So Eszter and I set out for a longish ride.

We ride and ride and chat and chat and harass one another silly.

We fly by moto group after moto group after moto group.
The guys below yelled, in our passing: "You KNOW about this hill coming up, right?!!!"
Jeny: "YUP! Looking forward to it!!!"
And buh-bye. Poof, gone in a dusty flash.

And we keep barreling along. All happy-like and blissed out of our skulls.

We had mtb company for a short while. But they couldn't hang. So we ditched them and carried on.

We hit the far arc of our route, and hiked our bikes up one of the little uber-hills.

At the top, we pulled aside and watched in complete AWE as 4 moto dudes come wrangling their power-pony selves to the top of the little uber-hill. It was sincerely impressive.

First moto dude takes off his helmet and looks at us:
"HHEEYYY! You two have quite the reputation our here, do you know that?"

Ez/Jeny: "uhm, what exactly do you mean by that -- do we know you?"

Moto dude, and his 3 partners: "HAHAHAAH!!! We've been tracking you and chasing you ALL DAY!  Each moto group that you've passed has said something about where the heck you are, where you're going, and how fast you're moving!!"

Ez/Jeny: "Really!!??  That is really funny! Because we've seen at least 4-5 groups of motos out here."

Moto dudes: "YEAH, that's about right -- one of them even said you both just tore off down the hill and dove off the side of the valley!"

Ez/Jeny: "HA!!! ... yeah, that was the fun part!"

Much giggling followed.

And we tore our way back to the car.

The End



absolutely lusty

Sincerely, right now, it's all about the trail.
I was sitting at my desk today, face plastered to my monitors, and all I could think about was this picture:

I just couldn't get it out of my mind.
It made me absolutely lusty for more.

Sometimes, the flow is just innate.
And I like it that way. The Best.


Stevie, getting his rapid-fire flow on:

Kat grinning and spinning:

I have a new favorite trail.


... that I love in a trail.

And by the end of the day, the trail and I...

Were seeping into one another.

And it made me SOFUCKINGHAPPY.

Thank you Stevie and Kat,

... for the brilliant day with the trail and with you. Ed and I owe you a trail introduction day.


ps: what is this a picture of?



days #1 and #2 back out on the pony!
just in time, too.
it's getting the perfect-est outside.

the captivating light that is outside, is also the enchanted light that is inside.
the dirt sublime.

when i roll through a stand of aspens, i inhale as deeply as i can.
and i hold it inside for a long time,
and i let it seep into the inner most core of every cell in my being,
and every corner of my spirit.
and i can feel the whole earthy season of it.

there is just so much LOVE to roll through - in - around - with.



recovery | a practice in patience | longing for dirt time

Ten years ago, I tore my right ACL.
I got a replacement ACL right away.
One year after that, I re-tore it .. and never had it refixed
I've been playing hard without an ACL for about 9 years now.

Over the last 2 years, the knee has started giving me troubles -- namely, "going out" often, being generally unstable, and causing my normal play-time activities to be less than pain free. With the growing instability comes a risk for damaging the remaining working parts of my knee -- something I don't feel I'd like to sacrifice.

The plan to get this issue addressed is 2 fold:
a.) Remove the old hardware, the re-torn tendon, and fill all of the remaining holes. Basically, start fresh.
b.) Have another ACL replacement. Joy.

So, 3 weeks ago, on August 3rd, I came home and started sitting in my little Nest -- to heal.
Surgery A in the books.

I'm heavily on drugs in this picture. Can't you tell? I could not feel my leg at this point in the game -- but obviously I felt good enough to wander around FaceBookLand... hope I didn't say anything I might regret. If so, I'm very sorry.

These are the two screws that were removed (with a nail-file for reference):

Yes, that is gnarly. Yes, there are still bone fragments stuck in the one on the right. Yes, they are Ti. Yes, they seem to make people queasy when I show them. Yes, you can see the damage done to them by the surgeon when he tried to remove them. Apparently he swore many times during the procedure.

Once the screws came out (which apparently took an hour longer than the Surgeon expected (the surg lasted about 3 hours)), he set to filling the holes (from the screw placements and from previous ACL surgery) with bio bone stuff.

One week after surgery, I was still relegated to my Nest. Recovering. Icing. Working from home and working from my Nest. Have I mentioned how much I like my Nest?

Two-ish weeks afterwards, the swelling had gone done a lot.

Currently, 3 weeks post surgery:

As far as I can tell, recovery seems to be going "quickly". And by quickly I mean: at least I can walk around, and at least my leg does not look like chewed up meat (like I had expected).
I can walk up the stairs just like normal!
I can almost walk down a set of stairs like normal -- but not quite.
I'm slower. But I'm healing.

Deep thoughts during this whole process?
YES. Namely, my husband has taken care of me EVERY SINGLE SECOND during surgery and recovery. How he is not annoyed, bored or simply 'over it', I do not know. He has taken outstandingly phenomenal care of me these last 3 weeks.... Honey, thank you with my whole heart and soul. 

Notes on just how well he takes care of me:
  • He has gotten me every last bit of food, water, drink, drugs, and objects that I could need, had asked for, etc. 
  • He keeps my Nest room filled with absolutely stunning music to keep me groovin' and otherwise chilled out. mmmmm... thank you!
  • He keeps my eyes on the prize: 100% back to powerlyperfect by next spring, reminding me not to damage myself between now and surgery #2.
  • He has kept me motivated, focused, and completely AT EASE.
  • He makes me feel better (and OK) about sitting on my ass so much.
  • He continues to make sure I'm eating well. I would eat pizza every meal if I were left to myself.
  • The absolute HARDEST thing I had to do: SHOWER. Thank you, honey, for making sure I didn't fall over, pass out, or otherwise kill myself while trying to shower that first week.
  • He keeps me smiling, happy, at peace.
Honey, you are magical. And I love you.

The remaining plan is this:
Continue to listen to Ed.
Continue to listen to LW.
Continue to listen to Michelle.
PT, 2x/week with Rockin' PT people.
PT, at home, every day.
I will hopefully get to start walking on DIRT here TODAY!? This week!?
Surgeon says still no riding bikes for another 3 weeks. I had dreams about riding last night -- I might have to just spinn around on something flat here really, really soon.

There is, after all, still a new pony awaiting my attention -- and a whole FALL of RIDING to be done -- before December hits, and with it surgery #2.

Ok, off to PT land!



Colorado Trail Day 4: Notes on Humility, Honor and Heart

Day 4: Bolam Pass to Durango

Our 4th day was our final day, but it was not intended to be our last day on the trail for this trip. Our intention was to ride from Bolam Pass, get ourselves over Indian Ridge, and have a final evening of camping and a big-starry-sky night at Taylor Lake.

(Forewarning: Ed captured 1 picture before Indian Ridge -- and ALL of the remaining pictures are from Indian Ridge.)

We started the day knowing that this was a 'big' day by our trip standards (not big by all the crack head standards). We knew that we would have one stretch of 'dry' trail where water re-supply was minimal. And we knew we'd have to really scoot in order to time our crossing of Indian Ridge to miss the potential afternoon storms.

I kept thinking of my girls racing this route; Ez and Cat (and LW even tho she's not raced it yet)... their pace and their PUSH kept me as in AWE as I was the views I was flying through. How DO they do, what they do, with the grace in which they do it?

True to form, the day started off like a Frieght Train for Ed, a spinny light crack-ramp-up for LW, and a grunty but over-excited push for me. And, true to form, I had a major mechanical within the first hour.

Ed and LW off the front, I started having serious issues with the drive train. Most of you, I'm sure, are not surprised. What do I get for turning my SS into a 1x9 the day before the ride? Just what I deserve, of course!

Pedaling became impossible. My chain would not stay on the front chainring AT ALL. It would not withstand a single full pedal rotation. JOY.

I yelled out loud in complete frustration and LW must have heard me, because around the next corner I found her waiting for me.

I'd bet money that my race girls would and have yelled out loud. But they also would have been prepared ;)

We stopped and inspected the Pony. Turns out, I twisted my chain somehow, and I bent one of the front chainring teeth. Fun stuff!

So I quickly ripped out the chaintool, and took out the affected twisted chain pieces. I put it back together, and fiddled with the chainring. Lucky little me, LW handed over her trusty Leatherman Multitool, and I gently bent that bent chainring tooth back closer to 'normal'.

Without her and her gracious offer of a tool, I would have been hosed... and likely would have resorted to trying to pound the thing back into shape with a rock.

I fixed it. However, shifting into granny was no longer an option. I was OK with this. All the gears were too tall for me anyway, and so I just kept my mind centered and accepted "PUSH FFING HARD" as the standard pedal stroke.

What was more frustrating was that any time I leaned the bike to the right for a bit of sweet-turn, the chain would fall off. And, if I took a messy bit of trail fast (because that is what I do), the chain would fall off. And, if I tried to spinn too fast on the down/flats, the chain would fall off. And, if the bike could tell that I was thinking about it too much, the chain would fall off.

Do what the race girls would do: ride on and just be happy about it. And so I did. I was SO FFING happy. Truly, deeply, all through my soul. (My legs not so much).

So it was 'mash-mash/gentle-pedal... mash-mash/gentle-pedal' for the day. I sucked it up. And rode on. Yet MORE behind the crack head (LW) and the freight train (ED).

Ed was off the front -- soaring his way through true high-country bliss on his loaded down rigid SS. How DOES the man do it? Ed was giddy. And sick of waiting on me ;)

Once into the grove of pedal-pedal-pedal, fix the chain, pedal-pedal-pedal, fix the chain, we just powered our way along the magical trail. Ed or LW off the front, and me and the other hanging in the back. LW and I got into a nice game where I'd be forced to power-pedal ahead. Stop and rest. And she'd just come spinning up along side me, whereupon I'd have to giddy up and go to power-pedal ahead and then stop and rest again.

Until I just blew to pieces before Indian Ridge -- at which point, I just slowed to a crawl (walk) and let them both fly along ahead.

Indian Ridge blew my mind. Plain and simple. I put the GoPro on the head and walked/power-pedaled and just kept moving.

The girls do this at night!!?? After race-pace riding for DAYS? On how few calories and HOW little SLEEP?

I KNEW that all I had to do was get over this beautiful long ridge line, and I'd be able to break into dinner foods, comfy sleeping bags, and my hat. I knew that I could stretch out and feel entirely satisfied with my effort for the day, and grateful for the lessons being handed to me. I knew that I could sit still and REST. I knew this so deeply, that I just put it all out there to get over/along this ridge. I may have been slow as molasses in January, but I was still trying very hard ;)

Turns out that you can know something in your bones, and be absolutely wrong.

Two high-peaks from the end of Indian Ridge, the sky turned black. The clouds came in from a different direction (never a good sign in and of itself), and it got downright freaky.

Ed got serious and tried his hardest to make sure we all got off the ridgeline in time, safely. Thank you, Starling.

Ed and LW blasted off the front. I did what I could. I could see LW far ahead on the next climb, stopped to put on her bullet-proof wetwear. I saw Ed zip up his wooly shirt (huge effort for him;)), and then they both continued to blast along.

It was scary on the ridge. The lightning and thunder were present. The sky was black. And we were in the absolute WRONG place.

Go Team!

I threw on my rain jacket -- and put my head town.

And then the hail started fall. Like tiny lead pellets. It hailed on us, drilling us with marble-sized ice balls and pourrrrring freezing rain.

It was so much fun!

And I was scared scared shitless and totally over excited and happy to be RIGHT in the midst of totally getting Epic'd.

Lucky for us, we reached the final corner up on the ridge, and looked down below us right at Taylor Lake. HUGE relief for me, as I thought we had one more massive drop and climb ahead of us.

We started down the long drop -- but were unable (unwilling) to ride the trail as it had become a river of ice and water, and the ground was moving below our feet and tires. I had no hands left and started shaking pretty solidly. LW was in front -- and soon jumped under a thicket of bushes. Ed and I followed suit. I'm not sure it did us much good. But it was nice to even try to take cover.

We made it to Taylor Lake.
And there was no way in hell that it would be a safe place for us to camp for the night.
The ground was flooded in standing water and an inch of floating ice balls.
We were all soaked.
Decisions had to be made.

The ONLY call we could make was to continue on. And so we did.

Ed and LW shot ahead while I fiddled enough to at least get some knee warmers on. I shot off to catch up with them and had THE fastest, strongest mile of riding (for me) for the whole trip. My legs were so frozen there was no longer any pain and suffering feel in the legs. So the pedals turned over with power and strength and I quickly caught up with them.

There was a moment here, watching the other two take off that it hit me...
I couldn't stay out here in this state even if I wanted to. What do I DO -- if I were here, alone.
I hit me that I didn't know. It would take me more than the 5 minutes it took LW and Ed to come up with a plan, that is for certain.

It was so much fun. I just had to laugh.

As we passed a large group of people who were taking shelter in large tents (below Kennebeck), LW yelled back to Ed and I: "we have GOT to get lower and get warmer and dryer, come with me!!!!".

So we continued on the Colorado Trail, up and over Kennebeck Pass (not nearly as big as I thought it was going to be), and we dropped down the other side.

LW's brakes were singing a wild song the entire way down the hill.

Ed lost use of his brakes entirely. That was horrifying to watch while riding behind him.

I just huddled into my own private little inner-fire world, and begged the universe for to keep us safe.

I had also thought: well hell, we're so close to the finish, let's just get this thing done and go find a nice hotel, a nice long shower, and some hot ffin' food.

Up and over Kennebec, we dropped onto the road that cuts the CT right at the base. LW stopped and started piling on her clothes. She said her brakes disappeared somewhere down the trail. Ed was relieved because her brakes were no longer singing. Ed stood there and watched while LW and I put on every stitch of clothing we had. (The man does not get COLD!!!)

We all decided, unfortunately, that we were cold enough, blown enough and ready to be in town enough to skip the last 21 miles of the CT, and take the roads back down into town.

And I was a little sad to see that I was so willing to just take the easier way 'home'. But it was smart. And I knew what decisions Ez and Cat would have made in the same situation... and I was proud of them.

I started to bonk the second we started rolling. I started eating whole candy bars in a matter of seconds. And I'm pretty sure they didn't do me an ounce of good.

We rolled and rolled and rolled on the dirt roads. With all of the mud and ice and dirt on my drive train, the chain actually STOPPED falling off. Of course. And, I could finally shift into gears that would allow me to keep up on the downhills! WOOHOO! Had I known that more trail junk would have made the drive train behave better, I would have happily given her a mudbath hours and ours earlier.

We dropped into town.

I felt disappointed, relieved, proud, defeated, hot (ha!), and really, really weird.
LW started off for Cat's place.
Ed and I started off for the Strater, hoping that they'd have a nice room for us downtown Durango.

In the 2 miles between when we left LW, and the front door of the hotel, my vision had pulled me into some sort of tunnel. I stopped being able to speak clearly and efficiently. I could not keep my mind straight enough to put words to anything. And I just had that far-away, almost out-of-body feeling. I actually thought that I was just going to pass out and disappear and I would no longer exist. Yeah, that is what it felt like, I felt like I was just going to cease BEING, right then and there on the steps of the Strater. Poof-buh-bye!

But Ed got a nice room. The bell man took our absolutely MUDDY and naughty ponies and packed them away somewhere safe and warm. I practically fell into the hot shower. And that was the end of me.

We found food, and I could not eat. Ed found his way through 2 appetizers, a salad the size of texas, a burger and a massive plate of french fries. Go Team!

Ez and Cat ride the whole CT in HOW few days?
Crack Bunnies! 

I slept HARD.

The following day, we did the car shuttle between Durango and Spring Creek Pass.  And we returned to Durango for a few more days of Heaven.

And I found my appetite.

And I thought about LW, Cat and Ez, and just the magical depth of power, strength, courage, and raw ENEGRY that they all posses.

And lucky for me, I got to ride with all 3 of them before we left Durango.

See how lucky we all are. Talk about the fly girls. Thank you, girls, for all of your inspiration and motivation -- in all realms of life.

The CT portion of our trip complete -- and the re-orientation process underway -- Ed and I enjoyed our last few days of vacation. More on that in a bit!

Thank you, Ed and LW -- for the magical trip! You both fill my heart up with so much love!!