Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

into the dark

A cool August sky over North Conway NH
A first ride into complete darkness for the season,
A first night cold enough to wear a sweater,
A first realization summer is nearing the end
Molly; ice kite surfing and dh. way cool. oh and a plumber!
Our reward, redneck rock. The climb so steep we had to walk. Pointed it down and cycled the shock. Railing corners, squeeze but don't lock. An enjoyable eve Daren and Ken.
But darkness my friend, not you again.
Like having an overbearing mother hen.
You call too early and will only worsen when,
you force us to mount lights
or just ride zen.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Riding with a mission, ice cream.

One of these days I will own a work stand. There's gotta be a better way to assemble a bike while not precariously leaning on a folding table.
"yeah Greg, now pull a wheelie". - So he shows me up and does an endo.
I have developed a new training regiment, it involves riding bikes everyday followed by ice cream and raspberry floats. Wonder how that's going to play out at S100 next week? Chris, can we have ice cream at aid #5 instead of pizza this year?Through the woods I heard the conversation between Harry and Skip.
" that a? no, it is! crap.. Can we fix it? (Skip) - got any duct tape?
Puzzled why HP's bike wasn't staying in gear. had something to do with a clean break through the center of the down tube. Shards of scandium waiting to tear through a calf under the bowing pressure if the top tube were to let loose. Nine months of R+D proves un-Harry proof.
In Salsa's defense, Harry is an animal.
Skip offers up a loaner to replaced el-cracko. Harry stating the obvious, "umm...Skip, i think you need a new big ring". Was all in the plan to slow the kid down so we could ride with him.
That's gonna leave a mark. hey looks exactly like the bolt from under my sram shifter. Stupid gears.
Now Dita, it's time to dance!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Found Mo-Jo

It was hiding behind the clouds!

Man, just the other day I started to draft a post describing my lack of excitement for the ride and lamenting for my misplaced mo-jo. What a difference a couple of days under sunny skies can make.
Last night was also good for the soul - The Witch'es Cup Crit in Salem. No, I didn't race... but was re-energized by contact from nor'shore personalities who came out to watch and drink beer in public places.
Good luck this weekend to Racing Rick, Jeff Whittingham and Harry Precourt at the Hampshire 100k!! Should be a battle. Can't wait to hear how the dust settles. That was a super fast pace last year... don't think anybody told all the efta guys that 60 miles is marathon racing. Red lined from the start-finish.
The Shenandoah 100 is right around the corner... hummm... Wonder if anybody wants to roll?

Friday, August 01, 2008

To the moon and back

By the third day I was acclimating to the altitude. My head only slightly pounding, and the climbs were getting easier, or maybe I was getting used to tugging around 25 pounds of clothes, camp gear, water and food. My legs strong but lungs working overtime to compensate for the lack of O2 at eleven thousand feet above sea level. Much like breathing through a soda straw. I break to huff and puff and work the camera as Jeff climbs out of sight. I try and capture his deep blue shirt against a carpet of lush green grass speckled with a rainbow of wild flowers but his whirling has propelled him out of sight.
That brutha's on fire! I thought. My attempts to capture his deep blue shirt were all for not as he climbs to a new level on the swicthbacks on his way to 12,200 feet. Glenn throws him self at Kokamo pass in an attempt to catch the Gazelle. (Jeff's - new nick name is The Gazelle). Glenn is having an exceptional day in the climber's seat. He and Jeff are far above Tim and myself as we use our cameras for an excuse to stop every five minutes for a photo op. With every pedal stroke the view becomes more like a painting. We break for lunch, peanut butter on a bagel on top of Kokomo Pass. The view is beyond spectacular. The reward we sought after full filled; an eye full as far as the naked eye can possibly see. The long trip from Friso, up and over Copper Mountain and through the flowered valley was worth every minute.
I ask Tim, "what are the reddish deposits in the snow?" The Geologist replies "bacteria, I think..." As we stand atop Elk Ridge we see in the distance Jeff near the snow melt, capturing the icy cold runoff and chugging it down. We close in, and I'm out of water so I ask Jeff, "how's the bacteria?" He looks confused and then realizes what I might be referring to. He hands me the bottle and I fill up. Lucky for us, no side affects.
The seven days on the trail were simply about enjoying our unfamiliar surroundings and marveling at the mountainous landscape. Waking early to ride 10 hours a day on trails and through the western towns and of course to take advantage of every hamburger joint they had to offer.

It's 75 degrees on top and I hit the front brake hard in an attempt to intentionally dump my ride. Is this snow real? One way to find out... I layed in the soft snow for an extra moment letting the cold sink in to my leg. Topping out for the second time on the Continental Divide, we would cross it for a total of three times during our seven days.

Struggling seven miles up a highway to the Monarch Crest Trail was a detour we choose from segment 14 to end our trip on the C.T. The Crest trail was a blast. Winding around the tall dome shaped mountains, the trail's momentum was a relief to tired legs having little uphill climbing and mostly bombing descents. Dipping into small valleys in the early morning before the sun warmed the heavy clouds, we scared up a slumbering pack of elk. They leaped to their feet and dashed down the mountain with little regard for their safety. Lunging down steep drops and spanning craggy gaps, in seconds they were a quarter mile from where they were bedded down. Sorry guys.

At the bottom of the Monarch Crest Trail were two options, a single track named the Rainbow trail or an eighteen mile decent to the town of Poncho Springs, or more accuratly the down hill road to food and beer. We chose food and beer.