Andy Grammer – Honey I’m Good
James: would you maybe want to dogsit while we are on our honeymoon?
Me: *ears perk up*
James: Cause I know you are between jobs and whatnot…*dingdong*… Oh my, you got here fast.
2 weeks in Flag to start a Phx summer! 3 chollaballs, 3 dogs, and a cat: James and Staci had no idea what they unleashed!
Its my garage now, i even peed behind the old palette.
The instant they left for the airport on Friday we took Dia for a couple laps around Buffalo Park. G picked it up, slung it around and dropped it without skipping a pedal stroke. Alana whined, complained, and had a meltdown on the 1-&-only short climb. This became her flagstafrican baseline.
Saturday was 7 miles, 75 min, shuttle down the AZT-Dogfood-Schultz. I locked Alana’s bike halfway down the ride where the AZT meets Dogfood. We 2-biked there from Weathorford trail at mid-mountain, and then she did the rest. Slowly, timidly, badly, building on last night’s frustrations, walking too much. I thought at times we should just leave her bike by the trail and never let her try anything but dance classes again.
G was skeered over this trial, after Alana tormented her with how traumatized she still felt from me riding her over it 2 years ago. I swallowed my frustrations for her seemingly innate genius at remembering every excuse to hold herself back. Fortunately a spotter was all G needed to try it, then she jumped off the front for the rest of the descent. This was her flagstafrican baseline.
G did so well we decided to do Schultz o&b right from the house the next morning. The climb had a lot of rests, encouragements, hummingbird and woodpecker viewing breaks, and chances for Dia to wade in the creek. We had no deadline, lots of apples, and silently agreed to dig in for her longest sustained climb. Telling Mom became her motivation. She nailed the DH, resting to take advice between each pitch, and patiently let me take my shots at the boulder drop halfway down. Best.Riding.Partner.Evah!
That evening we did 10 miles into town and back on the FUTS for dinner. tinyShredder rolled it easy, and mostly so did ‘lana! Her longest ride yet!
We stopped at The Ditch to play. G hitting her first-ever lip
and stacking it up! At least soft dirt doesn’t hurt.
Alana crossing Rio De Flag
No one told us Hops on Birch was, like, a bar. They had 1 bottle of rootbeer, 1 juice box, and some stale pretzels for the kids, but the beer selection was awesome.
Alana’s mood on the bike changes course like a gnat, on the ride home her flagstafricanism was trending up.
Monday we went to the Adventure Course at Ft. Tuthill. They got 3 laps on the kids course, and had it mastered by the end. To where I didn’t want to take them back for fear their overconfidence would get them hurt. I can’t wait til I finally get a chance to hit the adult course.
The new Ft Tuthill Bike Park is, literally, next to the adventure course. Making Ft. Tuthill the happiest place on earth! Except G wrecked, badly, on her 4th run. The track was fast, narrower than we’re used to, and the trees messed with our heads. She carried too much speed into a jump and overcompensated in the ensuing turn, ripping a 5 inch raspberry down her buttcheek.
She walked off the course, gritted, let me wash it, while a couple boys gawked at the girl-who-totally-ate-shit-but-didn’t-cry out of the corners of their eyes. She even did 2-3 more slow runs, for pride. But our day was done, except for trips to CVS and Safeway for many variations of gauze, tape, and ice cream. Fortunately, I brought my tub of aquaphor with us, on a hunch.
Every time I know one of my kids is going to scar, i wish i could take it onto my unwanted skin instead. I’d look like a WarBoy from Fury Road. Removing all that pain and scabbing from them would make it worth so much more to me. But some lessons can’t be learned any other way. G knew she went too fast too soon, fucked it up deep down where you balance your bike and your skill and your confidence, and daily applications of goo are hopefully the intellectual repetition of the lessons learned from pain. Slow down, don’t overcook the turn. Her flagstafricanism was trending up.
Tuesday we slept late, had a nice breakfast with more ice cream, and I overjoyed hiking with them on one of my very favorite bike loops up Little Gnarly and down Jedi.
We saw one-and-only other person on Jedi, a rider who dropped in silently behind us coming through an Aspen meadow, just before the logramp-to-boulder trial above the switchbacks. He cleaned it while the girls cheered.
I’ve never gotten this one, but will be so much more psyched to walk it heretofore
That night Dia and Grahammay got a trip to the dogpark, and the girls more ice cream and hamburger for their owwies.
Wednesday G was feeling better and we found some self-adhesive softwrap, so did the AZT from 418 to Bismark Lake. Alana and I had a deal, she would ride her bike for a mile before 2-biking, and get more ice cream. I lied about the GPS enough to get her to do 1.5.
climb little girl, climb!
unlocking for the 1.5mile descent
After a burrito power-up we went 3rd time into the Lava Tube. I had 8, er, 7 functioning lights, a pint of water, a 1-hit, an orange, and 2 ravenous Monsters. I feel bad, a little, for the people they overtook and dropped. I love being around the stoke they have for this hike, even if i hit my head and roll an ankle each time trying to keep up!
Thursday I hooked up to ride with my bud Rockman. His awesome daughters kept the girls occupied for a few hours.
We climbed Schultz Creek, Climb 3, then Hobbit Forest to drop into Wasabi. Solid climb and best run ever down one of my white whales. I was visualizing it all night before, and it worked! My flagstafricanism was trending up. Thanks Joe for the ego pics!
Roadwork is being done on Elden Lookout Rd, and a couple drivers stopped to watch us roll out of Upper Wasabi. Double punch on the mancard!
Thorpe Park has a disc golf course. Using soccer balls was a fabulous idea that wound up sucking, badly, in a mountain town. So it became a kicky dogwalk in the woods.
Friday was a taper(nee, hungover) day. We drove up Friedlein Prairie road to hike Overlook, and then up to the Wilderness Boundary. Haven’t been here in a few years, such an engaging trail that is always changing due to treefall. I’ve never gone slow enough or looked up from the rocks and logs to really soak it in, and its a gorgeous airy forest with meadows at 8,000+ feet. Going to have to hit it this fall to see the aspen and avoid the crowds. Can’t wait to show it to Beckie.
this is a tasty apple.
Heard you got another apple?!
ironic that Alana snapped this photo. I was showing G the series of moves through this section, explaining how to break them down, and how I crashed and dented my frame on my 2nd-ever ride on the Heckler 8yrs ago. This seemed really hard back then, now its just another rock garden.
Saturday the planets aligned! Beckie came up, and the AES Aspen Asphyxiation had been rescheduled to this weekend. Sometimes I am glad for her arrival, sometimes not. We got this 3-sum going on, and sometimes mom storms on in and fucks it all up. I had 8.25 hrs, 7kvf and 52 miles to vanish and get everyone’s head right, they got their own 3-sum going on without me being around to screw it up. I tweaked the race route to let me hit just about everything on Mt Elden I hadn’t already gotten this week. I left from the house, climbed Rocky Ridge to Lower Brookbank and desceneded Jedi just as the really fast guys were coming up, aggressively jumping all the drops after walking them earlier in the week. The monster storm the night before made Sunset unbelievably tacky, and the stoke from that screaming descent carried me almost up to Snowbowl Road. Almost. Ray made the route awesome by adding in Twisted Sister, and awful by adding in GT trail. Pushing my bike up this stupid, primitive scratch in the volcano I yelled out ‘Fuck you Ray you fucking douchebag‘. The ensuing 3 mile climb up Snowbowl Rd was so deadlegged that, after comparing times, I actually rode it slower than Beckie ran it in a race 2 years ago. There was 3-4 more hours riding, but most of it flowed far better, and after dipping into my PainCave finally I was done. It wouldn’t be an AES race if I didn’t kinda hate it.
Sunday I was feeling good but lazy, and meat-sweating from a fantastic dinner at Satchmo’s. Our recovery day started with a 4×4 crawl through the Cinders.
Then re-walking some of the fun, tight techy stuff from the end of yesterday’s ride, along Fat Man’s Loop on the far east of Elden.
Then the day went suddenly, utterly and deeply to shit. The huge downpour on Friday night flooded my truck’s cylinders, turning into a $500 repair on Monday.
Dia lost a tooth wrestling Graham.
and our attempt to salvage the day and ride into town for dinner quickly resulted in Beckie gauging her ankle on a chain ring, and 5 stitches at the ER.
The massive upside of all this calamity is Beckie stayed in town another night for what was our very best day of the trip. At Coco Bike park, everything started slowing down, for all of us.
The first time on the Blue line i spotted G, reminded her that you can’t can’t can’t bail out once you are in the ramp, trust that you will get through it. And after she got the feel, we kept reminding each other to trust it and go bigger!
both wheels in the air!
girls are getting the attack position
whereas G has perfected a scowl, Alana believes strongly in smiling for the photo. I approve of this adaptation!
i wasn’t quite cleaning the blue line, but i was getting closer each run. G and I both were getting used to the lips on the jumps. Next time!
never know what you will get with the AlanaCam
Griffith’s Spring afterward to release the heundz!
Our final attempt on the FUTS into town went much better. I used this opportunity to promote upgrading the HeiHei to a 1x drivetrain, and forever prevent this from happening again. Alana crushed it on the way in, and gutted it out on the way home. Never figured her for a 2-ride day, until today. Her flagstafricanism is definitely trending up.