13 April, 2012

Spring Break Came and Went!

White Tank Mountain Regional Park

Well, I'm sitting in my classroom getting caught up from Spring Break and what better way to get caught up than at work?  I've come in on a weekend that's how much of a professional I am (right!).  I don't have internet service at my house but I do have a smart phone and besides I'm too cheap to pay for internet.  I should ask my neighbor's what their password(s) are so I can do this at home but that's ite.
It all started back in March the 24th.  The kids and I go to visit their cousins (my nephews) and Uncle (me brah) and Aunt (me sis in-law) out in Goodyear, AZ.  Goodyear's essentially in the Phoenix area.  First night we spent at one of the illest La Quinta's in Albuquerque, NM.  The pool was closed and I told the kids to pack their swimsuits because we love nothing better than swimming.  The ocean's our first choice but pools are our second.  Next door was a Denny's we hit for dinner.  Yuck.  Needless to say we got some quality time talking and watching MTV. 
Next day, we hit Goodyear!  Awesome to see the family.  Mom was there too visiting from SoCal.  The kids play up a storm and we're ready to hit the ground running the next day.
My brah, in the zone...
 Monday, Jeannine and my Mom take the 5 kids to the Arizona Museum of Natural History while my brother and me ride White Tank Mountain Regional Park.  Couldn't tell you the names of the trails but 23 miles later we were smiles from ear to ear.  Brought the 29er this time (although I love riding his Moots hardtail-the RigorMootis).  It was a blast.  The single track was tight and the rocks were abundant.  The trail he took me on was more technical than the ones he took me on last break.  No roots out here just rocks and rocks and rock obstacles where the soil eroded leaving some gnarly looking obstacles that isn't graded for pedestrian use.  The climb out translated into an ass-kicking descent that left me feeling pinballed and jackhammered.  On one picture I'm pinching but tubeless saves the day.  Thanks inventor of the UST compatible wheelsets.  Still, the goofy grins on our faces were there.  My brother rocks like that.
Unfortunately the community pool was too cold because it still gets pretty cold at night here in Goodyear.  The next day, we went bowling at the AFB.  We put the bumpers down for the kids and they had a blast!  My daughter Maura scored two strikes in a row whereas my oldest daughter bowled with the adults where the gutters beckoned our bowling balls.  First game I beat my daughter but in the second we tied.  My brother's score was unreachable from us.  Earlier that day we went for an extended family bike ride to the local park where I explained to my brother and sis in-law that although Maricel is rather slender and tall, don't let those appearances deceive you, she can run like greased lightning.  So we had races from one end of the grassy field to other where my brother, my sis in-law, and I tried to knock down Maricel a podium finish or two but it was to no avail.  She smoked all the adults.  She fast my daughter o'mine.
Feeding the giraffes.  The baby's on the right.
 Last day we went to the zoo.  Not particularly a fan of zoos but hanging out with my family I'll pretty do anything and it turned out pretty special too.  At the Icee machine when the girl wasn't looking we refilled our drinks several times.  The award for most brazen has to go to my middle daughter when she refilled it for the fifth time.  I'm so proud!   I forgot how damn tasty Icee drink concoctions are!
The trip home in the cab of the Tundra was spent rewinding how the trip and connecting again with family members was special.  Every time I visit my brother, however short the time is, we have an absolute blast.  The kids being present made it the icing on the cake.  We spent a night in Santa Fe.  The only pool that was open the entire trip.  So of course not only did we jump in the regular pool but we hit the hot tub as well.  Yea!  The results of this trip were funky tan lines, more fun than you can shake a stick at, and reinforcing how hanging with family is the shite.
The following Saturday I entered my first race of the season after going on the USA Cycling website the night before to NOT race the Cat 5's and to get licensed with my local governing body (the ACA).  What better training than eating and eating in Arizona and hanging with the fam?  Did the 45+ open and blew up mid-race.  45 open means racing with Cat Is and IIs.  Fast and more than decent bike handlers.  I couldn't believe the pace!  I was still pretty happy and now I know the speed expectations of this group.  60+ competitors in my wave.  Amazing.  Gotta due some power workouts.  What ended up being my demise was the accelerations up the hill.  I tried to spin in the pack but that only got me going backwards.  I have no wattage.  Gotsta work on that.  I chock it up as a learning experience.  Our group was lucky, my friend Kenny L.'s group had to call in ambulances for the crash-fest they experienced.  One of my teammates needed 5 stitches on his elbow.  Ouch.  First race done.  Looking forward to the next when I can redeem myself (pack finish).  Been doing some of the Meridian local rides but apparently it doesn't translate to power.  We'll see this Saturday when I do my second race of the season, the Denver Federal Center Criterium.  I'll race the 35+, Cat IIIs because a weather front's coming in later that day and bringing with it snow.  We'll see how I do tomorrow.  Tonight though, I witness a pop act called (the) Cults at the Fox Theatre in Boulder up on the Hill.