23 September, 2007

Fall equinox's a'comin'

yesterday began with a bike ride up squaw pass-starting from bergen park-to echo lake and back down. took 2.5 hours. started at 8:30 so i was wearing the arm warmers, thermal base layer, and the groovy matching vc windbreaker vest (thanks christopher) to compliment my nutty vitamin cottage ensemble (aka the barney kit). there's practically no cyclists that early in the morning ascending the evergreen side of squaw, but i passed one anyways. it was a beautiful, penultimate day of summer with the aspens' colors changing. yeah, the date on this picture's some years old, but that's what i saw yesterday (i'm tellin' ya!). the weather was crisp and my pistons were okay. descending onto echo lake, i had a fierce headwind but that's okay, because on the return trip to bergen park i had a nice tailwind generously pushing me. i tried not to use my granny, but had to a couple of times because i don't want to go hard in the off-season (to be honest, i never really had an on-season this year). a butt-load of jet bikers were cruising up squaw too with their four-bangers and aftermarket exhausts redlining the straightaways. it's an impressive sound hearing them blow by me in their crotch missile aero tuck. there were your cruiser-harley-types too practicing for their sunday drives.
i rode early because i was meeting my in-laws and my family at home so we could go hike kenosha pass (as well as the rest of colorado). parking wasn't an issue because there's always somebody leaving. i portage mason on the kid kelty and it's off we go. it's always a hoot hiking with the family because my girls hike like it's nobody's business nowadays. there was a lot of hominids either riding or walking out on the colorado trail (the eastside of 285). saw alison dunlap sporting her luna bar kit. asked her if she's doing anything competitive and she replied she's semi-retired. what a cool girl. i remember meeting her back in the 90's in one of our u.t. cycling meetings. our plan was to hike up till it peaked then pull a u-turn. my new plan when carrying mason's to bring my ski-poles to augment my balance as they act like outriggers on a sea canoe. it also helps me when i use 'em like cross country poles giving me a little push as i go uphill (and braking when i descend). mason's yelling, "hi!" to all the people we pass making me deaf in one ear. i tell him to quit yelling. what mason also likes is when i get close to trees on the singletrack, i tell him to touch the bark or overhanging branches of the trees. so whenever he sees trees now he always reminds me to, "touch, daddy." he's cool like that. once we get to the apex, grandma reminds grandpa of a bench there were he can rest. i snap some pictures of the surrounding area when we get to the bench. the middle picture's from melissa and her esthetically refined viewpoint. the top one's mine. it's overlooking southpark with 285 meandering in the background. we hike a little further and maura and her no-nap-today self's already getting pooped-out and cranky. so we turn around and head on back. she trips on a root and cries a bit because she hurt her knee. she's really tired and mason and his 40-pound self translates into kid kelty's shoulder straps digging into my atrophied scapulas. i want to bellyache but i don't. it's the return trip anyhooses. on our way home we comment on how there's a long-ish queue at the coney island (hotdog) landmark. it's good if you like greasy spoon joints with artery clogging milkshakes to boot (remember denver's griff's hamburgers?).
at the safeway conifer complex, we have an early dinner at anthony's pizza and pasta. our family orders a sicilian-style thick crust pizza (vegetarian of course!), we devour it, and wash it down with pop (my dietary achilles heel). here's a bit of safeway conifer trivia: there's a new starbucks there and yours truly was their first ever customer. so, i received a pound of coffee gratis and they also took my picture with the caption: our very first!. how funny is that? so whenever i go inside for my nicotine delivery device every now and again i look at my picture. it's akin to listening to your recorded voice. "nutty" i say to myself whenever i look at that unreasonable facsimile of me on the wall. have i mentioned that i like that anthony's ny-style pizza?
at our house we start a bonfire, setup the lawn chairs, and veg so as to signal our end to a righteous, physically active day. we roast some marshmallows on grandpa's whittled branches to make s'mores that we eat for dessert. it's close to the girls bedtime and melissa and i are bear-hugging a kiddo each (on our laps, mason's already in bed), taking advantage of convection (as opposed to confection) heating made possible by a grant from our bonfire...a great end to a fantastic day of riding and quality family time. o yes...