Monday, July 27, 2009


I just got back from an awesome solo trip to Colorado and I really want to write about it, but I tend to suck at this sort of writing. I can't think of how any of my experiences are relevant or pertinent enough to anything the reader (i.e. you) might be experiencing, and I really don't want to talk AT you. I want to talk with you. But that's not what the internet is for. I've also learned that people don't really ever read anything anymore. So I suppose I should just let the pictures do the talking.

Unfortunately, I don't have a camera

So, courtesy of Google Image Search, here is a photo journal of my summer trip out west:

The spontaneity got its start with my first night in Golden, which involved free beer at Ace-Hi because it was ladies' night, the meeting of a semi-local who took me riding right from town the next morning, and the purchasing of the largest, cheapest avacado I've ever seen. It was magical, and I never even meant to stop there. Here's a picture of the bar, as well as, what appears to be a very succesful greyhound named "Ace-Hi Rumble."

Then I drove a leisurely two hours to Granby, the site of the 2009 Mountain Bike Nationals. It was a party.

Next I went to visit my ol' bff Sarah, who is working as a climbing guide in Estes Park. I love Sarah very much, and I got to hang out with her little climbing co-guides, whom I now also love very much. Here's a picture of us having fun at an earlier date:

And here's another picture from Estes Park, of one of Sarah's climbing buddies on, I think a 5.10:

Anyway, I went on one bike ride outside of Estes that included (I dare say) some of the best trails I've ever riden. Not like a destination ride that everyone talks about or anything conventional like that, but rather...completely unmarked trails that no one ever talks about. But there were pedal scrapes on rocks and log pyramids, so apparently someone was out there riding. Such fun tight, technical singletrack that would pop you out at some great little vista then twist you back into pine forest, then up through Aspens, back up to a different vista, and back into pines. It was magical. I will forever hold that day's ride in my heart. Shit, I'm about to cry.

Next I departed Estes to go see what the hell the deal with Fort Collins is. I still don't really know, but I did have a good time there. Stopped on my way to ride something called the Devil's Backbone, which was over-used like Bent Creek style for a little bit, but eventually devolved (or evolved?) into really awesome, flowy, can't-see-anyone trails. I was in a Colorado Meadow. It was awesome. Then I turned around, goy in my truck, and drove the rest of the way to Fort Collins, even though I think I could have just mountain biked there on that trail. Stupid logistics.

Here's a picture:

And, apparently, a few other people also think this is a great trail, and you can buy a commenterative mug...if you'd like:

Well, like I was saying...Fort Collins is cool enough. You can ride from town, it's a college town so you have a good chance of meeting cuties (or "fresh young tenders" as one Asheville lady once put it), and you can stumble into New Belgium Brewery at any hour of the day (just because you have an hour to kill before leaving for Denver) and they'll give you four free samples of your choice of any of their beers, just for being you. I had a Tripple, another Belgium style thing, Adam's Ale (sort of pale, absolutely delicious), and a Dandelion ale. All I had to do for them in return was tell them what I would name my band, if I were in a band. I called it, "My Dog Dave" and drank four delicious beers. I thought this was the coolest thing ever, but then I realized I must not be the only one, since, according to Google Image Search, several other people have had (and thoroughly enjoyed) the exact same experience. But maybe with a different band name. Oh well. New Belgium is the People's Brewery.

While beering, I talked to some homeboy who recognized my Endless T-Shirt and told me about the "biking scene" in Fort Collins, I sent a post-card to Megs, because said homeboy talked to me about bike polo, went for a long walk to make sure those four half-pints wouldn't affect my driving capabilities, and got in the ol' truck to go see Little e in Denver.

Eric, or Little e, or Dr. Cutlip and I were going to go on a 4-5 hour ride, but my goal of riding so much that I wouldn't feel like riding at all when it came time to sit in a car for 24 hours came a little bit too early. I didn't have it in me at all. All heart, no legs. We rode for a little over 2 hours on some awesome trail outside of Evergreen, CO, saw a brown bear, switched out I got to ride a fixed Viscous 29er, and he got to ride a 26" geared Independent with a 3.5 inches of squish up front. I think the change was much harder for him. I'm going to address this issue in more depth in a later post...but for now, let me tell you what a fucking amazing rider Little e is. Little e is a fucking amazing rider. He never really bothers to take the smooth line, he just takes the straightest line, and even rigid and fixed, he makes it look smoother than riding a boardwalk on a cruiser. God is jealous of Little e, and so beyond himself that he was able to create something like that.

So I pussed out of a big ride, but we got to eat some Middle Eastern food, which is my favorite genre of food, and I had been (seemingly) living off fig newtons and beer, so this meal was all the more incredible. Then Lil' e took me on a ride through greater Denver...a 2+ hour, late night tour of the town on our fixed gears. It was awesome. I guess I hadn't been in a real city for awhile, 'cause I was dumbfounded and slack-jawed by all those skyscrapers. So cool! And just as magical as that ride outside of Estes. Just a different sort of magical.

With that, I got up early-ish the next morning, and retraced my westward drive eastward. Met up with Slowhio Robb at some McDonald's in southern Illinois for breakfast, as he was heading westward to go do the Colorado Trail Race (which begins Aug. 2, so keep him in your thoughts.) I made him sit at the Lego table with me, I think he was disgusted.

Then I got home, got out my townie, rode around Asheville, got a text from Alex that said, "West to East...what dreams came back with you?"

I told him, no new dreams, just the realization that I'm on my way to manifesting old (and current) ones.


Monday, July 13, 2009

$1850 just to impress your boyfriend!?!

While purusing Craigslist (like I do all day everyday) I saw this that caused a severe disappointment in my gender. Sigh. That was one of my best jokes, telling people I ride bikes to meet boys. Then I realized people actually do that. Meeting boys could definitely be a result of riding bikes, especially considering the ratio is "80 million to one" as a lonely male collegiate racer once pointed out, but it should not be the reason for riding bikes. That's silly.

Anyway, stepping of my high-horse of tom-boy-ism, now...

Went mountain biking with some Brevard boys (of course) this past Saturday and it was amazing. We rode some secret trails and they were the jam. Then we jumped in the lake and it was like summer. The next day I skipped a ladies-only ride (of course) and accidently wound up going tubing in the Smokies and it really felt like summer.

Speaking of which, remember Tom Petty's lyrics, "I feel summer creeping in and I'm tired of this town again"? Well, I realized I hadn't done anything too interesting in a really long time when I turned on the work truck the other day, and Alice in Chains came on, and I thought to myself that that was the most exciting thing to have happend in the past week.

That's all about to change though. I've got a ten day weekend coming up, and I'm heading westward for some moutain biking, soul-searching, and cowboy wrangling (of course.)

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A couple and half weeks ago was the Cowbell XC in the pristine college town of Davidson, NC. The marathon was the day before (Saturday) and I got a voicemail from Ohio Robb that said, "It's hot. I quit. I'm driving home. Start drinking water now." We showed up Sunday morning to stories of the hellish conditions of the day before: 103 degrees in the shade, people dropping out left and right, regional wars starting over what was left of the ice cubes. But the weather for us measley cross country racer was great. Maybe 80, slight breeze, over-cast to slightly sunny. Perfect. I mean, I was definitely thirsty each time I came around to the feed, but it was about as far from hell as eating baklava while listening to Neil Young would be. So I really don't have any good stories to tell. It was a really fun course, I got to hang out with the Niner crew one last time before they headed back westward, I learned that someone makes an eccentric bottom bracket that fits in convential BB shells and got excited about that.

Cool new Indy Fab kits!

Oh, and we stopped at Bojangles on the way home. I'd never been to Bojangles before. Actually, my only experience with Bojangles was a story from Phil Shaw that goes like this,
Phil: "...and some botatoes"
Woman behind counter: (erupts into laughter) "Botatoes! Hahahahahahaha. Yo, Denise, this
boy just said he wants some botatoes! Hahahahahahahahahaha"
Phil: (Stands there awkwardly, realizes he meant bo'rounds, and waits for the woman to
ring him up)
Anyway. I'm a changed woman. I never felt the need to venture beyond the Waffle House Egg and Cheese biscuit (99 cents!), but now there's no turning back.

So this was number 4 or something of the "Kenda Cup East" series I've been doing, and now I have a little bit that I can put my feet up and go ride the hell out of my bike just for the fun of it. I'm so very excited about this. So very excited, in fact, that I forced myself to wait even longer to have a free weekend for day-long Pisgah rides, and decided to go down to Athens this past weekend for The Buddy System Alleycat.

Phil and I raced as a team, in remembrance of our strong showing at the Holidaze Alleycat in Asheville back in December. Despite all out smack-talking on the way down, we failed to produce anything remarkable, although I guess we did win the Kiddie Bike time trial, which would make the SECCCCCCCCC, and Ryan Fisher, proud. And since my entire life revolves around making Ryan Fisher proud, I guess we did alright. My roomie Charlie came down with us, too, which was awesome. He needed to get out of the house and the factory. So we took him to a college bar with a rediculous name and rediculously priced (to our advantage) beverages, Max Canada. I still don't understant the culture down there, so I watch it with awe, starring at it slack-jawed until I catch myself about to drool, and I go back to talking about bikes with the boys, and about the boys with Megs. Heh-heh.

It's not what it looks like.
We're just doing body-shots.
It was mandatory, mom.

It's our country's Birthday this weekend, which is one of my personal favorite holidays. And I get a long-weekend, which means huge mountain bike ride on Friday, long road ride early Saturday, followed by sipping cold drinks, playing lawn games, watching fireworks, watching people act rediculous, and then going to bed at an unreasonable hour. And then another huge mountain bike ride on Sunday, hopefully a social one. Sunday church at the Fish Hatchery, anyone?