Thursday, May 29, 2008

Part Duex ......

Sunday morning we woke up to what all of us had feared that pitter patter of rain on the outside of the tent. Camp master Steve came to collect his money,early, probably so he could run in to town for some more of his favorite elixir. We ate a bit, discussed the days plans which were to go and get lost in the Syncline area on the Washington side of the Gorge. We had a hand drawn map, and a bunch of people to ask in the parking lot. It all started with a 2,000 foot climb with a mix of pavement and dirt. The legs were feeling ok, nothing stellar as we ground our way to the top. Having taken advice from a guy in the parking lot we tried a bit of a different ride than I had planned based on the map and ended up taking a wrong turn somewhere that lead to a super loose rocky descent, causing Myles to flat twice and us to ride a bunch of pavement back to the car. Oh that and we went through the biggest poison oak field every. Lucky for us we had technu to apply as soon as we got back to the car. All is all I would like to come back to this area with a guide because I bet it has so much to offer.

After that it was off to another brewery, Walkingman in Stevenson. We arrived a bit before they opened, Brett had to get a coffee. I swear he has an espresso radar. No beer for him, just lots of caffeine. My friend Jacob is the head brewer so he and his wife joined us for a bit. We had a great time. "Stevenson a quaint drinking town, with a windsurfing problem." After that we decided to check out the Carson mineral springs for a soak in a tub and a wrap in a hot blanket. It had a bit of an institutional feel to it. "put your clothes in the basket, this is your tub." All from a guy named sonny, who in his late 50's, just happened to have a forearm tattoo and look like a guy not to be messed with. Talk about sweating, and heart palpitations, I thought I might pass out and die. After that we headed on in to the city.

Monday, we were all a bit tired so we went out to breakfast, and then some beers. Then it was on towards home we went. I'll leave you with a few parting shots of Portland, because we all know a picture is worth a thousand words.....

A Gorge, friends, bikes and beers....part 1

This past Memorial Day weekend I just had to get out of the routine that comes from living in a city. 5 days of work followed by one of recovery and then hopefully some bike riding. We planned to meet up with Carey and Myles, who recently left Seattle for Portland, and Brett, one of my favorite riding partners here in the Northwest and check out Hood River, OR. Usually we head to Bend, OR, but the logistics just didn't work out this year, plus with gas at $4.05 a gallon less distance is more for sure.

Hood River did not disappoint. In a nut shell we had a blast. We left Seattle as early as I could, arriving home when the clock says 3:34 doesn't lead to jumping out of bed the next morning. Lets just say we were off like a herd of turtles around 10. The sun was shining, we had heard that it was supposed to rain in Hood River, so we joked about calling everyone and saying we were staying home. We got somewhat worried as we drove down and the sun was swallowed up by grey skies a few mile north of Portland. We were not disappointed though as it came back as we drove up the River Gorge on 84.

The plan was to check out Post Canyon, everyone had told me it was mostly a freeride area, but the guy at the bike shop said there was plenty of xc stuff up there to. I purchased a map and we were off. I felt a bit like the informal leader, on the trail I kept checking the map and getting us lost, just like any good leader does I didn't let it slow me down and many times proclaimed with as much force as I could my refusal to be wrong. We got trail advice from helpful souls along the way, rode some super fun technical stunts and had an all around great time. After the ride it was straight to the Brewery, Double Mountain, and then off to the campsite. Where the real adventure began. It was off the beaten path, we were close to being out of gas, and when we arrived the "camp master" Steve was fairly intoxicated and comical. Looked as though he had been hanging out in his truck drinking with his old lady, how romantic. We paid the one time fee of 20 dollars and went to set up our tents. We arrived to a light show, and that was shortly followed by a dog fight, not our thankfully, a crying baby and a kiwi birthday party all rolled in to one.
near the camp masters house?
great navigation on my part
there's that map again.
getting my freeride on, I am soooo good can't you tell.

Myles applies the "if you ain't crashing, you ain't trying hard enough philosophy. Guess we know where he stands.

I took most if not all of these photos from Carey's blog, she has so many more, you should check em out.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Wouldn't it be great.....

I got a laugh out of this and thought I would pass it along.

"My Next Life" by Woody Allen

In my next life I want to live my life backwards. You start out dead and get
that out of the way. Then you wake up in an old people's home feeling better
every day. You get kicked out for being too healthy, go collect your
pension, and then when you start work, you get a gold watch and a party on
your first day. You work for 40 years until you're young enough to enjoy
your retirement. You party, drink alcohol, and
are generally promiscuous, then you are ready for high school. You then go
to primary school, you become a kid, you play. You have no responsibilities,
you become a baby until you are born. And then you spend your last 9 months
floating in luxurious spa-like conditions with central heating and room
service on tap, larger quarters every day and then voila! You finish off as
an orgasm!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

I must admit...

I haven't been blogging or riding as much as I would like. I have been bogged down here in the city, working. I still try to get a ride in each weekend, lately it has been about 2 or 3 hours. I fear that I won't be racing The Test of Metal, it is a co workers 30th birthday, and the other day bartender just gave her notice, means I have to do a bunch more work than I would like. I still hope that I can get one of the newbies up to speed so that I can make it to this race, after all I did somehow manage to get accepted in to it. The Creampuff, I just hope it doesn't hurt me too fitness is not were I would like it to be. I will soldier on and hope all goes well, that is if the snow melts there. Last I heard Aid 2 was under 8 ft of snow. Well I have a 3 day weekend coming up, gonna get out of town, do some camping, and hopefully a bunch of riding.

It seems to me that city life is not necessarily for me, not enough open space. I grew up in the sticks of Vermont and used to think that the city was where it was at, not that I want to live as far out as my father, but I would like to return to a place the size of Burlington, VT or a bit smaller. I feel as though I am always on top of other people and cities seem to bring out the worst in people. All the stop and go and congestion. One of my co workers just quit to move to NYC, I can't even imagine what that is going to feel like. Seattle to NYC talk about stimulus overload. I wish him all the luck in the world. Lately I have just been feeling like I need to get out, to leave the routine, the familiar behind for the road. I would like to take some time to tour on my bike, with no real schedule, no time line, deadline or have to do's, I have always been so focused on the goal, on being faster, getting through school, I would like to cruise for a bit, to see things from a different perspective. I have always had so many bills and have to's, I feel like I would like to take the time to go on a journey a quest so to speak....ah this all sounds a bit far fetched and overly simple...or what's the word i am looking for? I believe that we are all on our own journey's and that if we pay attention life will send us messages and direct us to what it is we are here to do....for some it comes easy, for some the static of life derails them and gets them off track, and they don't even try to find there way back and for others it is more of a struggle. I am reading a book right now, I only read it in small amounts to take it in and think about what it is I am reading, called Hardcore Zen Punk Rock, monster movies and the TRUTH about reality by Brad Warner. It is about Buddhism, which I will not try to summarize here and now, because I do not pretend to have a grasp on it all. A lot of what he says makes sense and resonates within me. It seems to boil down to questioning and the fact that there is no silver bullet, no single way or answer, there is what works for you. Taken from the back cover: "Question your conclusions, your judgments, your answers. Question this. If you question everything thoroughly enough, the truth will eventually git you upside the head and you will know. But here's the warning: It won't be what you imagined. It won't even be close." There you have it. I will probably have to read this book a few times to take it all in. Questions are they way to self discovery......through some of my own questioning I have begun down a path that I hope leads me where I am supposed to be...but then again wherever you are there you are. I have now rambled on and on about who knows what and hopefully made some sense. thanks to all who stuck with it this far and as always keep pedaling.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Happy Birthday to me!!!!!!!!!!!

The group loads up under I5 here in Seattle, stories are swapped about the previous nights shenanigans.

I turned 34 yesterday. I can't really even believe that I am 34, not that I feel old, and I know it is just a number, but 34 damn, funny thing is I still feel like I am much younger. 34 going on 14, or something like that. Maybe that is just a male thing, "I don't wanna grow up!!!" well I don't have to. Life takes over and speeds up, I can't imagine how fast it seems like it is going by in another 10 or 15 years. Perspective, it is all about perspective.......................

I took friday off so that I could enjoy sour beer at a local watering is exactly what it sounds like beer that tastes sour.....

Saturday the little lady and I went for a ride in the woods with the dogs, then I went to a bbq.

Sunday we had a birthday ride, 3 of us shared birthdays in 4 days. I was the oldest of the bunch. Happy Birthday to Keith and Ben as well, and my friend Ian's is on Friday. A whole bunch of Bull, or is it a whole bunch of bullshit....

Here are some pics from the ride, we went to Anacortes and rode some great trails......
Suck that gut in, vanity wins, I always look bloated and fat in all the other pics.

Ben shakes it out. The rainy drive turned out to be a sunny day, the trails were in perfect shape.

Beard Guy shaved a little part of his beard, he should be in a Civil war movie with that facial hair.

The mandatory group shot. Dog and all. Tanner is wondering what all the fuss is about and if he could just get what Craig is holding on to. What a motley crew. Another highlight of the day was when, as we got ready to ride Craig was blasting Salt and Pepa's Push It. I'll leave you with this.

now imagine 8 of us in an lake parking lot in northern washington dancing around singing, while others fished or got ready to ride their horse's. Thank you Craig, that my friend is humor.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!!!!

I could go on and on about all the little lessons and knowledge that mom's bring to us,but this church sign pretty much says it all. Thanks so much mom, I love you. Everybody should take the time today to let there mom know that they are very special people, cause without them we wouldn't be where we are today. Again moms are rad let em know, and as always keep pedaling.
Have a great day mom, wish I were there to share it with you.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

South Lookout Mountain....

The crew at the top.

Kevin talked about this climb a lot last year, he mentioned that it was the one that helped so much in all the stars aligning for his Creampuff win. South Lookout Mountain, is a beast, while not as steep as some of the other climbs in the area, it definitely has it steep points, and it goes and goes with only a few breaks in the action so to speak. We had a rather large group that took awhile to organize, we started up Galbraith and then dropped of the backside. We even passed and old hippy commune. The group joked about all things inappropriate, Wolf Creek was mentioned, and a few other horrorish movies. Then the climb started, it lulls you in easy at first and then bites and doesn't let go. Dale and I joked about turning around due to snow and saying we couldn't go any further, little did we know that we would be hiking through snow, just not turning around. It has been the winter that won't end her in the Northwest. Last year at this time we were riding dry trails and the temps were at least close to 70, not barley making it to 60. I can count the sunny days on my hand, to think i don't even need to take a shoe of yet. That's just how many sunny, truly sunny days we have had.
We finally arrive at the top, what a great view we got. Then we took a really primitive single track trail off the top, which was more hiking than riding downhill.
We made our way back to Galbraith and the Whoopsy Woodle, back across the bottom and finished the ride.

As we hiked, or tried to ride, landing us on our faces more than once, through the snow we laughed and wondered what would be around each corner. We arrived at the top, only to see that we had missed the
"where's my sherp?"

Old man Plant? why is he always out front?

The beard makes the hike. thanks for taking the pics kevin.