Thanks Eddie!


Namrita realizing she didn’t take the best line. Apparently the majority does not rule. Lady can ride, and she has a customized gravity dropper on a SS; very few people can aspire to such things.


Me looking cool. Gotta love those Midge bars! Relieved after cleaning the first hard stretch going up trail 40.


Clearing an innocuous little rock obstacle, only tricky because the run-in once you close the gate is about 8 feet long and sandy. (Last flight of the platform pedals for me.)

I hope everyone notices that my shirt, tights, and pack all match. The jersey came from Wabisabi on Moab for 50 cents. You can’t have one.

One of these days, I’ll get a digicam. The blog looks better with color. Best thing about cycling, or any outdoor sport, is the folks you meet along the way.

"To see the world in a grain of sand, and to see heaven in a wild flower, hold infinity in the palm of your hands, and eternity in an hour."

Roading back this evening in the swiftening dark, it occured to me that I’ve only been riding the Karate Monkey for less than two weeks. Doing the math, I’ve only ridden it on dirt 7 times, 10 rides in total. Some of those have been exemplary, granted, but it’s a tribute I think to Surly that it took me so long to recall (and not just my bad memory for such particulars). In two and a half months on the Soma, I got very used to 29″ wheels, midge bars, disc brakes, and to a much lesser extent the Weirwolves. I was always fighting the frame one way or another. Not so now. Much if it is the longer ETT coupled with a shorter stem. More probably is the shorter wheelbase and much shorter chainstays. I also believe the whole package comes together in a way that is indeed greater than the sum of it’s parts. It’s a “heavy” bike that rides very light, is solid going down and in traffic. I’ll have my work cut out when I put together the head to head in a month; reviews of such things do tend to be just useless.

Extrapolating from all that, the past fortnight has been exceedingly exciting and fulfilling overall. As above, it took a bit of consideration to move back and recall the particulars. Considering that I was sick for two of those days, all the more remarkable. That my sister just called to report that Meredith did not get delayed in O’Hare promises that this week and the next will be an excellent running into 2007 indeed.

I believe that provided I’m not stupid, the cycling and running goals for next year will go over very well indeed.

I know Angelina corrupted my headline, but for aesthetic reasons I can’t get too upset about that.

Progess (towards the new year)

I have had a fantastic weekend.

Thanks to Eddie and Namrita for riding and hanging out yesterday, and thanks to Phillip and Ariel for showing up unexpectedly. Good folks, good fun, good work, and good food and beer. No more can be requested.

As an exclamation point, I had an excellent run this evening. 9 mile out and back, 1300ft up and then down, in an hour and a quarter. Not fast by any stretch, but given that I haven’t run at all in weeks and not done so in a real regular fashion in a very long time indeed, I was pleased. The hip flexors aren’t quite used to high speed rocky descending, but I’m taking this as an encouraging sign that the previous years base of cycling and hard hiking can be converted into running speed in a couple months. Good news, as the Red Hot 50k(+, they discreatly say on the promo material1) is less than two months away! I’m excited. Now if I could only find my damn Moab map.

1: If any of the three people that read this have any familiarity with what a “+” can mean in say the Gunks or Looking glass, you probably have the right idea. Based on my own sporadic career in first ascents, the formula is the following:
You’ve done a route that felt hard, or was at least scary while digging for holds under moss, 20 feet out from a small cam, onsight. You have no idea how hard it would “actually” be if you hadn’t been freaked, overgripped, with dirt in your eyes. So you pick the lowest grade that won’t come off as irresponsible and arrogant, than put a “+” at the end.
I’ve reclimbed old FAs, on top rope, and thought “shit this is easy”. Then I took another look at the gear. (“Wow that blue alien really was crap, good thing I didn’t fall, Jason and Chris would’ve had to roll me and my broken ankles back down the hill. Like Doug Scott on the Ogre, but with leaves.”)
This is the great kharmic cycle and how it works.

Update

-Enjoy the winter celebrations. We owe it all to the pagans anyway.

-The cheesesteak bailed from his Powell adventure, so he and Ariel came down and we drank some tasty brew last night with…

-Namrita and Eddie O’dea. Who were kind enough to let me show them around Granite basin in my idiosyncratic fashion. Great folks, excellent riders and consumate beer drinkers. Hopefully we’ll meet again at a race this year.

-Parents coming tomorrow, so I have to at least pretend to clean. No fun.

-The Brooks arrived yesterday, and I casually slapped it on for the ride. It felt like having a saddle made of polished wood. I hope the break-in process is not too long, but at this point I expect it to be exceedingly character building.

-Bailed on the r3 hike in the big ditch; combo of friends and still not feeling 100%. Next month I imagine, though with the White Rim ride on the 13th and all, January is looking full.

-Freezefest on the 31st through the 3rd. Finally get to do the Black Hole. Looking forward.

Snow

I’m jealous of the fun the CO crew is having. I love forceful weather, of any kind, but snow storms are the best.

Lamentably, I live in the wrong state.

Soul ridin’

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.

Note 1:
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.

Note 2:
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.

Back to work

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.

Mine!


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.

Weekend Vitals

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.]