April 24th, 2014
how long til she notices?
Atheistic holiday co-option is ok with me if there are happy girls and reese’s cups
let’s build something together, slowly, need shower and coffay
the Chollaballs decided that crayons and our fingers and dipping sauces are more exciting than stickers and premade decorations. We even tried lemon juice from our prolific tree. The pulp left the shell nasty, but it made photoshop-quality textures along with a natural yellow-straw tint.
glitter glue. we called him Liberace
Alana thought this looked like me
Beckie and I were bored of egg hunts in the back yard, these kids are too spoiled and too hard. So we gave her 5 mins head start, then the kids rode their bikes to the high school lot. Chasing the rabbit. Sounds easy, but a 100 x 100 yard search grid says otherwise.
see it, me neither, ‘lana does
this went well
a short candy break, then after the rabbit again!
teenyTinyShredder earning it
the chocolate melted, the jelly beans did not, Beckie sped home. G pushed her bike out of the wash around a fence, towards Westworld. Said she’d meet us back at the water fountain. tinyShredder is not so tiny any more.
Alana kept speed downgrade to ride over the kibble, back up the MUP, spotting her sister about when I was ready to panic.
Fun Dip is a good lunch, right? Still had energy for this and a trip to the pool
My Growing Secrets:
I finally changed the tire when I felt two distinct metastatic lumps. She was extracted having freshly consumed the better part of 2oz of new sealant.
and here she is, mounted on my wall!
Saturday I did the Prescott Monstercross.
It was real, and it was spectacular. So much singletrack, temps never got past 60, up and down and only once did i ever get gassed from the length of a climb. Every time i challenge myself to a big day i want to challenge myself to more, the hit so addictive. I try to do at least 4 big days a year. Its not enough, but its enough to maintain. I’ve been searching for a vein for the last 6 days. Me, the bike, the forest being together, wringing out everything but the present. 8.5 hours 52 miles 8k vf later I was glad to be done, but i was not wrecked, just enough to throb a little. Still stoked enuff to take G to the pool, swap stories with her, drink a beer, and inhale chinese buffet.
I would want to give up everything and play in the woods, but I wouldn’t want to change a thing about everything for my kids. Except maybe go north more. And make them read more, and do chores, and sleep in their own damn room. And yell at them less.
“The more I sort it out the more it gets distorted.”
Weekends like this clarify. cleanse. coagulate. congratulate.
a friend from swimteam told me about wetsuits for east coast swimming. $45 for 2 of em used…all those hours i could have let kids entertain theirowndamnselves in March and November in Rocky Point. *facepalm*. shopping for my own now, BodyGlove sez i should find a S for $40 on ebay.*double double facepalm*
A swim immediately after a breakfast buffet is safe, right? The kids surviving was proof that it is!! Then off to the Granite Creek Park pumptrack.
imagine…a park with grass and shade trees. Prescott has its manzanitas, i rubbed too many of them the day before, but it has real trees too, and its only 1.5 hrs away. We should buy a place in Flag…
i thought the dirt would be actual dirt, but like Phx was mostly sand. Its still the desert, though pebbles and ping-pong balls did not bubble up to the surface, which metaphors the differences from the Nix. Our beginner is their intermediate, their chunky finish skidding Old Ranch trail is a descent from the Tequila Tree, 15 degrees cooler. And with shade. and the Dells. I *heart* Prezkit.
After Alana’s inevitable meltdown, we abandoned her at the Constellation Dells trailhead. She caught up soon enough, and 3.7 minutes later was high on stoke. a 10 minute rockline excursion drove out the kids’ fears. Then they couldn’t be stopped, seeing lines and grip and gravity on their own.
Hands and feet hands and feet, lean into the rock. The soccer coaches told me even the pros practice 2v2, 3v3…keep the game simple.
i was proud of myself, as a father, for the gloves. Kneepads would have been dad-of-the-year material.
OHSO offers $5 pints, or $9 40s. Like this is even an question.
We rolled the first 2 miles back, G nodding off and me with my hand in her armpit. At least she kept the bike vertical, it actually wasn’t that hard, kid still pedaled in her sleepy. She woke up about 68th St., and bet me a dollar she would stay awake for the ride home. I lost, I paid.
at least thus far, i hope.
Started with a Windgate\Bell double bypass, then we all hiked Elephant Mtn at Spur Cross Ranch Conservation Area. G did great, and Alana not so bad.
7 miles, much of it hard, and 1200 vf was a little more than i planned for them.
there was a lb of strawberries amidst my backpack’s 30lbs of water and magic. It turned into a container for tp, after they pooped back out of G in a dusty wash 3hrs later. Dad, did you know that strawberries are the only fruit with seeds in their skin? Beckie heckles her cruelly.
the 1.5 mile approach to the saddle is not easy, was so proud of G for hiking all of it, and Alana did a respectable .25 mile push to the top.
I wish I took pics of the previous 90 min, the trail was bigbluesquare awesome, i was too busy not abrasing my kids or slipping them into cactus to photograph. Steps and slots, washes and wayfinding, needle-narrowed switchbacks over slickrock.
Beckie: Do you like going up or down better?
G: well, i like and dont like some about both of them
Me: it looks really easy, if you don’t look at the cliff
Beckie: just look at your feet
Me: you wanna ride this? we could totally ride this
Me: the secret is, you have to not like it to get to the best spots
G: will you show me some pictures?
Me: grab my fucking hand already!
Dinner at Cafe Laredo, then we came home and planted seeds for Alana’s school project. Cause, daddy you’re a great gardener!
Its true. I grew these mutant pepper leaves in my closet. When the Zombie Apocalypse comes, I will serve my species as a microfarmer (or a jr bike mechanic, i haven’t decided) before i can again serve as a programmer.
Despite the general bonhomie, everyone passed out before the candle ceremony proper. While, personally, i was fine with it, the collective guilt was overwhelming. Who was i to deny 3 beautiful blondes? I got an extra Bday on Sunday!!! I reciprocated by cooking banana ice-cream pancakes, did pilates and free weights for 2 hours, then took the kids to the pool. Alana learned how to use a torque wrench. The Bird flew again on a ride with G. cooking children and beer. Couldn’t get much better, unless the Chili Peppers played it.
What you give up to go up in the McDowells makes the downhills so much less fun. Yet I, I!, have perfected a route that stands in glorious contrast to this seemingly unbendable natural law. It took almost 4 years. The only thing you lose hauling a big bike up the hill is time, and its a workout anyway, right? There are even a few B-lines.
There is a jersey barrier that i finally willed myself up to the top, and dropped it so smooth i wondered what took 3 years. Cuuuuuuuzzzzz its very tall and very skinny, and the next time i wadded myself up at the very top and fell sideways at 0mph. Slow enough to see the crashlanding and plan my escape, with only a little bite to the elbow. I’ve spent years honing my matrix cat-like anti-cactii moves. Redemption came charging the downhill from the overpass before i could see the bottom, trusting the Bird to ride it out. Snowboarding.
A parallel thematic arc in my (self-indulgent) serial epic is hating myself for a $5k bike i dread riding uphill. Flats make the Bird so much awesomer .2% of the time. That .2% has bought me a dank nug of confidence that i turn to regularly. I treasure it, i would be broke(n) without it.
But clipless make the Bird awesomer so much oftener. i busted out my pedal wrench, hated the McDs no more, hitting under 8 min down Paradise Wash repeatedly, and jumping down-facing drops at the bottom of the golf course. Rerealizing why freeriding and techriding and going fast are so radiant, when there is an obliging climb to enjoy like tailgating.
Tequila Tree sits atop the last pitch down my most excellent route. I hammer and jump and fly hard for 1:00, 1:15, or 1:30, then sip liquor and get safe and stare out over the Valley. There is nothing in the McDs the Bird can’t swallow, as long as i lean back stay centered and point downhill. Firebird, take me home. Its a ReverseShuttle+DH training ride, and a metaphor, and a happy hour! I am marketing this workout program…
…I’ve been white-whaling over this for 2 years.
And my friends Chad and Scott have a weekly Tuesday techy ride at the 50 Year Trail in Oro Valley north of Tucson. These guys have been very influential to follow, reading their blogs and knowing them has opened up possibilities, about distance and cross-training and blawhging and humility. Showing up completely worthless would be disrespectful. So I prepped with 2 Somo rides, staring down the spine on the Waterfall 2x til i hit it, the S curve on 24th Street til i hit it. Pushed through cleanly on power and technique, compensating for confidence. terrified.
pics courtesy of Yuri
Next week i rendezvoused in Tempe with John, who’s brilliant idea was to duck out on a Tuesday before Lumbergh noticed, and hammer down to the Old Pueblo to join in the 50 Year fun. John and I have hung out on AES rides for a few years, i recently rode his wheel down the precipitous north face of Tom’s Thumb. Its been inspiring fun to watch him transform from finishing in the dark with broken bikes to planning monster multi-days. He has gotten so strong and so gritty so quickly he completely shot by the part where most fast riders realize, despite some techy skills, i mostly sorta suck. And whine about having to get home. I hoped his hardtail 29er would slow him down enough to not feel my weakness. Really glad i got drawn into one of his schemes!!
The 50 jumped us right in – downward facing, gaps, chasing guys much stronger and practiced on these trials. Before I could process the adrenaline, or aggregate my insecurities, we hit this:
Thankfully, I got to follow Alex down it, like many other big moves over the years. You cant deny me service under SB1062 simply because i call another man my security blanket!! Alex also broke out early to come shred woot woot!!! The pic is from Scott, from a ride I wasn’t on. And a bunch more courtesy of Chad and John. All the ganked pics makes this seem like a LOOK AT ME post. It is, but its not. If it was, would i include this?
It was like that for about 2 more hours. Chad and Scott were the most gracious hosts, to our 3 from the ‘Nix along with a few other cool folk from Tucson. Showing us the lines and indulging our false starts, and trusting us while they sessioned to their limits as well. Deformed verticals and rock crawling, elegant sunset shading the back side of the Catalinas, uplifting company. Each move got more confident, exponential irrational reaction to acts of will. I hustled to nurse the leaky rear tire punctured during my failed chasm jump, pushed to keep pace, yet despite all that the trail kept getting…not easier, but i got better.
These moments of beauty and fear and affirmation are what make sports so imperative to me. Its not the KOM, the scholarship, the statistics. Its being forced into choosing to be better than i think i can be. Weeks of other-people’s photo dumps are the closest i can do to share these flashes. They just…flash…and I am so grateful to have been there, and to have a record to remind me to be grateful every day.
thank you for the pics, the ride and the stoke. See their blogs for more!
There is a pic of me nailing this. But this one from Scott is so much better, people should see it for demonstrative purposes.
Rob was a really cool guy, on a vision quest, to ride 1 bike for 1 year for under $1k. Watching him wiggle into and down this on a Transition Klunker after I’d taken 4 tries and crapped myself on my $5k squishy was another of the afternoon’s perfect moments.
lol. just, lol. what a great afternoon!!!
And just when i was ready to knock the bottom out of Lady Somo, just when Rage over lunch unclanged the parts i clanged up the day before, some dickless motherfucker stole this from me.
Pulled it off the bike frame locked to my rack outside the gym. *facepalm*. Admittedly i’ve gotten lazy, in the good old days you needed tools to rip off a thru axle. I’ve been trolling Craigslist, filled out a police report, looked at the gym’s video; if i don’t try, I’m encouraging this to happen again. I was angry for about 2 days. mostly i wish they took the whole thing. For the same outta pocket insurance would buy me a new expensive bike.
Prescription for feeling better about getting bike parts stolen: buy bike parts! Saddles*, tires, rotor, axle and a new custom wheel!
*technically, I did not need 2 new saddles, but its part of the healing process. If i find my wheel i will pepperspray the asshole and kick him in the nads for costing me $500, but I’m really happy with how it ties the new HeiHei together!
lice is no one’s fault.
so wrapped up you have no sense of civic duty is fault.