15 November, 2012

Off season/'Cross season/Eatin' season

Pics courtesy of my daughter.  Airborne's products do me rightly.
Off-season (for road).  Raced 13 times this year. Raced on an Airborne Guardian this year on all my mountain and cyclocross events. Mentally, I have sine-waved through mild burnout/apathy and let-me-in-coach episodes.  I'm currently in the latter due to the placebo affect of: I'm fitt'na get a proper 'cross bike.   Airborne's Delta.  Thank you Airborne.  If you've been following me for a while, you might've noticed I've undergone some considerable changes in my life.  One of my saving graces has been the therapeutic value of riding.  Therefore, my continuation of my two-wheeled addiction via Airborne Cycles probably saved my mental state in immeasurable ways.  I say ways because there were non-two wheeled interventions as well.  Even though Penelope's (my Airborne) not a welterweight, she'll pack quite the punch on the course; and every now and again, when I don't respect Mother Nature, she'll be Mother Nature's conduit and remind me-via crashing painfully-who runs the singletrack.

My friend said when he received a proper 'cross bike he moved up about five places.  Won't be able to race her until December because for the rest of this month I'm saving up my dollars to go see me brah and me Mum (you didn't know I was English did you-I'm SE Asian English as a matter of fact) in Phoenix.  Driving the couch 1600 or so miles with my chilluns.  Rountrip.  Going to fire off a ride in the Sonoran Desert too.  If y'all have never ridden in any desert-type setting it's pretty amazing.  That's why I frequent Moab.  It's quite the audio-sensory treat.  It's so foreign from living in the city or the suburbs that when you get out there, its  newness, and how your senses input that data to your brain could be a touch overwhelming (but in an inconspicuous sort-of-way).  I can see why all the "kooks" of society flock out here.  Whether to channel spirits or burn effigies or for whatever therapeutic/cleansing reasons the desert is a welcoming place with gobs of vastness, with a slight hum if you listen real close and she actually encourages you to do what you want (in an ethical way, that is).  The deluxe deal of this is I get to ride with my brother and afterwards hangout and dine with the family and some of their close friends.  Can't wait.

My cyclocross season (I guess for that matter too my cross country season) on Penelope the 29er has been fairly successful.  Even though I'm not in the upper echelon of 'cross categories I have won one and finished top 15 several times-on my Airborne Guardian 29er!  This season, due to many reasons-the least was treason-and due to my brain seizin' and my Airborne pleasing and egged on by my friends' teasing, since I own my house and I ain't leasin', and this Thanksgiving I'm fittn'a do some eatin', plus this off season I want to ease in, I participated in the most 'cross events ever.  It's basically 35-45 minutes of anaerobic effort-I don't even run a water bottle in these events-and to piss off the racers-I mean to make it more challenging-the organizers throw in for good measure(s):  barricades (which some can bunny-hop, I cannot), (flights of) stairs,
 off-camber steep pitches, and sand pits.  You either ride through or over it or you portage your steed then remount and continue your ballistic velocities before the timer goes off or you bonk or cramp ugly or crash and have a wicked (oooh wicked!) mechanical.  My Crossmax's though are not feeling it (or they're feeling it too much).  Hope I can get another season out of them.  Mavic knows how to make a nice wheelset.  Here's proof that 'crossing can be done on an Airborne 29er.  Came in 12th out of 50 last week..
We finished 12th and 13th today.  Both of us riding 29ers.  Me on an Airborne, him on a carbon fiber Supefly

Eatin' season.  Yeah, I'm going to eat.  Even though I'm vegetarian the eating of pumpkin pie (pronounced PUNK-in pie) will be welcomed.  Probably going to bring some Tofurkey and Qorn to my brother's giving of thanks at the dinner table.  Won't go too crazy with the absorbtive process.  The stresses of racing resulted in my morphology the lightest it's been in years so as a vain road-weenie, I kinda wanna keep the extraneous pounds off.  Had to buy some new pantaloons and punch more holes in my belts because of this.

The Holiday Season's going to have a smidge of a different yet exciting vibe this year with my Dad gone and my kids living in another zipcode (I'm coparenting so we thankfully still cohabitate) and my new relationship with Karen, but isn't that what defines your life? Change?  It's a learning experience.  I like to learn (learning can be painful).  There's always something to learn y'all. Well, I can say this at the very least, on two wheels I'ma learn to fly like Satan on a proper 'cross bike...
Here she is.  This picture says a lot actually.

01 November, 2012

Thinking on my October Break

Penelope and I.  Click on the picture and read my politically incorrect socks!  Thanks Airborne!
Don't even know where to begin.  With the coming of the school year and a new principal it has been quite the workload.  I don't mind working.  I love my job.  I'm no stranger to back-to-back-to-back 8+hour days; but, when October Break rolls around I truly have to grab my vacation by the horns (Hook 'Em Horns!!!...sorry) and get back my rest and recreation in order to be a better teacher, Dad, and dare I say boyfriend?

Been incredibly busy so here's what the Cycling Dad's been up to that now I can actually blog as my break (and what a fine break it's been!) is coming to an end.  Not a conclusion but just an arrested break. I know y'all are just dying to know what I've been doing (that was sarcasm y'all)...

My Airborne (the Guardian)-her name is Penelope-has been nothing but superb at the cross races I've participated in.  I get dropped on the long flats, just don't have the gears (or the horsepower?) but on the twisties and the sandpits and even some of the loosy-goosey stuff, she rolls like a fiend. I even went on two separate trips to Moab (took the Airborne on both)!  One with the Homey Trinity and the second one with Karen.  Both were splendorous in similar yet separate levels.  Even won a cyclocross race!  First one in decades.  I won my first two races as an undergraduate at the University of Texas waay back in the day.
Can you believe it?  I won a race!  My teammate Jeff came in third.

Moab Trip Number 1 with the Homey Trinity.  Since it's been a while and my short term memory's not going to do it justice, we did the Portal Trail when the sun was out (finally) but needless to say she likes human  offerings.  Her offering of choice are human ribs.  Last time we were there she punched me something fierce and I was down for the count for a couple of months.  This time she wanted Billy's ribs.  'Twas a nasty low speed fall that got him.  Like mine, he just fell on the rocks with nothing but his ribcage to brace his falling mass.  Ouch!  While Billy was healing in town, Kevin and I went ballistic at (the) Sovereign Trail.  We went absolutely full tilt.  It was a blast.  We did an out and back.  The Airborne was a bucking bronco but she has trail manners on the Moonrock sections.  Here are some pictures in no certain order.
This is Billy.  He's a goner should he turn right.  Quite a price to pay for a picture yes?  This is near the Portal Trail.
Billy striking a pose in the nose bleed section of Moab.  You just can see Highway 191 at the bottom left.

Here's Kevin at Sovereign.  Hell yes, it's that steep!  Gnarly don't you think?
Here are the youtube videos I made with Billy's GoPro and from my free trial with Video Pad Editor.  Great editing system.  I'd consider buying it if I wasn't so gosh durned cheap...
Part 1 (click on the link to the right).  Part 1 of the Portal Trail with the Homey Trinity
Part 2 (click on the link to the rght). Part 2 of the Portal Trail with the Homey Trinity  
On the second video I inserted a subliminal message.  See if you can spot it, let alone read it.  Here's your hint:  be quick with the spacebar.

Moab Trip number two with Karen.  I can fill another, separate blog about Karen's personality but that would bore y'all.  She's amazingly special, a class act and she's a vegetarian, teacher, and a mountain biker.  Ite den, don't wanna jinx us.  On our way out, Colorado had one of those nutty Winter weather blasts of snow especially in the high country.  Had to put the Tundra in 4wd to get over Vail pass and through Breckenridge.  The Tundra has a nickname.  Karen and I dub it the "couch".  The couch can hold two mountain bikes with the front wheels removed in the bed and weekend gear.  It's taken five adults with mountain bikes and gear to Moab.  The couch has taken my kids to California comfortably.  I love the couch (but I won't marry her).  The couch can go fast.  The couch likes petrol.  My couch is red (sadly I don't have one in my actual living room, nor a vacuum cleaner).  The couch has heated seats!  In Colorado, heated seats are deluxe.  I drive a couch and I like it!

We rolled out of Denver at six ante-meridian.  After taking the scenic route towards Moab, our first day's ride was at Klondike Bluffs and later at Moab Brand Trails.  Second day we rode Dead Horse Point State Park (absolutely beautiful, and Karen slayed the trail) and hiked Negro Bill Canyon.  On our way back home we stopped at Fruita and rode Horse Thief Bench/Loop.  Here are some pictures in no certain order. 

Dead Horse Point State Park.  Breathtaking no?
Power hiking at Negro Bill Canyon before the sun went down.
Overlook at DHPSP
My October Break has been quite spectacular.  Rode every day in the break.  Graded some papers but not quite done.  Spent Halloween evening with Karen and her family-that was cool.  My costume was a purple zoot suit from the thrift store; she was Yoda (or Yoda, she was).  Saw the Boulder Gran Prix of cyclocross where Ryan Trebon just beat Danny Summerhill.  At the same event saw Georgia Gould win her event convincingly!  Exciting.  Rearranged my new (spartan and austere) house in such a way that stuff is off the floor.  Not exciting.  Bought some CD racks from Craig's list.  Again, not exciting.  Read.  Ate to replace the calories I've been burning.  Even been eating ice cream!  Bought the used (but new to me) TV On The Radio's Dear Science CD.  Sonic excellence.  Been bitten by them after hearing their Return To Cookie Mountain release-thanks Alec.  Spectacular.  Ate at Root Down (pretty hip, Denver restaurant) with Karen and earned 100 Open Table points (don't know what that means but I've got one hundred points!).  Highly recommend that App for ideas and for reservations.  Don't remember any October Break being this memorable.  Looking back, it is quite the trajectory to my current condition.  I don't recommend the path I took to get to here but needless to say I'm here.  I'm learning.  No regrets.  Feeling the sting of a single income.  A little unpredictable sadness creeps up at times but nothing a good ride or supportive friends and family can't fix (thinking back on it, my therapist sucked!).  Miss my Dad.  This'll be my first Christmas as a non-familial unit.  Hmm.  Seeing Mom and me older brah for the giving of Tanks.  Road tripping with my chilluns out to see them in Phoenix.  Hopefully I-40'll be mellow weather-wise.   Should be fun.  C'mon indoor, heated pools in Albuquerque and Santa Fe!!

What a journey it's been so far.  Still developing, let's see where it goes but I'll tell you this:  I'm absolutely digging life.  Work's going to happen soon but not right now.  I'm savoring this the way your little brother would savor the Oreo cookie globular filling he was saving and accumulating while you were eating the cookies like there's no tomorrow.  And here he is eye-balling the sugary goodness while you're saucer-eyed in disbelief that he could construct such a glorious lipid and carbohydrate hybridized gooey monstrosity that's so sweet it'll make your teefers hurt.  Yeah that's me (except even more grateful and thankful).