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.


Dia at Lake Westworld



i aint afraid of you Lime Disease!!!






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




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? ūüôā

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.


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.

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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.



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?




Spring Break, Day 2


i read this, and i cant stop thinking about it


The Monsters stole my FatBike.





Time for a QR seat collar.




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


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

I present: Bentley.


More awesome bday presents.


the back way to Alana’s soccer game

Wildflower ride at Browns Ranch with Alana



tail end of a gila monster








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.



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.


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.



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.


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.


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.


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


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.





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.


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.¬†


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.


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

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



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.


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.


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.


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



Coyote on the road out of town.


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.



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.


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.





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.


Faces of Elf Death

Killed by KitchedAid, 12.05.16

Smoothies, 12.06.16

Bury-Go-Round, 12.07.16

Dragon’s Lair, 12.08.16

Cement Loafers, 12.09.16



Fury Road, 12.10.16

Silence of the Lambs, 12.11.16

Every Rose Has Its Thorn, 12.12.16

Xmas Sniper: Elf Obsession, 12.13.16



Rat Hole, 12.14.16

Dinner Time, 12.15.16

The Bonnie Situation, 12.16.16

Lighting Strikes Twice, 12.17.16

Aliens, 12.18.16


Shelob, 12.19.16

Unicorns and Rainbows, 12.20.16

Slushy, 12.21.16

Ice Age, 12.22.16

Forest in Winter, 12.23.24

Silent Suffocation, 12.24.26

Prison Shower Shanking, 12.25.16

The Revenant, 12.26.16

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.



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.










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



So wrong this earned a 50 point bonus.


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.





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

Innate talent for color-coordination.



Beckie and Alana on the SUP, out with dolphins


look close on the right

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


looks instead like feral dogs or coyotes



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.


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.


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.


G noted how much work is fatbike.



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.