no entries for a few days b/c my ibook went south on monday. no big deal, just a little bit of applecare and i'll be cruising again. the machine has lead a charmed life so hopefully it will be a quick fix. two days in a row with little b were great! we played walked when it wasn't too cold and listened to music. he seems to be warming to classical and techno. odd combo but it makes him pretty happy, the other day it was rochmanonov and paul van dyke, he would sit there, do his little dance and laugh. today was great, the little bit of new snow made for a great ride in, no beasties but it's hard to look around through a neck gaiter and yellow glasses and avoid holes and snow drifts. i miss seeing the beavers in the pond and the rabbits further up the hill, but i guess they are all sleeping for the winter. well, not the rabbits but they hide a lot more now. i wonder if the mountain lions are out and about. they should be. the other day shaubie and b were out on a hike, they were going down the hill, while they go down shaubie and b echo each others sounds with each step the whole way down, when they got to the bottom they saw a guy starting up and he asked shaubie if she had heard the coyotes up on the ridge, shaubie said no b/c she and b had been making so much noise themselves they couldn't hear anything. sure enough when they went quiet with they heard nothing!
20 or 30 showed up for the starbucks ride today, getting out of town for the day felt great. it was warmer yesterday riding around breck. the cold and gray of denver made for a great group ride. good roads with only a couple horns directed at the group. i tried my best to keep a solid lsd pace but pride got in the way a few times. on a few hills i found myself going a bit harder than i wanted. the bike felt great, a perfect re-build (thanks todd!) listening to the tires on the road as the group rolled along made me feel warmer than the air. riding along at 25 miles an hour in the bunch feels like flying, the pack pulling me along. while flying home last friday night/saturday morining i read a book in the fastest time ever for me, about 12 hours, kent haruf's where you once belong, insomnia while flying all night flipped my stomach and kept me up, so i read. i realized that leaving san fran i would be finished by denver, the book was engaging the whole time, a sad story of a small farming community on the planes of eastern colorado. the sadness came in how the people refused to fight for their happiness, not the tragedy thrust upon them. landing in san fran at 4.30 am i didn't even want a latte, i knew the next flight was going to allow me to finish the book, or sleep a bit so i didn't even bother with caffeine. picking apples for the kings and queens of things i've never seen distance has no way of making love understandable there is something wrong with me my mind is filled with silvery stars honey kisses clouds of love -wilco
i guess some days the stars just align to make for good things, great soy latte this morning, a lunch time session on the climbing wall (making me realize that cycling fitness is only good for cycling.) i can still climb just not very well and not very long. i wish we had an indoor skatepark here but it's probably better that i stay away from there and just climb, the climbing gym won't break an ankle as quickly as a skatepark. i am happy to have simple things make life better for me. a great curry for dinner with brown rice, another new recipe and it rocked! different from the red we made a few nights ago, it's so refreshing to put new dishes on the weekly menu. b was in the pool splashing around like a junior aquaman at his swim lesson, first time in water and he was all over it.
the work is very fun right now. great ride to work early in the am and then a more tolerable day than yesterday, no real issues, i was just in a bad place for a bit. the bike always helps, solitary spinning is that it? being alone with your thoughts is very good, they can all fall together like a perfect game of tetris, the pieces all odd shaped but then you see the pattern emerge and it all comes into view, you know what the next piece will be and you already have a place ready for it. i got a quick ride home for a two hour block on the rollers, two videos, the first was the finish of the 1999 ghent-wevelgem, peters and museew laying down a hell of a pace until tom steels came through in the last 150 meters to take the win, amazing teamwork having two of the best riders in the world throwing down for you for 30 kilometers you better pull of a win. the last 15 k nobody was able to come through, no attacks b/c they couldn't! the second race was 1999 fleche-wallone, bartoli put out some hate from around 60 kilometers out, dropping the then-world champion camenzind on a snowy moor in belgium, do they have moors in belgium? the last time up the mur de huy with den bakker bartoli just dumps him when they get to the 23% section, that's almost 1 in 4, magnolia or fillmore street in san fran in the rain/snow!
sometimes i wish the world were set up differently, not too much different but just another way of doing things, i think a lot about thoreau, having read walden a number of times throughout my adult years i wish that kind of simplicity was available to us now the way you could have had that 100 years ago. simplicity is the underlying focus here, lifestyle in general or singlespeeds or fixed gears they mindset is the same. sophmore poli sci taught us about andrew smith and john locke and the wealth of nations and those who read machiavelli's prince remember the tenets of early capitalism. the one thing about early political philosophy is that it seems to prevent people from being a part of an economy on a part time basis. it is difficult to participate sometimes, not all the time. i would love to be able to use it for certain items but not others. enough utopian dreams... i was thinking today about a bike i had when i was about 10 or so, we were on summer vacation and my dad had fixed it up and painted it a cool matte black, when i got home from holiday i had the badass looking singlespeed coaster brake clunker bike to ride around all throughout the summer and fall before it got too nasty for my folks to allow me to ride any of the trails or roads around our house. hands down the best gift i ever got! it started my cycling habit. it was maybe a schwinn or huffy, this bike carried me through until i took my older sisters roadbike on extended tours. it never mattered what i had to ride as long as i got out. then on the days i forgot my spelling homework and i had to ride back to school to get my stuff to study. those days were good b/c my mom was so pissed off that i forgot my homework she made me ride back to school to get the stuff no matter what the weather! forgetting stuff at. school became a habit. minus 6 today on the way across the tundra to work. i normally ignore the temperature but today as well as yesterday were two of those days. i needed every bit of clothing i had to keep the white spots off my face, it would suck to get frostbite. rolling on the snow it had that too cold screech to it. skiing can't be very good right now, the snow is just super granular, would have been cool to see the crystals under a microscope, good traction though and no doughnut stops for a while, rot-gut and fat are not two things i want. they just taste so good, it not that i worry about fat it's that i don't want to be sick and smell bad. enough random thoughts.
i finally felt like i was back from vacation today, the 4.30 wake up followed by a great ride in on an inch or so of fresh snow. as i was out of the house early i got a donut on the way in. my special treat for the month of january. the roads were a lot safer with that bit of snow, not black ice but good traction-giving snow. my legs felt the 12 days of no riding, tonight an hour or so on the rollers will do me good. then this weekend hopefully a good 4-5 hour ride in golden/denver/boulder. i need to get my shit in order. a week on the beach was the perfect mid-winter break. training and just life in general is a lot easier to stomach knowing that spring isn't too far off and that the world does offer variety if you choose to look for it. the mountains are my home but flying over san fran on the way to kauai made me think about the move we almost made there a few years ago, the idea of coastal living is appealing except for the crowds, especially in the bay area. a bit of travel no matter what you fear is a very good thing, it refreshes and reminds that the world isn't as small as they say it is, whoever they are. sleep well
the trail we liked best was shorter than the renowned kalalau trail, it was a 4 mile out and back. the hanalei 'okolehao trail had more than it's well travelled neighbor to the north, except crowds. walking along this trail not having to dodge people gave me the chance to look closely at the plants and dirt and sky and view. studying the dirt we walked over made each step up the steep hill easier b/c i wasn't looking at the hill yet to be climbed but at the rain ruts under foot. the wind storm the day before had a good bit of rain with it that made some cool designs in clay laden soil. it reminded of the texture of eastern pennsylvania soil in spots. the dirt here was much more red but nonetheless sticky on my shoes and of reminescent of the trials i learned to mountain bike on. the plant life in this pseudo-jungle area was loaded with ferns and other stuff you remember from jurassic park or walking with dinosaurs on discovery channel, in fact they filmed some of jurassic park on the island. there was this one tree that had bark on it that looked like beige paper, when i touched the tree it was as though the bark was many layers of foam pading, like the foam pre-wrap for a sprained ankle but 30 or 40 layers of it. i found a piece that had been blown off a tree in the previous day's storm and pulled the layers off until i lost count of how many there were. i wish i was more of an arborist, b/c the tree no doubt has a cool name. from the lookouts you could turn and look up valley toward mount wai'ale'ale, the wettest spot on earth, an average annual rain fall of 440 inches! this valley was the set for the movie uncommon valor the doubled as a viet nam jungle. and the other view was out over hanalei bay checking the waves and the taro fields that lead out to the sea. taro corm (root portion) is pounded to make poi, a staple in hawaiian cuisine. other standard jungle trees and plants with a few mini-lizards if you looked closely, beige and green camo looking guys who scamper out of sight as soon as you spot, so fast making me think that i may not have even seen him in the first place. look around today
one of things that shocked me about kauai and shocked shaubie even more was the people who seemed to be doing the same thing we were doing, enjoying a holiday, as the brits would say. i think america is less sedentary than we think, they can sit their asses on a plane to hawaii. they were i'm sure incredulous at the lack of fast food. the native people aren't small, if you remember the dialogue from pulp fiction about antoine rockamurra, tony rockyhorror you can picture the average pacific islander. walking around the airport the other tourists were remembering their last vacation to florida or branson with t-shirts lamenting only getting that garment, or what they did at sea world. people watching should be an olympic sport, the wittiest dialogue gets the best score. we thought it would be more healthy, active people not corpulent couch potatoes.
no internet for 10 days, not entirely a bad thing, beach fun and cool hikes to great views even for a sissy hiker like me. i wonder if this happens to other people when they visit a place inhabited by similar people to where they live. the exact people were different of course but the same kind of folks that i see at clint's coffee shop in breck, i could give the people their breckenridge parallel, like when i saw dazed and confused the first time, we all knew that person in high school or college who had simlar traits and flavor. hanging out in hanalei, visiting the coffee shop and seeing the locals made the trip seem closer to home. the 80 dergree weather every day changed that view a bit but at the same time it was pretty cool to have a sense of belonging while visiting a new place. in the coming days i'll write about specific things but right now i'm still gathering my thoughts on the whole trip. jet lag hurts the thought processes! the trip was really cool, organic food and fresh fish, body surfing, and cliff jumping, light houses, steep hikes...kauai has it all. maybe next year when we go back we can rent a house and travel with friends. the peaks were so green, all the way up and very vertical, i guess in geologic time they are pretty new. when we had a big rain storm there were waterfalls in every little valley looking at them from 5 miles away. then the wind storm that followed had a ton of trees knocked over and mess all over the island. no coffee that day b/c the power was out. walking on the trails and looking at the plants and little lizards-no snakes on kauai so if you have ophidiophobia this is the place for you-and flowers all over the island made me feel like i was in a giant arboretum. we visited one in connecticut in midfall a couple years ago, amazing what you see when they let a woodsy area go into it's natural state and just maintain some trails without messing it up with over doing the good stuff, just let the woods be woods! the kauai trails had varied traffic from the much used kalalau trail to the less popular ones whose names aren't even printed. the less traveled trails more fun than the super popular ones. more later
kauai looms... the trip in this morning was odd, i had to pedal really hard to make it through the wind. the snow that usually helps with traction had been scoured away leaving black ice where ever it once laid. i stayed up but not because of skill, definitely luck. packing last night for the trip was an effort, we had the discussion for the 400th time, bring b or no? back and forth and still nothing that seems to be the right decision. well, it's going to be just shaubie and me, a week together in another kind of paradise. i hope the trip goes off without hitch, it would suck to die and not get to see little b grow up! my minimalist packing theory always yields a mistake or two. maybe i can clean it up and bring a bit more stuff that is useful, perhaps a nice shirt/pant combo but i really lack nice pants right now, plenty of jeans and work pants but few... aw hell it doesn't matter it's kauai! maybe i can blog from there, we'll see if the ibook makes the trip.
for the few people who read this before you can now link my blog through the pilot blog links at offcamber.com you have some other good reads to go along with my own. i like the stories about the rides in from nederland in any weather with happy people doing what they love. thanks to whit for the warm welcome! i feel very lucky to have the ability to ride a bike whenever i please, not that it is going to change the world but it makes my world better everyday. i had two good rides yesterday, the commute made me happy to ride in minus 2 weather and then the rollers later gave me the chance to watch the 1999 het volk road race from belgium. it was classic late february weather, rainy all day. the race is realtively short by euro standards 202km, about 120 miles or so. the cobbled hills coming thick and fast throughout the middle portion of the race thin the field. one of my favorite riders, wilfried peters was one of stars of the race. every time the pace would slow he would go on the front to raise the pace to protect his team leaders. without fail everytime work needed to be done it was peters doing it. then when the winning attack was made he sat on the eventual winners wheel to the end not working but giving him the win b/c he had done the work to make the attack stick. honor among riders, no sitting on and then pipping the guy in the sprint. road cycling is so different form moutain, the solitary suffering of mountain can be almost peaceful where the hectic nature of constant attacks in road racing can be unsettling. a la flahute...like wild gease. thanks for reading
this morning we woke up to realize that we were out of shit tickets, fibercon for the wife and razor blades. so i went to city market at about 7 and was walking around with a jumbo size package of toilet paper and looking up and down the pharmacy aisle for the fibercon. i was ready for one hell of a day. i got a few odd looks from my fellow early morning shoppers and the staffers stocking shelves. i was successful in finding the right version of fibercon and the right package of tickets. i love going to the grocery when it's not crowded! the rest of the day with b great, i rode the rollers a while, found ways to get the stuff done that needed to be done and brought the boy with me to frisco for more errands. he didn't get out of the car and b/c it was about 2 when we were running through our stops. the best part is the new velonews that came in the bundle of mail. four days to go until hawaii!
so we made it to the chair first this morning, it was amazing, the snow was perfect, rob and i had great turns for an hour before it was really cut up. the subtle softness under my board as i float over fresh powder is something only one other thing can equate to, surfing. not as good as bottomless powder but pretty damn close to the good stuff. we had it all to ourselves, the cold air biting into my face and the flow perfect, no music necessary, the rhythm of the snow more than enough, the rhythm of winter allowing a song to play off the board made all the music i needed. after a few hours of gravity assisted winter fun it was time to explore a new nordic tour. we essentially skiied the middle portion of the firecracker 50 course. straight up hill with little b in the sled for an hour plus, fresh snow about ankle deep on the packed trail to iowa mill, if we hadn't been in the clouds the view would have been amazing. i started out in my big jacket after ten minutes of climbing i took of the coat, minus two and i'm schlepping up the hill in a shirt, good work! the sled made it a great resistance workout but more importantly shaubie and i got to ski a new trail. the winter geography looks so different up there from the summertime. not skiing it last winter and the other winters we just chose different tours. it was great to see the stuff that is so familiar on the bike on skis. the cold was fine with me b/c of the work i was doing with the sled but coming down shaubie wanted him to keep her speed in check, that's when i felt the cold. i love winter. sleep well
the way a few inches of snow changes my morning ride into work amazes me each time i get to do it. most of the way in i was the first set of tracks on the road and path most of the way. with the snow still falling and the quiet of the early morning riding i had a chance to appreciate why i ride my bike. it had nothing to do with training or fitness it was just the idea of being outside and enjoying the winter. on the ride home i got the privledge of riding the suv clogged mess of main street as i went to get dinner to bring home. i can only imagine how many times i almost got clipped. the burritos i returned with were amazing, the salsa was actually hot, the rest of the dinner was great b/c i got to sit next to b, he watched me eat every bite but when i offered him a piece of rice he spit it out with a displeased look on his face. not that it would taste good to a 7 month old anyway. he was thrilled, trying to get over onto my side of the table to eat what i had. we then shared his yogurt, two for him one for me. i realized that beckham is a dream i never knew i had...
new years eve defies explanation to me, instead of a party i wish that i had the energy at night to skin up the hill with like-minded friends and watch fireworks rain down on town. but, i am too tired to do activities like that after dark. i hope that i can do something like that with b little in a few years. he crawled last night before the friends came over. we were hanging out in his room and he crawled about a foot! very cool stuff! after work i got out on the trails a bit, nothing huge just a fun ride around the ski touring areas we normally explore in winter on skis. but the snow was so firm that it was like a really smooth sidewalk the whole way out to little french gulch. travis was sporting the new kelly 29er disc check 'em out www.kellybike.com very cool rig. we had a great little ride but climbing for thirty minutes makes for a very chilly ride back to town. the toes were icy when i got home. today i'll hopefully hop on the rollers in a few minutes after a quick walk to make sure the world didn't end while i was sleeping off the new year. and then a late start to work and see all the happy tourists coming in starting their new years resolutions. i hope i don't get hit by a car.