Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Back in the 801

By a miracle, the hubs and I made it back to the 801. We were supposed to go on a yurt trip to the Tetons, but by group decision, it was cancelled due to the avalanche danger. I guess I didn't realize how bummed I was about it because I had a dream about being in a backcountry ski hut last night. It wasn't a crazy Fritz dream where the snow was actually flowers that could talk or anything nutso like that...But I woke up SAD that the hubs and I wouldn't get to do some yurt hang time. Oh well.

Going home is always a trip. You spend so much time in a place (like your whole childhood and teenage years) and then you're gone for so long (like your whole adult life). On our last day, I went for a run around the Cobbs Hill Reservoir--that small act just brings back a flood of memories. How many hundreds of times had my legs pounded that route? How many Genny Lights had I consumed on that grassy slope? My street is still my street--and even though they've moved, the Curtins house is still the Curtins house. There were a bunch of kids playing on the street and on the snowbanks. Total memories of playing king of the hill on those snowbanks and playing tennis in the street.

Anyway, it was a great trip home. I watched so much TV. That's what HBO on demand will do to a person. When you think the first episode of Entourage is stupid, you'll watch 3 more episodes to make sure you're not being to rash in your judgment. And when you see how wrong first impressions can be, you'll stay up till 2am watching the whole 1st season. It was super relaxing and a lot of fun. Mom, the hubs and I also went to my favorite movie theater--the Little--to see "I've loved you so long" or something like that. Don't be deterred by the fact that its a french film (Sebastian! what are you doing?). It was really intense but VERY good. And I took a break from TV to read a couple books: all of which I recommend. Palace of Illusions by (can't remember); Loving Frank by Nancy Horan and the Witch of Portobello by Paulo Coehlo. I even ventured into nonfiction territory to read "In defense of Food" by the guy who wrote "Omnivore's Dilemma". I'm kind of more skimming through that one b/c some of it is tedious. But its still good though.

The hubs and motivated to go the gym a few times because that's what you do on the east coast in the winter. I did a couple of yoga classes and one day I got to lift with my little sister. She's a rugby whore (she tells me its a saying) and she totally kicked my ass. You think you're all cool because you can sort of ride a bike so that when your little sister is kicking your ass on the upper body exercises you don't worry because next comes the squats and leg presses. But I wasn't laughing when I had to take plates OFF after Mary was done instead of adding them. What can I say, it was pretty cool. I think I'm still sore actually.

So it was a great trip--but the hubs and I are psyched to be home. Hopefully we'll get a little New Year's pow to enjoy before heading to the Jowegawas Chinese New Year's party. 2009, holy crap.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Festivus in the 585

By some miracle, the hubs and I made it to good 'ol upstate NY on Christmas eve. Enjoyed ourselves some sushi in the Detroit airport. Yes, I too was skeptical---but everyone's digestive systems are doing just fine. We've had an awesome couple days. All the Pezzulo kids are home which is making for a full house--plus the fam has grown to include the various S.O.'s which is awesome. And let us not forget the little booballoo cutest niece-y-poohs in the world: Sophia and Isabella. They are the greatest, and of course its great to enjoy them with the ability to hand them over to their parents when they melt down.

The hubs, Glenn-bro and I got my mom a digital camera. My mom--bless her--has been a big fan of the disposable camera. All environmental waste concerns aside--the quality of the picture sucks. So to say this gift was all about her wouldn't be totally accurate. In addition, we knew she would dig the video. So anyway, I'll have pics to post of the cutest cuteys here pretty soon. Right now its all video and figuring out how to make those smaller is too much for me right now.

Anyway, here's a little recap of the past couple days...Arrive Christmas eve, met by dad and Glennbro at the airport. Come home for an off the hook seafood dinner (Italiano tradition as many of you know) prepared by super talented bro-in-law Jason. Some of you know the hubs and I have some quirky relations to those yummy aquatic treats. The hubs is very allergic to bony fish of the North Atlantic (that means Salmon) and I can't do shellfish. So while the true tradition is tons of shellfish, Jason made sure everyone could enjoy. The hubs got my share of scallops and I got his salmon. We both indulged in the sea bass with the mustard encrusted who knows what but it was GD good. Of course every self respecting Italiano household is flush with plates of cookies. Some made in house---many given by friends, neighbors and family. (Note to self: need to start doing that, I've thought about it--but jesus the time).
Also imbibed some vino at quality levels I only experience when I'm home. If the economy turns around, the hubs and I will be sure to invest in some Silver Oak for ourselves. Casa Pezzulo has its own wine cellar---so we are all ensuring the goodness of our blood (there's an Italian saying- Bevi il vino rosso per il buon sangue--drink red wine for good blood).

Glennbro brought home a bunch of great DVDs. So we caught up on some Office. Holy priceless.

Christmas morning Glennbro and I went for a little run around the Cobbs Hill Reservoir. Awesome. He kicked my ass. It was so great. My bro has really been embracing the cleanliving fitness lifestyle since he moved to Boulder and he is a lean mean sister-ass-kicking machine right now. Props to you bro! Get that guy on a bike is what I have to say.

Came home for YUMMIEST of the yummy bagels. The next town over has a very high Jewish population and along with that comes genius bagels. Please forgive any sort of political incorrectness in that statement because there are certainly far greater contributions to the world we enjoy as a result of this culture/ethnicity. But I have to say it is the one thing we sorely lack in the west. The real bagel. I'm missing them already.

Then proceeded to a gift opening extravaganza. I must've been good this year b/c Santa hooked me up! At what age will that stop? Niece Izzy "helped" me hand out the pressies. It is a lot of fun to do holidays with the rugrats around (as I said in measured doses).
Then all the "kids" and mom went to the JCC to work out in the afternoon before dinner. I love having all these family members to work out with. The best part is that Rocky IV was playing while I was on the stairmaster. There is nothing better to work out to than the Apollo-Rocky training montage. The only bummer was that there was no sound. Closed Captioning just doesn't really do the Dago Sly Stallone justice. What are you gonnna do (As Tony Soprano says)?

We had an awesome dinner with more good vino. Then I fell asleep during forgetting Sarah Marshall. I do remember hearing my bro laughing throughout the whole thing though.

We slept in like champs to wake up to the smell of cooking Pizzelles! My mom uses my Nonna's pizzelle maker (its like this thin waffle maker thing). The hubs and I are planning to head out into the snow (yes there's a bunch of SNOW not just gray grossness) to the gym nearby. Cross your fingers that Rocky will be on cardio theater.

I know its powing up back home. Hoping all my buds in SLC and CO had an awesome Chanumasivuszaa and are all enjoying the shit out of themselves in the white goodness!!! Missing all you guys! Know that tonight (and every night) we raise our glasses of vino we ourselves can't afford to all our friends, family and other great peeps of our lives in the hopes that you're all enjoying yourselves in your respective mountain, coastal and big city habitats! Salute!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Gnarley's on the Parley's

I spent all week in the various northern boondocks of this state. Fortunately, we got to stay in some awesome places! We stayed at these cabins at the Red Canyon Lodge on Tuesday and Wednesday which is right near Flaming Gorge. It was gorges! Yes Glennbro--I know I rip that off from Ithaca, NY.
My cabin (which I had to myself) had a woodburning stove and was right on this little lake. It would've been awesome to have cross country skis...but I just tromped around in my snowboots. The stars were off the hook the first night---then we started getting more snow.

Thursday we stayed at the Daniels Summit Lodge as we were working in Duchesne. That was also an awesome place to stay. Did a little sunrise walk up a snowmobile road on Friday morning before the storm really hit. It was totally beautiful up there. Note to self: Never backcountry ski in that area because it looks like everyone and their mother rides a snowmobile in that place. Lucky for me--I didn't see anyone but the flora and fauna on my little crackass of dawn jaunt.

On the way home on Friday, the roads were horrible. I-80 from Park City to Salt Lake was especially bad. It was pretty much a parking lot with lots of accidents. Awesome. The drive took forever and I was clenched the whole time. Luckily made it home ok and watched a good movie with the hubs called "Sea Inside". Its in eh-spanish so if you'd rather watch a movie than read it...it might not be for you. And its a bit on the heavy side---about a quadriplegic who wants to die---but still good, and not totally depressing despite the subject matter.

The hubs and I went to Alta (my tele-butt finally went away) for a hypothermeriffic day. Talk about extreme marriage moments. In spite of the conditions we had an AWESOME day! It was a lot of fun. It reminded me of days at Arapahoe Basin (Basin of the Asin) and Loveland in Colorado. Those places can do some cold conditions.
Anyway, it was a high attrition rate day. People were trying to rewarm frozen body parts in the lodge and so it was like no one was there. And of course with the crazy wind and blowing snow you couldn't see anyone anyway. After 4 runs we went inside to warm up. We were discussing whether to leave or not when Dr. Dan and Damiano strode by and convinced us to brave the elements for another run. We made it for 2 more and then sought warmer environs. Despite the brutal cold and elements--it was a really fun day up there! I busted out the Verdicts (my treasured skis) and I think I hit more rocks then I did last weekend. What are you gonna do?

Then we went to Takashi (one of the best sushi restaurants) to celebrate our good friend Wayne-o's obtaining his Anusara yoga certification. It sounds like it was harder than the bar exam to pass. Probably healthier though. We picked up the Woodies and the DB's and did much eating, drinking and merrymaking. After the bait shop, we took the celebration over the Woodies for some continued imbibing and discourse by the fire. All in all it was definitely a life affirming day.

We've got more weather coming. The hubs and I will probably make our way back to the resort today and then I might come down with a little somethin-somethin tomorrow morning if we get the dumpage we're supposed to! Afterall, everyone needs a mental health morning now and then.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

First Tracks in Memory Grove

I grew some balls and rode to work this morning in the pitch dark and dumping snow. I *heart* my cross bike. My commute is pretty mellow and it finishes with a little climb up this canyon that is closed to traffic. Hello freshies :))
Would've much preferred to be on skis and up a bit higher--but it was a pretty fun ride to work. I had on enough clothes to feel like the kid in the snowsuit from Christmas Story...But it was still awesome. With the serious pow action--it was almost like a blanket. Probably need to invest in some clear lenses though...

Its a good thing with this gnar weather I get to travel for work. Its an even better thing I get to go to the frozen tundra northern part of the state. Meeting winter head on. We are staying at a cool place near Flaming Gorge. It looks like there would be sweet trails to ride in the summer--but I'm going to bring snowshoes and a headlamp. Yes I know how certain people feel about the waste of time that is snowshoes :))) but when you are solo in the boonies, there aren't a lot of options. I guess I could probably rent a snowmobile in the spirit of "when in rome"....who loves the 2 stroke engine, yeah!

The super short window of daylight is a bummer--but all the white fluffiness is definitely improving the outlook!! Though it is sounding like it is going to be FRIJOLES in the mountains. I purchased an arcteryx down/goretex jacket that the hubs said would be too hot(and by too hot I think he meant to expensive). Though he has a point--I can definitely get a shfitz going, especially in the backcountry. But for those stormy super frio days at the resort--I think its going to be JUUUUUUUUST right!

For those who habitate the 801 or anywhere along this storm path--let me counsel you to come down with a powder flu in the next few days. I know I would if I didn't have to be out of town for work. Viva l'inverno!

Monday, December 15, 2008

First Day of Skiing and Not Taking Things for Granted

The hubs and I finally had our first ski day on Sunday at Alta! The snow started falling on Friday and into Sunday morning--so finally some of the rocks are getting covered (though you wouldn't know it from looking at the bottom of my skis). The hubs and I didn't get up to Alta until later in the day which was fine with me. I love Alta--but I wasn't ready for the agro/asshole energy from the powder starved. I understand that everyone has been jonesing---but I was happy to enjoy the morning's leftovers without the stress. We hooked up with Richie, Renee, the JGs, Sturgis, Damiano, Mike and Julie for some fun but COLD turns. I have full-on tele butt today. I remember when I first started telemark skiing and the hubs and other good tele skiers would talk about getting tele butt. For years I never got it because I simply couldn't link turns. Once I started hanging out with the hubs, (Caterina, Lizzie the woodies and all the other rippers), I was able to start linking turns and be able to participate in those beautiful stabbing pains in the buttcheeks. I don't purport to rip at the level of those who inspired me towards actual linking--I still wreck all the time--but I've definitely improved from the Summit County styles of deep knee bending turns where you stand up before making your next turn. I think that kind of skiing demands leather boots and wool sweaters too.

In more sobering news, while skiing at Alta, we learned that a 27 year old woman was buried at Snowbird while traversing underneath a steep slope. Such a serious tragedy! Might be worth it to start wearing a beacon at the resort. Skiing is an inherently dangerous sport no matter whether you're in the backcountry or skiing in bounds. We take our chances because we LOVE the activity. My heart goes out to this girl's friends and family--and whatever your belief in the after life--I'll choose to think that she is somewhere getting endless face shots and revelling in doing an activity she probably LOVED like crazy!

It's definitely a reminder for me. I stress about SO much stupid stuff. But when you get down to it--I'm so lucky--I have an awesome hubs, a great family, fantastico friends---and I live in an AWESOME place. Does the piddly shit even matter? Not when you think about the death of a 27 year old. Perspective.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Did I go too far?

Last week, a kid was getting into the passenger side of his mother's big obnoxious SUV. I was putting something in my trunk and I was parked next to the behemoth MO-bile. The kid swung open the door and it slammed into the side of my car. There was a chunk of paint taken out. The mom yelled at the kid and then said she would pay for it to be fixed, but she took a bunch of pictures b/c there were other scratches on the lower part of the car.

Anyway, the body of my car has a few scratches and I'm not really worried about it. I also definitely don't have time to deal with it right now. The "incident" happened in an area where cars are usually total a-holes to cyclists. So I left the woman a message and told her not to worry about the damage to my car, she could pay me back by paying attention to cyclists on the road, since I am on a bike more than in my car.

Hmmmm. Did I go too far? Was that totally patronizing and weird? Maybe. But its what I wanted to do.

I also saw on the news last night (while at the gym- since we don't have TV as you know) that the city is going full bore to try to make Salt Lake more bike friendly. The mayor admonished cyclists about running lights and stop signs but then noted his desire to get more bike lanes and improve existing trails (urban trails, not BST). That just makes me so psyched to hear!!

We also FINALLY got some snow, with more on the way! I rode into work yesterday, and the snow covered trees and blue sky in Memory Grove just made me happy! Negotiating the sketchy snow patches on a road bike was fun even for a skill-less roadie like me. I'm going to try to sneak away for a chilly flat lunch ride today too. This arriving and leaving work in the dark is getting to me. I just need a little Vitamin A.

I'm hoping to ski for the first time this weekend, maybe even at Alta.
But I'm genuflecting to the Norse god of flakes because I'm not interested in crap-ola conditions. Otherwise I'd live in Colorado. ooooooooohhhh

Monday, December 8, 2008

E-mail forwards give me road rage

Holy crap, three days in a ROW of riding road bikes. Shut up I'm serious. No ride longer than 3 hours--but base miles are starting to happen. I fell off my 30 day yoga wagon on the weekend too. Its going to be a weekday thing. That's when I need to alleviate stress the most anyway. Saltair was off the hook on Friday. Laid down a sick Wasatch on Saturday then did a confusing loop in Park City yesterday. (apologies for my poor attempts to spice up these boring rides). The hubs had his wisdom teeth removed so he wasn't feeling too great on the rides. He still managed to work me over though. Did some good hangs with Kimo and Sean on Sunday night. Had some sparkling grape juice that tasted like real vino (it wasn't because I had to drive--and I've got a car to sell you) and some GF focaccia (not bad).

A good friend once told me that people talking in movies is her road rage--and I think the analogy works pretty well for how I feel about e-mail forwards. Ok, so they don't make me homicidal--but let me tell you a little something about how I respond to e-mail forwards. That response can be summed up as follows: poorly.
And let me make this proclamation to the 5 people that might read this: I do not read e-mail forwards. I REALLY don't read e-mail forwards that say "Important, Please Read!" in the subject line.

Before you start forwarding the shit out of your address book, maybe you should send a prefatory e-mail querying people as to whether they're ok receiving forwards. But let me save you that step to tell you I will only read a forwarded e-mail under the following circumstances:
1. Its an e-mail that someone else wrote about me that I wasn't supposed to read.
2. Its an e-mail intended for me that wasn't originally sent to me.
3. I get tricked into thinking it was authored by the sender (Dave L- you know who you are)

Otherwise, I don't care how funny, how scary, how titillating the information is. I don't care how rich it will make me, how much luck it will bring me, how much bad luck, how many friends, how many recipes- WHATEVER. I WILL NOT READ FORWARDS unless they fit within an enumerated exception listed above.

Those 2 letters: "FW" just cause me instant tightness in the butt cheek region. You as a forward sender also begin to lose credibility. And don't forget the whole crying wolf phenomenon. There's a certain person (who I do love) who sends a ton of forwards. But now seeing that person's name in my inbox prompts a reflex delete. Maybe he/she had something important to tell me. Maybe I'm the one that loses out here.

But I don't care. I'm not saying this is a reasonable position. I'm just saying its how I am. I'm sure there's some study or something out there that talks about people with "issues" and how those manifest as control problems, lack of tolerance and inability to adapt. whatever. Send it to me in a forward and I'll be sure to delete it at my earliest convenience.

Its SNOWING here finally!!!! Woo hoo! I'm happy to ride indoors for the sake of pow accumulation. It is about time!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

New Team for 2009 and the month of yoga

Next year I will be racing with DFT p/b Treads Women's Elite Cycling Team. The team is based in Denver but has women from around the west. We will be riding Cannondale bikes. Along with Treads Bicycle Outfitters in Denver, we are also supported by Moriarty Leyendecker Erben, P.C., a Boulder, CO and Houston, TX law firm, which is pretty cool since there are two esquires on the team! The current plan is to use only latin or legal terms of art as our team's secret during race language. When you hear "Habeas Corpus" over the radio--you know it means you have to attack the break. "Quid pro quo" means only do as much work in the break as the person doing the least amount of work. And when you get shelled you can radio your teammates that your "motion to dismiss has been granted"...and the list goes on.

So Sunday will be my last race for PCIM, the bestest team in Utah. Thank goodness its the last race because I can't handle how fast all these new girls are getting. As these girls are getting more races in their legs they just keep getting speedier and speedier! And let's not even start with the talent working its way up the C and B ranks! I'm raising my glass to all you awesome ladies who've been putting in the hard yards all season. It has been awesome to behold!

My December goal is to do 30 days of yoga in a row. Not sure how that's going to turn out because I almost couldn't make it 2 days in a row. I know I know people will say you're missing the point if you're setting yourself up to fail by putting some arbitrary goal on something as fluid as yoga practice. Ok, it wouldn't be the first time I've missed the point. But MY point is to be focused on working on the core strength and flexibility while trying to get in some base miles. The miles are actually secondary. I'm actually trying to set up a base for my base this way. I'll let you know how that goes. I might have to start doing yoga to deal with the mental anguish of not meeting my yoga goals. I would really love to be able to do an unsupported head stand too. So there you have it.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Fave Pic of the Year

This is my favorite picture of the '08 race season. PCIM teammate PB (Chantel Thackeray) is in her 1st year of cross racing. She has been kicking some booty on the road, and decided to try the dirt this year. Anyway, she's stacking it in the 2nd to last corner of yesterday's cross race. She's a burly stud. The absolute BEST part of the picture is the horrified looks of the crowd. PRICELESS! In order to see the Edvard Munch like screams you probably need to see the photo on the bestest site for chick race coverage at TWLL.

She was ok, and hopped right back on and finished. I'm just laughing looking at all the scared faces. And, of course, this is the one race that tons of her family came to watch. Poor things. PB: you get the Nestle Crunch Time Play of the Game IMHO with photo credit to Theresa Carr. Awesome shot!

The 2nd coolest thing that happened yesterday was running into superstar master cx'er and Commuter Column author Lou Melini, as he was riding home with spare wheels tied to his messenger bag. He gets the runner up player of the game award for that one. I gave him props for his resourcefulness and dexterity and he told me he got inspired to be his own team car after the interview he did with me in the August Cycling Utah.

That just totally made my day! I too had ridden out there--but sans wheels--per coach's orders. In the wise words of Coach "Don't have anything in the pit....why prolong the agony that is cross. If you mechanical, call it good...thank God that it's over and go drink a beer."

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The hubs is a genius

The hubs--rainman/puzzle genius that he is--was able to solve this puzzle that was driving us all crazy on Thanksgiving. Someone pleas send this to Wendy so she knows. Anyway, it involved 9 squares with patterns on the edges that needed to be matched up. With the pieces being squares--you couldn't establish a border. Anyway, it seemed like it would be cinchy (love throwing that word in there when I can) but it was really hard. Several people worked on it for quite a while and finally gave it up. Caterina, owner of the puzzle, gave it to Steve to "puzzle" over at home. Friday morning, the hubs did not get up from the kitchen table until it was solved. Impressive.

And today, on day 3 of of post-hiatus riding, I headed out to the cyclocross race at Wheeler Farm. It was pretty chilly, but since I'm not screwing around anymore, I rode out there. The race was painful--the body had definitely forgotten about intensity--and how to handle a bike. Oh I guess that wasn't forgotten, I never really knew how. Anyway, Kris W just went from the gun and was pretty much gone. She has good legs right now and I'm thinking she will win Master's cross nationals! That left the rest of us. I have to give major props to the girls that have been coming out week after week to race--they are ALL getting a lot faster! It is really cool. Anyway, a group of us, including newly crowned state champion PB (aka teammate Chantel) were chasing. I hit the deck on a sort of technical uphill and my chain augured in between cogs and spokes. Beater. Awesome. I messed around with it for a while and gradually got it working again. Sly and his gf were perfectly positioned with great tunes. They yelled at me to stop crashing but I said I couldn't. I chased and caught a few people and ended up 4th behind Erika and Chantel with Kris being way off the front for 1st. I definitely felt Taylor, Jennie and Rachel breathing down my neck though! Not sure what happened in the B's--but the C women definitely had a good sized pack of studettes too!

Teammate Superfit had finished off a 4 hour road ride to watch the end of the race. I rode her back to her house and then realized I was far from home. Like 2 hours instead of 45 minutes. But it was great to get in a bunch of riding today with intensity mixed in. I counted 5 hours of shammy time (which we all know is training time) but it was really probably only about 4 hours of riding time. As slow as I was going it would've been 3 hours in normal person riding. Anyway, my lungs are still harshed out (coughing and spewing like crazy--lovely I know) and I was clutching for my recently prescribed inhaler when I got home. And that pretty much disintegrated the yoga plans.

After an asskicking like that, there's really only one thing you can do...and that's to watch some east coast mobster asskicking on the Sopranos. God I love that show. Minus the mafia parts, half of the time I'm reminded of my childhood. "Did you have lunch? I've got eggplant. " "Yeah, I already ate." "Here have some eggplant." Its good stuff.

So when the DBs called for a spontaneous invite to Lugano...I was more than in the mood to mang' a little pan' and past'. Buonissimo!

Yoga is on the agenda for tomorrow for sure. The hubs is intimating toward mountain biking--but I was not liking the looks of the brown funk nastiness that is starting to pervade the valley again. So unless Glenwild is dry, it may be downward dog only. Sigh, the weekend goes by too darn fast.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Party's over...

The overeating, laziness, waywardness and self-doubt that tends to creep into the off-season is hereby declared banished until next November. I figured I'd wait until after Thanksgiving to really, FIRMLY have both feet on the absolute bottom...Gotta have a good surface to push on to work your way back up. Most people take October off and get the training going in November. I figure because I was sort of racing cross through October, November would be my off month. That and the fact that I had the SARS virus or some close relative for most of the month. It has been a true break...I've strayed...but now I truly know what I want. And I'm willing to pay the price to be in that committed relationship that is the 2009 racing season! That's not to say I won't be enjoying the pow and other activities. Its just that now is the time to get a little more serious.

In my final hurrah, the hubs and I had Thanksgiving dinner with our great friends, the Woodies, the DB's and Harris, Fraser and Neah (one of the coolest 11 year olds I think I've ever met).

If you actually read this pile of nonsense, you will know that I've sworn off exercising outdoors here in the 801 when the air quality is comlete crap. My lungs are still a bit testy--so those atmospheric enemies have an easy target with me. However, on Wednesday night we got some rain so the gnarl layer (aka the inversion) was temporarily blown out in the valley. The hubs and I had a nice ride out to the airport. The airport and other flat rides here in the valley are seasonal rides. I don't ever really ride north or west except when its freezing. Its boring, there are a million lights and some near fatal train tracks. I'm terrified of those train tracks. Every time my bones rattle over those steel gullies of death I vow to never again ride that route unless I'm on my cyclocross bike. Like so many self-promises...I always forget until its too late.

Anyway, it was great to get into that winter time training mode again. Lots of layers (like the kid from Christmas Story), cold air, and no real climbing. Its nice to mix it up. The hubs must've been enjoying some post White Rim in a Day fitness because I had to do some serious wheel sucking to not get stranded out there in no-man's land. But that's the other great thing about those flat, cold windy rides. They are great to do with people who are a lot fitter than you because you can just draft till the cow's come home and your hardman constant puller can just ride out front outputting orders of magnitude more watts than you--and it doesn't matter. Because you're still both riding the same speed. Viva le slipstream.

Anyway, after our big ride (less than 2 hours), we played some pre-dinner touch football. It was so fun but I think I almost through my back out and I was sweating like I was in a sauna and not because I was running more than anyone else. My mind has dim memories of being able to sprint on a grassy field with the dexterity to deal with people and a ball---my body however has completely blocked these memories. To my body--all those years of soccer, basketball and squash are like Clinton's term in the oval office--everyone knows it happened--there's just no evidence of those accomplishments after the Bush presidency's eradication of the same. Oh well, I've got Hope now...and I'm sure there will be Change :)

We had a FANTASTIC dinner at the woodies. They cheffed up an off-the-hook dining extravaganza with some excellent contributions by the DBs and the dessert team of Harris and Neah. Much merriment and vino was had by all. The only bad idea of the night was my decision to go in the hot tub after all that food and alcohol. But laying on the deck for a while and drinking some water brought me back.

The hubs and I had a marathon zzzzz session to work off the vino, limoncello and awesome cuisine...We got up and then did another road ride towards Saltair. Right now its all about base miles and working on core strength. I'm off to do a core class right now...then some sleepy time and then a cyclocross race tomorrow. If I can remember where my cyclocross bike looks like (much less where its location might be). Details. The race will likely kick my ass--but this is just beginning of laying the groundwork for 2009, so now its all about the doing---not about the placing. That's a relief. Plan is to ride out to the race, race and then ride home...then yoga. Ha I've committed in writing so I at least have that pressure on myself. Talking about which, time to hit up Core Class. I'm on the road with a suitcase that says "fitness or bust." And they do say the journey is the destination--so, its important to revel in the mere fact of having the goal. :)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Breathing through a straw

My lungs are feeling super worked over. I've had a few nights where I've woken up short of breath. I keep thinking about the 80s commercial where the old lady is trying to blow out the match that she's holding at arm's length and that's exactly how I feel. I don't know if I'm just more sensitive from being sick so that the totally horrible air is working me over more than it would normally. Whatever, I'm armed with a new inhaler so I'm going to blow that match out.

Feeling very low energy. Did a low energy yoga class tonight that was awesome. We never hit plank even once. Sometimes its just nice to move without stress. Ambulation without taxation.

One more day of working THANK GOD and then a loooong weekend. The hubs and I are hanging out here for dinner with the Woodies but then we are contemplating busting down to St. George. I'm bringing a salad b/c that is a dish I can make the shit out of. Anyway, we haven't ridden or camped down there yet and its been on the list. With the SLC weather in that in between of no good snow and temperatures and air quality suck---it might be good to get out of here. But it could be good to chill too. There IS a cyclocross race this weekend that could be fun. But I might need oxygen if I try to push myself like that.

The secretary at work hooked me up with the first few seasons of Sopranos. Not sure why she thought I'd enjoy a show like that. It will dovetail nicely with the recently viewed Serpico. Gotta love those dagos. Our old roommate Randy used to be all about getting Sopranos through Netflix (and Sex and the City)---it was awesome. But that was years ago so I feel like I need to totally refresh. So I'm starting with season one. I'm looking to infuse a little ass kicking attitude into my daily life--so I'm turning to Sopranos for inspiration. That and it reminds me of my childhood.

OH- and to those out of state readers who give me a hard time in living in the uber conservative, totally red, whack job state of UTAH--let me fire back with the fact that our GUV was approached by the Obama campaign for potential employment. Who knows what that means. But it goes to show we have a pretty cool executive in our crazy state. He's all about ripping the 1x and he spoke at the IMBA summit this year. So yeah, this may be the state that launched the third reich-style support of Proposition 8--but we've got some normalness too!

Monday, November 24, 2008

LDS wedding and trail running

I spent 2 days in Midway last week at a conference. It was pretty sweet. Midway/Heber land pretty much rules. The air is cleaner---its got a mellower feel, and they seem to have tons of bike lanes. If the prospect of living in that secret Valhalla didn't involve commuting, we'd probably actually consider it. The hubs works with some folks that do that commute. But that universe is definitely not for me. Time spent driving to work equates to minutes carved out of your well-being. Road tripping is one thing--daily back and forth hampster wheel is another.

Awesome Amanda was also at the conference. We skipped out a tad early on Thursday and went for a great trail run. Ouch. It ended up being about an hour run, 90% of which was on a little trail by the place we were staying. Amanda kicked my ass--and it was great. Running on pavement sucks. On the way back, I just started melting down on the half mile stretch of pavement. I really hate running on asphalt. My knees hate it, my mind hates it, my soul hates it. It simply does not agree with this kid.

I was SOOOOOORE after that. I can count the number of times I've gone running this year on one hand, and 2 of those times were in the past few days and they were other people's faults.

On Friday night, bestest friend and former teammate Erin flew in from Santa Cruz. It was SO great to see her. She actually had a friend from high school that was getting married here in the 801. She came out solo and I got to be her date. It was pretty cool b/c its the first LDS wedding I've ever attended. Well, we didn't get to go the wedding b/c you have to be a Mormon in good standing to even get into HQ/Disneyland/the Temple...But there was a really nice ring ceremony we got to see and then a dinner. I told Erin that her showing up at a mormon wedding with another chick was definitely going to call into question our sexuality. Erin made a big point to tell people that she was staying with me and the hubs...but my tack was a bit more ambiguous. I don't know--it just kind of seemed called for--especially since we were informed of the definition of marriage during the ring ceremony...in case there was any confusion. Like I needed that. What is wrong with people???

Before we went to the wedding, Erin and I went to yoga and then we went for a trail run in Mill Creek Canyon. Erin kicked my ass with her sea level lungs. It was so cool. She just took off. I was pretty much crippled on Sunday morning. But was able to make it to yummiest ever brunch at Trio and then a shorty hike to the living room along with half of Salt Lake.

Erin took off on Sunday night to fly back to Santa Cruz. sniff. Its so cool to have great friends that live in super fun places to visit--but its sometimes a bummer they don't live closer so you can hang out more. I am plotting to figure out how to get her to move here.

Then the hubs and I watched Serpico. Is there anything better than Al Pacino? Yeah, that's a definite recommend...about a NYC cop that can't deal with all the corruption on the police force. I don't think I heard an "r" actually pronounced through the whole movie.

Had a FRIGID ride into work. The days are short and the energy is low these days. Ah what can you do...Our air quality totally SUCKS right now. Our weather needs to shit or get off the pot. i.e. We need major snow dumpage or the air needs to clear up and it needs to be sunny. I'm stoked for the long weekend, but the poopy weather is giving me the itch to head south for some prescription single track. We'll see how the patterns shake out...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

White Rim

Here are some photos of the our trip to the White Rim.











The Brothers Lawrence about to set off on their big adventure. I took the picture from my sleeping bag in the back of our subaru (where we sleep). Then I went back to sleep.










Awesome photo of the hubs. I was definitely sleeping during this part of the ride.













Cucina di Tiff

You can check out more photos on our Picasa Site

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Feeling better...

I'm FINALLY starting to feel better. The SARS/Ebola struck fast and hard and then lingered. I was a total piece of pooh for 2 weeks. I did my first ride on Saturday on part of the White Rim. Now I'm back to bike commuting. I'm still a hack-o-saurus---but I feel like my lungs are trying to clear themselves out. I think an awesome weekend in the desert was good medicine.

I've been holding off on posting because I want to get some photos of the hubs and his bro's completion of WRIAD (White Rim in a Day). But its taking too long---so here's the run-down.

The hubs and I drove down to Moab on Friday. We met Dave (bro di hubs) at Shitty Market in town. We obtained provisions and then headed out to the north entrance of Canyonlands National Park. Steve was originally going to do White Rim with a buddy that has a truck, the thought being I could drive support. Dave actually drove his wife's truck down, but it had some problems so we were stuck with the subie. It was ok, Dave is a planner extraordinaire and he had it all figured out. The plan was to camp just outside the park, because its hard to get permits to camp on the white rim itself (the white rim is about a 100 mile stretch of dirt road in Canyonlands National Park--you need a serious 4 wheel drive and some balls to drive it). Anyway, we were in luck because a lot of campsites were empty--so we were able to get a permit to camp overnight on the White Rim. Lucky for us, it was the Labyrinth campsite which isn't too far along the road, so the subie was able to make it there.

We didn't get to camp till dark, but it was insanely gorgeous on the drive-in. Oh my crazy switch backs on the Mineral Bottom road! yikes! I cheffed up a little dinner and the brothers Lawrence proceeded to sort themselves out for their big day.

The moon was off the hook. When the boys left camp at Oh-Five-thirty the next morning, they barely needed their lights. It was so cool. I went back to bed while they pedalled. Woke up and saw what a ridiculously amazing campsite we had. We were right on the Green River. I hung out at camp and finished 2 books (Solace of Leaving Early and God Bless you Doctor Kervorkian). It was so awesome to lounge around in such a beautiful, quiet, peaceful environment. I got on my bike at about 12:30 (when the boys had been riding for 7 hours!) and started pedalling in the reverse direction. First ride in 2 weeks. It felt weird. The weirdness may also have been caused by the heavy pack I was carrying. I definitely don't plan on doing that ever again. It was great to be back on my bike. I'm definitely out of shape, and I was expelling gnarliness from my nose every 10 minutes (its biodegradable!)...But it was really wonderful to be pedalling on dirt. As for fauna, a lone big-horn sheep bounded across the trail and up a cliff right in front of me. Cool.

I rode about 16 miles to our meeting spot at the Candlestick Campsite and lay down on a rock for a while.

After some time had passed, I started pedalling because I was getting nervous--starting to come up with things that might've happened. It was all for naught because within a few more miles, I ran into Steve and Dave and they were doing AWESOME! They had dropped food and water the day before at mile 30 (top of Shaeffer) and they were pretty fueled and hydrated. Good think I ruined my back for them :)) They took some gatorade and we hung out at the entrance to a slot canyon for a little while.

We started riding back to our campsite. I was super impressed with Dave. I was actually drafting off of him! I thought I was going to be slowing them down after I had ridden 18 or so miles to their 90 miles!!! That was a proud moment. There was some sand and a climb up hardscrabble hill...but we made it back to camp. We ended up riding in the dark for about 15 minutes which wasn't really bad at all. The bummer for Steve and Dave was that they hadn't yet seen our campsite in daylight yet.

We were hanging out having dinner when 2 people rolled into our campsite (its pitch dark at this point). The guy asked if he and his girlfriend could get a ride back to their car because her knee was hurting. Dave, super champion that he is agreed. That meant we had to unpack everything from our car (which we were sleeping in the back of) and load their bikes.
I'll admit I was annoyed. Dave had just ridden 102 miles. You want to help people when they legitimately get in trouble. But this girl had started the ride with her knee hurting and then kept going. I'm not saying I haven't done stupid shit like that---but don't put complete strangers out b/c you're an idiot. The other thing was that they were actually in a group!!! So their buddies could've driven back to pick them up because they were so far behind! ok, put it in a balloon and let it go. I was not impressed. And Dave was gone for about an hour helping these folks. What goes around comes around and it all comes back to you I suppose. So Dave definitely put a healthy deposit in the bank of Karma.

The next morning, Dave and Steve finally got to see what camp looked like. And they also had the opportunity to be perplexed about where the road/river went. I guess there's a reason they call it the Labyrinth. We had coffee at our 5 star campsite and then the boys packed up camp while I started riding the opposite direction of where I had ridden the day before. It was awesome. And I got to ride up the crazy switchbacks on the Mineral Bottom Road. Steve and Dave caught up to me in the car and got out to take pictures. Dave did the Tour--run next to me while I'm dying on the climb. Unlike the Tour, he could run faster than I was riding though.

We drove back to the spot where the truck was resting. The brothers got to have yet another man moment together by popping the hood and trying to figure out what was wrong with the truck. I helped by driving 10 miles to the Visitor's Center to ask for a crescent wrench. Some people are just givers, what can I say? :)
The eventually McGyver'ed a repair (seriously, there was duct tape involved) and Dave was able to limp home to Boulder.

The hubs and I also headed home, with the requisite stop at Ray's for a burger. Even though I didn't ride for 12 hours, I definitely had some sympathy metabolism going. Gotta support your loved ones.

It was a fantastic weekend--and I'm so impressed by the boys. Bros Lawrence=studs. I will hopefully get some pics up soon.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Veteran's Day

I *heart* government holidays. I got a much needed 12 hours of z's. Like I'm back in college or something..I'm still duking it out in the trenches against the debilitating lung funk I've had for over a week now. Its totally sapped my energy and my general joie de vivre. That's ok, I'll bounce back at some point. In the meantime its given me some time to put out fires in other parts of life. And for once I actually have clean clothes and not a totally squalid house. I also found out I don't have to travel for work this week which is muy bueno--as I can focus on the Tiff healing and dealing with life phase I'm in right now.

In better news, I had a lot of fun doing this interview on TWLL.
And the hubs is contemplating doing White Rim in a Day this weekend. I was going to drive support, but the vehicle and its owner are still in Antarctica so that's no longer an option. Oh plus the hubs doesn't think I can handle driving the white rim. He's probably right. I'd probably barely be able to mtb it. I've heard the phrase "not being able to see the ground over the hood of the car." I'll admit, that makes the bowels loosen a bit. Its a bummer because the hubs has to put up with the craziness of my racing...So I was hoping to do an insufficient payback by trying to support him in one of his crazy ideas. Maybe I'll just have the wine poured and the apps ready back at camp.

These days the hubs is really adventuring for 2. He skied on Sunday up at Alta. The lifts aren't open yet, but he, Richie and Jaime hiked up and skied down. I was sort of jealous but then the hubs said it was super hard on the way down. Then I was thankful. Sounds like a lot of desperados have been up there--jonesing for winter. And plus I still got to hang with Richie who came over for dinner and some smack talk. I'm definitely looking forward to ski touring this winter and seeing my winter friends. You know there's people you just see more, depending on the season. So ski touring means I'll probably get some more hang time with the Jowagawas, Brian O and the Woodies! Pray for instability in the atmo!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Still the kid from Goonies

Five days in a row of zero activity. And I'm not even bummed about it. I have been knocked FLAT by this mutant strain of evilness I contracted in Boulder. I tried to do a TINY hike in Mill Creek with the hubs yesterday. I was like a cross between Chunk and inhaler puffing Mikey from Goonies. It was pathetic. It was totally beautiful and Mill Creek and very snowy. It was good to actually be outside--but I needed a nap after less than an hour walk at slower than Italian pace.
Later that night, the hubs and I watched The Namesake. It was good, of course the book was way better (written by Jhumpa Lahiri). Speaking of books, recently finished Women of the Shadows (Ann Cornelisen), Loop Group (Larry McMurtry) and Swimming to Antartica (Lynne Cox). Swimming to Antarctica was the best--about a woman who is into crazy open water swimming. My mom, who loves to crazy open water swim gave it to me. The stuff she's accomplished is really amazing. I always wonder about autobiographical books though. Not the factual accounting--but the characterization of things. I guess when you read autobiographical stuff that talks about how others perceive the author--I sort of wonder about that.

Currently reading: The Solace of Leaving Early (Haven Kimmel) and A Handful of Dust (Evelyn Waugh). I worked at a bookstore after college and I remember shelving Evelyn Waugh books and always being intrigued. Then, Evelyn Waugh was recently mentioned (very indirectly) on the Colbert Report (thanks D&D!). Colbert was interviewing a former editor of some magazine who has just started a website called the Daily Beast (its supposed to be all the news you need to know to sound sophisticated at cocktail parties or something). Anyway, the name comes from an Evelyn Waugh book, so I threw that on the monster stack I checked out at the library. My excitement over my many new scores was only slightly dampened by the $30 I owe in overdue fines. Some things never change. I can still justify it because $30 isn't close to what I'd spend if I bought all the books I read. Plus, I'm not one of those people who feels the need to maintain expansive bookshelves of everything I've ever read. You keep those few books that really rocked you--and maybe a few others...Everything else is easy come, easy go.

The hubs went skiing today. I'm not even jealous. In theory I would like to be active, but its not like when you're injured and every part of you wants to be out there playing...but you're held back by the injury. Being active right now just isn't even possible in my current state. I did walk up to the grocery store to buy a tape measure so I can start planning next year's garden. And that nearly did me in. I'm going to pay my overdue fine on-line and then take a nap in between coughing.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Obama laps the field and wins all the primes

Holy crap...that was some good stuff. Seriously, it wasn't enough to just win by a lot (that was lapping the field), but to win all the battleground states too (that was winning all the primes). I can just hear it "Florida prime on the next lap!" That is so cool. An African American first family. Awesome. Even those of you who aren't getting the tax cut you hoped for will hopefully be psyched for the direction our country is going.
And, you gotta give McCain credit for a great concession speech. Prior to the election really heating up, I actually thought McCain was a reasonable person. While I didn't agree with a lot of his policies, I still had respect. The Palin choice and then his silence when the campaign went totally smear were despicable. But his speech showed that "old McCain". Gracious and motivating. I feel like those were some of his most sincere words in several months. While Obama thanked Biden FIRST in his speech, Palin was the last person thanked in McCain's speech. I'm sorry but could you detect the power hunger in her eyes. She was looking out at the crowd saying "you're all mine-- see you in 2012!" As for other sincere McCain moments, I watched a little of McCain on SNL. I have to say he looked more psyched to be next to Tina Fey than he ever was around Palin. I think he actually laughed when she said "I'm going rogue for a second here" and then flashed a Palin 2012 t-shirt and then whispered "but don't start wearing them till after Tuesday."

Good stuff. Time to motivate. No more fever but I still feel like complete crap. I think my voice is more Stevie Nicks today than Pit of Despair Troll. A toss up really. I've definitely got a smoker's cough though.

And, its dumping snow! woo hoo!!!

A lot of good things for one day.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The pit of despair

I feel like I talk like the troll-y thing that worked for Humperdink in the pit of despaaaaaair. Still feeling totally dukers. Went to the doctor and I'm armed with a plethora of prescrips...cough syrup to knock me out, and inhaler to open my airway, antibiotics in case I get worse. And yeah, well enough about that.
The other thing got me feelin a little woozy is the current status of the polls.
The only time I left the house was to vote, and that nearly killed me. Dear god. The latest has Obama with 76 electoral votes to go before a win. Obama is definitely off the front, but the race isn't half over yet. No early celebrating--you don't post up till both wheels have crossed the line...first (right coach?). Its all those middle states that have got me freaked. Those states are the wheels McCain will jump on to bridge up to Obama! Let's just hope that out of sight is out of mind. Obama is about to cross the 2 buck mark with McCain not even in the triple digits yet. Still, Obama's got to keep his head down, tongue to stem, no early celebrating.

I do have to say that this is probably the first time I've cared so much about an election with an eye toward the possibility of being truly proud of my country! There is definitely a lot at stake here.

While the hubs and I were travelling back from Boulder, we listened to some conservative radio. Joe the Plumber was interviewed about the questions he asked Obama. I didn't see the full interaction between Obama and Joe the Plumber...but I guess my question for Mr. Plumber would be: 1. Didn't Obama answer your question about how you would be taxed if your business was earning over $250k? From what I saw, he answered the question. Secondly, Mr. Plumber? You don't make anywhere near $250k, nor are you likely to, isn't that right? I have to hand it to the McCain campaign--getting people to think the important issues are the ones that won't effect them at all. If you're voting for McCain because you're in that small wealth percentage, well, you have your reasons, I might disagree, but they are valid reasons. If you're voting for McCain because you think Obama is an Arab, terrorist or socialist--then please look into those reasons and see that even McCain has not said any of those things because they aren't true. That really bums me out that people can be so manipulated...a subject for another day. In the meantime I'll be wearing out the refresh button on the election site and trying to keep my mind off the torture my body is going through right now.

Monday, November 3, 2008

QUARANTINE

I'm removing my oxygen tube to write this. Ok not really...but I'm pretty bad. The worn out-ness turned into sniffles and sore throat and by Sunday morning, the decision was made for me. No race because I could feel the SARS onset. It sucked being sick but it was a relief to not race. We met Teton, Beth, Sammy T and Renne for bagels at Moe's and then went on a nice little hike up Green Mountain. I've got a few pics to post. My excellent bro joined for the hike along with the hubs, dave, diane, whitaker (their dog), drewster and of course erin.
I started to feel worser and worser on the trail...but was so jazzed to be hanging with such fabulous peeps in such beautiful environs.
Went back to D&Ds for yummy lunch (not that I could really taste it) and then the hubs and I drove home. During the drive I started to feel even worse with the awesome sweat/chills dichotomy enveloping my body. But we eventually made it home.

I'm FULL ON in the off season now. It is official. I will probably still do some cross racing--or showing up to come cross races I should more accurately say--but I'm spending more time on the yoga mat and the trail than I am on two wheels. Conveniently, I seemed to have lost my heart rate monitor and my bike computer fell off my road bike right before Vegas. One could say I've been ignoring the signs.

So its a bummer to be sick, but I'm jazzed to be in the off season now. A lot of people seem to be sick so pound the raw garlic and echinacea!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

I got the information but I failed the pop quiz

Finally in the PRB (people's republic of boulderland)...SO GREAT to be here. The hubs collected me in Evanston on Wed night and we busted to flatirons land post haste. We've been kicking it at the Wonky Raccoon (our bro/sis-in-law's house). Also in guest attendance is Erin, former teammate and one of my best buds of all time. It has been a real trip down memory lane. Doing bike rides, yoga and just cruising around town. It has been chicken soup for this displaced east coast dweller's soul. The weather if f-word GORGEOUS and its been full on connecting with the inner circle: erin, mo, dave, diane, the sleaze, missy, chad, mojo and OF COURSE my awesome bro GLENN!
I've been feelin' a little under the weather lately---might be from being in close quarters with sick unhealthy people for the past 2 weeks, whatever...so I wussed out on Halloween night. Mo and Erin went as Disco divas (mo was a disco devil)...and tore some shit up. The hubs and I watched some Tivo'ed Daily Show. OMG total fan. Colbert Report? How have I lived this long without it? Obama interview with John Stewart?! Yeah! We heard some serious yelling and a megaphone...went outside in the PJs to see naked people with pumpkins on their heads running around. I don't know if its USATF sanctioned, but it was a pretty hard core event.

Today was day one of the Boulder Cup UCI cross race. Yeah. I've been feeling super unmotivated to race. But I'd been planning to do this one for a long time...Got to do a micro section of the course with Margell, she gave me the beta on how to ride the gnarly sand...but it wasn't enought. I needed flashcards, a full day review and some audio outlines for that shit. The race started out ok...Started totally at the back of course...I started picking people off...And then at about the 20 minute mark I dropped an anchor. And was totally flailing in the 100000000 yard sand section. It was not a high moment for me--but it was fun and it was super great seeing everyone out there. Tiff is a hung jury right now with half saying stop racing and chill---and half saying but its fun, keep doing it! Things are looking to slide toward the former. Its not like you're performing surgery when you race--but it can be mentally, emotionally and physically draining (rewarding too!)...Anyway, I'm pretty much over it. But that said, I'm undecided about racing tomorrow. I'm going to see if I can find the answer at the bottom of my 3rd glass of wine. Salute!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Back in the Sticks

After a GREAT time at the matrimonio de Maggipannetone, I headed back to base in Evanston, WY for another week of work in Northern Utah. Welcome back TV!!! the best thing about staying in hotels is hands down the TV. Am I wrong? Am I wrong?

After work today I got in a nice ride on the Monte Cristo road which goes between Woodruff and Huntsville, Utah. It was so awesome and beautiful. And there were about 5 cars in the 2 hours I was out there. But we are losing daylight fast, and post work rides are probably about to be obsolete till 2009 pretty soon here. Anyway, if you ever find yourself in Rich County Utah, make sure you check out this ride. Head west at the country store in Woodruff, there is a turnout at about mile marker 65. Start heading up and prepare for the goods. It is so cool. Rode home to a gorgeous sunset, freezing temps and kamikaze bunnies. I'm back in my TV I mean hotel room so I've got to go. Lates updates on Sarah Palin's 2012 campaign efforts. There is so much to say about that debacle I'll simply sign off on that note...

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Another day in O-town

Yesterday was the 4th Utah Cyclocross Series race. Held at my favorite venue--Fort Buenaventura (also my favorite named venue), the course was LONG with 2 pavement sections, a bridge crossing and a log to ride over. This log was way better than the one last week at the fairgrounds. I guess better means easier.

Having been out of town all week, my cross bike had been neglected. Shifting wasn't really happening too well, and I discovered I had a flat in the morning when I was getting ready to leave. I didn't have any cross tubes, so I put in a roadie tube--I figured that the tire-rim strip would give it extra protection.

Anyway, Lizzie picked me up and we headed to Ogden together. Lizzie took 3rd in her 3rd cross race. It was awesome. They had a great field, and she definitely had 2nd totally in her sights. The awesome race promoters had the C's do 3 laps instead of 2. They were jazzed about it!! I think they should start them ahead of the juniors though. It is awesome seeing people get into the sport.

I did the men's Bs again. It was awesome to ride with those guys. It is so different to ride with the men (at least for the first few laps) when there are so many people and they ride really aggressive. Its also a great opportunity for me to just get more time riding my cross bike in race conditions. Then I lined up with the women, and felt like I was falling asleep on the start line. There were some conspicous absences--Dayna and Kris were racing elsewhere. Word on the street is that Dayna won the B race in Louisville which is awesome!

But there were plenty of studettes lined up all the same including raging newcomer Nathalie, teammate PB, Erika, Jenelle, Jennie and Tayler. I have to say again how FANTASTIC it is to have all these women showing for the A races. I remember the first cross race I ever showed up for in Utah, and I was the ONLY woman! The fields would be just a few women. It was still a blast...but it is SO MUCH better having a mix of the roadies, mountain bikers, and the true cross specialists. We may not be Portland or Boston--but I think we've come a long way here in SLC! There used to be a UCI race in SLC--I think it was before I was really doing cross---Now seems like a great time to resurrect that event!

In the women's race, I let Nathalie pull for the 1st lap and then I attacked and got a gap. And though Nathalie flatted after I attacked (I didn't know she had flatted)--she still did a huge rally to close the gap and catch me just before the LAST LAP! Really impressive. PB and Erika were in hot pursuit, about 20 seconds back. I had noticed that my front tire seemed a little soft in the men's race and I had pumped it up before the women's race. Unfortunately for me it went from soft to totally flat on the last lap. Nathalie pulled away, Erika and PB passed me and then I rode the flat in for 4th. An interesting dynamic race! Jennie went down in a crash and was unable to finish. That girl is balls to the wall and she loves to push the envelope. In my first years road racing I had a couple of stacks in corners because I was always trying to see how fast I could take them. Crashing sucks--but pushing your limits is awesome. I think in my old age I've definitely lost that a little bit...especially riding on dirt. I like going fast--but I'm really not interested in the consequences of laying it out in the corners. Still want to improve though. Here's sending the healing vibes out to Jennie.

Got to shoot the shit a little bit with the hubs de KS--Pepe Sherwin. Rode a lap with him in warm up...Now that's a guy I want to learn from. He has been winning the Master's Men's Bs (and they are a fast field) and the guy does NOT train. Maybe some of his wife's burliness rubs off on him...but he is probably the most efficient rider out there (after Bart). It is so cool and impressive.

Back in SLC, I constructed our flagstone walk in the front yard (it will definitely test your ankle strength b/c it kind of leans to the right) and then Lizzie and I yoga'ed at Centered City. Had awesome post-shavasana drinks and dinner with the DBs, Woody and NOB. A pomegranate martini at the Red Door (anti-oxidants) followed by a night cap at the new casa di NOB. Oh and then another night cap at casa Woody. A good day and even better night.

I head back to Evanston again today after Maggipannetone's wedding. Then to Boulder to hang with the SLEAZE and other peeps---and MAYBE do the UCI races there (I gotta admit I'm really not feelin it at this point--but we'll see). Definitely starting to feel the powder vibes, I must say. Here's a genuflection to the Norse God of Flakes. Think jet stream break offs!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Hangin in the Equality State

After a GREAT mountain bike ride on Sunday with the hubs, NOB, the dbs and Becky P, I charted a course for Evanston, Wyoming as I had to work in rural Utah for the week. Evanston was the "closest" place to where we were working. It was an interesting week. It was a challenge to try to eat normal and *try* to train. My colleagues humored me and let me bring my bike to Randolph, Utah one day so I could ride back to Evanston. It was 30 miles of no shoulder, wind and once I crossed the Wyoming state line--HORRIBLE roads. If anyone has ever done the High Uintas road race which goes from Kamas to Evanston, you know what I'm talking about--trying to walk the tightrope between rumble strip and broken glass with a big crack about every 20 feet. Did I mention the wind? On my big 30 mile ride day, I stopped at a gas station/bar to use the potty. Though I was in there for about 30 seconds, my clothes managed to reek like smoke (and I wasn't even in the bar!).

Wyoming is known as the cowboy state, its also known as the equality state since its the first state that gave women the vote and right to serve on juries. The hubs and I don't have a TV that actually gets any channels---so I was GLUED to CNN (and of course just normal crappy tv too--who knew Saved by the Bell was still on the air??). That is the only good thing about hotels--TV! Anyway, it was interesting to be watching the election countdown while hanging out in the equality state since here, for the first time, we could have a woman as VP that would probably undo the progress feminists have worked for in recent memory--not to mention same sex couples and minorities. I actually tried to watch Fox, so I could get the perspective of the other side. And I'm sorry--it was just too difficult. When you go from articulate, intelligent Larry King and Rachel Maddow to the jingoism and narrow-mindedness of what seems to be on Fox most of the time--its kind of tough to try to make yourself listen to what they have to say. But I tried and will continue to try to have respect for the views of those with which I don't necessarily agree. (Though it doesn't seem like it--I do want to try to listen!)

But when you watch the politicial commentary, it does sort of all start to sound the same. One thing that stuck in my mind was Arianna Huffington talking about Sarah Palin. She basically said that there was no way Sarah Palin should be a political leader--but she HAS shown the world that she is incredibly talented and definitely has a future in entertainment. Spot on IMHO.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Double Down in Ogdenistan

Utah cyclocross race #3 was at the Weber County Fairgrounds. It was a great course with 2 dismount sections. Kris W and I did the Men's B race before the Women's A race. I was on the fence about it--because I'm supposed to be doing this for FUN. But I'm totally glad I did. It was awesome racing with the B men. I use the term "racing" somewhat loosely. I would say Kris was racing--I was riding pretty hard. It was great to dice it up with the B men. Much closer to what UCI cross races are like. After the Men's race, I laid in the back of my car for about 20 minutes and then lined up for the women's A race. I just have to say that it is SO cool having these big women's fields! The B women have had double digits since the first race I think, and the A women's numbers have been growing. Not only is there an increase in quantity, but an increase in quality for sure!! Jennie W launched right out of the gates and put the hammer down. Her teammate Dayna was RIGHT on her wheel. Then it was me, Kris W and newcomer Nathalie with Erika and the other hammers in hot pursuit. The group got whittled down to Kris, Nathalie and me. Sly was out there handing out dollars---I grabbed a dollar and Kris TOOK OFF while I was shoving my hard earned greenbacks in my pocket. Nathalie and I worked together to try to catch her---but she was living in the cottage of wattage and just powered away. Nathalie had the bad luck to flat 2x and wasn't able to finish. I limped in for 2nd.

On the way home I chowed down on the quiche I had procured from that new bakery next to Trio. Yeah, its good stuff. PS, JEM recently introduced me to the delight of Trio brekkie too! Total fan of that place. Came home and I am thoroughly WORKED---but psyched...true to my promise to some of my few loyal readers--I had FUN today. Doing the 2 races was great, will definitely try to do that again next weekend. Not that I would call it *training*; but it will be good prep for the UCI races in Boulder in a few weeks which I'm planning to do (while visiting bro Glenn, Fritz and Dave and a bunch of other people). Well let's just be honest--to that extent that I'm riding hard at all right now--its so I don't get a total ass kicking in Boulder. Come to think of it, I'll probably get my ass kicked no matter what--so I guess that's just a license to really let my hair down in Boulder on Halloween weekend and not worry about how it'll make me feel the next day at the race.

OK, a little nappy, and then there was some talk about checking out some SLC roller derby tonight. I was telling the hubs I thought I'd probably be pretty good at it...but he just stated the fact that the track isn't banked...its flat and they're on roller SKATES not rollerblades (ergo NO similarity to riding 2 wheels). I wonder if those girls make money at it...That's where sly should be handin out the $$....

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

"There's no proof a car hit him..."

The Trib reports in today's paper that a 64 year old cyclist from Vermont was found dead in the road. This blue state resident was riding near Castleton and it was determined he died around 5 pm on Monday. The Grand County Sheriff's office said he was on a road bike, wearing a helmet, but "there's no proof a car him him."

OK readers. Feel free to to totally contradict me here. But can someone first explain what proof is required to show a car hits a cyclist that is found f-*&%$* dead in the road, wearing a helmet? Like must the proof be a car with a body imprint on the scene? Or maybe 10 witnesses that saw the a-hole drive off? I'm sorry but that explanation requires more. Maybe he had a heart attack, maybe he swerved to avoid some wildlife---or a wild driver? This makes me so mad. Maybe there is a perfectly reasonable explanation--but having ridden on so many different roads around the country for many many years---I find it strains credulity to say a cyclist wearing a helmet was found dead in the road and there's no proof a car hit him or her. I guess its accurate to say there's no proof. I'd just like to know a little more about the investigative techniques that yield that conclusion. Such as there was no metal or glass or because the vehicle wasn't around. It is super remote in that area--you could definitely mow down a cyclist and not worry about anyone seeing you. Although witnesses don't seems to stop many people from doing just that.

I guess I am just very dissatisfied with the information I've been presented. I'm open to hearing more. But until I hear more---I'll continue to believe what I believe, based on my own experience.

When the hubs and I were driving to Sun Valley this summer on the hell hole northbound I-15 we saw a sight that was disturbing....It was about 10 billion degrees, everyone was driving like an asshole and traffic was barely moving. There was a total jalopy white van being driven by a seriously grizzled looking dude. He had the windows rolled down (doubt the AC was working in that fine vehicle) and was flipping off everyone on the I-15. He kept gesturing to the everyone to roll down their windows and then would flip that universal sign with GUSTO! Maybe he thought everyone was lame for emitting those greenhouse gases with our ACs. Maybe he was just flipping off the lameness of everyone driving like an a-hole...who knows. I just know that the hubs and I both thought he was crazy. Though I found myself sort of secretly relating.

Sometimes I really do want to ride down the street screaming expletives at the top of my lungs and flipping off everyone in a car. And throwing flaming bags of doog poop at those drivers on their cell phones. Yes, I drive a car. I even talk on a cell phone. I recognize it makes me a hypocrite but it doesn't make me any less pissed off at cars when I'm riding my bike around.

A superdouche with whom I work was telling me how he saw a guy "ride right into" a car that was pulling out of a driveway. The cyclist was on the sidewalk. Yes, probably not a good idea. Superdouche told me that he rolled down his window and told the guy that he shouldn't have been on the sidewalk...(insert image of me getting the urge to act like that guy on the I-15). I asked why he didn't query the driver about why they weren't paying attention to where the f*&^ they were going?! Yes I know, cyclists need to obey the traffic laws too. But it would be nice if people stopping thinking carrying a weapon (which is what driving is) was an entitlement versus a gd privilege. You can ARGUE (I'm not saying I agree) but you can at least argue that having a gun is a constitutional right. But where do people get the notion that they have some similar right to drive their lazy asses to Walmart? And that they can KILL people in the process??

I can't even write about this stuff without getting so mad--and wanting to unleash my truckers' mouth. I need to go stand on my head. And seriously---I truly am open to being put in my place and I'm fine if you disagree with me. I just won't respect you and I definitely won't believe you :) (not true, ok maybe a little)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Awesome site for race coverage

Check out this awesome site Two Wheel Lovin Ladies for coverage of women's racing! There are great photos and cool video. Fantastic insight about racing and riding too. I always feel like its always boy focused here in the good ole beehive state. Whether its bike racing, job, or whatever else. Don't get me wrong, there are some serious badass boyz around here...but big Thanks to the cool girls for doing that site!

After Saturday, I spent the rest of the weekend feeling tired, maybe sick, and trying to figure out what I'm doing with the bike. Had a great yoga class with good buddy JEM until I had a coughing fit and ran out of the room during the meditation. Sorry focused yogis. My bad. Anyway, trying to figure out, am I training still? Am in the off-season but just racing cross for fun? Do I want to travel to any bigger cross races? What should I do about a TT bike? Should I be getting my garden ready for next year? Will this country fuck up AGAIN in choosing a leader? Is a TT helmet really necessary? Does white wine mess with me so should I just stick with red? Why am I such a crappy cyclocross bike handler? What will it take for people to drive their cars less? Is my knee going to be ok for skiing? It can get exhausting. Then I look at these questions and figure I'm pretty damn lucky to have these kind of things for dilemmas. Perspective.

I attended Maggipannetone's shower last night too. Let's hear it for having kids and getting married in the 40s (she's doing both right now)!! Totally great to see some of my fave peeps: JJ, the Kimo, J-Lo. People made some ridiculous cakes--but it was pretty much agreed that the prize went to Lizzie's "better than sex" chocolate cake. I think that's what its called in the cookbook. In italics of course.

Also want to give a Palin shout out to Couch Potato for getting the Harry Potter spider's name (only this shout out is on a stupid BLOG and not a GD vp DEBATE--I'm still horrified). I thought it would be bro-Glenn that would get it...That kid has some serious movie/TV recall ability. Talking about monsters, there are rumors of the Couch Potato being in the 801 for Halloween? Can this be confirmed or denied?
I need to watch some Tina Fey/Sarah Palin for therapy now.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

I almost had to change my shammy on the shoreline yesterday ...

because I'm pretty sure I saw the spider from Harry Potter as I was coming into City Creek (road single track on my cross bike for you couch potato!). Anyway, who can name that famous giant arachnid? OMG that thing is HUGE! I couldn't even handle it! I got off and watched it for a while. But then I got freaked out and rode away fast. The hubs says I'm overreacting because it was probably a tarantula, and they'll die if dropped from a height of 6 feet. Jeeeeeez. And that even though they're poisonous, they probably couldn't kill you. Well I have no intention of testing that theory.

Got an ass whupping at the cross race out in Heber today! I was the 2nd loser across the line which is also called 3rd. It was awesome to have great competition on a good course, that's for sure. I tried attacking from the gun and held it for about a half lap and then eventual winner Dayna D and Kris W (who had done the men's B's earlier) came around me like I was standing still. They opened up about a 30 second gap on me that there was no way I was closing. Nice one ladies, you were awesome!

Maybe it was the extra glasses of vino last night, maybe it was the lack of sleep, or maybe my body is winding down from a long road season--but I was NOT feelin it today! I was almost wiping out in the corners, I slammed my bike into a set of barriers--and was just generally out to lunch for most of the time. However, it was a good race and there were a bunch of strong women out there. It is so cool to see the A field growing and getting you tough girl mountain bikers and roadies who didn't get enough this summer! And of course you girls who place cross #1 in your hearts! Its great to have bigger fields! And going out and doing a cross race is definitely better than trying to motivate to actually do long rides at this time of year. So cross remains what it is for me--a good way to try to not get too out of shape in the winter!

More importantly, in her SECOND cross race, good buddy Lizzie took the win in the women's C category! It was awesome. She put her head down from the gun and never looked up till she crossed the finish line FIRST!

Had a GREAT dins with superchefs the woodies and caterina and wayne. We watched some ski porn and I have to say I'm getting the fever for the flavor of the powder! The hubs and I are going to Kirkham's b/c I'm on a quest to find some new ski pants meeting the following requirements in no particular order: bibs, light colored, built to last and of course slimming (so that might obviate the light color) also like the trap door on the butt for the superstealth pee stop. If anyone has recommendations, make sure to exercise your 1st amendment freedom of blog commenting...

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Good Karma and Multi-tasking on the Boreline

Thanks to all the peeps who offered to help when they saw me walking my cx bike on the boreline (aka the Shoreline Trail) last night toward the zoo! My sick extreme gnar riding caused a rear flat when I was not too far from the trailhead. I actually had a spare tube and pump--but I've been meaning to put rim strips in my cyclocross tires; and I'm a total lazy ass when it comes to changing tires (and many other things)--so I just used dial-a-hubs and decided to walk my bike out and wait to change the tire so I could throw in the rim strips. (I heard that Ali G recommends this method of avoiding flats--but I don't know if it will prevent bike breaking).

Walking is slow. Especially when you're a slow walker. And you're walking in mountain bike shoes, carrying a backpack and a cyclocross bike and talking on your cell phone. I don't want to admit it--but whatever, there were witnesses. I hadn't talked to good Santa Cruz bud Erin in forever, so I decided to use my downtime to connect. I'm sure I looked like a jerk. If I saw me I would've given me a "you're a complete tool for talking on a cell phone on a trail" look. Well, here I am confessing my sins. Even though the hubs had to drive in from East Jesus, I was still only waiting for him for only a few minutes because it took so long to walk out what I thought was a short distance.
It is FUN to ride the cross bike on the dirt though!!!

Went for a another run on Monday. Oh my pain. People actually enjoy running? (Randy I don't include you in that one b/c you're fast so maybe that's fun)

Riding at this time of year is interesting. I'm racing cyclocross, but real training during the week just isn't really on the agenda--or supported by the daylight hours. I saw some peeps with lights when I was on my way home. Then you can't use darkness as an excuse. But I don't know if the hubs' spending freeze will categorize $500 lights as a necessary expense. Will probably have to ask Santa.

Moreover, today marks a definite turn in temps! There is a white dusting in the high peaks, and you just start to get those winter vibes about now! Let's put the energy out there for a dump-tastic winter with lots of snow and minimal inversion, cold, gross air days here in the 801!

And on the inclement weather note, I'm planning to race in Heber this weekend. I fully expect bad conditions which will be great. I don't really mean that but hopefully if I make myself say it I'll start to believe it. I mean, the whole reason I even do cyclocross races is a preference for racing in crappy conditions over RIDING in crappy conditions. That simply isn't an option. The plan at this point is to put skid marks down to Moab on Saturday afternoon post cross race. We're hoping to hook up with fave Durango peeps Moira, Broken Ted, C and *HOPEFULLY* MM and Jimmy K!! A quickie but goody.

Popular Culture Corner
And the hubs and I missed the debate last night. Oops. We watched a good movie the other night though-- P.S. I love you; its got Harry Connick Jr and Hilary Swank. Hilary Swank is super annoying in the movie--or as the hubs tells me, its her character that is annoying. That's probably accurate and maybe it means she's just a good actor--3 words: Million Dollar Baby. Give the toothpick some credit for that one.
Just finished Isabel Allende's "My Invented Country" which is about her experience and thoughts on Chile througout its recent tumultuous history. We'll give it a 3 out of 5. Also read Larry McMurtry's "Loop Group". Also a 3 out of 5. Now into Cormac McCarthy's "The Road". Its seriously dark. Not sure if I'll be able to take it or not. The man can write though...

Books I'm interested in and have to motivate to track down include: Salman Rushdie's "Enchantress of (something)"; Alexandra Fuller's new novel about a cowboy in Wyoming; and something esle by J.M Coetzee (author with one of the sickest vocabularies imho).

Time to start visualizing your '08-'09 winter ski outfits!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Horsing around in Draper

Today was the first race of the Utah Cyclocross Series. Held at an equestrian facility in Draper, the course had a long pavement uphill, some gravel sweepers and a muddy run-up with 2 barriers. It was also pissing down rain. After warming up, and by warming up I mean getting soaked and freezing, the women all lined up. I attacked from the gun and just never looked back and ended up winning. It was definitely a roadie course which helped a lot. There were a lot of awesome girls out there---a few on MOUNTAIN BIKES that will be crushing it if they upgrade to a cx bike!

It was teammate PB's first race and she did awesome in the A's. She is probably still flying high from her big victory in Ogden last weekend! Nice job PB!
My dear friend Lizzie also raced in the C category and got 2nd. Lizzie is an endurance freak. She got 3rd at the 24 hours of Sunlight last winter, a 24 hour randonee ski race. She calls herself the one-speed wonder. I talked her into trying cross to introduce her to the short, balls to the wall effort. An attorney who works 1000000 hours a week, she was a total champ and didn't leave anything out there. Because she never has ANY time--she didn't even have a chance to practice dismounting and re-mounting...until we were WARMING UP! and like the studly athlete she is--she totally got it on the 1st try. It was really cool to see someone get bit by the cross bug--hopefully she won't have to work too many Saturdays and will be able to continue racing!

And I realized this morning as I tried to stretch that yoga MUST be worked back into the routine. I can't touch my toes. Gee why does my back hurt? I'm sure its not related. So Lizzie and I are going to yoga this evening where I'm sure to turn in a performance that is a far cry from the cross race. But that's not what yoga is about, right? You can't help but feel a little self conscious by how much you suck though. Good thing I don't have an ego. Gotta go take my stretching performance enhancers. I don't think they test at the weekend classes.
Namaste.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

A few photos from NM


Asters! (That was the way Erin would write a caption)







The hubs in asters!






My bro-brah baggies give me the skillz to ride the sick sandy descent.



I unclipped right after the picture was snapped actually.



The brothers Lawrence









Team 1988 (all photos courtesy of FRITZ)

Guess what, running is still lame

Since its cyclocross season, I thought I needed to start running. Rode into work with brand-new, never seen pavement running shoes (thanks steep and cheap) shoved into my backpack. My grand plan was to run at lunch. On the ride in, I realized my newly built wheels needed some attention from dirty dan--so I figured I would ride my cx bike to the bike shop at lunch and then run back to work. I was figuring it would probably be about a 45 minute run if I went up city creek canyon to get back to work.
Buuuuut, I just can't deny the call of the off-season, and desire to consume calories....So I realized I would have to figure out my lunch plan somehow. Usually I walk somewhere for lunch. But its usually kind of a long walk. Didn't have time to run AND walk somewhere for lunch. Since logistics aren't my strong suit, I just headed to the bike shop carrying my wallet, keys and badge, figuring the right choice would reveal itself to me.

note to self: running shorts are not a smart thing to wear on a bike unless you like feeling like you're a triathlete.

Once bike was entrusted to capable hands...I started running back to work. About 30 seconds into the run I started to get concerned about what I'd do for lunch. Luckily, I ran by this little bakery in the Avenues I'd been wanting to check out. I figured I could get something and then just hold it while I ran back to work. No problem. Then I'd have a bag to put my wallet, keys and badge in. Great idea. So I get my wares and start running again. I congratulated myself on creatively coming up with a way to train for 'cross because I reasoned that carrying a bag in my right hand while running was sort of like carrying a bike...Good work!
I continued running. That bag got heavy real quick. I was thinking how I knew I would want something sweet mid afternoon. A little pick me up. And there's nothing good at work. Only high fructose corn syrup laden candy bars aka the nuke-u-lar option. In between worrying about how heavy the bag was and what I'd do when I needed a treat, I ran by a great coffee shop with good treats.
No, I can't.
Yes, I can.
I ran up to the door, and then ran away...get a grip. Then ran back in and bought a treat...then started running back to work.
The plastic bag was making my wrist and hand sweat a TON. And it was banging into my legs. And I felt like my right shoulder was starting to hurt. And ps running is lame.
But I was keeping a good attitude, still thinking I was being a good multi-tasker. I started heading up City Creek Canyon and about 3 minutes in I couldn't deal and basically just busted up some gnarly slope where all the homeless people camp out and cut the whole thing short. I think I was out for about 30 minutes...So I still think I did a great job...because you don't want to do too much on your first day running.
Plus, I had a sweet lunch and a treat.

I hope everyone's watching the VP candidate debate tonight. More people will probably watch that than the pres debates I bet. Everyone's waiting for Palin to make a complete dumbass out of herself, including me...But I'm not totally sure--maybe this is a world class hustle about to happen...That complacency that arises based on the perception of an opponent's incompetence? Well, we shall see, and even though I laughed my ASS off at the SNL Couric/Palin interview, maybe it will be Palin that gets the last laugh? Dear god let's just hope that's the hubs' eternal pessimism rubbing off. We did just spend a non-stop week together after all.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The whirlwind is over, for now

Oh here's a pic from the USA Crits Finals:

I look like I need to sleep for a century











The hubs and I are back in the 801 now...We had some fun rides in Los Alamos, NM. Well, ride #1 was a bit of a fiasco. The papa de hubs is a retired scientist. He is one cool dude--he loves to ski and hike and travel...He is the local ski area's #1 fan...He's on their board and when you walk around the little ski area with him--he's like the elder statesman; shaking hands, kissing babies, its awesome. Anyway, he's been telling us we have to come and mountain bike at the ski area (Pajarito which means little bird). Papa hubs was all about us going to the ski area on Saturday because there was an Oktoberfest--plus they'd "be running the lifts". What?

So I thought we'd be checking out some cool trails at small ski area. Turns out, the trails group there has constructed trails to support a major DOWNHILL scene there! This was a classic case of the 'rents *not quite getting* what it is we do. I guess we should be flattered that the hubs' dad thinks we're the gnar types to ride huge ladder-y, teeter-totter crazy jump type things. HA! Oh, and this was the one day a week that the lifts are running so everyone there was there to ride the lifts--not to ride UP the mountain like us. Wouldn't be a problem if you were at Deer Valley--but at Pajarito the trails all overlap.
I needed to change my shammy by the time we made it to the top b/c there was some serious T-bone with a downhiller potential...There was one section of trail where I think we could've been jumped over. Whatever. Once we got to the top, we took in the vista and then had a SUPER fun ride down. They've done such a good job on their trails there. And in fairness to the downhillers- we were the ones that came to the nuisance...We should've known better.
However, I'm thinking I'll actually buy a lift ticket the next time. It was the coolest non-scene of a downhill scene you could imagine. There's not a whole lot going on in in Los Alamos--so there were just a lot of locals there to ride some lifts...probably because what else is there to do?(e.g. the guy in a full face helmet and KHAKIS! C'mon that rules.) Sis-in-law Fritz is tough as nails and did the ride witha broken pinky she got from her dog.

On Sunday we had a sick breakfast at Syd and Jane's...Then we got shuttled to the Pajarito ski area so we could ride a bunch of the Pajarito Punishment course and just end up at the hubs' and Dave's parents house. Uncle Syd joined us for the first part of the ride--something with a Spanish name...Sunday was the ride I'd been waiting for...Beautiful New Mexico colors, awesome trail. There was some uncertainty regarding a 9 mile chunk of the trail on Guaje Ridge which had been worked over by the huge fire 8 years ago. We were wondering whether the trail would even be passable.
So the trail was passable, but it had tons of a super prickly bushes overhanging the trail in many sections. It was like riding through a barbed wire fence. And the trail was definitely not a gimmee...you needed to be paying some serious attention and trying not to think about the blood being drawn. Despite the skin we left up there, the trail was really great- it had everything: tight turns, rocks, total slick rock sections, even some sand :((not too bad though). We finished out the ride and came out on a trail which required, oh, about 500 yards of pavement till we were home. Home in time to go down to Santa Fe for some gut wrenching New Mexican food (sorry peeps- I'm just not into it). Luckily we did a major shop at Trader Joe's where I procured pro-biotics and ginger chews to soothe the alien that was planted in my stomach.

We did another great little ride on Monday morning before driving to Durango to see the super fun peeps. Moira cheffed up a sick dinner (in between about 1000 other things). Did a great little ride on the Colorado Trail on Tuesday morning with the hubs, Jimmy K, Wherry and Moira. So great. I *heart* Durango and I wish I lived there. Stopped at Cocina Linda for yummy yummy tamales before driving home.

The Yogurt on My Pretzels

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