Monday, January 23, 2012

Self Control

I lack it.  Too much time and too many fun activities to do.  It's hard to stop and just chill out.

This past weekend the region finally received some much needed snow.  That meant our local mountain had 11" of fluffy white powder, while it rained down in the valley.  Perfect, our trails needed some moisture.  Can you say Hero Dirt?!  When the weather cooperates, what is a guy to do but enjoy it.

I spent 3 hours breaking fresh skin tracks to the top of the mountain in search of fresh powder turns.  With 5,000ft of ascending on the skis, I became greedy and snatched up first turns on the best 3 runs before the lifts even opened.  A great morning workout done by 9am and some glory points!

I followed that up by riding lifts a few times.  Some more powder was had, then I called it a morning when I realized I might hurt myself making sloppy fatigued turns.

By 12:30 I was on the knobby tire bike and headed up.  Feeling good, I had thoughts of claiming another 5,000ft vertical.  As luck would have it, I saw my coach descending the National Monument as I was headed up.  With my Ipod in, I could not hear what he said, but with the finger pointing, I can only imagine.  That got me thinking I might put myself into a hole and not get the quality out of my efforts this week.  Bah, but I did get 2.5hr and 3,000ft in on another beautiful day in the valley.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Too Little Time

I was thinking yesterday, I'm glad I only have a few solid hobbies.  I don't think I would have the time to do anything else.  Take for example, this weekend.

Saturday: Leave the house at 8am and ride dirt out to Fruita, hit some flowy 18Rd singletrack, then ride back to GJ by noon to open the shop.

Sunday: Get up at 4:45am, slam some espresso and banana, gather gear, and out the door at 5:10.  Skin up the 1,800ft at Powderhorn under a full moon and drop down for turns on some fresh snow.  Re-skin and do it all over again.  Home by 9:30 for pancakes and coffee, then out the door at 11:30 for a sunny 3hr trail ride.  Home to watch part of CX Nationals, eat, then relax.

Aside from that, watch this video from Tilford.  Besides all his tangents, I think he speaks the truth about having good blood.  That or just good muscle memory.  I've felt like crap on the bike and even skiing the last couple months.  Just like I couldn't get in a rhythm, breathing too hard, muscles weren't engaging right.  I don't know.  I had a week and a half off, then I did a 28hr week on the bike in Tucson.  What a difference that made.  I rode hard 4 hours on Saturday and felt amazing.  Sunday, I effortlessly skinned up Powderhorn in what seemed like 1/2 the time.  Then the afternoon of riding was even better.  My legs were opened, I could throttle it and felt smooth.  It could be part mind games, but who knows.  I guess it's good for motivation that it can come back so quick.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

2011 Trip Highlights-Visual Style

2011 was full of adventures and travels with good people.  Here we go...

Getting some sun, good riding and some racing in St. George and Hurricane, UT with the LTR crew.

Spending a few days in California with Dempsey. Cheap motels, Fontana Pro XCT, sushi buffets and his first In 'N Out Burger

Road tripping for 5 days in Monterey, CA.  17mi Drive coast rides with the Kevin and Conor, Sea Otter, Trader Joe's and some good stories.
Rolling down the coast through Pebble Beach

Spending the weekend bumming it in Vail for Teva Mtn Games with good friends.
Sleeping in a pull-off by the river was nice...being under a sprinkler in freezing temps, not so much!

Hanging out in Wisco with the Quiring crew, hammock sleeping, tipsy religious put-put golf, and meeting new friends in the great Mid-west.
Photo from Sue. Click to make bigger!

Exploring Sun Valley, ID.  Riding sweet trails, having good legs and result at Nationals, staying in a cabin on the golf course.

Marquette.  Always look forward to hanging out with some of the best people in this cool old mining town.  Hard racing, good rides, better people and great parties.
Riding along Lake Superior before flying home

Slamming burritos, quesadillas, potatoes, pancakes, then beer at 24 Hours in the Sage.  Making MTBing FUN!

Sticking to the pavement after rupturing some ligaments in my ankle falling off a slack-line.  Hanging out with Kevin and Danielle in Conifer for the night, then exploring 14,000+ft Mt Evans.

Flying solo for a Thanksgiving weekend.  Rallying some trails in Moab, car camping, meeting new friends around a campfire, and enjoying the great outdoors.
Waking up to this view on Thanksgiving. I'll give that thanks!

A weekend in Vegas for my brother's bachelor party, smashed between some zero degree car camping, early morning ski session, and mountain biking in Utah.

My first ski trip after teaching myself to ski just 2 weeks earlier.  Shacked up in a cabin with good company.  If only I was healthier and the snow was deeper.
Enjoying the sun at 11,000ft. Picture shamelessly stolen from Jenn

A powder day on the sticks followed by skate skiing, then a 16hr trip around the country to see family for X-Mas.  Only a couple days, but it was time well spent.
I missed family Christmas on X-Mas eve. Thanks to Aunt Lynn for filling in for me in the pic!

Ended the year with a week of sun tanning...errr, bike riding in Tucson.  Road, trails, group rides, Mt. Lemmon, Cookie Cabin, shooting range, we did it all.

That is only some of the trips.  Doesn't include local rides, camping, BBQ's, or anything.  It can only get better in 2012!  Hoping to find some new adventures, meeting new people, getting to know current friends better, traveling, seeing new places and having one hell of a time.  Whether I see you in a town, at a race, or you visit me, let's make 2012 awesome!

Monday, January 02, 2012

New Year

2012 already?  I feel like 2011 went by way to fast, but maybe it was just related to how much fun I had.  I traveled to new places, met new people, created new friendships, and have too many stories to tell.

I've got some big plans for 2012, but nothing crazy.  Try a few new things, check off some to-do's, and hopefully come home with even more stories from awesome adventures.

I logged the least amount of days on my bike this past December, than any December in the last 5 years.  Not sure why.  Motivation, weather, life, skiing, it all took it's place.  While I'm missing out on a little fitness, I am mentally fresh and ready to have a strong 2012 season.

While my bike got lonely, I wasn't just sitting on the couch.  After my Vegas trip, I did a few days at a hut trip.  Some good friends, tasty food, wrong turns, 2hr detours on the skis made the trip a success.  While the snow was lacking, the fun wasn't.  With my bike in transit to a warmer climate, I spent the next 4 days playing in the snow close to town.  Whether it was a bitter cold night ski with the headlamp, or skiing powder lines on bluebird days, it was great for the mind.

Coming into Christmas I checked off a bucket list item: flying X-Mas eve.  I arrived at the airport at 4:30pm in Grand Junction, and after connections in Phoenix and Philly, I landed in Detroit and was home by 11am X-Mas day!  2.5 days with the family was nice.  Food, card games, bowling, and hiking were all mixed in.  Up again at 3:45am on the 28th and I was on my bike at 12 noon in Tucson, AZ.  Been down here all week working on my tan and getting my legs back under me.

It's been good.  Starr Pass trails, Saguro National Park, Mt Lemmon, The Cookie Cabin, Shoot Out Ride, Gates Pass and more.  I've hit the typical stuff and the weather has been phenominal.  Sunny and mid-70's all week.  A few more days then back to Grand Junction.  It is definitely colder, but mid-40's and rideable trail isn't too bad for January.

See ya on the flip side.