Too much going on in my head right now, a lot of which wants to make it’s way here. This is the quick and dirty solution. (West Wing reference for ya.)
Hauled myself out of bed at 0515 and rode the ~15 miles uphill to work. Pushing the TIv3 gear (34:16) up the steady grade on the highway, and then through the dirt rollers up to work, was tough. I passed on climbing up to the pass after work and took the long (but not that long) way home. Thighs are still sizzling a little. This will become a regular feature, its a great way to get in quality miles without rushing to get out to the trails.
I love snow, and we got a bit today. None stuck of course, but the nordic center in Flag should be good to go. Up early tomorrow to hit the trails at 8; I’m aiming to get a good 4 hours in and be completely destroyed after.
The annual gathering of winter canyoneers had record attendence. New Year’s for me has in the past been more an obligation than a joy, but grilling steak and drinking beer around the fire until 0200 firmly qualified as my best new year’s yet. Great folks too, both old and new.
We hit up three canyons in as many days, all new to me. The Black Hole itself was good, not A list as Ram maintains, but a solid B+. Largest in my mind was the significance of companionship, and being back in what is simply the best region of the world I’ve ever seen.
Photo stolen from pack designer(I learned he designed one of my favs, the BD Zippo circa 2002), photag, and all around nice guy; Tom Jones.
The Hideous Christmas ritual
Not so bad in many ways this year. Really my first holiday season as a normal adult, with relatives visiting us and a full time 7-2, M-F job. Work got crazy after Thanksgiving, but between staffing issues and the students getting restless, this was not remarkable. What was is the repulsion I felt towards my culture and how it handles the deal. To much commercialism, and it seems that most of us just got a little stupider, hopefully temporary. Next year I want nothing for Christmas.
My parents and sister’s visit was very good. As a kid I always wanted us to go somewhere else, like Colorado, and leave the family banality behind. This is the first year that happened. I want to make a more concerted effort to put together a better event package for the families next year, though my stepdad Dick’s accrophobia may preclude plan A: staying at Phantom Ranch on the 25th.
I do hope to go Elk hunting this fall. Dick has me psyched on using this Arizona residency for something good, and I like the idea of remembering how to shoot a rifle. Finding time to practice won’t happen until this summer. The next couple month’s weekends are filling up fast.
The Red Hot 50k has me wondering if I’m getting myself into trouble, as I still haven’t started running regularly. If nothing else, it’ll be a 12 hour power hike. I will NOT hurt myself with hubris.
The training load in general is cause for some concern. I think of riding the White Rim next weekend with people I’ve never met, and hope I don’t die and make an ass of myself. I usually ride alone, which has the benefit of letting me have only myself to make fun of me while I’m walking up some hill, gasping down at my handlebars.
Speaking of which, my Corona LED light has a very wide beam. Good for commuting, but I’ll need a burlier head light for the KTR and likely the Rim Ride. The very edge of the beam catches my brake levers, the shadows of which look like the cartoon fangs of a monster cast hyperbolically on some wall by lantern light. It creates the appropriate illusion that I’m cycling to escape a beast of my creation, that only matches my pace whenever I try to out run it.
The Brooks is beginning to break in, but is still a pain in the ass. Everything else about the bike is perfect. The Time Z’s have surprised me with their intuitive ease, something the SPDs of years past never had. I’ve only fell over once, too.
Enjoy the winter, it’ll be over before it began.
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