Ride #2

Día gets better every day, every night i spoon with her, every time the garage opens she’s less awfulness unleashed upon the world while still mostly being leashed.

We took a spin around the Eagle last week, to stretch her legs and see how she reacted to the bike. Magnificently, of course. Trotting a wheel’s width away at pace. Then i upped the challenge and rode us to school in traffic to ride the girls home. I whopped her once in the face with the 4 inch-wide tire on the PhattyCatty, the moment was there to teach her a lesson about crossing under the bike. I am 6x heavier than Día, I am immune with stability. She learns even small mistakes upon me result in comic-book *POWS* to her snout. The best part is she sees me trying so hard to hold back.

Good Dog.

There is a crack in her cranium, for intellect. I haven’t figured it out just yet, its tirelessly spinning away from me. but i am getting closer. It is facing me more and more while she reels after the cats, then it stares at me. She doesn’t stop, then she is still, and snuggles next to me all night. 8hrs of nonstop nonpissing. I am a dog-whisperer.

self-ay

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She barked at her food dish filled with Kila’s old food. Was it stale, or full of death, or bland vs puppy formula? I thinked upon it that she just didn’t like the metallic slap of her new tag against it. She ate it empty after i took off her collar. Then ate the collar. She jumped on a chair to jump to the table to lick plates. She knocked a pizza off the counter. She walked on the end table. She is a cat and a dog, with the best of both.

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Friday we rode slowly out in the dark to Tequila Tree, saw 1 person in 8 miles of 99% dirt. Nothing but the night and my wheel to fixate La Diabla. As I was wobbling up to the saddle she dodged, hopped adroitly, meat-shadowed, dazzled.

We rested at the Tree, and as I sipped in the Valley lights…
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…i noticed her fretting, flailing, gnashing.

“OMFG, the dog got a chollaball.  I have to find the ball NOW!!!! 

*blink*

i have to get my gloves on NOW!!!!’

I held her mouth shut facedown in the dirt while i grabbed a glove, another. Running my hands lightly over her, taking out a big bit and a small one.

Removing a glove, she only had a few spines in her muzzle and none i could find in her mouth, most of the damage was 2 feet. Just!In!Time!!   SAR on top of the mountain, we are better friends for it. We saw 4 deer on the ride down.

Bike Park

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La Diabla

I don’t feel guilt over Kila, but I needed to wait for dog-need to ache, to melt me so wet again I would embrace the work, the pissing, the apologies to countless strangers, bags of poo, the ruined collaboration chair, and whatever penitence for Kila remained.  It took 11 months. Welcome René Desbarkes! Thank you ACDR.

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For a few minutes the Chollaballs and their new dog were an internet sensation! My favorite comment: “you can barely see a puppy in there amongst all the love.

werd!

I’m sorry I peed in the house 15 times in 36 hrs. Can I jump in your lap while you’re driving? Can i cross under you while onleash? I was planning to  chase the cats over the fence, wouldn’t that be fun??
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G got a dog and a bike for xmas, ish. Close enough that she is still very stoked about close enough. Here’s how i know this – last trip to Rocky Point i went out on the SUP in January, told G I was afraid of falling, and asked her if she’d laugh at me if I did. “Absolutely” she deadpanned. We’re good like this, tinyMusher and I. Merry Xmas.

Ladies and Gentlemen, please put your hands together and give a warm Scottsdale welcome to tonight’s featured act: Día, La Diabla, the Annnnnnggggggggggeeeeeeeeeellllll of Darknessssssssssssssssssssssssss!!!

We all liked Rene Desbarkes, a lot, but it just didn’t resonate with us. Picking names was the main topic of discussions for the 5 days from when my friends Kathleen and Robin at the rescue agency told me they found just what we wanted – a young female, smart, ready to nuzzle the world with my daughters.

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A spot! A spot!
A magnificent spot!
My dog has a magnificent spot.
I’m so glad for a dog with a magnificent spot.

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And the most beautiful bentley. Tsaina’s blaze was askew, a brown vein pulled to the left by her magnificent spot. Kila’s forehead was precision striped, so balanced and integrated with her countenance i’ve lost its details in its perfection. I remember it as the cleanest and most resplendent, kissable patch of her. Día’s fur is so short that you feel her warmth waving your hand near any part of her. I like getting all up in that, any of it,  and not getting sticky and stinky and dirty.  I hope she will live in harmony with Arizona.

She follows you differently than Kila, who was always in front, or behind, enough that you could see her and hear her and she did not invade your personal space. A 55lb predator, as cozy as a fleece pullover, if and only if it was needed. I imagine Dia is following me, and look back to see and hear nothing, then look down to find her on me. She sneaks up and herds. She is a shadow, a smell, a smokey meatsack trotting an inch off me.

I have been sleeping on the couch all week, full of love and wonder for a new best friend, in these precious weeks when i get to build us together. I remember what Kila’s nape felt like. I still remember what Tsaina’s neck felt like – it was softer and smoother and shorter. And Dia’s is different from them both. I am at the beginning and see the end. Which makes enjoying this beginning so sweet.

Bugs: not stoked.
Cue the music from the finale of “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”.

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the crate came from a friend, the next day. It was dirtier and rustier and absent my fresh spraypaint. It took a few hrs i should have been at work, a few dollars, and Beckie’s I-told-you-sowing for not getting a new one from the store. I never needed a crate before, but never had a 6mos-old aussie cattledog before. I happen to like visiting a buddy I haven’t seen in awhile, restoring something, keeping it out of a landfill, like adopting a dog from a rescue group. It was a quicksilver nesting phase, just like a cattledog.
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she revs about 30% higher than us. and I picked her. If I was playing Dungeons&Dragons, she would be an elf. And so too, i think, would i.

2014 Xmas Break

Started with G doing a 31min 5k
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and Alana doing the kids run, with G helping her
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didn’t stop the whole way!
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getting her medal for 2nd in her age
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next day was a 10 mile ride around Granite Mtn at Brown’s Ranch. Their longest dirt ride yet.
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xmas a day early, so we could hop in the truck and chase a storm
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Xmas at Wolf Creek! The Snow Gods gave us 3 feet in 2 days!
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matching Zephyrs!   20th anniversary present, 2 years later.
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about to take our first-ever run together!
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day 3: Alana rides the lift by herowndamnself
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leaving the parking lot
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Xmas night we got dinner from 1) a convenience store and 2) a bad chinese restaurant. The next day was 15inches of fresh, and high of 9. It was still so empty and dumping we never left the front side and never stopped making first tracks. I got buried up to my chest too many times, each crash tunneling in and choking on powder, burrowing, drowning, mist and panic clawing into me clawing 20 feet back to the trail, dazed at being so near death next to the groomers.  Still, after their classes at 7 degrees and whiteout, the girls were stoked for the first family run altogether!

G: (me sliding by her class) DAD! save time for a run with me!
Me: ok! save some energy!
G: you know me, I’ve always got energy!

Me(me sliding by her class) Holy shit, are you riding the big chair?!
Alana: *coolly* yes

I like snooping on them every few runs, cuz apparently I am doing something right.

12-25 – G and Lana both did great
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12-26. Alana’s kind instructor made Genevieve…so…very…angry!!!!!
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Riff-Raff Brewing Company. Another Pagosa Springs front-street house turned into something kewl!
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Saturday after xmas is the most crowded day of the year at Wolf Creek, and we were all tired of freezing up on the mountain.

High Country Lodge tubing hill
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San Juan River Walk
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NYE in Mexico. G hitting one of my trials. 
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Parenting for gnarness
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several of these
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treasure hunt!! Alana typically anti at the start of anything.
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chasing Alana on a 20 involves too much effort to take pictures. They found a cup at the CEDO.
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I prepaid that morning, and had them insert this clue.
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surly no longer
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sprinting…chasing…gasping after Alana’s bike til they found the next clue.
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that thar book lernin’  be payin’ off 
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Bird Island hike
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another trials ride at Danger Dip. atv’s are for wussies.
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Tday in Cudjoe Key

Redeye to Miami
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The house was huge, faced the north of Cudjoe Key, and was infested with iguanas.
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Summerland Key
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Primitive beach off Big Pine Key
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20 min from the house to Key West, we went 3 evenings in a row
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Exploring Big Pine
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Bahia Honda State Park on Tday
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who took this?
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Lazy drive back to Miami
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Won’t Hire A Nanny To Drive To Soccer Practice

G: Sometimes I wonder if  I’m ever going to see the future.
Me: Whaaa?
G: I just can’t imagine it. What am I going to be like?
Me: You’re gonna be awesome. You’re gonna be just like you. Funny, and happy, and psyched to get into things. Except bigger and smarter and more beautiful.
G: That’s actually a really nice thing to say.

Xmas from Alana

Alana wanted to give the kittens presents, and paint them.

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Desert Trails Bike Park

lot of pictures of this place hitting the intertubes this weekend.

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Recovery Week

a wheel, a rotor, a ratchet for each tinyMechanic
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Trail 4at 7 Springs rec area. I went back for more!!!

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2.5miles o&b mostly flat, with lots of swimming and fall colors

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2 things I never thought I’d say:

  1. nice game Mark Sanchez
  2. those brake lines were easy

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test ride. all that remains are handlebars, grips, and snip cables.

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X-Post: NoPho-King Around

I love that post name! I wish I came up with it. All I did was pimp Ray’s big ride and suck in 2 (ex)friends. It was, yeah i think, the worst.ride.evah. John’s writeup is closure, cause my memories are a shattered blur. Check out his post its awesome.

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At least i got one pic of John, I don’t know how he found the bandwidth to photo so much. I blew everything moving forward, quivering in my Pain Cave,  holding off a meltdown.

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This began as an awesome idea! My house up 98th St. Wash through Pinnacle Peak -> Brown’s Ranch -> Pima&Dynamite->Tonto NF->7 Springs Rec Area->Spur Cross->Maricopa Trail->Cave Creek Rec Area->Reach 11->Home. Big NoPho loop. 78miles.

It was going great at 4 hrs. From here, I turn the story over to John. I lost linearity 2 hours into the sufferfest. I thought i could handle 2 more hours without flinching, i knew way too soon this was turning into a Death March, and the Doomsday Clock in my head started ticking. Then I twisted my knee rolling it the wrong sideways on a softball. Some new tear or scar tissue abraided, and inside my knee i felt arthritis weeping.

We rode .4 mile loose and disappearing downhill to a cattle tank, and while Gordon changed his flat I thanked myself for topping off sealant the night before.  I took the time to exercise a theory, howl at our siteeation, and smoke a lot of pot:  letting your in-betweens breathe while you stretched would invigorate both hygienically and psychologically. And it did, til Gordon took so long fixing his bike I got sunburn on my junk. Has this ever happened on an mtb ride? Denial, exemplified. Here is where i got scared in earnest.

Some stuff happened, i was in my Pain Cave, see John’s Post. There was another ~hour of HAB, rolling down the wash was intoxicating, we gave up on the trail. Every catclaw we neared became 3x its size. Gordon and John both kinda thought we could get down the 20 foot cliff, and in that moment i spotted their mushy-minds and marched us back up the wash, up a stoopid cactus-riddled pitch, through more catclaw. I almost lost it and tumbled back down the slope. I found us the trail. I hid back in my Pain Cave for another 2 hrs while someone else took a pull in front.

nonetheless, this guy was very cool!

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There were many times i wanted to freak out. I am so glad the other guys kept their shit together too, and nothing else went wrong, we 3 all being relatively seasoned enough to have food, and water, and gear. And pot and vicodin, i gulped it when we reached a long-overdue trail marker stating just 2 more hrs of this bullshit to go.  12.5 moving time is a new PR.  This hurt everything, chain ring punctures and pedal bites on my legs, gauges and bruises and needles that took 2 days to fully discover where they have no business being on a bike ride, *soreness*.