Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Glorious. Or, Tuesday.

Me: Today?

Greg: I can't think why I wouldn't want to do that.

Me: Where? When?

Greg: Clock Tower of Inscrutability? High noon?


Punching through the elastic.


Tampon Trail #37.

Widowmaker Bypass.




Yup, that looks like it'll go.

Hardly enough of this to mention.

Inflated and ready.


And grinning.

Light and shadow. The latter made you really appreciate the former.

Take out, deflate, pack up.

It's all in there.

Then, an easy spin back through town in time to see the UPS man unloading the latest batch of withwhich to build some more wheels.

I love it when a plan comes together...

Thursday, November 24, 2011


At first blush, the video below would seem to represent some alleged adults faffing off on bicycles.

And I'd say that's pretty accurate.

But because I was present I can provide a bit of insight that the camera cannot.

The string of moments shown were somehow extraordinary for each person--such that they were taken outside of their comfort zone for at least a little while.

Jeny sessioning the 'closet' switchback. Stevie attempting the teeter/roller. Ed attempting full suspension *and* gears! Scott learning to pump the tables. Derrell revising his opinion (mine too!) on whether the step-up-gap outta the hole could be cleared.

What we all had in common was not knowing whether we *could* do what we were about to try. The awareness and anxiety that come from that uncertainty are among the greatest spices to this life. That I've found yet, anyway. It isn't all about adrenalin, nor speed. Sometimes it's about slowing down to the point where your wheels will no longer roll, then feathering the balance point and applying heaping amounts of body english. Literally and metaphorically.

Regardless of velocity or endorphination, we shared a complete focus on the task at hand. We were NOT texting while paying halfhearted attention to the pot of water on the stove. No drone of TV in the background as we made breakfast while thinking about the day ahead. No ring of a cell phone interrupting a conversation with friends. One thing, and one thing only was happening, and we were with it. In it.

I'm probably more sensitive to the increasing amount of chaos in this world than most. I write that because I'm becoming more intolerant of it by the day. Some chaos is chosen, some of it is forced upon us, some of it is a byproduct of some other choice. Pointing fingers and placing blame is not the point.

Only when the chaos is removed can we truly appreciate the simple pleasures this life has to offer: The pounding of your heart in your ears just before you release the brake levers and drop in. The zzzzzzzz of your freewheel, and nothing else, midair over the creek gap. The eternity between committing to a teeter and the moment when it grudgingly commits back. The giddy-like-a-schoolgirl laughter that explodes out of us afterwards.

I've taken steps to re-sensitize myself to these moments this year. Like any learned skill, they disappear without frequent practice.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

End of the season. Really. No, really! I'm serious this time!!

That's what they keep telling us--impending snow, not just in the mountains but right down to the valley floors. Stay indoors. Remain calm!

And if it snows, well, this time of year it just might stick around for a few months. Which doesn't necessarily *end* the riding season, but if you've ridden snow (and underlying ice) atop rock you can appreciate that it does change one's viewpoint of the trail dramatically. The end is near!

But we seem to be stuck in a vortex of sweetiousness as far as the weather pattern, so today was actually among the (if not *the*) nicest riding days we've had all season.

4th time this week, actually.

No words, really, for how good this year has been from just about every perspective. So many people, and places, and things, to be thankful for.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Hard to beat our late fall weather.

If riding tackarific dirt in long sleeves with zero wind, creamy light, and no crowds is your thing, that is.

It IS my thing. Something like 24 days in a row on the bike is evidence enough of that. When the snow finally flies (Saturday, they say) I'll be thrilled to take a break and rest a bit.

But not a moment sooner.

Here are a few visuals from the last ~week outside.