Tuesday, August 28
The clouds were dominating the landscape but a bit of sunshine poked though here and there. It was quite beautiful looking around at all the scenery trying to keep my pedal pressure very light. I wanted to charge up the hills the longer I rode.
I ended up in Boulder and watched the 2nd half of Marni's kickball game. Her all girl team, the Ovulators, lost but they made a good comeback scoring 5 runs to avoid being shutout and it was fun to cheer them on. Some salad and pasta from Noodles for dinner while watching the end of Team America: World Police (quite disturbing) ended the evening. I'm already chomping at the bit to get riding today. My lunch ride can't come soon enough.
Little profile of yesterday's training ride, not the later cruise. 20mph average for this part.
Monday, August 27
Sunday, August 26
Yesterday's race was nothing to write home about for me. The field left me for dead on the 3.5 mile dirt road spinning an 18mph average on the SS. I attacked once we hit the climb, rode well and punctured bad somewhere on the first descent. Still in the race I gambled on the slow leak sealing back up and hit it with my CO2. 4 miles later it was flat again and I limped along until someone bummed me a pump. Thanks SS Maverick guy! From there I did my best to recover but not being in any decent position anymore took the wind out of my sails and I coasted in to watch the rest of my friends and teammates finish.Everyone else did a fantastic job. Marni finished the series in 2nd place for the beginner women 19-29 and earned herself an upgrade to Sport for next year. Bill kicked ass to win the Clydes along with Jason in 2nd and Brady in 3rd to earn himself an upgrade to Expert next year. Erik placed 11th, just shy of that top 10 he was wanting with cramping issues. Scott, Melissa, Truesdale and Dan all did great too with Michelle taking pictures of all of us at the Vasquez Ford. Thanks! A special mention goes out to Mike who crashed hard and broke himself good. The newest member of the broken collarbone club. Jeanie gave up her race to drive him all the way back to Denver too. Heal up man and let me know if there is anything Marni and I can do for you. Ouch!Today Marni's parents came up and we worked on finishing up some stuff in the kitchen. It's looking really good and we're excited for my mom and sister come out this week for a visit. Plus we made some decisions on what to try next and see if we like it before we pick out new cabinets hopefully next year. This winter, garage remodel finally!That's a wrap for tonight. I think some Rage would be good or perhaps some Rancid might be better...
Friday, August 24
Marni and I were discussing the upcoming fall at breakfast. Notably the "end" of her season and the beginning of another round of focus for me. She's done amazingly well, racing from April to September in two different disciplines in her first season. Plus she has been not only finishing but improving and finishing well. Her focus now shifts to her students, some of which require an inordinate amount of attention and perhaps a bit to me, allowing some of that singular obsession that produces great fitness. I on the other hand am looking forward to some of that focused energy. Lately I've been on a break from hardcore training. It would be impossible for me to ride hard all year long. Sure I've been riding, even sneaking in a trip to White Rim, but I wouldn't say I've been training like I was in March and April. Instead my focus has been on the rest of my life as my injuries heal and my morning hobbling becomes only a slight limp. I'm trying to close up the "car chapter" for the moment which involves lots of trips to FedEX and the post office as well as answering online questions about the thousands of dollars in parts I'd collected and am now selling. Plus I've been there for Marni, getting her ready for school again after a great summer of hanging out together and getting to go on lunch dates multiple times a week.
So that long winded introduction leads me to the point of my thoughts. I'm not a spiritual person, particularly not in the traditional sense. But there is something special about the ebb and flow of life that I'm happy to be a part of. Injury stokes the fires of passion. Challenge brings new understanding. Failure leads to future strength and resolve. All of these phrases describe how life itself is rarely centered. You rarely experience the "perfect moment" when everything comes together. Instead it's a series of events that often swing wildly from one extreme to another. Or sometimes all you get is a gradual change until one morning you have to put your jacket on for that brisk fall commute. Center is not a destination. It's something to wave to as it passes it by a few times a year and I wouldn't have it any other way.
Tuesday, August 21
Monday, August 20
I want square taper, compact and light. Middleburn seem like the only other good option but the Turbines or Next LP are my first choice. Anyone have a set stashed away they want to sell? I'll pay reasonable prices depending on if you have Turbine's or Next's. 175mm, square taper and black, silver or gold please. Ano over powdercoat but beggars can't be choosers. I can use up to 3 sets.
Sunday, August 19
Marni just behind.
At the top.
No big or little snowmobiling allowed.
Just the kind of picture Jill doesn't like. In no way does the photo capture the real view.
Rollin, rollin, rollin...
I think that's the fastest 18 miles of non-MTB racing Marni and I have ever done together. Can't wait for the race. I'm SSing it this year.
I arrived a little before midnight. Wrong gear choice, bum leg, and thunderstorms all along I-70. But the sky was clear and there were a million stars out on Mineral Bottom road and I was determined. A call to the visitors center earlier in the day let me know the rock slide had been cleaned up and I was headed off the opposite direction as my first trip around the rim.
I rode conservatively all though the night. I hadn't exactly done much training the past couple weeks and certain was in no mood to fall in the middle of nowhere. The rim was deserted. It was me and the animals and that was it. The stars came out at times and other times it was clouds and rain instead. It was so warm I never put my jacket on though. By 2am I was fighting the sleepies pretty hard and at 4am I broke down and drank my coffee while I sat on a rock and looked around at the desert all around me. I knew Murphy's would come soon. Plus I had to keep moving since I kept imagining mountain lions stalking me out there.
Sleepy eyes and LEDs. I pedaled on and the closer I got to Murphy's the more I woke up. I changed the last set of batteries at the top and flipped the lights on high to begin descending. I was happy for the outhouses too, my stomach was less than perfect. Still it wasn't bad at all. I was enjoying myself despite the challenges and I couldn't wait to watch the world around me come into view at dawn.
By Candlestick I was getting ready to turn off the lights. I was rolling faster and faster now as I daylight came. I saw the only other humans sleeping at Candlestick and they didn't even stir when I rolled though.
The rest was mostly as I'd remembered it and I just kept turning up the wick as much as my gearing allowed.
It was very peaceful out there and totally silent when I stopped. If I hadn't told Marni when to expect my call and been so pokey avoiding mud from the rain before the Hogback I would have lingered longer down by the river.
Hardscrabble was just as I remembered, not bad at all. In fact there hardly seems like any climbing on the whole 104 miles compared to most rides. I walked only a few spots but the constant rocks and sand did keep my attention and remind my ass and hands I was riding rigid.
Pillars appeared in the distance, I would ride to them and then they'd appear far down the trail. The miles really clicked off as the sun rose.
The last section from Hardscrabble to the base of mineral bottom road took longer than I remembered but there was only one wash I had to walk though. I wondered how many other people rode there bikes out here in August. I kept moving, it would be hot soon and I had a decidedly dialed in amount of water.
Soon I arrived at the base of the climb and after one last picture I headed on up. I was determined to clean this one so I did. Switchback by switchback I grinded it out and less than 20 minutes later I was up. From here it was a long rolling climb up to the car.
I love the big rock walls.
Time to climb.
Climbing done. The rolling road saw me pass 3 more vehicles headed down to the river no doubt. I was ready to find a Sobe.
All wrapped up. Somewhere under 11 hours total time from car to car. A touring pace for sure but quite fun. Some people might say that it is strange to ride the rim so much at night but I truely enjoyed it. Watching sunrise from the trail is becoming one of my favorite things and it's so dramatic to go from darkness to the huge landscape appearing all around you. I like this ride and it's so much more than it's "stats". Next time I come back it will be much cooler and perhaps I'll be riding much fatter tires. Until then I'll dream about huge red walls, the river and mountain lions following me.
Friday, August 17
Thursday, August 16
As seems usual with Red Rocks for us, it was raining. We all hid in the car until it stopped. Score one for the toaster.
Here is Erik having fun playing with his rain jacket and closing Bill's open trunk in the downpour.
Then the skies cleared and we took a chance on the ride. Puddles were draining off and the sandy soil was rideable enough without hurting the trail. Rocks were another story.
We looped our way around with dark clouds threatening but lightning far away. The wind huffed and puffed but couldn't blow our fun down. We even all had lights for the inevitiable and ever earlier arrival of darkness.
Remember those wet rocks? Yea that made it interesting. I'm pretty sure the only person that didn't go down was Michelle, our newest MTBer. Bill elbow dropped a rock. Erik slid multiple times as did I since we were rocking the SS's. Standing and technical wet rocks was not so easy.
Here is Bill holding Erik's bike so Erik could go take pictures of Michelle. Riviting photography I know.
Then Marni bit it. Yes those are tire marks. Ouch. She later fell again into another rock with her knee shortly after I made a run off the bike save in the dark.
Marni kept checking for those pesky mountain lions but we didn't see any. Just Bill saw a bear this week in the cool wildlife encounters column.
Jason's Deli for dinner but no free chocolates this time. There was some delicious chocolate surprise in my ice cream cone though! Man it was nice to go ride without worrying for the first time in a while.
Suddently the Baker's Cyst didn't sound so bad. Marni and I were nervous and making plans for how to keep me sane riding the trainer only for 6 months...
Sure I'm smiling on the outside. We had to laugh since it was the only productive way to cope.
Then I was in and out of the ultrasound room. Marni made an "it's a girl" joke to the operator chick to no reaction. Then finally we were told the results were negative for a blood clot and that my doctor would be on the phone for me shortly. Turns out Geoff nailed it as a complex Baker's cyst. There doesn't appear to be any underlying damage, just the inital trama from getting wacked by my bike during a 30mph crash. I'm on anti-inflam dosages plus ice and am cleared to do any activities I want so long as it's not causing pain. I'll be seeing the ortho to drain it if it's not significantly better by Monday but so far so good. The lump is going down. I've never been so happy to be okay as I was yesterday afternoon.
Tuesday, August 14
Swelling and yellowing continues to go down and I'm on self imposed rest for a little longer. It doesn't hurt to pedal but that lump is still there. Picture a golf ball on the back of my leg just below the crease when you bend your leg. Marni is wondering if I just need to go see someone and have them drain it as it feels like fluids. When I'm up and walking around at work everything loosens up and I can almost walk without a limp.
This is not how I was wishing to spend August. Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrg!
Saturday, August 11
Time for more movies and reading I guess. Enjoy the outside for those of you who can.
Thursday, August 9
Marni looked fresh despite just climbing the first half of Belcher.
I was in the TwinSix gear.
The cuts are healing but the leg is still not better yet.
Fun was had by all. After this regrouping we moved quickly to finish the trail before dark totally set in. It had been a while since I'd been to WR but I need to go back. That trail does challenge me on the single.
Tonight Marni is out with the girls and I'm home with my feet up. I'm resting the leg, trying to get it healed. In the meantime I'm blogging and thinking a bit about the future.
Moab is on the schedule unless this leg injury drags on but that seems unlikely. Between now and then I'll be headed back to the White Rim and the Kokopelli trail. Marni and I have a few more 14ers in mind before the snow flies and perhaps some even after. On the winter schedule I've got a decision to make. The Pugs will be in service preparing for the Arrowhead, Susitna and/or the Iditarod to McGrath. If I go to McGrath I will do the Arrowhead as a tune up as I don't have enough money or vacation to go up for the Susitna and stay through the Iditarod. If I decide against the 350 miler then the Susitna is appealing because I want to go to Alaksa, but then again the Arrowhead is a longer and perhaps tougher race that is easier to get to logistically. Plus I'm hoping Dave's race will happen in early January. Decisions, decisions...
The bike projects are coming along although I'm stalled on brakes and cranks a bit. I think I will try different options on different bikes although the thought of buying 3 new sets of nice disc brakes (Pugs, hardtail, Fuel) is a bit daunting. At least I decided that I have all the suspension forks I need until I see the next iteration of the SID. Okay I'm actually tired of blogging. Now you all can comment :) Jill I know you'll have a snow race schedule comment!