Tuesday, November 29, 2016

A ride, recently: Volume 76.

Like you we had a long weekend to spend, with marginal weather forecasts accompanying it.  Like you, we were unwilling to stay local when we had a rare extra few days with which to travel and play.

So we headed west, then south, and deposited ourselves on the fringe of Zion, looking all up into her business from our bedroom.  Err, kitchen.  Uhh, reading room.

On one of our rides from that campsite we were accompanied by old, good friends.

These friends are rather adept at covering ground quickly and efficiently.

Fortunately for us, their agenda this day included "slow speed tech", which I eventually learned meant giving themselves permission to session moves that confounded them.  Which is usually almost always part of my plan when riding bikes.

The sun was warm and so was the rock, which meant our soft rubber tires stuck to it really well, encouraging us to look at the steeper bits with more than passing glances.

It was fun and novel to see Lynda sessioning -- noting the determination and motivation that she brought to the task.

The weather was gorgeous and not surprisingly the trail was packed.  Everyone was considerate if not outright polite, with the notable exception of that guy that lit a cigarette upwind of an overlook and proceeded to savor it while gagging everyone else.

Dave has ridden and raced bikes for decades. Stupid strong and a really smart racer. Very innovative with training too -- with the end result that you won't hear much from him for awhile, until you do. And in that quiet spell he's figured out some way to train smarter, get fitter, and then gone out and blown the doors off of some race or route you've always wanted to try.


But the last few years he's had a series of crashes that have hurt him. Many setbacks in a row is tough to come back from, especially when you're as old as he is. He stopped riding for a bit, then slowly came back to it. On the morning of the ride pictured he said that he felt stronger than he ever has -- and MAN is that saying a lot.

But watching him ride, you can see that he's tentative on tech stuff. He *has* skills, but I think his injuries have eroded a big chunk of his confidence. And his current 1.9" tires at ~50psi aren't really helping that.

So I grabbed his bike and said I wanted to take it for a spin, when what I really wanted was for him to ride a bike that wasn't trying to escape from beneath him. Maybe remind him that riding doesn't have to always, or even often, be about fear of injury.

He hopped on my Fatillac and took off. So fast that I couldn't hang. But Jeny did -- she stayed with him and said that he did something he hadn't done the whole ride: Giggled.

I asked him about it later and he said there was just something about being able to plow over and through stuff that would normally give him trouble, without having to react or even care. He giggled again while explaining.

The day ended as it began: back at camp, watching light and shadow play across the west face of Zion, with warm fuzzies at having burned endorphins in the welcome company of old friends.


  1. Ahem, 2.2 inch and 26 PSI, but when you're running 4+inches at 9 and 5 PSI I understand ;)

    It was super fun riding with you two, we had a blast!

  2. I'll take you at your word on the psi, but I'm going to need to see a caliper measurement of that alleged width.

    Mine measure out to 3.5" wide and yours looked to be less than half that!

  3. Super fun ride!!! Let's do that again - LOL

  4. Any chance of a can review. We want to hear about the red wagon.

  5. Ditto the van comment. Your original Element really opened my eyes to car camping. Would love to see the new rig.

  6. I couldn't resist commenting. Perfectly written!