Kittens, Hairballs, Byron!

First time in 9 years Byron and us shared the house together! It was awesome. we fixed shit, worked on the roof, he taught the girls to fish. About 5 min with each of them in a kayak and they were pulling food out of ocean. That’s some uncle-tastic magic right there, yo. We went for a ride too! Byron’s first fatbike esperience, i drug him through dunes and over jumps and up Whale Hill and things he’d never seen in our 10 years owning the place together. That’s riding-buddy magic right there, yo.

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The day for braiding finally came, and it was magnificent. Maria’s hands spun 40 frequency a minute.

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Which was still not fast enough for Monster the Lesser

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Mittens and Cookies are still alive!!!

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What do you say about vacation pets?

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hors cat!!

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G on her first solo paddleboard

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Alana and G on their first solo paddleboard

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Homework

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Biking Without Riding

This week was copious time on the trainer, reading the QBP catalog. Calculating. Spending.

 

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truing wheels!
Thank you Alex. These factory-built hummers are sturdy and will care for my girls. You get lots of donations of outdated stuff when you go 9mm QR, yo!
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throwing dirt all Sunday morning
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We built this in about 3 days.  Some pics ganked from Fish, Kenny and other GROAZers
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The girls were not invited to this workday, with all the machinery, which made me far more productive. The vast summation of our efforts at the last workday was a gecko that dropped its tail.

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This park is gonna be sick, and legal. Pinch me, this isn’t really happening. Some pics of the DH runs, also borrowed from the net.

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The dirt is actual soil,i feel naked without the threat of rocks. Like a prisoner drug to the Roman Coliseum, I did not know man could build such things.

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The skills area is at mid-hill, the green, blue and black lines coming down above it.

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A shop stop on the way home. v-brake boss plugs removed, new used seatpost, good advice. Thanks Morgan and Rage!

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maybe just a little riding
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This made me happy

Gs 26 – Early Phase

Previously on ‘TinyShredder‘…

G need new bike, xmas is coming, we are sick of childlike bullshit overweight cheap dumb fucking kids bikes. And with help from Rage we discovered G can fit into a 26 frame! Ahhh, adult sizes, where high-end drive trains and forks and brakes and wheelsets are so mass produced they perform featherlightly for mere pennies!

Except they have all become 27.5 wheels, with through axels and hydros, complexity and sensitivity to swallow a little girl. I saw a picture of a Felt carbonfiber 24inch-standover 29er. If I plunked $250 for a smaller crankset and $250 for a better fork, G would set 8yo landspeed records at $2k, and would kill herself turning at 4mph, engulfed by the adultness of intent and equilibrium. 4mph doesn’t sound like much, until you throw yourself at the ground from a dead stop — that’s about 4. This dilemna led to shopping for the lowest of the low-end mass produced lines for a frame and $300 into the ether of stupid. or…

or…

buying a frame!

*sigh*

The most custom custom bike build I’ll have ever done is for G.

*headscratch**facepalm* I am soooo bitter about this.

Why, bikegod, why have you let this FunSucker taketh another gift from me!!?!?!? I’ve ridden National 3 times this year. I USED TO RIDE NATIONAL 2X A MONTH!!! 

Performance 14.5 26inch frame. This is the most important thing i’ve ever bought from Performance, since a Gary Fisher Sugar3 15 years ago, a chainsuck deathmachine I finally left by the side of the road. But even Performance cant fuck up an aluminum hardtail frame someone else made and they only painted? I took it to Rage for the facing, instead of play Russian Roulette with the mechanics at Performance.

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so purty, hanging next to those $2k Yetis
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After I brought it home , we strolled through the garage seeing the blue and white cables on the Fatty Catty and the Bird, the blue ring on the Malice, the red grips on HeiHei. Time for a paint program!

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My elevator pitch: red cranks, red rings, red shifter cable! White brake cables and fork!! Restrained and softened Hurricane G vs. the power of the Genasaurus? The middle blue so soothing.

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Alana could not be bothered to heed advice for the 10th time in 5 minutes. The past 30 min the two of them with my help and zero damage removed a bottle cage from a bike, washed it, and remounted it on the new frame. It was death. G was wailing over the inherent patience and precision of bike work, and taking it out on Alana.  Alana was playing with every small, fragile, or destructive object in sight, like a cat with a feather, or nagging G to hurry up.

Me: DONT GET NEAR G WHILE SHES CARRYING HER BIKE!

Me: DONT GRAB THE SEATCLAMP WITH THE PLIERS!

Me: TAKE THE HEADSET OUT OF YOUR MOUTH!

Me: DONT JUGGLE THE HEX NUTS AND WASHERS!

Me: DONG GRAB THE 3-in-1′s TIP WITH THE PLIERS!

Me: DONT GET NEAR G WHILE SHES CARRYING HER BIKE!

At some point, you have to let it be mountain biking, and learn your limits by wrecking.

In the last week I’ve shown them how to remove a rotor, service a cassette, mount a tubeless tire, and clamp a brake cable. But neither at the same time, and neither enough steps in sequence to complete a single task. They both will know how to build half a bike, but neither half can complete a single task without the other. its Dante-esque.

first bit of bling
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Bulk Trash

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let me fix that for ya

Automation and Test Data

i drew a multidimensional model to illustrate a delivery problem. It got immediate traction, which was neat to see the notion of multiples affecting buyin and consensus.

When you are testing an api, you attack the environment and the identity, and then spin though multiples of four. When there is no identity and the ui is the same, you spin through multiples of four. I have done this with variables and method signatures, dropdown lists or landing pages. Peel the onion, with multiples of 4.

I liked Transcendence, he wasn’t omnipotent, he was just multiples of 4 better. If only he required pre-consensus to pitch. So I came up with some stretch goals.

IF I WAS SEMI-OMNIPOTENT

1. renewable, cheap, clean energy source
2. that would heal the planet
3. that would allow people to accumulate wealth, or not, as they chose. because there would be no food shortages
4. make everyone vote
5. make every school system employ, or subscribe to, a CoSuperIntendant who’s career was previously in private industry
6. repeal Citizens United

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giveth, taketh away, and shit.

Across Bell road they are building something, and the ground is stacked up carved up like a playground.

“girls we need to hit that asap!

I stopped the car and pointed while they glanced a monsoon rainbow over Bell Pass, conveyed its temporality, and we agreed to hit it tomorrow night (instead of pedaling home from school), if i would check out how packed it was.

I burst in after the last v1 Tequila Tree ride, evah, and G knew my big secret as soon as i shouted “Guess what!!”

 ”The hill is ridable!!!”

I dropped a couple 2 footers, rolled others I could not see, and tested the pitches. It took another week til G and I explored, freerode, created a Geneline g-out down the long easy face and up a 2 foot carved ledge that we kicked out and clawed and packed enough for a navigable 8yo tranny.

“MOM THE HILL IS SO MUCH FUN!”

you said, who said, whut about my parenting?

The next night we returned with Alana, and Beckie, and a shovel.  We added an Alanaline stepping down a foot then another, scratched in a line up the other side as the Arizona soil turned solid so fast, and an approach line to the top of the small pitch. Marked em with rocks, so hard to see in the dark, when you finally line it up you don’t believe the foot-wide safe lines are there, but you do it anyway, cause you learned. First time for both of them to suspend their disbelief and ride it anyway. #parentingforgnarness

The hill got torn up the next week, and it was too dark and we had too much fun to take pics. but it looked a little like this:

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HighDive

our first summer in Scottsdale we went to the MMR Aquatic Center rigorously from 1-5p on weekends, screamed in on weedays at 5:30 for a few minutes of coolness, fought for schedule, fought for shade, friends, angst-ridden teenaged lifeguards every 14 meters, and bitched that the kids weren’t tall enough to enjoy the slides and boards despite our summerlong pass for $120. LifeTime is insanely more expensive, but so much more copacetic with better hours and recognition of the customer. Alana began climbing at 4.5yo, and sliding at 41 inches with a lean. We still play Toss The Baby and bring our own toys and balls and guns. Fuck yeah, i said guns, its Arizona and we’re gonna squirt eachother or die trying.

4 years later, at an offsite swimteam practice to work on the blocks, G realized she was tall enough to rip shit up.  She looked at the high board, hesitated, looked at me, hesitated, heard the grumbles underneath her, and dropped off the board. Her high was typically contagious, reborn for me through experiencing hers first-hand. It was the best day that week for both of us

The highdive was the entire purpose of our next trip, looking to fill a long 3-day weekend at 105, and hold out a bribe to make her study. textbook baller athletic leap.

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Alana had no such fear. I had to nearly-dislocate her shoulder pointing her back to the 3ft board, “at least for a practice, or 2, huh?”

2 tries was all Alana needed.

Me: Its exactly the same, but looks scarier, but its exactly exactly the same
Alana: (barely listening) yea
Me: Don’t panic, just go up there and jump off. Don’t overthink it, don’t look down, just jump
Alana: (singing to self…let it go, let it go, can’t hold back anymore) are we done here?

She climbed directly up and walked directly out and dropped directly into the pool. The kid with no backbone and no stamina and no grit also has no fear when she feels no need. She’s Gwen Stefani, or a savant.

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By the end of the afternoon, Alana had 10 10yos she never met cheering her every move. The kid hears a musical in her head, and never stops singing, ever. It is very contagious.

Oh hey…I can still dive! The first time in 4 years I threw my legs too far forward, the next time I got skeered at the top of my bounce. Then 15 years of not-diving never happened, I grasped that long moment hanging weightless pondering what next to do about it. Started giggling, the moment was so available, to be shaped. Countless times a summer growing up i went off the highboard, G hit it 30x today, but i never before had such a moment of clarity.  Jumping(ish) bikes and rolling steeps and snowboarding for 30 years, i saw it. I SAW IT. I was really scared, but if I could get a diving instructor today, i could be doing flips tomorrow. I am a good student, and I REALLY want to.

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Bulldozed

Gateway Loop as we knew it is gone. thanks Asshat Scottsdale Land Managers. On the plus side, getting *to* Tequila Tree became a lot easier, as did getting home.

this used to be challenging to climb
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this was mostly unclimbable
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eveeeeil
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Summer in Hell

Its been 3 yrs since we had a genuine summer escape…*sigh*. Vacation time and fundage did not align, i am almost used to it, i will not whine: Costa Rica in January, and the Keys this Fall! Hunker down for summer, Arizona! charge your lights, stop wearing socks and underpants, enjoy the logjam on I-17. All my July rides started at 3:30am or 9pm, and rarely climbed more than an overpass.

It didn’t seem like we did much, but putting together all these pics, I still missed our weekend to Pittsburgh, day trip to Horton Creek, sub24overnight bikepack along the Verde River, and a follow-up swim trip with the kids, 110 degree canal tour around the city, Ice Den, and swim meets.

3x a week. Genevieve is fearless and Alana no longer a fear – I sure couldn’t do a 50 when i was 5yo
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G and Jasmine at the start of the Mud Run
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Alana and Julianne
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4:38 FIP
up Bell Pass in the dark->Fountain Hills stuff so fast southward i’ve never before not hated the FH McDs until I rode them clockwise, up over the stellar new Sunrise bypass, north through Scottsdale. 4hrs of awesome and home before the family woke up.

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cat bonding
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SCIENCE! Camp week taking things apart and putting things together.
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road warmup to meet Seron at Lost Dog TH, out and back Sunrise to the bypass, 3 hrs of awesome and home before the family woke up
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the AC died
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Another outstanding John idea: Cabin Loop and AZT up above the Rim, Blue Ridge Reservoir and Clint’s Well.
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the one an only pic i took this weekend
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Lots of great pics and writeup on Seron’s site, and on John’s site.

A day at camp making this 3×3 mural, which now hangs from G’s ceiling.
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impressive transformation from the take-home version to production. some rule-of-thirds and quality control shit i did not teach her.
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girls and i took a day trip to West Clear Creek, NW of Payson. Not too many pics, too busy spotting them for 3 straight hours. Adult:Monster ratio might have been a bit lean on this one. The hike in is about 500 vf down a canyon, lot of rock scrambling and downed trees. G was awesome, Alana did a great job taking instructions.

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both girls, but Alana especially, ripped the climb out. Rockwall everyday at Lifetime summer camp was evident, only Alana’s conditioning slowed her down. such a difference from the precarious descent and wading.
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Beckie’s cousins Tom, Sasha, Marin and Oscar visited from Baltimore, and took the girls to Bartlett Lake.
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Overnight in Prescott – Granite Creek Park PT!
standover height on the Malice is about the same as on her 20 inch, and it rolls much better. G fumbles using 8yo vocabulary to express what an $1100 purpose-built bike feels like.
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Soccer camp at Embry-Riddle University; a week staying in the dorms and practicing 5hrs a day. I wish i had her life.
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then we took Alana for a hike in the Dells to Watson Dam
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zzzzzzzzzzzz….
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Alana and i survived a week alone with each other. Broccoli w bacon grease is still broccoli, and its still good for you
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pickup the next Thursday. I missed her THIS much!
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Suddenly Turtle started fading. then her hind legs stopped, and a week later she was gone. I don’t miss her much, but I respect our 14 yrs together. Beckie wanted another kitten, before the body was even cold. I don’t get that, 6 months later and I still can’t look at pictures of Kila. But I don’t really love cats, rather enjoy snuggling with them and grabbing their bloated tummies and making 2 of them chase a laser pointer at once. They come and go into our home, where they shake Valhalla until they vanish, and feast on Pounce. Goodbye Turtle.

Welcome Bugs! You are white with a splash of brown on your tail, siamese with beautiful blue eyes that will never fade.
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Crumb and Bugs – brothers from another mother. Two days of hissing, and then they were magnets.
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Top of Mt. Elden in Flag. Short hike along Organ Donor adjacent to a storm, yellow and orange high-altitude flowers we never get to see
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G and I rolled Elden Lookout Road, 7 miles\2k straight down, all the way to the Schultz Y, ruts and ruffage that is much harder on a 20inch. The entire time she could have hurt herself, and only once did i get skeered. Ride out the wobble, G! And she did. We chatted, and enjoyed the cliffs and the slopes and forest, squared up on the ruts, took breaks when our hands got tired, reveling top-to-bottom of a real mountain. We hiked up Wasabi til above the boulder roll, so I could show her what she can aspire to, and we paralleled while I followed Lower Oldham next to the road. Today we went up the AZT at 418 2.5 miles almost nonstop til a storm turned us back. It took more than 2x longer last year, and it shrugged off her. She might just be my #3 riding buddy of all time, definitely no lower than 6th. And she has the opportunity to close.

What would you do if you knew you just met your #1 riding buddy of all time? We couldn’t stop fist bumping.

Training Camp 
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