Wednesday, February 24


I've never been one to put much stock in omens or other such things but the past two trips have just had enough of "something like that" to keep the idea in my head. On the drive to the Arrowhead I left Denver and merged onto I-76 in a fog. The first license plate I saw that wasn't Colorado belonged to none other than...Minnesota. I chuckled to myself and grinned as I headed east, happy to be going on an adventure and hoping to learn something new.

This morning after dropping Marni at work and going about running those million last minute errands I heard this song on the radio.

It seemed fitting for the trip and goes along with wifey's goodbye. There are things which I want to see and do and life is too short to miss out on them. It's a paradox to want to be home surrounded by those who love you and also be out there where time is so fleeting and unending all at once. I suppose my goal is to enjoy each part to it's fullest and maintain that balance which allows me freedom *and* a home to return to.

With that I'm off tomorrow morning on another adventure. This will be my first trip to Alaska and my only goals are to be safe and have a wonderful time. Keep tabs on the race and me here and leave comments here on the blog, on Marni's blog, on Facebook or at the Ultrasport message board if you like.

I've used this one before but it's particularly appropriate. From one of the race directors and participants, Bill Merchant
We go into the Alaskan backcountry to look for cracks in ourselves. We go back a year later to see if we have done anything about them.

Sunday, February 21

We thought...

When Marni and I bought our Civic we both thought we would bring our first baby home in the backseat someday. Marni was a little disappointed when we drove off the lot in our new black Element a couple years later but we figured this time we'd be right. When the black Element died a premature death in Arizona we figured we'd have to be right with the blue Element. Fingers crossed that the third time is the charm because we're finally pregnant after a long, long road of trying and disappointments.

Baby Plesko is due September 4, 2010 and we couldn't be more excited to let everyone in on our secret! More to come but all three(!) ultrasounds so far have been perfect and the heartbeat is strong. Super excited!!!

Friday, February 19

Twenty eight years

Today I turn 28 years old, thanks Mom and Dad. A big free coffee from Starbucks and a "special" day make a good time for some thinking before I shovel the driveway. I haven't been posting much on the blog because to be honest, I've been struggling some with injury and recovery and it's subsequent effects on my lifestyle. Perceived effects some might say but there is a difference right now between what I want to do and what my body will let me do that I haven't had to deal with in a very long time. I don't like complaining so instead I say nothing, dealing internally and venting to wifey when I swing too low. She is my Saint Marni and I can't believe we're coming up on 9 years together.

But things are not bad here and I'm not writing to complain, in fact things are not even just different, things are good! When I think back to the 28 years I've been lucky enough to have and especially the past four, I have no regrets. I have dedicated my life for four years to being a better mountain biker and the journey has taken me places beyond my wildest dreams. I no longer have any idea where my limits are so I've gone looking in new places. I mean hell, the Arrowhead 135 is often rightfully billed as a hardcore winter ultra (I mean zero disrespect when I say the following) and I treated it like a 27 hour fun run complete with a below zero nap by the fire and an excuse to eat chocolate and bacon. I will be back sometime by the way but next time on foot or skis to really suffer enjoy it.

Even better than all the rides however are the people and my trip to Minnesota drove that point home hard. Everywhere I went I had a free place to stay, food to eat, wonderful conversation and I'd have to force myself upstairs to bed. To Doug and Paul specifically, a huge thanks. To Dave, Charlie F, Rick and the rest of the hotel crew, another thank you. I can't even begin to thank all the people I should and that's just from the Arrowhead! Beyond that Scotty who instigated all of this (and who is my ankle injury partner) and the rest of the CO bike crew you are all amazing friends. Plus the enduro riders and junkies who are all now addicted Facebook'ers (even JP!), I treasure the memory of every ride done together. So how could I rightfully complain, I've had a fantastic 28 years and could only hope to have the rest of my life filled similarly.

So what have I been doing? I've been biking but subject to the whims of other body parts that are not so happy I hurt my ankle. I've been running a little, as much as my ankle will tolerate. And I've been climbing, mostly with my new partner and friend Aaron. We've been pulling plastic at the BRC where I finally made my way up a 5.12 and am onsighting some 5.11's. It's nice to see definable progress even if it is fake rock. We've been climbing ice where you can't help but laugh and smile climbing frozen waterfalls by arming yourself with metal spikes. And we've been trying to get into the alpine whenever we can to climb ice, snow, dirt, rock and whatever else stands between us and the summit. Alpinism combines the self support and long efforts aspect of enduro biking with the technical challenge of climbing (which I still suck at). That and it's just darn pretty up in the mountains so I like it a lot. Oh and I guess there isn't really a clock to race, just the sun to the horizon.
The older I get, the less I seem to care about a lot of material stuff I used to think was important. I'd take a king size bed one of these days over a fancy HD TV or new computer so wifey, doggie and I can all fit comfortably. And I haven't bought new clothes in years if they aren't outdoor related and even many of those are starting to show a little age. Socks especially, man I love Smartwool but I wear out the entire sole of the sock! I used to frown when I ripped my jacket or pants or sleeping bag, now I realize that patches are signs of use and signs of love. I suppose it's just trading one type of materialism for another but the "things" that let me experience the outdoors seem to hold more value to me.

So with a healthy dose of respect and a touring perspective, my birthday present (and Christmas and Valentines day and...) is my big trip to Alaska for the Ultrasport. Even if I can't race my fastest, I'm looking forward to some beautiful sunrises and sunsets from the seat of a bike, the soles of my boots or the comfort of my sleeping bag. And how could anyone complain about that?