A Semester’s Tuition for a Carbon 29er + Plus Wheelset

Bentley is worth more than each one of our cars.

20170_0320_Bentley_02_blog

Don’t hate, if I don’t ride it Beckie does. and I pass that love around. Alana begged to try her next bike and brand-new tubeless wheelset. 10 lbs lighter than her “kids” 24inch Hotrock, 2.5 lbs lighter wheels than when G rode it. 1×10 is 11x awesomer than 3×7 and chainsuck every 2 miles. So close we are to forever being done with shitty kids bikes. G got on it October of her 8th year, hopefully Alana’s standover will stay on schedule. She sorted out the shifting and braking power instantly, then the speed, then wrecked herself underestimating the responsiveness turning while trapped in the cockpit. Small girl, big ferrari.

2017_0516_AlanaBike_03_blog

2017_0516_AlanaBike_02_blog

2017_0516_AlanaBike_01_blog

One Bird must fly, and I haven’t gotten a nibble trying to sell it for $999. Srsly? This is a great deal for $1k.

18278989_10212758853667043_8352661873605982869_o

So many baby birds.

18121375_10212665511693552_8563012117949686398_o

I followed Byron up to Christopher Creek on the Rim. Military Sinkhole -> 260 -> See Canyon->260->See Canyon, fun both directions and got the lower DH 2x. ~2200 climbing, ~3800 down. 22miles.

2017_0506_260Trail_01_blog

only picture from Military Sinkhole, 1000vf down the Rim in 2 miles woot woot!

2017_0506_260Trail_02_blog

2017_0506_260Trail_03_blog

2017_0506_260Trail_04_blog

Bentley was magnificent on the ups and downs. Good dog.

2017_0506_260Trail_05_blog

2017_0506_260Trail_06_blog

It’s not his feats of strength, his cartographic madness, or his blogging about his radness that make John Schilling so special… It’s how he turned the trail burrito into an essential part of everyone’s kit.

2017_0506_260Trail_07_blog

2017_0506_260Trail_08_blog

2017_0506_260Trail_09_blog

2017_0506_260Trail_10_blog

2017_0506_260Trail_12_blog

2017_0506_260Trail_14_blog

2017_0506_260Trail_15_blog

2017_0506_260Trail_18_blog

2017_0506_260Trail_19_blog

2017_0506_260Trail_21_blog

facebook cover pic fail, sorry Byron

2017_0506_260Trail_23_blog

2017_0506_260Trail_24_blog

My 25th reunion was coming up. It slithered into my head, and wouldn’t get out. I was furious it forced its way back in after so many years walling it off. I met my first random Princeton alum in 20 years of living in AZ. The unprecedented ‘cold’ 70 degree May morning at soccer practice found me pull on an old cutoff sweatshirt full of holes that had been wrapped around the 10lb dumbbells I keep in the trunk. The shirt for years sat in my closet – too small and ratty and 80s. When i couldn’t face throwing it out it went in the trunk, jic, like jumper cables. I had it on 5 min when a strange woman asked what year I graduated. She materialized out of thin air, like mosquitos after a monsoon, or panhandlers at your gas pump in Tuba City. I couldn’t believe I’d encountered another of my kind in AZ, though our odds were certainly improved at the Scottsdale JCC. We circled around each other warily, and finally embraced like former victors in the Hunger Games. She doesn’t use her degree either, and feels completely disconnected living out here. On behalf of alums everywhere she accepted my mea culpa for skipping my reunion. Thank you ghostly friend from class of ’97.

Mostly I’m happy. I’ve struggled with whether I’ve squandered my degree, whether Princeton was the right choice, whether I’d do it again. Definitely not, maybe. The financial pressure was too much, the gap-awareness too much. The academics were just fine. I was too immature, unempathetic, parochial and angry staring up from the bottom. I would have liked more sunshine and a better ratio, more time, or an Honors college at a different school. My year in Raleigh working at a TGI Fridays should have come in ’89, not ’95. *insert flair joke here*. I learned humility and people skills slaving for tips at the behest of the NASCAR masses packing a chain restaurant. Should have just gone to law school.

My path from there was defined by circumstances, fear of debt, fear of failure. These are all good traits, that I traded in for fun and bikes, and a highly-employable reasonably-lucrative skillset. I can find work anytime, from anywhere, and press ‘fuck it’ at will. My ceiling and motivation are lower, so I drive carpools, and punch the clock around my daughters’ schedules. Beckie could not do the kids and her PhD career without me, we could not be our family without her job. Mostly I’m so happy.

2017_0522_PrincteonRegionals1990_blog

Spring, 1990. On our way to College Nationals after beating the Irates from East Carolina U. I lost to them each year the next 2 years. West Windsor Fields becomes The Overlook Hotel, all pictures of Princeton must be black&white.

In ’94 I picked up w a team of DC and Philly all-stars at a November tourney in ECU (Greenville, NC – Ultimax). We won with 12 guys. Blew up their alum team ‘X-rates’ in Semis. I stuffed their captain on a great layout to keep our throttle down when they started to rally. I remembered him being really really good in college, and that block still feels awesome. Then we beat the Irates in Finals. That Spring they won College Nationals.

I was drowning in memories, and injected some reality with two of my dearest friends. Byron, Brian and I rode the brand-new HooDoo trail at Gold Canyon. Its amazing and terrifying, Phoenix’s Hangover. Like Sedona, the vision is as good as the trailwork. It routes along an exposed off-camber ledge, high up the wall of Gold Canyon. Every stroke I worried about a left pedal strike or a bar end. I had to tune everything else out and focus.

2017_0514_GC_04

2017_0514_GC_01_blog

so, yeah, there is some staring down through all of this. We’re only halfway up the climb.

2017_0514_GC_02_blog

This I think is the start of the double black descent, and it deserves the classification. After climbing and traversing the rockface for a half mile, its one pucker move after another. This one slips into a steep tight passage, and immediately you must make an aggressive S into another slab and stacked rocks, about six more times, til you see the video below. I walked a few things I will get the second time, can’t wait for Fall to go back and try again! HooDoo is far-and-away harder than anything else at Gold Canyon. The trials on Phantom, Where You Fromme and Tech Trail hold nowhere near the consequences.

2017_0514_GC_03_blog

This is the last hard move at the bottom of the descent. Its super fun but you have to commit to the initial liftup or you are heading to the hospital. (borrowed from the internet).

2017_0514_GC_05_blog

Personal achievement: I got a move on the Tech Loop I’ve never had the balls to try before. You can see the lead rider take it around 15 sec in this video. Bentley’s plus wheels and lower COG gave me more contact and confidence on the rock lines, the carbon XC geo leapt up things. I need to use the dropper more and get used to a little less squish, but we are getting better on the downhills each ride. Last week was a big day in the mountains, today we crawled on the rocks. (borrowed from random dude on youtube).

What counts as success? I’ll start with no blood, getting home safe, and the glow of completing a physical and mental challenge. Happiness for me spirals out from there into rings of abstraction. I’m now on the Board of a non-profit, and we are suing the City.

2017_0523_NoticeofClaim

Alana and I rode with one of my NoDDC teammates. Pat is an amazing new friend who I would never have met otherwise. She’s mom’s age, with many things on which we disagree, but a whole lot more we agree on. I have met so many people like her that I’d never reach in my bubble. I’ve had kind conversations with the City Council members I wish to unseat, and every single one reinforces how much more reasonable our politics would be if we did more face-to-face. Ironic idea for a group that grabbed its influence through Facebook. Three generations of preservationists on one ride.

2017_0521_BrownsPat_blog

I couldn’t pull myself away from the Princeton ’92 Facebook page. So many pictures of our common formative epoch. Stories of people struggling with doubt and middle-age just like me. Each classmate’s tale was fascinating, false starts and home runs. Some were changing the world, some just getting by with beautiful families and local acts of wonder, teaching classes or writing books, some hocking wares they did their best to make more nutritional and environmentally-conscious. There was so much humility and kindness and potent observations. One extremely successful woman joked of her relief seeing we were not all robber barons and NHL owners. I hope it true, that we’re not just the Facebook losers validating each other, and the rest of the manor-born are out there looking down on us still.

2017_0525_Graduation1992_blog

I’m much nicer than I was, and I like me. The warmth and sincerity of so many people I want to know better lifted almost three decades of skepticism and regret. I bought a plane ticket and registered for Reunions. Housing, rental cars all seemed like logistical rollerball; I opted for simplicity and crammed everything for 3 days into 22 cubic liters, ready to sleep on a floor. I hope to never stop embracing my inner dirtbag for an adventure. I’ll be the homeless dude carrying around all his orange stuff.

2017_0525_GoingBack_01_blog

These clothes didn’t make the cut. Yes I’ve had that beer jacket for 25 yrs and cant fit it in, and yes I own a tiger onesie. Gonna go put it on and mess with the cat. Guys can have fun with their bling too, right?

2017_0525_GoingBack_02_blog

Mor’easter

A weekend without soccer or swim, I will fill that void or die trying.

Trail 4 in Cave Creek. I think they wore the same clothes.

2017_0414_Trail4_01_blog

2017_0414_Trail4_02_blog

2017_0414_Trail4_03_blog

We were just past the wildflower peak; this place must have been mind-numbing last month.

2017_0414_Trail4_04_blog

2017_0414_Trail4_05_blog

2017_0414_Trail4_06_blog

2017_0414_Trail4_07_blog

2017_0414_Trail4_08_blog

2017_0414_Trail4_09_blog

2017_0414_Trail4_10_blog

2017_0414_Trail4_11_blog

2017_0414_Trail4_14_blog

2017_0414_Trail4_15_blog

2017_0414_Trail4_16_blog

2017_0414_Trail4_17_blog

2017_0414_Trail4_18_blog

2017_0414_Trail4_19_blog

2017_0414_Trail4_20_blog

2017_0414_Trail4_22_blog

2017_0414_Trail4_23_blog

2017_0414_Trail4_24_blog

2017_0414_Trail4_25_blog

2017_0414_Trail4_26_blog

2017_0414_Trail4_28_blog

2017_0414_Trail4_30_blog

Easter Eggs, we did that like pros, neat and efficient. Drank some coffee and made some pancakes, rolled around in our jammies til mid-afternoon, let the muse settle in. The snowboarder was some of my finest work.

2017_0415_Easter_01_blog

2017_0415_Easter_02_blog

2017_0415_Easter_03_blog

2017_0415_Easter_04_blog

the wildflower field was way better up close.

2017_0415_Easter_05_blog

2017_0415_Easter_06_blog

I put together a biking course in 45 min  – left chalk arrows out the door and back 3 miles later with our eggs in place. The got every turn, with a little effort, ending at ‘our trailhead behind the school‘. They dont have time to use their thinkers it goes so fast trying to keep 3 riders and 1 cattledog together. The last cue was some stacked rocks and a beer can.

They know this in the trail means stop.

2017_0415_Easter_08_blog

ready, set!

2017_0415_Easter_07_blog

the accounting

2017_0415_Easter_09_blog

2017_0415_Easter_10_blog

2017_0415_Easter_11_blog

Alana ended up with 58 total balls and G 59. I split the course along the path 75 yards out with a $5 ball at the end of each line, then shoved Alana off to the north before she could fixate on fighting with her sister going south. Dungeon-masterly, couldn’t have moved it better with a couple killer hummingbirds and a coyote.

So Soggy Spring

I luuuuuuuuuurve wet, 9 extra days a year!!! 3 extra days a month!!! The land and the winds reacted and so did we, to the 10% seismic shift in our climatic expectations. The 25% swings that might come with further climate change will mean refugees, from the mountains and the coasts, and food shortages.

2 hour canal ride was much gentler than all my friends freezing and drowning at 24 Old Pueblo.

2017_0219_rain_01_blog

Dia at Lake Westworld

2017_0219_rain_02_blog

2017_0219_rain_03_blog\

i aint afraid of you Lime Disease!!!

2017_0219_rain_04_blog

2017_0219_rain_05_blog

2017_0219_rain_06_blog

2017_0223_BeyFridge_01_blog

2017_0223_BeyFridge_02_blog

We did a ride with the kids team. They are sprouting like mushrooms.

2017_0225_DDride_03

2017_0225_DDride_02

2017_0225_DDride_01

Liam Clark (age ~13) killed it climbing, and nearly ran me over on the downhill off Whiskey Bottle. How can someone who has never ridden the Waterfall be charging my ass? :)

The next day G had a birthday party at AAWL in S. Phoenix, and I hiked w Beckie and Alana up 24th St, their first time ever my 25th? I missed every bit of it, nothing compares to SoMo. It took me longer to hike than to ride up while Alana climbed rocks on the side.  Alana slipped going down the S-turn. I explained it was the hardest move on the trail, welcome to my former world riding SoMo every week. Wisdom that no one catches.

It rained again.

Some kids have been digging out a small track along Reata Wash. It started 3 years ago when a dirtbike charged through it. Its got good natural flow and sustainability. I showed the girls in January, and they got stoked on it.

With soccer practice was rained out, we threw dirt! Dressed in plastic clothing and layers, G me and Dia sluiced down the street to the levee. We piled up a berm through the drizzle, and a proper jump over a mound of rocks packed in mud. We returned home filthy and glorious.

Another day, another rainout, we built another jump.

I bought one of these.

2017_0303_429_blog

Between soccer games Beckie and I snuck in a Gateway loop ride on the new 429. Anyone who says ‘climbing on [insert bike here] is like [cheating\being a goat\riding a scalded monkey]’ has *never* ridden the McDowells. But it did climb better than the HeiHei. The suspension sticks better, and everything carbon was way more efficient. Look forward to moving off the blues to the blacks and see how it does.

bookmarked around that Phoenix Rush 06 girls upset #3 Legacy 3-0 and then #2 Del Sol 2-1 in the Port O Subs League Div 1 play. So proud of the trajectory this team is on – they went 6-0 in Div 2 in the Fall, and ended 4-2 in Div 1. G took one in from midfield, beating the defense to the outside before sneaking it in at the far post – best goal I’ve seen her score.

17097389_10212147206496246_517106604793448903_o (1)

Spring Break deal, $30 lift tix and $20 for girls to get gear and lessons. Coverage and weather were awesome but hard and icy. We rode groomers frightened of the speed. I’m such a powder hound it’s been 5 years since I rode a hardpack like this. Was fun to get comfortable going really fast again.

2017_0306_Snowbowl_01_blog

2017_0306_Snowbowl_02_blog

I warned them day 1 snowboarding is gawdawful, and both wanted to quit at lunch. Lessons, they said, sucked. They rallied and Beckie and I took over w individual instructions. Both were riding lifts and heel turning by days end. Who knew?

2017_0306_Snowbowl_03_blog

16996132_10212164938979547_2539574220263237480_n

17156110_10212164931059349_2903213226262773244_n

Spring Break, Day 2

2017_0307_RP_blog

i read this, and i cant stop thinking about it

2017_0305_Abbey_blog

The Monsters stole my FatBike.

2017_0309_RP_02_blog

2017_0309_RP_03_blog

2017_0309_RP_04_blog

2017_0309_RP_05_blog

Time for a QR seat collar.
salsa-flip-lock-seat-clamp-194576-15

2017_0309_RP_06_blog

2017_0309_RP_01_blog

#NEVERSTOPHERDING

I had this new bike at home waiting for me! I rode it everyday, on 29 and plus wheels

20170_0320_Bentley_02_blog

I dont name my bikes, but “The 4-2-9” was just too dang wordy.

I present: Bentley.

20170_0320_Bentley_01_blog

More awesome bday presents.

20170_0322_01_blog

the back way to Alana’s soccer game
17493210_10212371454262300_2059059970922149305_o

Wildflower ride at Browns Ranch with Alana

2017_0326_BrownsRanch_01_blog

2017_0326_BrownsRanch_02_blog

tail end of a gila monster

2017_0326_BrownsRanch_03_blog

2017_0326_BrownsRanch_04_blog

2017_0326_BrownsRanch_05_blog

2017_0326_BrownsRanch_06_blog

2017_0326_BrownsRanch_07_blog

2017_0326_BrownsRanch_08_blog

2017_0326_BrownsRanch_09_blog

The girls ended the year on a 7-0-1 run, 3rd in the 40 team Valley league, and won a tournament. Every match G scorches 40 yards of earth and scores, her teammates all get better, their gel through March was magnificent. She doesn’t recognize this run on this wave as special, but they all are. They dont ever come around enough. Crash Davis said never fuck with a winning streak.

17636778_10155132983473895_703146862104158891_o

Demasculation

After Wolf Creek I was inconsolable, sweating and nervous, sick for powder.  I ordered all the tuning tools i didn’t already own, and turned the kitchen into Chollaball’s Ride & Apparel Shoppe. For 2 days i edged, waxed and burned p-tex while starving for direction.

2017_0107_boards_fixed

I rode 1.5 hours from home out to Local Jonny’s to share a beer with Gordon and Yuri, and find whatever motivation to push push myself. I’m fat, my knee hurts, and I have no excuses. G and I hit 15 miles of contoured desert and grabby edges the next day.

2017_0108_Browns_01_fixed

2017_0108_Browns_02_fixed

Absent soccer the next weekend, the kids rode the MBAA McDowell Meltdown race. I rode over Bell Pass and down into Fountain Hills to meet them at the starting gate. G was leading 1/3 into her race for 11-12s, but crashed out when she overcooked a turn. She hit her face and twisted her seat, cried when she quit after limping 1.5 miles back in. 30 min later she was pissed for not winning. Hopefully she learned to ride on the right side of the edge.

2017_0114_MBAA_01_fixed

Alana took first in her first-ever MTB race for 8&Under girls. 1 lap of the Sport Loop, where she enjoyed beating a lot of the boys too.

2017_0114_MBAA_02_fixed

The biggest blemish on the day was seeing the sexism so many boys have learned at such a young age. The race organizer had kids line up by 5’s by age group, and lined up ALL the boys first. As if screwing the girls out of a clean hole shot never entered his mind. Why dont they spread the races out by 5 min? Both girls reported hearing “You’re being passed by a girl” and having to deal with bullshit while passing on the trail. I will let MBAA know, when I find a voice to say it constructively. Beckie tut-tutted at my disappointment given all the times she’s dealt with mansplaining and entitlement on the trail. Dinner at Four Peaks cured all.

Sunday we were in the car at 4:30 to catch first chair at Snowbowl after a storm. The girls picked up where they left off.  Alana crapped out at noon and slept in the car, which for $16 on the day was supah w me. No friends on powder days. G kept going and going til 2:30 when we bailed out before the traffic. Back home by 5:30, 13 hrs door-to-door.

2017_0115_Snowbowl_fixed

The weather pounded AZ all week. Inauguration Day I went for a wet beery dog ride.

2017_0120_Dogride_fixed

Soccer games cancelled, we went to AZ on the Rocks free anniversary party. Alana had just come from gymnastics, and G from the gym with me: they said they were both hungry when we arrived. I hoped to starve them out after an hour, to return to the comfort of my couch. No such luck as there was free food and ice cream, and we stayed for 3 hours. #WPP.

Alternative fact: holding a place in line for my children to jump off a wall, especially while i could be climbing, is life’s greatest pleasure.

2017_0122_AZontheRocks_02_fixed

2017_0122_AZontheRocks_01_fixed

2017_0122_AZontheRocks_04_fixed

2017_0122_AZontheRocks_03_fixed

I bought Snowbowl’s 2-for-Tuesday online tix while we were huddling inside from the rain. Then we played hooky, $150 for everyone to ride 4 feet of fresh.

2017_0124_Snowbowl_01_fixed

Little story about this little girl: she mistakenly went down the gulley at the bottom of Agassiz, then to the top of the mountain and all the way to bottom of Humphreys. I kept hoping she’d be tired, but she just kept going. Some of the most challenging runs she’s done, nonstop and no doubts. She takes instructions incredibly and has a flourishing sense of self-evaluation. 

2017_0124_Snowbowl_02_fixed

That Saturday, G’s team was losing 5-0 against the #3 team in the country when she took one in from midfield. That night I went to the Old Timers game at the 35th Anniversary of New Years Fest. Here is a story about my first NYF in 1997.

I’ve had a real hard time being around the game for the last 10 years. Tonight no one ran and no one tracked turnovers. There were so many old friends to hug. I stopped a point twice to hug both Matt Westfield and Philip Norton Brown.

2017_0130_OldTimersNYF_01

Look, I’m about to throw away a hammer!!
2017_0130_OldTimersNYF_02

Irony: the generation who built the internet has only fat photos at 46 to brag about their radness. The video of me making the play of my life was lost cause the guy couldnt find the tape. I made peace with Ultimate that night. I think. I might go punch someone. I might go back next year.

That night my back hurt, not from pounding my knees but from short striding so much i pulled my glutes. The reunion went on the next day with a big group ride on the Black Canyon Trail from the Gloriana TH. I was worried, slow and shy, I ignored people and kept pace. I climbed and descended, didn’t melt down, and ended steadily. I’m less afraid of a beating when i have less to lose.

John look great, I haven’t seen him in almost 10 years
2017_0131_BCT_fixed

 

 

Officially new family tradition of alt-Xmas and whiteout driving

3 years in a row Wolf Creek for Xmas with the family. And 9 December trips now for me. Each successive trip nudging me closer and closer to buying a tow rope and some shackles for the truck. I bounced the rear end lightly off a snow covered embankment to get me back into arc of the turn coming down into Pagosa Springs. Same turn I did a donut on in 2007. By choice, i swear. I prefer to think I’m getting more experienced at driving in winter conditions. Table stakes for powder days.

9in of fresh fell during our first day. 6 months post-TKR my knee didn’t hold me back at all. Only being fat to blame.

2016_1222_wolfcreek_01_fixed

They got 15 inches more that night, which was for awhile too much. The lifts didn’t open til 10, and I nearly drowned. The day started sour. The kids really wanted only a half day of lessons, trying to all meet atop Raven Lift for lunch was a cluster. I thought it might just suck, but, such is impossible. The worst day snowboarding beats most other days.

2016_1223_wolfcreek_01_fixed

G knows no one likes a complainer or their pouting, and Alana is getting good enough we almost all have fun. Last year i said  “All I want for my birthday is them to come snowboarding with me.”  Yes. So much yes.

2016_1223_wolfcreek_02_fixed

I wanted to cry. I was growing wings, forever unsticking from icy Greens full of Texans.

2016_1223_wolfcreek_03_fixed

2016_1223_wolfcreek_04_fixed

Coyote on the road out of town.

2016_1224_wolfcreek_01_fixed

Day 3 the Dump settled into cream, 30 degrees and blue sky. G, Beckie and I rode Treasure Lift all morning. They took the blues while I dropped Alberta face. Some of it was textbook and i was glorious, some was too much heel sliding and lawndarts.  Ugly or not, i de-emasculated myself, booted me from my hole of fitness excuses. I had frequent headaches and shortness of breath pulling myself off the ground. Thusly riven, I met up with G for le shushing down the lower mountain. Run by run she was getting the pow and the pitch, looking for her lines and her exits. I’m not always seeing her, but I keep seeing her success at the bottom. Lack of a body is all good when it all goes downhill. We rode for 3 hours without a break.

2016_1224_wolfcreek_02_fixed

2016_1224_wolfcreek_03_fixed

there was some of this…  which made my day hard. On my knees on my butt facing uphill, in and out of my bindings, punching through, lunging up, strapping in and clawing to start. Should I show her the line or collect her yardsale from above? Where can we both stop and start and discuss the next sequence? On a bike I can climb, stop on a dime, turn on it, and never worry about whatever is underneath. Too many times snowboarding with the kids in powder felt like huck-and-pray, bad dadding.

2016_1224_wolfcreek_04_fixed

But it worked, over and over again. The kids knew, even if they didn’t know how, to point downhill and flow, to not get too stupid, to look ahead, to grab the awesome and shake off the suck. They know how to fall, knew it didn’t hurt. They charged stuff kids with 15 and 10 days have no business charging. Unless they cheated. My 10th day on a board I was riding blacks badly at Steamboat, my 15th day chasing Byron badly through steep powder forests in Tahoe. The mountain-bike crossovers of balance and vision and momentum and engagement once again blowing my mind. For all a biker doesn’t know about snow, so much is so easy. Their body language shouted out their handups. Poised powerful girls riding.

As i ducked off the sides of the groomers, they followed fearless, feverish, banging it. They popped up each fall I kept mistakenly thinking ‘this is a big one‘. Only 1 meltdown each over 1000s of vf.  At the bottom Alana would shoosh through the lift line and brag she hit nothing but pow. Her gymnastics and tight stature a natural match for the mountain. She was the calmest purple-pink glow in the universe. She warmed me every trip up the lift. My kids crave pow through the trees; my work is done here.

2016_1224_wolfcreek_05_fixed

2016_1224_wolfcreek_06_fixed

2016_1224_wolfcreek_07_fixed

2016_1224_wolfcreek_09_fixed

I got stuck shooting pics and had to flop my way out. But Alana never fails to give it up for the camera. I watched her completely take her eyes off the ground and turn to me and smile, and keep looking at me and smiling, making sure i got the pic, slide through a turn and find her way down the mountain while i struggled to catch up.

2016_1224_wolfcreek_11_fixed

Faces of Elf Death

Killed by KitchedAid, 12.05.16
2016_1205_elf_blog

Smoothies, 12.06.16
2016_1206_elf_blog

Bury-Go-Round, 12.07.16

Dragon’s Lair, 12.08.16
2016_1208_elf_blog

Cement Loafers, 12.09.16
2016_1209_elf1_blog

2016_1209_elf2_blog

2016_1209_elf3_blog

Fury Road, 12.10.16
2016_1210_elf_blog

Silence of the Lambs, 12.11.16
2016_1211_elf1_blog

Every Rose Has Its Thorn, 12.12.16
2016_1212_elf_blog

Xmas Sniper: Elf Obsession, 12.13.16
2016_1211_elf3_blog

2016_1213_elf2_blog

2016_1213_elf1_blog

Rat Hole, 12.14.16
2016_1214_elf_blog

Dinner Time, 12.15.16
2016_1215_elf3_blog

The Bonnie Situation, 12.16.16
2016_1216_elf_blog

Lighting Strikes Twice, 12.17.16
2016_1217_elf1_blog

Aliens, 12.18.16
2016_1218_elf1_blog

2016_1218_elf2_blog

Shelob, 12.19.16
2016_1219_elf_blog

Unicorns and Rainbows, 12.20.16
2016_1220_elf_blog

Slushy, 12.21.16
2016_1221_elf_blog

Ice Age, 12.22.16
2016_1222_elf_blog

Forest in Winter, 12.23.24
2016_1223_elf_blog

Silent Suffocation, 12.24.26
2016_1224_elf_blog

Prison Shower Shanking, 12.25.16
2016_1225_elf_blog

The Revenant, 12.26.16
2016_1225_2_elf_blog

The Elf – Derrick Zoolander, performing all his own stunts.

Tday Staycation

Casa V rented for a chunk of money, and this worked out quite well!

What do you give someone who is doing just fine? Cake picked out and picked up by 2 daughters, homemade cards and a team bike ride at Browns Ranch. Thankful for doing just fine, my wife, and 2 daughters.

2016_1123_beckiebday_01_blog

2016_1123_beckiebday_02_blog

Thanksgiving Day we hiked Marcus Landslide. I had not been there since it was first cut and still open to bikes. Most of it is an easy hike with lots of bouldering fun. The short steep top loop I’m still bummed you can’t ride but the hiking made up for the closure.

2016_1124_marcuslandslide_02_blog

2016_1124_marcuslandslide_04_blog

2016_1124_marcuslandslide_05_blog

2016_1124_marcuslandslide_06_blog

2016_1124_marcuslandslide_08_blog

2016_1124_marcuslandslide_10_blog

2016_1124_marcuslandslide_13_blog

2016_1124_marcuslandslide_16_blog

2016_1124_marcuslandslide_19_blog

Black Friday sale at AZ on the Rocks – $25 for the whole family! #optoutsideish

2016_1125_azontherocks_01_blog

2016_1125_azontherocks_02_blog

So wrong this earned a 50 point bonus.

2016_1125_scrabble_blog

Saturday we rode to and hiked Quartz. G took the hard way up Natural Wash, Alana popped in at the top of the hill and rode out down Taliesin.

2016_1126_quartz_02_blog

2016_1126_quartz_03_blog

2016_1126_quartz_04_blog

Vecinos

After the emotional drain of the election, and the uncertain next steps in TrumpLand, we might just stay here.

Innate talent for color-coordination.

2016_1011_rp_01_blog

2016_1011_rp_02_blog

Beckie and Alana on the SUP, out with dolphins

2016_1011_rp_03_blog

look close on the right

Spotted this riding into the estuary. It looks like singletrack, no?

2016_1011_rp_05_blog

looks instead like feral dogs or coyotes

2016_1011_rp_06_blog

2016_1011_rp_07_blog

someone’s pet did not die well. Was he a member of the pack, a victim? The sunbleached collar with no tag was as deep as i got into the backstory. The toenail still had the quick on it, until i picked it up.

2016_1011_rp_04_blog

The moon this weekend was the biggest in 70 years, and it sucked the tide out so fast everything was tacky with saltwater. I lost myself for a while just working along the reef.

2016_1011_rp_08_blog

G gave the PhatCat a try. The crazy lighting is the sunset ahead and the supermoon exactly behind. It should be darker at this time.

2016_1011_rp_09_blog

G noted how much work is fatbike.

2016_1011_rp_10_blog

2016_1011_rp_11_blog

MMP Night Ride

The Dynamix Devo team did the first MMP night ride of the season. G and I did a lap of Pemberton with Emma and Jen, while Alana and Beckie did a lana-sized ride. After bbq and cupcakes for Emma’s bday, Beckie and I led 5 kids and Dia to the playground for another 4 miles.

2016_0522_MMP_NR_01_blog

2016_0522_MMP_NR_02_blog

2016_0522_MMP_NR_05_blog

2016_0522_MMP_NR_03_blog

2016_0522_MMP_NR_04_blog

 

 

\