Friday, March 28, 2014

Spring Briefs

Pasty legs and blooming orchards
 When I first moved to Grand Junction, I took a short trip over to Moab. Upon walking into the Red Rock Bakery and Coffee shop, the owner asks "how do you know it's spring in the desert?"

"All the license plates turn green!" 

Meaning that 9.5/10 cars have green Colorado plates and are filled with people looking for a warm escape from the mountain winter. I used to be one of them, too. I always seemed to go off to explore Zion or the Grand Canyon come late winter/early spring when living in Montana. I now feel very lucky to be in a spot where spring comes early and I can choose to ride my bike or go ski in the mountains. Or do both in the same day only to top if off with a BBQ and flip-flops.

 Though the joke was referring to Moab, Grand Junction and Fruita are not to be left out. If you were to stay in town, one may not notice a difference since all the green plates magically match, but one visit to any of the trailheads and you'll know spring is here. The lots are full of cars packed with camping gear and bikes. Denver, Salt Lake, Wyoming, Montana.

1 to work, lots to laugh and harass
Team Rude Boi, from Denver, is one such group that recently had their camping gear/bike filled cars taking up space at the trailhead lots.  Not one or two of them, but 12. Team Rude Boi is the somewhat notorious Rastafarian team that shows up to most of the Enduro races in the area and always has a good time. They're loud, they heckle, they ride hard, drink hard, and are usually having more fun than anyone else. They're all good guys and I spent every race of last season chasing and being chased by the guys in Rasta tank-tops.

Anyways, 12 of them came over to do some riding. Loma, 18rd, and Lunch Loops. Fun was had by all. Some had more fun than others. Endos, hard crashes, running a train down the Horsethief drop-in, 2 destroyed wheels, 2 broken derailleurs, one elbow needing stitches, another arm with some nasty road-rash, Super Troopers quotes, and probably some other stuff I'm forgetting.

Carbon Leaf always brings back memories of the first warm days in VA Beach. Can't be spring without playing a few of their songs

Word problem: If you go over the bars and land on your back, how much force does it take to pop a Gu packet (or 2)?

Friday, March 14, 2014


Spring has finally begun to show it self. Seemed like it would never arrive. Which is funny.

This time last year I was gearing up for a 40 mile backcountry ski race, climbing ice, and looking forwards to stable snow conditions that would allow access to the many big, steep, don't think about falling ski lines that would be on offer for months to come. Who needed warmth, put on another jacket! Getting on the bike wasn't high on the priority list.

Somewhere around mile 30 and hour 9

Now, I'm a sissy. 40 is too cold. The snow has been around far too long. It's time to work on my mid-calf knee pad and Chaco tan. I spent one day ice climbing and didn't touch my skis. Okay, I touched my skis. To move them out of the way to lean my bike against the wall! How things change.

Honestly, I haven't really felt any desire to get out and ski or climb this winter. Partly because one of my favorite, primary partners moved out of state and partly because I just made a decision to really focus on one thing.

"Live the lifestyle instead of paying lip service to the lifestyle. Live with commitment. With emotional content. Live whatever life you choose honestly. Give up this renaissance man, dilettante bullshit of doing a lot of different things (and none of them very well by real standards). Get to the guts of one thing; accept, without reservation or rationalization, the responsibility of making a choice. When you live honestly, you can not separate your mind from your body, or your thoughts from your actions."

Mark Twight's Twitching with Twight essay was written to be too coarse. Too extreme. The point stands, though.

Spring Training-60 and sun to 35 and snow
Outside of maybe three other times in my life, I've never truly been focused on a single activity/task. Those times that I was singularly focused, I did well. So now, I've made the choice to seek what I'm capable of on a mountain bike. I've been happily content with that choice all winter. Having spring show itself has made me more content. Sunshine, warmth, trails. More please.

Signs of Spring I

Rewards of Spring Training-the cool down