes up we always have cool stories to share. Sitting on Main Street sipping a beer and eating a brat was the highlight of the day, we sat and talked with Shaubie and Beckham and caught up. Since I started this site I have reconnected with old friends and also made new ones. The cycling world is a great place, so many characters and stories.


New Season

After the all day snowstorm yesterday I was expecting (hoping) to roll through a few inches on the roads to get to work, no such luck. It was just wet and a bit slushy. The cross bike handled it just fine. The newness of it makes me feel energized, I'm not tired today, the snow and brisk air made me feel really good on the bike. THe season has changed and the weather will vascillate between Indian Summer and Autumn for a while but we all know what's coming. I know what I have to do for a good cross season, I know what it will take, I'm not worried about burnout, I just need to stay healthy. The bridge was a sheet of ice, those signs are right, the ones that say "Bridge Freezes Before Road Surface." Well, I remembered my first fall from last year, one of only three all winter long, and got over it without sliding. I'm no longer sore from Monday's ramp session, the wrist isn't tweaked too bad, and I'm still re-living my landed tricks, my new tools to skate a ramp well. I never could get the 5-0 when I skated before and it just came to me, odd. I may be hooked for a while, winter visits to the parks in Denver may be in order. Check out the link to the article from Saturday's race:summitdaily.com



I couldn't sleep from about 3 am until about 6 am. The last day of summer or whenever the equinox is it should be today. The weather is what most people would associate with mid-winter, those in more temperate climes can look at the weather on a day like this and say "well, this is as bad as it gets." We see it a bit differently, well, it can only get better than this. More snow. More moisture, better trails, better skiing later on, and better fall mtb riding. My day got worse from the bout with insomnia until now, home safe. A drive to the hospital for a scheduled doctor visit for Little B, only it was under anesthesia, pretty sucky situation as every time we go through it (this was number 15) I stop getting good rest about 4 days out. B weathers it pretty well, just a few hours of hunger for him, not much more. I wouldn't want him to go through it, all he feels is the hunger, he doesn't always know the whole deal, just pieces to associate with a central shitty day. The drive to Denver sucked! Cars sliding off the road and people not slowing down to compensate for the crappy roads, odd how stupid people can be. We made it in plenty of time, no problems just slow going. The day was an allegory for how I was feeling, the weather on a day like this can mimic what your insides are like. An allegory for the crap we are forced to deal with, when if we had nothing to do we could enojy the weather for what it is, a change in the seasons and a change in the systems of the world. Another summer season gone and another long winter on the way, not that it's bad, just a change. If you hate winter you can't really survive the season with a smile. At 9600 feet in the sky the snow comes thick and fast (hopefully) and winter lasts until May, if you like snowsports you can have them for a long time. I like it, it's a quiet time until Thanksgiving, the weather allows for more of a challenge to do most things; commute on your bicycle (my conveyance of choice), go to the grocery, get coffee, get a session in on the outdoor ramp or go hit your favorite singletrack for a little ride. The snow gives it all a better face, better because you are getting it when fewer are, not that they don't want to, they just don't see the desire the way we do. Perhaps a winter getaway to Fruita, dry singletrack, desert landscape and a cool scene. A chance to recharge. Mmmmm maybe celebrate the end of cross this year with a mtb road trip, or mix it with a bit of climbing, vertical desert sandstone as well, cool! Change. Good.



This morning I rode the road bike for about an hour. Good spot of work, good legs, nothing lingering from Saturday, pretty good considering I finished the race really empty, and rode the cross bike again yesterday to work on skills. Tempo blocks to build form, good fun! This afternoon I went skating, and I learned a trick that escaped since I started skating, the 5-0. I can get it most tries as long I focus. It felt so cool, pop the board up onto the coping and lock it in, when I got it right it just felt perfect. The feeling brought back so many memories of trying these tricks before, it's great to work on the basics before trying tricks that are beyond me. I was linking a few tricks on my runs that actually made me feel like a skater again. Little things are making skating again a lot of fun, it feels great to learn tricks and escape with just a tweaked wrist.



I survived the first cross race of the year, a few strong guys showed and made the ifrst couple laps pretty hectic then like most races it settled into a rhythm. I came third, not awful, not the best. The most encouraging sign was that I did the "A" race and didn't make a fool of myself, maybe I can build form and not start a downward slide to an anonymous exit from cross season. The first place guy went away very early and from what I heard stayed on the gas the whole time. No big deal, he's been flying all year, maybe he's getting the mix right this season. My skills were good, the legs felt ok, the flow was solid over the runs, pretty enjoyable to get in that kind of training within riding distance of home. I think we started about 25 riders, not bad to get that deep of a field in September for a cross race so far from the population center. The course was good, a triple followed by a grass-dirt nordic trail to the big bridge leading to a killer road section that was a mellow stair step climb into a descending dirt section after an off-camber, loose switchback, followed a run up onto the nordic humps which are basically rideable mounds about 10 feet high that kind of tabletop. More nordic trails into the lodge area to the triple. I guess we were doing 6-7 minute laps. Good work!


Sponge Bob

Today without even realizing it I wore Sponge Bob socks and underwear. I was stretching and someone saw my socks, thinking they were pretty sporty they remarked and it occured to me that my pleasantly warm underwear area was flannel, holy crap! I accidently matched my underwear with my socks. Thank you Sponge Bob.


Yesterday was bad, I was so tired I was nauseous. A bad dinner followed by a good night's sleep and I woke today actually feeling like I'm worth a snot. Tomorrow will be good no matter what race I do. I like my plan, do one and see how it goes. Beyond that I'm leaning towards the "A" race for the rest of the season. Shaubie was sick yesterday and dinner was more of a hassle than usual, when we finally agreed on something that wouldn't make us sick it was late and we made a poor choice. A small pizza delivery outfit, thinking about it now makes my stomach turn. It was a bad experience, brought on by hunger and laziness, we normally eat so much better than that. They sent out the wrong pizza and then when I called they accused me of ordering the wrong pie. We got our pizza in the end and it was awful! Bad food isn't worth it! We didn't get sick though and we were asleep by 8.45, so the night ended well. I was riding in today not feeling so tired, wondering if I could do more. Not more riding but just more. I trying to get it all together and not be lazt at home, get things organized, do little home improvemnet projects that normally intimidate me. The things that I know now if I try I'll do just fine, not half-assed but properly. I get such satisfaction from being able to do these projects I'm going to try more.



I feel lucky to be in the place I'm in. The hardest choice I have to make this week is which race to do on Saturday, the team wants me in the 35+ for the points I can score towards the overall team standings. Not that I think the 35+ race won't be fun, I would rather have the competition in the main event. I think I'll do this one in the 35+ and then move onto the "A" race for the rest. I'm a crosser afterall, not a newbie to this and I want a good ride at nats, and states too! The extra 15 minutes and the overall faster pace would better prepare me for states and nats. I'm happy that my big decision for the week is so trivial.



I ran yesterday, by the time I had chance to get out time was short and the lightning was chasing the rain. I really am beginning to like the run. The simplicity of it, running up the road with myPod listening to Radiohead gave me 3/4 of an hour of good work. Now I don't expect to become a runner, my body would fall apart, but I may run every week for a while even after cross, I like it. Radiohead was on shuffle, which for a band that has evolved so much in the last ten years is fascinating. Going from the poppy sounds of Pablo Honey through to the ambient sonic place they visit in Hail to the Thief is great to think about while doing such a solitary effort. I wonder if Hail is a rip on Tony Blair or W? When the road gets steep I close my eyes, it hurts but it helps. Running on a dirt road is great, softer than asphalt or cement but not as fun as trails but still good stuff, great for a bit of work. Coming in this morning it was cold, I was told 25 or so. Not too bad, I'm happy Jack sent me the knickers they kept me good and warm. I actually saw another guy riding! Weird to see another cyclist at 5.20 a.m. I need better lights.


All it Took

One cross ride and it all came flooding back. Scott showed me the course and with a bit of input and tweaking the course will be good for saturday. I guess the ACA bigwigs didn't like the old course that we all loved, the course riders were still talking about in December after racing it in September. A shame! The skills came back quickly, mounts were solid both ways and the bike slid when I wanted it to with the slicks on. Good work with a few fast laps and then one hot lap to see if the course was long enough and to get an idea where my fitness is, I know I have a long way to go. Got home to a great dinner of french bread, good mozerella and bruschetta, mmmmmmmmmm.



Another good week of riding and training. Maybe this will all workout and bring me to December with form and motivation. Another problem with the impatience I wrote about the other day has always made me want to be fast sooner and not build as the season wears on, frustrating but why not win early and ride out the season? States are late in the year now, not mid-November like they were. I love bikes.



I skated yesterday. My first time back out there in earnest in a few years, too many years. Since I stopped skating in college I tried one other time but quickly lost interest when the seasons changed and there weren't any more parks or ramps to skate. The whole cycling thing has kept me off the board too. The sissy cyclist in me doesn't want to get hurt, while the old time skater wants to get out. I felt good on the board, without my pads I wasn't trying many tricks just getting to know the bowl and getting around the corners. The new decks are different from how I remember, that and I'm 15 years older! More maneuverability, and the board feels so springy underfoot, I missed it! I escaped with minor soreness and no loss of skin.


I have this weird quirk, most times when I watch a movie I find it to be too long. I don't see myself as impatient but as wanting to see the movie resolve. I wish the director would shorten the movie instead of going longer for the sake of runtime. We watched Requiem for a Dream the other night and I guess drugs are bad and you shouldn't get involved with women who do drugs. While watching it I was dissapointed at how predictable it was, kind of like a PSA. In everyday life I'm not impatient, I can wait wherever I go, and my driving has changed since the boy came along. I find myself relaxing and slowing down while before I would drive much faster.



I like to eat m&ms, but whenever I have them, maybe once every two months I only have three, it's not that a whole handful isn't appealing, I just only want three, I get great pleasure out of this little treat.



Another good block of work today, it's amazing how good it feels, a little run in the valley and then a ride with some pace and all of a sudden months of lethargy melt away. Kind of like our political system, sit around until campaign time and then attack your opponent on what he didn't accomplish, when you did less. More random loosely linked similies to come. I better get out and read those old phonics books.



Great cross work on the road machine, Travis beat the crap out of me around the lake and back to Breck, then we picked up Shaubie and B in the Burley, I took Beckham and after three hours of intensity I got another hour towing him behind me. It feels good to be training again!



http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=519&ncid=519&e=2&u=/ap/20040905/ap_on_re_us/bear_attack You need to read this story, even though Grizzlies are rare here, a bear is a bear. Really scary stuff! These guys at least had the right stuff to get less hurt.
The weather is really turning, yesterday made getting in my ride after 11 hours at work a bit of a challenge. I felt really good out there, pretending I was cruising through the Belgian countryside, getting in a training ride between races on the classic courses at Koksijde or Hoogerheide. The rain and hail made sure I paid attention, the path got pretty slippery in spots with the hail laying on the ground. Today I'll wait out the overnight snow and get my ride later, not the big ride I wanted but a good local ride with plenty of climbing and a run.



I had an epiphany the other day, I realized that I didn't need to be in form for the first race of the year. I want to do well at states and perhaps nats too, I need to ease into the season and just enjoy it, not worry about form and results. This year it's been fun not being hung up on finishes but enjoying the bike. I love cross so much that to skip it and miss the fun of the rides and the course work would be silly. Maybe we'll have a muddy year!


Wave of Mutilation

Yesterday was really dark, I rode without trouble but I needed more light. Today was brighter, odd. I guess the full moon doesn't always shine bright. With the new template I'm having trouble with my links, maybe an HTML junkie could help me post my links better, I'll make a list at the end of this post and get it in the sidebar in a few days. The Pilots were successful on the CT, no major problems or injuries. Then a broken collarbone in a softball game? Bad luck for sure.I got some new music on iPod the last few days, old and new stuff that I never had on CD to load into the iBook. Pixies and Pavarotti, memories brought back from one, and a new appreciation from the other. I feel good, ysterday I did a real ride on the road bike and today the legs and body are remembering the effort, it's good to feel the remnants of a steady workout, not just the soreness that accompanies a long mtb ride. It makes me feel better about the world, long rides are great, just not a reality most days. Timmy's Blog Hypnotic Designs Off CAmber


Thank you

Thank you for letting me ride up and down, thank you letting me get out and get my fix, thank you for letting the world not conspire against me, thank you for finally getting the bugs out, thank you for the silence, thank you for the music, thank you for letting me remain a little masochistic.



You have to respect people who take something that means the utmost to them to the furthest point. Athletes at the highest level push beyond the limit where most people will stop. Clearly there are more examples but I try not to delve too far into religion here, though I do wonder why there are no windows in the Kingdom Hall for the Jehovah Witness? Turning yourself inside out for your sport is good, maybe riding too far or too hard or trying that one trick you just couldn't stick on the coping, slamming time and again and not giving up, passion. Hawk, Hamilton & others get to that place pretty often.


So we are walking around Telluride, what once was a cool little hippie/ski bum town that is now ruined by rich people. They have a “free box” for which locals and others may leave clothing, shoes and such that is better used by someone else. Well, these two ladies roll up in a new Volvo and start perusing the freebox, not making a donation but making a shopping visit. Walking past and watching this kind of made me angry, why in hell were these women looking for used stuff? Were they having trouble making that car payment? Were they worried how they were going to furnish that fourth home they just bought? I hate the rich, not because they have and I don’t, but because of the conspicuous consumption of most. Looking around this valley and seeing the 6000+ square foot homes that maybe see a weeks worth of use a year and the resources squandered to make them puts me off. I wish that they could make do with a cabin on 3 acres and allow others to do the same. Solitude can be found, but why look for it within the confines of your cavernous “mountain home” you get to once a year. Look in the woods on the peaks in the meadows that are still estate free. Instead what were once cool wildflower-filled meadows are dotted with McMansions with forced Kentucky Bluegrass that uses too much water, requiring mowing that uses too much gas, paying itinerant workers too little to do the groundskeeping. Sustainable? I think not. Eat the rich, a new view on Jonathan Swift’s solution to the famine in the UK centuries ago, instead of eating the children as Swift proposed, lets eat the rich. More later



Odd, I wake up some mornings and it seems as though I barely slept and I need to hit the restart button. Today was one of those, my eyes were so closed that when B needed his milk I had to pry my eyes open. I was awake with my eyes closed. Getting in I needed more fuel than the two pounds of sugar that is a bearclaw. Mikey made me a wonderful egg sandwich, nothing like a real breakfast before 6 a.m. The sickness and ague that has haunted me all summer seems to be fading, cross will be good, the motivation is there. Riding the bike has never been so fun as it is now. The voices aren't saying a whole lot. I give them a chance to talk and they keep quiet. It really is nice. A little more sleep and I think they'll be gone for a while.



Today started out really well, it was really dark on the way in but I made it in clean, with a Bearclaw, thank you Daylight Donuts! Hard to beat getting a big donut at 5.20 in the a.m. The work day was good, the new soles showed up for my Sidis and I was really excited to get them on. I went to the bank and to do recycling for work and in a moment of stupidity I put the soles in the recycling box, dumped it in the huge bin at the recycling center and didn't remember until three hours later. Bam, 50 bucks down the drain. The day ended well, Doug and I went for a great ride on the trails above the house. The sun going down the trails were perfect, the orange light bleeding through the aspen trees that are lowly thinning, at dusk the trails are so well defined that you get a different view on your home trails.



I wonder what it takes to get to that place. The one where it all makes sense. Nothing is in doubt, nothing is out of place, not in an OCD kind of out of place but in a real metaphysical, a place for it all place. I look for it and at times seem to approach it, am I ahead of the game? Am I just pretending to feel that it all fits? Am I looking where the mess is not? I would like to think (obviously) that I am going in the right direction, that it is in place and that I am not sticking my head in the sand. Idealistic, yep, solipsistic, at times but I like what I see in the reflection, most of the time.



The flume was everything I thought it would be, perfect singletrack for about 4 miles a bit wet and loamy, with slight changes in elevation all the way to Georgia Pass Road. The Colorado Trail off of Georgia Pass Road as usual was some of the best riding I have ever found. The little bit of rain and sleet and graupel we had made the trail even better, high speed rolling sections with great traction, perfect! No flats or mechanicals, a great day.

Old Post

I wrote this last year in November and remembered how good it made me feel to write, I dug it out of the archive section and thought I would post again for a new look on an old piece. 11/7/2003 Lost in the supermarket I made it in early over snow covered roads and dirt that were not as slick as yesterday, the crossbike didn't even slip once. I got a good ride afterwork to open up the legs. The snow was blowing a bit and the peaks looked beautiful snowcovered, the ski area even looked good. The grocery on the way home was a challenge, the bike geek coustume a week after halloween was an attention getter in the aisles. The pack, the suit, everything was a source of entertainment for my fellow shoppers. The whole time I had The Clash song playing in my head "I'm all lost in the supermarket, I can no longer shop happily" I saw an old boss who I really didn't have anything to say to, she got me fired for some reason that I won't bore anyone with, but when I saw her a few months ago she acted like we were old friends, I try not to have anger towards anyone but some people get me going. Meanwhile I'm thinking Clash and enjoying the song in my head (no portable music today) while I shop. Finally I filled my list and got the hell out of the store and back into my pleasant little two-wheeled world for the ride home. Enjoy the music: I'm all lost in the supermarket I can no longer shop happily I came in here for that special offer I guaranteed personality I wasn't born so much as I fell out Nobody seemed to notice me We had a hedge back home in the suburbs Over which I never could see I heard the people who lived on the ceiling Scream and fight most scarily Hearing that noise was my first ever feeling That's how it's been all around me

New Template

I am working on a new template for the blog. I keep running into troubles with getting my links up and running. I wish I knew HTML better. Any input would be appreciated, I think my comment link from Haloscan is working. Thanks Tim
Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.


I saw a guy yesterday as I was riding home who had iridescent white hair, it was wild. Tomorrow we are exploring, a so-called secret flume out to Georgia Pass from Humbug Hill through American Gulch, I'm very excited, all afternoon I was consulting maps and looking to see where it goes. On the maps it looks like it might hug contour lines for about 5 miles. Dumping you out in the middle of nowhere! I may try to get the guys to go towards Kenosha and ride the Jefferson Trail back into the CT. Very cool stuff.



I try not to blog unless I have something to say. It can become all too easy to just login and say nothing. Although the three people who read this no doubt will agree that I frequently say nothing. The weather is pretty nasty right now, I wish the Pilots the best of luck on the journey and look forward to seeing them tonight, my jealousy for their opportunity to do this ride is only eclipsed by my own self-preservation, bad weather and high altitude don't mix very well with bicycles. Something about riding a lightning rod above treeline in a storm. The trick to it is get out and enjoy what you have, it doesn't have to be a ten day epic, although that would be nice, but it can be the singletrack in your local park, as long as you enjoy it!



Is that the class you had after Algebra? Anyway I feel better than I thought I would following the Crest. I even played tennis yesterday, it was so much fun, I can actually hit the ball with some consistency. My one casualty of the Crest was a blown fork on the geared bike. I'm on the single or the geared bike properly rigid. I love it, it's a perfect dichotomy; geared/rigid or single/fork. Cool A.M. ride above the house on the ridge, suffered through on the single, good legs-lousy body, tennis hurts! The single is beginning to feel more like home. The voices are quiet these days, I think that my new variety and medium volume is working to my advantage. I didn't ride with iPod today, so I could hear whatever was out there, or, in there. it was very quiet, I was hoping to see the bear Shaubie keeps thinking is watching her when she runs. Checkout this link for a cool little movie, if you don't find yourself moving to avoid the cars as you watch it I would like to hear about it, I couldn't sit still watching it! http://www.stevencaddy.com/bikevideo/NYC-race.mpg


Monarch Crest

The prep work involved for our little one day epic was just enough for how the ride went, as it was my first time riding it I was ready for something a bit more serious than it actually was. I thought it was going to have a lot more sharp descending. Instead it had a lot of medium climbing and smooth rollie stuff. While riding it I thought about my home trails and how similar and how different this ride was from the stuff out my door. I really liked how it was sustained riding and no roads to breakup the flow, maybe someday I should do the CT and see just what sustained riding is! Three hours of ride time for a 35 mile mtb ride without really trying to go fast, just riding for the sake of riding and not pushing. I enjoyed riding away from the group and just getting lost in my own flow and seeing just how focused I could get on what my bike and body was doing. Some really unique sections with cool views that I wanted to shoot but when the thunder rolled in I was more into getting away from an exposed ridge area than shooting a cool pic.


I had a really good day yesterday. Work wasn't that bad, I ate well and the ride was just enough. The job didn't grind at me the way it sometimes can. Rolling through the woods enjoying the trees and shelter I got to think about how lucky I am. The solitude so easily found living here. Picking my way up the trail listening to the bike, the body, and the music I was in my church and the Reverend was preaching the Gospel. It got up and down just in time. A great way to live! Turkey burgers and salad, excellent!


Everything got better today, yesterday was a victory and then today just put it all into perspective. I saw the coolest shooting star almost right overhead on my way to work. It finally burned up no more than 100 meters off the ground. Seeing that makes the day look better, makes all the stuff go away. I like to think about how far that meteor travelled and how fast it moved across space to burn up just over my head at 5.25 am.


I get worried sometimes, the voices creep in and when they aren't mocking me I get worried. They make me reconsider and over analyze the littlest thing. I question everything. It consumes me, and then after it passes I feel ok, a little more normal, though still skeptical. I get on the bike and it all melts away. Therapy? I think it has two wheels.


I was lucky last night, great ride, great weather and I got to see The Lizard. The Lizard is a log that is on the side of one of my frequent rides, it's not too obvious but as long as I have ridden this section I have always noticed it. I call it the "Lizard Log." He stares right out at me when I roll past, taunting me and laughing at my foolish pursuit in his snide reptilian way. The joke's on him, I have moved in the past 9 years and he has remained in the same spot, perhaps longer than that. It doesn't stop him from peeking out and chuckling at my crash near him four years ago and reminding me of that or telling me to slow down through "his" section. I never stop and talk back, he knows what I'm thinking, he knows what I'm doing.


I listened yeterday. After a week of being sick, a few days of good work on the bike I took a day. I was just tired, needed a break. I feel really strong right now, te crud is gone and the bugs are at bay. I'm reluctant to stray from the path I have been on. Eating a lot, and resting well. I hated last week, it really sucked, not knowing what was ailing me and it kept lingering, now I feel like 50 bucks. I listened to Radiohead today on the way into work. Thom really knows how to do it. The subtle layers of music going into and out of the the last and striking out on their own are certainly a good ride music. With the good headphones again I can enjoy my dark little ride to work in peace, less wind in my ears and more Radiohead.


A group actually showed up for the Tuesday ride. The day before an mtb race and there actually were more than two people. Good speed work out to the turnaround and then a great climb u pthree peaks to get the legs and hear going. After a whole week off I was excited to climb over the top with the leader who set a wicked pace the way. He shelled out everyone else so I guess I recovered well from the crud. Maybe 4 hours wasn't a great idea for the first day back but it was a good day, no lightning to dodge and no voices to answer. After the girl getting hit and killed on Sunday I'm more aware of how dangerous it can be. The voices say well, the odds of it happening again are slim but...


Quiet Head

So they didn't really talk to me for a while. I was too far under a cloud of low-electrolytes, less than ideal rest and well, vomit. I could ignore the random remark and they just avoided taking the effort to find me. I liked it, nothing to answer to, nothing to justify, a quiet head, I can't really remember the last time I had a quiet head. The worry internally was there, not any other interference. I like that. I worked hard to get the rest and they left me alone for a few days. No criticism of my next or prior move, no witicisms of what happened, just a great big silence, it was deafening.


I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, I have had a few good days after being in the tank for a few days, now I know what I have to do, rest! The list of the last week isn't pretty, all the vague signs that you have something, vague in what that is, not that they are vague signs. We all know the list: Vomit Nausea Weird body stuff Crap



Reading over the news this morning I got the story on the illustrious World Champ testing postive for drugs. WTF! This was the second time he tested positive in his career, why is it so lax for some and not so for others. After riding with him a few weeks ago here and marveling at his form and flow on the singletrack and then to get this kind of news, bizarre. No respect whatsoever for him. Check out Todd Wells remarks on the topic very good stuff go to www.toddwells.net and read what he has to say, I agree 100%.

One Term

I was going to report on the DNC and John Kerry's grand water taxi entrance but instead I'm taking the road less traveled, not mentioning much of stomach issues either. My search for the best food has been limited again by the breadth of my adventurous palate. I would rather not be comprimised by a meal for a few days in favor of enjoying an exotic dish. I am recovered from my bout right now and ready to resume the battle to gain a few pounds. I didn't even get to have the exotic meal, it was regular food that bit me. As for that other issue in Boston right now, seems the good old boys have a battle on their hands this November. Maybe Bush 2 will meet the same fate as Bush 1. One Term President. Wouldn't that be great.



It got better today. I didn't have to listen to it. It was quiet, the voice stayed away for once! I was mindung my own business and the iPod really helps, it can't speak over the sound of the B-Boys or Arco. Not too loud with the sounds but loud enough to enjoy the subtle jokes and melodies. It feels great to train like I know I should. Average rides are so easy, you just always look to go faster, like being in a solo break, use energy where it counts and save where you need to. I have avoided talking much about the Tour, the Giro was way better. I guess I should be impressed but I'm more dissapointed about not seeing a real scrap. Maybe next year Floyd wil give him a run for his money on another team, or maybe Floyd pulls a George and sacrifices his own ambitions to be a super-domestique. Sean Yates would be proud of those boys. On my way to work today I went around a corner faster than I normally would. I instantly missed road racing. It's been a month since I did the Coal Miner and I really miss the tight turns in the pack and the speedy feel on the straights. I need to get back in there, maybe I'll hit the Eagle tuesday night crits and maybe Wednesday Worlds soon. I may try to pretend i'm not a roadie but it's so deep in my roots that I can't forget my first love. Hell it's been 23 years of it, never very far from the road scene. Even when I was without a road bike b/c of budget cuts I always wanted one. I tried not to but it didn't work, I thought briefly "I have a good mtb, why do I need a roadbike. I'll just put slicks on for road training." Stupid, not much beats the glide of a road machine on asphalt.



I think it is all beginnig to make sense. I didn't understand it at first but now I seem to have found a rhythm to things. Not that it was overly difficult. I was riding down the street and the voices called, I was listening but not very well. I couldn't figure it out for the longest time, usually they have more patience but I guess it was a bad day. Avoiding the lightning bolts, dodging the hail, trying not to go hypothermic wondering what they wanted. I shifted gears and went on, riding towards the blue sky, out from under the wet canopy. Shoes filled with water, wind whistling through my ears, they tried unsuccessfully to get through. No snacks, finally waterbottles to drink from and lots of water in my shoes. It hates water in the shoes, louder and louder the more my socks get wet. Enough and I was out into the sun. The water doesn't leave that fast, shoes don't warm up and dry after just an hour. Three hours later and I was almost home, water lingering. Why can't the shoes dry and just shut them up?


I knew going out that if I got through the first 15 minutes I would be fine, warm enough, satisfied to be riding in the rain/hail if I didn't get hit by lightning first. I looked north hoping that it was just a front that was going to be short lived. It was. The 20 minutes i rode in the rain/hail was the worst weather I have been on a bicycle in. It hurt my bare hands (no gloves) and made me consider going home and sitting on the couch, I saw clear skies 15 miles north and went there. By the time I started the real work of the climb it was scattered clouds and a bit of sun. Good work, by the time I was near home I pretty blown. I had to stop and pee four or five times! Odd. The road machine certainly was the call, a good washing/lube last night and it was perfect this morning. I blew out another set of headphones last week, maybe the stock apple headphones are not able to maintain higher volumes. Am I ruining my hearing? I have now killed two sets of the stock ones and lost one set of the good ones. I'll buy another set of the good ones, they are worth it.



I don't know if anyone from my place of work reads this but if they do I'm sure it's no surprise. For a few months I have been having trouble with my cream for my coffee, I now only have coffee at work, on days off I abstain or go mocha or godforbid frappacino. Well, at work the cream that I buy only comes in a small container, the one pint would last me a few days if not the whole work week. For some reason it's gone after two days. I was polite about it at first and lately I have grown pretty pissed off about it. The first few times I wrote with a Sharpie "Please get your own" or "This is not yours" but when these failed to work I grew more angry b/c they weren't replacing the container of my good, organic Horizon Dairy Half and Half, not some schwag, not shitty hormone pumped rubbish, but the good stuff. Maybe they could have bought another container and let it go at that. I don't need to know who has conscientious/expensive tastes like my own, just buck up and get a pint of the creamer. So, I have now resorted to profanity on my creamer, the message written in Sharpie now reads "F-off" and looky here it worked! 5 days and it still has enough in there for today, right where I left it last time I worked. I wouldn't mind sharing if they would say "Hey, I drank some creamer let me get the next one." That's all it would take instead of the alternative. It's principle, I don't mind buying the stuff, I like the process of going to the store and supporting the organic dairy, buying the way I think we all should. I feel good about my purchase this way.



It seems that ski areas are becoming more accomadating to mtb and welcoming the $ that they bring in. My problem is with the kind of rider that goes and rides lift serviced trails. The lack of sustainabilty in riding this way brings about a law of diminishing return, why not ride out in the middle of nowhere and ride the stunts the renegades have created or schlep your 35lb rig up the hill and earn that blissful, fossil fueled-gravity assisted fully suspended sofa ride down? They say that bikes are advancing at the rate of the trails, WTF? As long as you don't frequent the lift serviced "terrain parks" with your little hardtail and you get in the wilderness (like where mtbs were meant to go) you can still enjoy your ride on your sweet little hardtail and perhaps ignore the carnage and aggro lifestyle being propagated by the ski areas. Don't get me wrong I WANT those people going to the ski area, that way I don't have to see them on the trails when I get out where the lifts aren't hanging above my head. The philosophical split is somewhere across from the area, somewhere accessable by human power not by fossil fuel, way up high above the shite that you must go through at the park to get to where the heart of it is.

Not much writing lately, not that I lack topic but lack of opportunity. The Tour has been eating up a big chunk of my time. Not entirely rooting for Lance but impressed to no end with the show Postal is putting on. My own riding is taking up the other bits of time. I raced as a member of a team at Xterra Keystone yesterday. Our swimmer was really strong, and my ride wasn't too bad, but all down after all up isn't the best for me. I suffered though after a good climb, our runner did a good effort too. I may be getting some form back, another week real training and hopefully I can get something together.



I like it, I feel better about life when it makes training a bit harder. No that I don't enjoy the sunny days but the wet ones are just special. I'm riding at about a third grade level right now, I need to get back into form. I'm just slow. Volume and some good long hard days after a bit and maybe I can get it all together for Estes. Hopefully I can just ride a lot more than I have been and  the form will come, it always does.   This morning was great, little bit of rain from last night made the roads more fun and the spray woke me up quickly, nothing like road grime to slap you into the day. Long loop into work and I feel better already.


Some days I actually get stuff done. Errands and the stuff I need to do are done. Beckham makes these tasks more fun, he helps me find the stuff I can't in the grocery and laughs at me when some idiot from Texas cuts me off. I wish they all didn't drive like this is Disneyland. I have food in the house, I will overwhelm Brian, he can't have all my food, I need some of it. Good snacks and cereal, Cokes for when I feel the need for junk, a great source for a few hundred calories. I still feel a bit weak, the food helps but I wonder if the bugs will let me go.



The yuck is almost gone from my system. Two naps today and some yard work were the order with a light spin with B in the Burley. Good overall but still really lethargic, I wonder if it is CFS. I'll see if I can eat my way out. Saturday is big, I'll maybe skip the local series race Wednesday in favor of rest and good form for Saturday. I'll be happy to ride a fun course that I know. Good dinner of chicken and salad, I want to eat more just no more crap, I get sick of the junk but I need the calories, same old game. Brian is working overtime again.



I guess it started thursday or was it wednesday, and then it just got bad. Weird stomach stuff that made me want to sleep for days. I didn't throw up, I hate to throw up, I turn my whole body inside out. Some people can get it out with little effort. Not me. I went home, after a pretty hateful 2 hours at work. A solid day of sleep/rest got rid of most of it. Now the demons are fading, no longer tugging at my system as hard. I still don't feel 100%, odd.



Riding in today listening to the Beta Band I saw Dr. Hotplate. Dr. Hotplate is a woman we see around town who Shaubie says is a doctor of some sort, but she seems to have an eating disorder, hence her nickname to us, she needs a "hotplate of food." So I see her all the time when I am going to work and she is totally emaciated, running in the middle of the road at 5 in the morning. It's one of those things you notice in a place you know very well, the freaks just seem to stand out a bit more. I really wonder what the real story is, we have no clue whether or not she is a doctor, I hope not a shrink b/c who'd take advice from a freak like that? Watching her run on those little legs that look to be the size of my arms in kind of comical in a "Bushmen of the Serengeti" kind of way. I half expect to see a wilderbeast up the road with a spear sticking out of its side. Eat a donut today.



I did it. I finished the Firecracker 50 in about four hours and twenty minutes. Not bad. I got a good start and looking back I don't think I started too hard, better to be more in front early than havng to pass them later. I had the squirrels cheering for me and the mockingbirds in my corner. Unlike the other day they wanted me to do well, a good ride for sure, I had figured on a decent effort. The bike was great, I'm pretty sure no one that beat me was on an older bike, My 1998 WTB Ti Phoenix was one of the classiest that I saw among the geared crowd. The singles have a style all their own. Cruising around the course made me feel good, finishing was a good accomplishment, not that the thought of stopping ever creeped in. After finishing I had similar feleing to my first big race at Mount Snow 11 years ago. Kind of spent emotion, maybe fatigue makes me emotional? Now I feel tired but not absolutley fried.


Talk to the Animals

An afternoon delight, I rode through some fun singletracks I normally only race. I watched some guys go through the freeride park. I continued up the mountain to the good stuff I knew, dashing into and out of the good trails on the hill, working my way up and up. I ended up riding trails that were new to me, flying through the tree tunnels and coming out in new spots and clearings. Riding alone with music going on fast singletrack was great, I was losing myself, floating over the trails. Squirrels yelling at me, cheering me on, fox snickering at my lack of skills, deer chewing their lunch and wondering how I go through the woods so slowly. Above the din of the iPod the animals talked through it, keeping me aware of the right way to go and admonishing me for the wrong. I was my own Dr. Doolittle on fat tires. Trees laid down in front of me angry at their friends being cut, trying to trip me up. Bunnyhopping the wood, avoiding the punjis sticking out, smiling all the way.



I vacillate back and forth between liking the new stuff and wanting to return to the simplest equipment. I have a blast riding the fixy, I love to be so connected to the bike. The new forks and rear suspension are cool but I prefer my hardtail. Riding last night on the trails was great, I am forever amazed at how high up you can get on a mtb within a short time. We got to treeline and back within 90 minutes and that was the long way, the views of the valley were incredible! I have a new fork on the mtb and it works well but it is so tempermental, I didn't have the one knob adjusted just right and it felt the same as a rigid fork. Then when it was adjusted properly it felt much more plush. A single speed mtb is the best of both worlds, simplicity while embracing new technology in materials. On the road I'll take my fix gear anyday.


Half lap on the Firecracker course tonight. Very fun to get that far up near treeline and see the whole valley below. Great trails, perfect with all of the recent rain and snow they are in great shape. Little critters getting to gather dinner without dodging lightning hail and rain. Life is good, 50 miles on Sunday, no trouble.



The road bike was getting too much time, I was spending too much time cleaning it every night. I decided that since we are in another wet cycle I would go for the fixy. No half of hour of washing the bike in the evening. I got on the fixy before it started raining but fully dressed for the weather; baggies, knees, rain jacket, warm gloves and a ziplock for the iPod. Good little group for tuesday worlds and good work in the rain. No concern for worn parts, just good cold/wet work, 50k worth. The ziplock worked out just fine, no crashing of the iPod, no water in the bag. I also managed not to crash. I love the rain.



After a rough day sunday in the road race and then a rough trip home through multiple monsoons I was ready for a break. Monday lacked the full rest I needed but now I feel ok. This Sunday will be fun. Firecracker 50, 4 and a half hours of singletrack and stiff ups and down. I'm ready mentally but we'll see if the body is ready for a 50 mile epic race. That will require some pretty good recovery! Friends need help sometimes, cars breakdown, tow companies screw you, rides are needed, it's good to help out old friends with a ride out of a jam. Not a big deal but very appreciated. Ride in the rain today.


I rode some of the usual stuff today, maybe it's my new motivation to ride all bikes, but I just felt really comfortable. Riding in all conditions really helps the skills. I just watch and learn. New rain and good tire choice allowed me to use the whole 14 inches of singletrack. I had the drift nailed. It felt so cool going into corners and letting off the brakes and drifting through the apex, hooking up before going off trail. I love to ride bikes. Have a good night.



Listening to music piped into my place of work got me thinking, how can we be the only advanced life form in the universe. And I use advanced with an asterisk. Bush, bin Laden well, you get the picture, less advanced for sure. The song was Journey's rock classic "Wheel in the Sky." It made me think of a famous work of fiction that is cause for much carnage, The Bible, the story of Ezekiel, who "saw the wheel." Not being a biblical scholar with just sunday dogma pounded into my head as a kid I remember the more entertaining stories. We cannot be alone. Sleep well.