Friday, April 18, 2014

It's good to be the king.

If you read that title and didn't immediately smile while thinking of Mel Brooks, you missed it.
















It'd be hard not feel on top of your game at this time of year.  Temps are friendly, wind has not (as yet) been a factor, dirt is heroic, local trails are constantly being neuterized to make mediocre riders feel better about themselves without actually having to improve.  













All that, and there's still snow to be had even as the rivers start what promises to be a solid runoff season.





































You'd have to be solidly in the curmudgeon category to do anything but enjoy April in the desert.




Thanks for checkin' in.







Sunday, April 6, 2014

Re-entry.



Winter lingered a good long while for us this year.  Depends on your elevation, of course, but we saw our first snow mid-November and it was still falling (within sight if not *on* us) at sundown tonight. 


When some of the local trails melted out enough to ride a few weeks back, we dusted off mountain bikes then got lost in the chaos of trying to relearn what to do with them.




As temps continue warming gauges are slowly bumping into action, as are we along with them.








J: "Is this what you call a gravel grinder?"




M: "It would be if we had our fatbikes."





Wild horses couldn't have made her happier.  Oh, wait...




First of many trips down the Gunny Gorge for the year.  All in a day's work for Ben.








Moab season officially ended for us when the lifts at most CO and UT ski areas stopped turning last weekend.  See ya in the fall.
















Allergy season arriveth.








Surfing season too.




Still a few hours of god-light to work with at the ends of the day.





Greg meant to do that.  Kinda.




"Now what?!"








50mph tailwind through Buttermilk rapid.  We hit very few of our lines that day, but man did we make good time!



Talk among friends revolves largely around how big runoff is going to get this year, how much recent dust storms will affect how fast the water comes down, whether Big Sur will actually rear it's head, and when (with all of this impending water) we're going to find the time to ride our bikes.




Fang is always bummed to see the end of winter, but like the rest of us is enjoying the running start into spring.




Thanks for checkin' in.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Idita-epilogue.

As I reclined comfortably in my first-class seat, fizzy beverage in hand, looking down from 30,000' at the country I'd just spent 3 weeks toiling across, the thought process rolling through my brain went something like this:




I'm pretty sure I'm done Idita-ing.  There are lots of enjoyable sections of The Trail that I would love to see and experience again, but given what a gamble it is with weather and trail conditions, as well as how much $$$$ goes into just trying, I feel like I've seen what I need to see.  4 complete trips to Nome, 5 as far as Unk, 7 to McGrath.  

Enough.




That, and there's a lotta this big wide world I haven't seen yet, and that doesn't smell like diesel fuel and dogshit.  





I did have a wild-hair type idea while slogging from Iditarod to Shageluk at .2mph: Why not organize a relay of sorts to see just how fast the Iditarod Trail can be done under human power?  

Inspired by the Serum Run way back when, we'd assemble 15 or 20 past/present racers, let them choose the section they want to ride, have Red Bull foot the bill and film it, and be able to ride fast and light across one of the most incredible backcountry routes on this planet.  Across the whole damn state of Alaska.

Over the course of a day-and-a-half of postholing I imagined then addressed each of the attendant parts of such an undertaking.

Then an opportunistic badass named Jeff Oatley crushed the living hell out of the course this year, going faster than anyone ever imagined possible with course conditions that were, honestly, unimaginable.  10 freaking days.

I believe that right there is the answer to 'how fast can it be done'.  I don't believe anyone will come within 4 or even 5 days of that pace again--at least not in my lifetime.

So that answered that.



If someone else gets a wild hair to organize such a relay, I'll throw my hat in for Elim to Golovin.

You can reach me here.