Sunday, July 20, 2008

Colorado Trail

Home for two days and packing for the next adventure. This trip will not include diving to the bottom of the ocean but we will be climbing to the top of the Rocky Mountains. I think of it as an experiment; see what happens to four mountain bike guys that live at sea level when they travel to Colorado, bike 500 miles and climb 60,000 vertical feet in eight days. Who's idea was this again??
MTB Tom set up a data base for us to post progress when cell coverage is available. We will be traveling through Frisco, Leadville, Buena Vista, (near) Salida and through Silverton and on to Durango from July 22 - July 30.
Follow our Journey here.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The 'Brac

Some weeks are better than others, and some weeks are remembered for a life time.
Of the 17 dives Lesli and I logged last week, the sunken remains of the Russian frigate #356 was my favorite. Ship wrecks hold an eerie silence that cannot be ignored. The dark shadows cast from the jagged and twisted war ship provoked feelings of haunt and mystery.
Moving slowly in a neutrally buoyant world, shallow breaths as I penetrated the wheelhouse and swim inside the ghost ship. Down a short dark hall absent of light, only glimmers of hanging shards of metal every few feet as I swim forward. I reach the end of the hall and am forced to turn 90 degrees to the right. My arms outstretched and eyes wide open looking to catch any available light but there is none. I swim into a large open room, perhaps a mess hall once occupied by Russian sailors.
I feel relieved to have light streaming in from above, but slowly increasing panic elevates my heart rate as I look upon the steel bars on the ceiling with no apparent way out. In just seconds an escape route comes into view as I move around the room but I continue breathing as if I am ascending Shenandoah. The thought of 2000 psi of air on my back works to calm my panting. Slowly and surely I left the watery grave. The seas have taken over. Coral and barrel sponges are starting to blanket the aluminium vessel that was purposely sunk in 1996. A flaming scallop now lives in the 50mm cannon.Another dive comes to mind, and is a close second to the ship wreck. It was a drift dive (actually two drift dives) off the airport wall on the northwest corner of Cayman Brac.
We jumped in and were pulled by mother ocean on a sight seeing tour in 60-80 feet in swift moving current. Like we were on a conveyor belt, eight of us drifted and flew, hovered and kicked, along the ocean floor and along the wall.Passing a turtle I moved in for a closer look. Kicking against the current I'd like a better shot. My legs feel strong. This is about the most physical activity I'd had in a week. (Other than racing to the all you can eat gourmet buffet every few hours).
I throw a huge effort down and am able to fight back the wall of water, The persistent 7 knot current won eventually but I get the shot of the turtle. I spent the next five minutes trying to catch my breath through the regulator.Lesli got this shot of cow fish mating in the swift current.
A fun-loving bunch. Pete, Matt, Joe, BJ, Gilles, Phil, Me, Susan, Lesli, Michele, James and guy (sorry I cant remember his name). We had fun, ate lots of food, played bingo and drank a few beers. Hope we can do it again soon.

Sunday, July 06, 2008


Ripple and snap, crack crack and clak clak clak. The aluminum flag pole leaned, and drivers took note as this rider throttled his proud Mary near 70 mph. Cracks like fireworks, as he ripped south'bound rt 1. Oh yeah, it's the forth of July!

wiffle ball, why not! It's been a good ten years since the last time, maybe fifteen! Man my neck and lats hurt two days later. Why is it two days later? it's always two days.
Got my ride set up, now to wittle down my gear a little more, or less, my toiltry bag is entirely too heavy. I've got the rebuild kit for my reba, could take the abuse. Lets see if enduro seals can handle. Going rigid would be interesting, but if my fork seals can't withstand the are my arms going to feel?

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

what to bring;

I received similar advice from two close friends,
both of these friends are experienced adventurers, and both said;
"Pack what you need, then unpack and leave half behind".
Words of wisdom, words to live by.
Thanks Barry and Christopher. <- he's updating his blog again! But what to leave behind? Question; Rain fly vs: bug proof tent? rain fly is waaaayy lighter. The underlying Question; bugs or no bugs? There are always bugs! Tent it is! Front rack or screw the front rack. where will I stack the pizzas? Answer; On the rear rack! screw the front rack? definite maybe. Another friend, (Harry P) had good advice- "stuff on the bike will probably fall off". yeah, that was true Sunday. For the first half hour with Glenn, Brad, Skip and Matt I had to stop and go back to fetch gear that slid off even the most firmly and carefully perched and lashed locations. I still like the panniers, water proof and expandable. Although they fell off too! But after using a large 48" strap wrapped around the entire bag and rack it stayed put. My main focus is to carry enough water, food, rain jacket, two sets of riding clothes, three gallons of chamois butter, 100 percocet, comfortable sleeping gear, and a partridge in a pear tree. no problem. Glenn was on fire on Sunday. Custom made Carousel bags by Jeff Boatman performed rather flawlessly. I dubbed his setup "easy rider". Looked like we were both lost in the woods looking for the laundry mat :).

I was just checking out Jeff's blog. That bruth'a has got one fine set-up for our adventure. Not quite racked out yet, he's just getting use to the ride charictaristics of the 29'er before he weighs his new ride down with 20 pounds of gear. Twenty days and counting!

I also hear that there is a new sofa king in the hills of Sunday River. Wow, love it! Don't remember how the heck to ride one but wow man! Nice color too. That chain device is wicked. This new build makes me want to go and run over something...