Saturday, April 28, 2012

Fifteen Minutes

Day three of D2M captured in the June issue.

Keep pushing the envelope and grabbing at possibilities and you will eventually end up in a shit show, or in a full page spread in Mountain Bike Action magazine, or both.

I was in the high school parking lot waiting for Sara when a Facebook notification came in from Matt "McGiver" McFee. "Doubleday ripping into Dolores River Canyon, page 26 of Mountain Bike Action, June 2012"

High-res glory
Ruth grabbed a copy at the grocery store. There it was. Day three of our Durango to Moab odyssey in a full page spread. It was our late morning descent from the uranium mines toward a catered lunch next to the Delores river. After lunch we would climb out the other side of the valley for an epic afternoon leg that I will never forget. We coined it the "Shit Show" (dark humor). It was a physical and a spiritual journey that I will never forget. The type of life changing experience that you can hope for, but when it happens it is nothing like what you expected. After all, if you already knew then it wouldn't be much of a game-changer would it?

To have that memorialized like this in an old school print magazine (not an ethereal blog like this one) is beyond words, awesome. How many times have I flipped through one of these magazines, drooling over the epic rides in spectacular locations. Wishing I were in that picture, riding that trail, right now. The loop has closed!


"It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how."
     - Dr. Seuss

"A journey of 1000 miles must begin with a single crank-turn."
     - Unknown

"Tune in, Turn on, and Go long."
     -Tom Warren

Monday, April 16, 2012

Old Friend

I wasn’t prepared to bring the El Mar on my Maryland road trip. I usually steal a ride at Shaffer Farms when we go down there to visit family, and the fast flowy single track at Shaffer Farms is single speed heaven.  Plus I wasn't quite ready to subject the new bike to possible rain or a bug splattering night-drive drive home.

The Shaffer Farm trails rock. I rode generally counter-clockwise, and the Green Trail in that direction includes a beautiful winding descent along the side of a small winding vale. It’s one of those sections that puts a grin on your face when you see the gently winding trail winding downhill for hundreds of yards in front of your wheel. The other gem is the Orange Trail. It is a tiny bit tighter and twistier than the other trails, and about mid-way through it breaks out into a little half-pipe cork-screw kind of playground in the woods. Very cool, I had never ridden this trail before.

The bike (the Rig) is a great ride although the hydraulic brakes on the El Mar have spoiled me. The BB7s on the Rig are grabbier and not as strong as hydraulics. 80mm of travel instead of the 100mm on my El Mar is noticeable, but not really a factor on these trails. The Rig geometry is very different, it feels like the bike is “under” me. In fact it feels smaller, almost like a 26” bike which is not a bad thing, just weird. I guess I am still sorting out the difference.

Trails like this remind me how much I love single speeding.


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Close One at the Causeway

It was one of those crashes that could easily have gone either way. It ended with some scrapes and bruises. It was soooo close to ending with some dental work and probably some collateral facial damage. 

I was off Mike's rear wheel as he approached the causeway by the Creative Playthings Bridge. We were returning from happy hour at The Overlook (you get the picture). We were loose and moving at a nice clip approaching the 10" step up onto the causeway. Mike was a fraction of a second late lifting his front wheel up onto step. His front wheel stopped instantaneously, the bike kicked out backward, and Mike catapulted over the handlebars with his face on a perfect trajectory to plant, hard, on the causeway. Somehow he got his forearms in front of his face to break the fall.

On the way home I was thinking of revising the happy hour axiom "one is not enough and three is too many." I was going to revise it down, but then I remembered the 7% on Mike's microbrew can. Maybe my lite beer tastes like cold piss but the 3.5% sure felt about right on the ride home. 

It's one of those things that happens occasionally in this sport - just look at the "Notable Crashes" section on this blog. Most of them end OK but occasionally you get one that rattles you a little. It replays in slow motion over and over in your head the next day. You clearly see what could have happened. And next time you ride, you are just a little more focused. That slight pucker factor is actually one of the wonderful things about this sport. It focuses the mind, clears away the distractions. Keeps you "in the zone."


P.S. We were just 13 days from setting new "days since last crash" record (ironically today is Friday the 13th).

"Safe biking is no accident"
     - unknown

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Sunday Services

Carb Loading Al Fresco
The Temple
This morning's carb loading included fresh fruit salad, sticky buns, and champagne. Oh and five soft boiled eggs with prepared horseradish.!  After our mid morning breakfast (taken al fresco), Ruth, Mom, and Dad took their annual pilgrimage to Waterloo Gardens while I ducked out for a ride Sunday Services in the temple that mother nature built. Reflection, inspiration, and grace were in abundance and I came home rejuvinated in body and in spirit.


"Cycling is like church-many attend but few understand."
     -- Jim Burlant

Friday, April 6, 2012

Happiest Hour

Capacity crowd at The Overlook today, ogling at bikes and comparing craft beers. This bodes well for the 2012 riding season, Fridays in particular.

Regarding mid-ride consumption of beer, I would like to amend my previous statement that "one is not enough and three is too many." Judging by my performance on the ride back, two Heinekens is definitely too many, I think lite beer may be more appropriate...or one of those 10oz Corona girly-beers  masquerading as a Kinger (very clever Mark).


"Bikes, babes, and beer. Whenever life gets you down, return to the fundamentals."
     -- Unknown