Today was an excellent day. I’ve just felt better and better as the day went on, and got in a good 1.5 hour exploratory ride this afternoon. Headed up an old fire road, then up another, then off on a motorcycle trail up a wash….. Ended up traversing drainage heads, still on the moto trail. Very steep descents, sandy climbs, busting the rigid float over loose rock gardens, eventually ending up totally not caring where I was, following a decayed logging road to nowhere, then off trail carving ski turns in the pine needles, butt buzzing the rear tire. Eventually found my way back to the road and took a more established, and totally legendary, singletrack back to the truck.
Then I drove 5 minutes and finished the holiday shopping, picked up a soltice tree (courtesy of the federal government) and cooked some tasty pizza from scratch for dinner. I even talked to my mom. The only thing I didn’t do today is make a dent in the massive folder of papers sitting on the far corner of the table. Maybe I’ll get up a bit early, or not. Need sleep for the big hike this weekend.
I know there are ethical issues in the above, w/r/t use of public lands and the categorical imperative. I’m being immoderately moderate this evening.
The Monkey and I are getting along very well indeed. It just makes sense and rides balanced in a way the Soma never did. It also rides much lighter than it feels when I heave it onto the roof rack. In a month or so I’ll put fingers to keys in an exaustive treatise on the subject.
I miss Meredith, but am doing well keeping busy and enjoying the ability to run around the house and be neurotic without annoying anyone. Thank goodness we have very quiet neighbors.
I think I am also achieving a bit of equilibrium with the holidays, not something that work aids. Mom Chenault agrees, everyone gets nuttier this time of year; and those in the mental health field get the seasonal rush as well. Fortuitously, we do not rely on this month to pull us into the black like so much of the rest of the country.
Good night, and good luck.
This morning I work up with my normal first thought: damn I’m hungry. That hasn’t happened in three days, so I’m off to work again. Being sick makes me stir crazy, there isn’t much left to do in the house after the last two days.
Now I can go enjoy winter.
I’ll have to devise some sort of retirement ceremony for my poor old, cracked, WTB.
The new guy’ll look pimipin’. My bike is becoming a cliche.
Friday: Elden ride (last of the season)
2 hours, 1.5k, awesome temps and crispy snow
Saturday: Thunder Mtn (last of the season) and The Loop
6 hours, 4.5k, two of the best trails of earth
-gotta watch hydration in the cold (duh)
Sunday: Kaibab snow and coffee with good people
45 minutes horsing around on snowy fire roads on the Kiabab (couldn’t resist)
Sipping coffee and chatting in my favorite coffeehouse of earth, watching snow fall over my favorite place
-gotta work a bit on that whole carpe diem/stay in the present/zen thing (or perhaps the Wabisabi of all that is in fact never being totally content in the present)
The race (ride) is indeed a metaphor for (your) life, Adam.
Is it a complement or condemnation of our culture/ourselves that so many spend so much on so little? That a millenia ago was so useless as to be inconcievable?
The excuse that riding bikes is a more healthful diversion than playstation, and therefore “better”, is solipsistic to a large degree. Why do I care about being vigorous in two decades? So I can keep riding, of course. Hypothetically, I’d like to be not diabetic and toothless for my (hypothetical) children. I’m still a teen in that the hypothetical doesn’t mean too much in the nitty gritty.
[Tiny snow is falling on the porch.]
And I am consoling myself with the Socratic excercise of drawing lines around my weaknesses. I have to be patient here, too.
[More, more snow.]
I believe Jeff Kerkove said recently “rest as hard as you train.” This has not been easy for me before.
Now that I’m in for Transiowa, and have some equally intimidating intermediate goals, I want to get in shape right now. I must however hurry slowly, or I’ll get hurt. Done it before running, and the balance between enough and too much will be hard.
My goal for TI is to finish strong, and not be too much of a riding zombie at the end. My goal is also to not mess myself up, and be able to ride the rest of the year.
Lesson one would be this weekend: run down from new challenges at work and the tornado of disorder that was Meredith packing and leaving, I push hard in chilly weather Friday and Saturday, and today I am a bit sick. The snow that fell over SW Utah Saturday night was a great check; riding slickrock in the snow was not something I had a burning desire to experience. Ergo the sniffles and lethargy today; the body’s way of saying “cut that shit out and go to bed!”
Problem is, when I read about Chris P riding for almost 9 hours Saturday, and logging 300 for the week, I feel small and unprepared.
Today I will be fixing that by drinking lots of green tea and napping.
I’m in Trans Iowa, singlespeed. Hell yes.
Evan, you suck.
Today’s vitals: ~40 miles, 4.5k up, 6 hours. Some sweet snow riding on Thunder Mountain, THE Loop near La Verkin. Amazing.
And now I’m tired and dehydrated, runny nose and scratchy voice. Goose and Lil’ Creek tomorrow.
This is where I’d put a picture, if I had a camera. I’m psyched to be derailleurless again.
I may be pushing things to run out of town and play in the cold this weekend, on a brand new build, but damn the torpedos…
So I may be riding this weekend after all. Early this fall I decided that I needed a new bike, and put the last year’s riding and experimentation into a rigid 29er. I picked a Soma Juice frame, and have had a series of issues with it. Aggravating the debacle, I ordered from an online retailer to “save money.” I did not end up saving stress.
The first frame was damaged in shipping and too small, the second ended up developing a crack due to inadequate welds at the seat stay/ seat tube junction. The shop was kind enough to offer a Monkey as a replacement, and sold me a matching fork at a discount (the longer TT requires a shorter stem and a longer steerer).
The frame itself was a week late, rerouted, then un rerouted, and finally in my hands last night. It’s oiled and ready to head to the shop and have the headset and BB swapped.
So I’ll be ready to ride this weekend after all. Meredith (my wonderful wife) flew to NYC today to visit the sister, so I am free to run amok. This is the (original) plan, that I though I would have to swap with next weekends (the R3 hike):
-Take off work early tomorrow, ride Elden. Drive to Red Canyon, UT.
-Ride Thunder Mtn EARLY, might have some serious fun in the snow with this one.
-Drive to and ride Gooseberry, The Loop. Sleep.
-Ride Little Creek, find a way back to Rainbow Rim, ride, go home.
We’ll see how it all works out; I need to sleep first.
This weekend will be the second in my annual R2R2R hikes. Last December I hiked across the Grand Canyon and back, and earlier this year decided that it, along with riding the White Rim in a day, would be benchmarks I’d set for myself every year.
I did the White Rim back in October, and suffered quite a bit. Running out of water (snore) as it got clear and hot later in the day conspired with a lack of conditioning (new bike) to make things quite a bit harder than I wished. Harder than the first time I rode it, in March of ’05, on a cyclocross bike.
This unencouraging start provides the background for my trepidation. The R3 hike involves more suffering, all things being equal, than the White Rim, which is usually a hard thing to look forward to. One of the purposes of writing here is to say as much, and ensure that I do it regardless of how much sleep I lose the night before.
Because (noticing a theme?) my training hasn’t been what I’d like, my goal is to take this one easy. Last year it took fifteen hours. This year I’m going to start much earlier, bring more food, and plan on spending more like 18 hours on the trail. LSD, time on the feet, and a kickstart for next year. The Red Hot 50k in February will be too early in the training cycle to race, even against myself. The plan will still be distance and efficiency, having a good day out without killing myself (and messing with my knees).
The question at this point is sleep and weather. I might be kidding myself thinking that I’ll sleep well the night before, and Sunday has a good chance of snow high and rain at the river. So I may be driving up starting at midnight Saturday, hoping to make it back before the El Tovar cocktail lounge closes. If last year is any indication, I won’t be able or want to walk much the day after.
Salsa Cromoto Grande 29er rigid fork. Black. Disc only. Used for two months, normal wear. $80
WTB Shadow V saddle. Basically new. $30
Paul Crosstop Levers. $50
And so it goes.
Cycling seems to drive avarice in a peculiar way. Is it America? Gloabalization? Or perhaps just MTBR?
I’m psyched to build the monkey and ride it. And stop looking, to start doing.
And if anyone wants to buy stuff, let me know.