Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Girls, Girls, Girls

The 2009 Moab girls trip was a rippin success. Smiling Szabo picked me up at the airport and provided pizza and a cushy bed before we headed down first to Fruita then to Moab. Famous roadie Lara K made her first appearance as well. We were dubbed "value added guests". We had our first ride in Fruita on the bookcliff side. It was fun and a good way to open the legs up and start the suntan. Then of course we went to the Hot Tomato Cafe for world class pizza and a cool scene. You gotta love when a restaurants motto is "Ride Bikes, Eat Pizza" And its for sale if you know anyone (else) who is looking for a career change.

Then down to Moab. We stayed at some great little condos right on 100th in town. We started the riding off with the practice loop and then Porcupine Rim. It really is one of my favorites in the world. Its just a ripper and there are some big drops. That is some of the fastest riding I've done in a long time for going downhill. And it was so fun riding with Lynn and Sharon because they like drops bigger than what I like to do. They would go back up and do them again!

It was car show weekend in Moab, so it was crowded with supped up american classics. One car spit fire out of its tail pipes. There were lots of freaks to watch, but actually didn't see too many mullets, but saw a black and tan. That is a hair do sported by an urban redneck woman that is platinum in the front and then purple in the back and the dividing line for the two colors is straight across the dome.

Porcupine was only a three hour ride, so since Heather is training for the Breck Epic we needed to ride longer the next day and we did. We had an awesome 5 hour ride on Poison Spider and Gold Bar Rim. It is just fun slick rock and sandy spots with lots of ups and downs. We got rained on for 10 minutes, but basically dodged a big bullet with the weather. Then we had the most amazing tailwind ever on the ride back to town. That felt like heaven. We topped the night off with stellar margs and enchiladas at Miguels and then watched all the cars go back and forth and back and forth and back and forth.

Sunday we had another French toast breakfast and Michelle k. taught us to do Zumba. That woman can shake her hips. The favorite lines were "Attitude Ladies, Arms!" and " Latin Lover". I thought we did amazing for some seriously challenged cyclists.

It was so great to spend a weekend riding and laughing wit the girls. I have a new appreciation for the Colorado girls now that I don't have to race against them.

Friday, April 17, 2009

King of Stink

Beth and I went up to Canaan for a few days. We got to pick ramps just over the hill from my house. We cooked them up and couldn't smell them at all. But then when i got home Tim said that the ramps were really coming out of my pores. And that is why they call them the King of Stink! I love the story of Karl Waite taking 200lbs up to three or four fancy restaurants in NYC and selling them for $8 a pound.

I got to be a technical specialist for the intermediate mtb class of Garrett County. They were a good group of kids and really made a lot of progress riding the wet and muddy Plantation Trail. It looked like a war zone in some parts, but of course its all rideable. Roger is talking about getting Davis Trail upgraded with some serious trail maintenance and that would be brilliant.

I got to test ride Tim's EWR. That was fun. It does some things amazingly. It climbs steep hills and goes over big logs with so much ease. I love the geometry as well and that was the first time I have ever ridden steel. But riding a hard tail feels harsh to me now. But if you get a chance to ride an EWR...do it.

We have a big weekend of riding planned around Ft. Valley. We are going to do a two day of non stop rocks. I hope I can hang!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

No Galaxing

I'm not sure that a noun can be turned into a verb like that, but it works in Northkackalacky. The Galax is a plant that grows in Appalachia and all around Pisgah. It gets a leathery leaf and flowers in the late Spring. It is used in floral arrangements. Sorry, I did pick one because Jake said it stinks, but I think it was him.

We had a short trip to Asheville. Tim went to another session of the Trek Fit school and I rode my mtb and checked out downtown. Pisgah has some really fun riding with super fun downhills and amazing views. Jake gave us a tour of the I-9 wheels HQ. I am lusting after a pair of their wheels. One of the company perks there is they have mini motos for the employees to ride to blow off steam. I haven't seen so many hippies in a long time and I can't believe we paid $6.50 for some herbal tonic that left us all weird, wired and wondering.

Whitney and Kyle were down vacationing also, so it was great to see this young couple exploring the mountains. They had matching bibs.

On a bad note, the Sprinter gave us hell on the way back to the burg with some kind of fuel flow problem. Nothing like having your new car crap up.

Good news, Harris-Roubaix and Easter Bunnies

Monday, April 6, 2009

High Country

I got my taxes done which always hangs over my head way more than it should. But what self employed person doesn't hate paying taxes? Even though I still had a couple of major things that I was procrastinating on (getting a job, canaan mtb festival) I decided it was more important to get out of the house and go out to the mountains.

I got on my madone with a small backpack and credit card and went on a little tour. I've always wanted to bike tour, but I'm not ready for the whole hauling all the stuff for camping and cooking. So I went light and it felt right. I did lots of mountains. It was wet two out of the four days, but I had the perfect clothes on and never got cold. It made it easy staying at hotels for drying the clothes and relaxing. I think its important to have some days alone, to myself. It simplifies so many things and makes things so clear.

But relationships are what feeds a life, so I met the crew up at Grassy Mt. Lodge for friendship and a night with babies. We cooked up a mess of ramps and had vension burgers. Anne Brie ate some ramps and it might of upset Lucas because he was up crying a lot in the night.

Ramps are a wild leek found in the Appalachians this time of year. They are very pungent and if someone is eating them you can smell them a mile away. They are so good sauteed up. But Joel like them so much he put them on his sandwich. He is a monster, though.

Joel, Trevor and I then rode home from Spruce Knob to Harrisonburg. That is one the the classic rides of all time.