single-speeder's dream & my dreamy single-speeder

soooooooooooooooooo, the enduro weekend:

Michelle and i set out from my house for a nice 3 hour ride. perfect way to start a friday and a long weekend, if you ask me ;-) we rode the Year of the Ox, over to Candy Land and up and down Chutes and Ladders. It was sunny. It was sweet. We were not at work. And we were feeling good.

After the ride I packed up the car, packed my racer-boi in the car, and headed to Laramie, WY to get him all set up and ready for the start early saturday morning. unfortunately, ed's work had him tied to his cell the entire way, plus a few hours. so i maneuvered around him and got everything i could set up and ready.

Saturday -- race day
5am: from Laramie, looking south east, i could see that the tops of the hills were covered in thick clouds. 'promising' i thought. we hit the coffee shop at 515am (much to our surprise, it was completely empty), and blasted off to the start line area, rightly caffeinated and excited for the scene.

we parked the car in a pile of sage and heavy clouds, and i enjoyed the muted space it brought with it. people were quiet -- almost as if they were whispering. i thought to myself: they're nervous! i'm NOT! I'm NOT racing!! ;-) i attended to ed's caffeine needs and race accouterments and we headed towards the start/finish area.

in a flash of fate and universal collusion, there before us stood the one, the only: dave byers. we've e-met, we've blog-met -- and on this fine morning in the thick fog, we smiled and hugged and all felt right with the universe. ;-) it was a JOY to finally meet dave ... he was pointedly gearing up for his ride and his race! we wished him luck and fun and rolled down to the start.

ed lined up off to the side, but at the front. the clouds brushed through the excitable crowd and kept everyone to the ground. it was earthy. everything above 10 feet was still and thick and quiet. below ten feet, people were one fire and ready to race.

i watched ed rip off the front and disappear into the gray and white oblivion. he waved, and then he was gone!

so i disappeared into the car for a deep, deep nap ;-)

i awoke to an extremely clear blue sky. who knew ;-) i saddled up the pony and took off for a 2 hour spinn around the beginning of the course, and found my way to the much-racer-dreaded Head Quarters climb. i tell you, that climb is lovely when it's only part of a 20 mile loop ;-) FUN STUFF. riding the whoops and swoops and rolls of the first part of the course found me wide-eyed and a bit on the manic side! anyone who would have seen me would have surely committed me ;-) the grin was too big for words... and i thought: damn, this could be a fun race course. and then i thought: why would i want to share this with 350 other people? ;-)

i'm selfish that way ... hehehe. i see now why so many single-speeders line up for this race. the trails are perfect for single speeding... i mean perfect-perfect....


the synchronicity of the day led me to the finish area just in time to clean up and snap a picture of ed flying across the finish line in record-pace! he was focused, he was driven, he was flying and i'm surprised his brakes worked well enough to slow him down before he blasted off further west into the sunset ;-) my single-speeder did awesome, and the smile he beamed when he finished was more than i needed to know how he felt about his day.

we lounged around the finish area and chatted up the local race crew;-) Tommy broke his bike, john saved a friend, the friend broke her collar bone .... dan finished well, but felt like ewwwwww... and then....... and then there was EBEN. fine, fine Eben, off drinking beer, having finished hours ahead of where we thought he was. we thought something happened, but NO. the only thing that happened was that he finished while we weren't looking -- and he did a FINE job of finishing that race in STYLE! GOOD JOB EBSTER!

and THEN... (yes more)... we finally re-bumped into Dave and man --- luck would have it that the prairie sirens lured him away from the course not ONCE, but TWICE ... thus thwarting his attempt at his Golden Time. that said, and sirens aside, he still kicked major ass ... and we expect colorful things from him next year ;-)

so we sat, we ate, we drank with eben, dan, dave, dave, tom, travis ... all the people.

saturday night messican food + margaritas didn't suck at all. THANK YOU, DAVE. we owe you. let's go skiing, yo.

okok... anyone bored yet? ;-) i'm getting to Sunday:
we awoke late. the sun was high. the air was warm. coffee was awaiting, and so was eben. after a leisurely and overwhelmingly pleasant coffee and breakfast break, ed and i headed over to the curt gowdy state park to roll the ponies around a bit and get in a little riding before we headed back home to evergreen.

curt gowdy did not disappoint. i was off my game and as clumsy as could possibly be, and ed was just, you know, post-race pace. it was a fun start -- and once we warmed up to the super-trickay rock play ground, we had a rockin' good time railing the smoove mooves all over the Indian Lands. it is BEAUTIFUL. you should go there. no, really. go see ed's pix for pix. we had a delightfully playful day rippin' the short ride ....

I have to say that laramie trails seem to be a single-speeders dream. they are FUN, they are NOT too steep, and the climbing isn't only-up, like a lot of the other areas we go to (i'm not complaining, just comparing). the trails roll and corner and dart -- the rocks make it interesting and playful, the trees make it pleasant and shaded, and the terrain is potentially H U G E.

me and my dreamy single-speeder...

then we hauled our butts back to evergreen and slept like rocks.


that was the enduro-weekend for me. ;-)




i like to ride bikes -- uphill, downhill, around the hills, through the corners and the woods, over the rivers and rocks and roots, flying through the sun-lit and shadowed air. i like to get dirty while riding my bike. riding my bike -- really fast -- through the universe around me is FUN.

i like my pink ellsworth truth. she suits me fine.

today was up Glitter and down Gold... now all re-re-re-renamed Mellow Gold ... even though it's truly not Mellow.

Felt really good today. it was 97 degrees when i left denver today, and not quite 85 degrees when i jumped onto the pony and took off into the forest. then the clouds rolled over. then the thunder started to roll. happy, HAPPY jeny ;)

so, i'm discovering a few things ... things i think are finally helping me to feel better on the bike again, things that are helping me to feel 'back' into my more 'normal' level of manic energy and ooolala mtbBliss:

eat. i, apparently, need to eat a nice solid amount of food about 15 minutes before i jump on the pony. (none of this 2-hours before hand hoopla ... add to it an almost full stomach 15 minutes before). seriously. i accidentally started eating at least one piece of fried chicken before my rides, and have since graduated to a whole bagel topped with a whole avocado (plus a pinch of salt). seems to be doing the trick. and this case, that trick would be to keep my stomach and therefore energy from feeling immediately like a giant cold black oblivion. check. now i feel like i start with energy, and i have more to tap into along the way ... consistently, surprisingly, refreshingly. ahhhhhh.....

. i've been downing about 64 oz of water from noon to just before i ride... that way i only have to take one water bottle on the ride and NO CAMEL BACK. i find this really really nice. check.

be merry. the goal is to Be Outside, Be Present, Enjoy Myself. Really, there is no other reason to do anything. check.

i still have back issues. i can feel it starting to come on after mid-ring efforts up steeper stuff. wah. this makes me pissy, as i LOVE to throw myself up the steeper, more demanding sections. it FEELS GOOD. but it's bringing on lower-back fatigue. wah. more physical therapy, me thinks.

annnnddddd..... i'm just yammering.




where am i now?

FIRST AND FOREMOST: we did NOT see a mtn. lion last week, or any of the other animals i listed in last saturday's post. those were the names of the trails.... i'm sorry for the confusion, you can stop calling ed now and asking about all the animals.

well, i guess it's been a week since i last posted ... what a week.

spent monday morning through thursday evening in Houston, TX. next time i promise to get a picture of my curly hair in a humid climate. truly a spectacular form of chaos. i hated showing up to the office literally dripping sweat from a measly 4-block walk from the hotel to the office. W T F ?!


friday evening i had the velodrome trail all to myself. yes, that is a re-re-renamed trail ;-) i had to get out and sweat the texas trauma out of my body. this ride, however, will go down in my books as the ride of the broken snake: on my way back home i decided to take a 2-mile detour... and what did i see about a 1/4 of the way into it? i saw a little baby snake, in the middle of the road, trying to pull it's partially squished body across the pavement with it's rather broken head. i didn't cry this time, but i did throw the bike down and get the poor creature off the road and into a shaded area with tall grass. poor little thing. i picked up the bike and rolled home ... and then i cried.

saturday i had the distinct pleasure of meeting up with veronica (and her mickey and her brother andrew and his roomie andriis). we met up in frisco so we could ride up and then back on the peaks trail. the climb up felt really sweet, and the ride down was so much fun i didn't bother even thinking about the camera or taking pictures. i LOVE following Veronica's line down hill ... she is so smooth and so freakin' fast ... it was fun to stay on her tail and just FLY.

i am happy to report that veronica's baby is happy, healthy, and smiles a LOT!!! the pictures below are of our day out on the trail, and of veronica, mickey and their truly awesome child, Wyatt!

sunday: so far, slept in, ed made breakfast, and tonka lounged in the sunshine. heading out for a ride!!! in the... HEAT. ouuuwwiiieeee.

ok. so that was fun. and fast. and somewhat of a slap in the face ;-) i thought we were going to go out for a snappy but casual sunday spinn around local singletrack goodness.... uhm. well. since i picked the trail last sunday, today was ed's choice. little did i know that he had it in him to beat his AVG speed record so far on the neighborhood meandering course we have.... so. after i finally got my head wrapped around the change in my expectations, man, we worked it and guess what ... i felt pretty damn good. (note to self: my man is fast and it is a joy to ride with him.)

and you know what that means? that means we are home in time for a sunday afternoon nap.


pictures from today:

on a side note, we did stop to see if the broken baby snake had managed to squiggle off -- but no, he was there, now in a final state of stillness. awww.

hope everyone is getting out as much as humanly possible and feeling good doing it!




any idea how perfect today was?

i got 2 naps AND a really, really satisfying MtbBliss ride with ed.

(a few kisses, too).

what more could a woman ask for?!?!




satisfying and delicious

today's ride. michelle, aj, ed, myself ... a few rocks, a few hills, a bunch of trees and a never-ending sky.

in our 'measly' 22 mile ride, we saw a mountain lion, a buffalo, a snowshoe hare, a mule deer, an elk, a raccoon, and another mountain lion.

it was only 22 miles, but it was a solid and steady 4900'-up worth of effort. the rest was just a rocky kick in the pants that allowed us major whooping 'n hollerin' rights.

aj says his mind breaks this ride into 4 parts. i think that sounds pretty organized, and fairly accurate.

go see the pix. go read the story --- go see ED's PIX!! THEY'RE AWESOME!!!

EDIT: some of ed's marvelous pix are here: http://www.f88me.com/showthread.php?t=3327


Section I:
damn. what a lovely way to jump-start your body and your heart into Presence. the first climb up was not only lovely, but nice and steep and brought with it exponentially expanding views. the trail was smooth and really just went UP. not much to think about but keeping the wheels spinning instead of slipping .... a few flatter and down-dips allowed for a bit of recovery, and we popped out into a beautiful meadow with a gorgeous cabin. we skirted around the cabin and headed into the woods on what was basically an old 4x, complete with rocks, littered with smooth parts, lined with a thick forest, and capped with a richly blue sky. not a bad start. not at all.

Section II:
section II found Michelle and i just pleased as bunnies to be on some nice, focus-intensive single track ... finally! rocks were larger, some sunk in for miles ;-) others loose and tricky. we called this section south-saint-vrainey-like. ;-) super luscious, super fun, super BIG smiles. this part didn't suck at all.

section II then did some fun stuff up and down and up and some super succulent down -- complete with switch backs perfect for the mastering. the woods were flying by, as were the meadows and flowers and rocks OHMY! we dropped down into some meadow, and had a long, slow, heat-sedated climb up and up and up.... we rode through a meadow littered with flowers ----- and i think they all cast their sleepy spells on me ;-) section II ended at 'the top' ... of this climb. the top had a big wooden structure ......... the pavilion, i believe it's called...complete with tourists, rangers, and puppies....... we rode around this and continued our exploration up the road a bit ;-)

Section III:
section III found us all trick-masters and rock mavericks! the trail was up, the trail was down, the trail was flat, the trail was side-to-side, the trail had rocks and rollers hot and yummy! the shade was divine! our grins were HUGE. michelle mastered a line she hadn't yet ------ wonderfully successful and satisfying section, if i do say so ;-) section III also had a WATER pump --- ohyeahhhhhhh with nice COLD water. which was good because i was OUT!

we then had to climb this dirt road. which, as many times as i asked to do it again, no one would entertain the thought..... ;-)

i believe that section III then continued in some wickedly fun and hootin'-scootin' downhill madness! we weren't having ANY fun at all. ;-) this part was so much fun and so flipping fun-fast i think i have misplaced all the picture-type memories already. i'm sure we ended up somewhere, still out there ... a ways ;-)

Section IV:
i'm not exactly sure where aj thinks that section IV starts -- but for me it pretty much started when we re-skirted the cabin and started our final big climb. while i know that all of us were relatively worked from hammering the initial 95% of the climbing for the day ... we all rolled up this lovely straight-shot to heaven rather impressively, if i do say so myself. while tires were spinning, skifting, rolling, popping and otherwise moving round and round -- up and over ... grunts and yipps were exploding into the universe, and i think we all cleared more than we thought. we were mightily proud for ascending to the top in such style and good form ;-) well, i was proud of everyone, anyway.

at the top, the ponies had to rest. and we let them ... though we were all giddy with excitement for the pleasure of the treasure waiting to unfold down the other side of the ridge. and what a grand-slam through the trees and over the rocks and way-over the roots it was ;-) i heard many sounds of pleasure and excitement along the way!! and the ponies were hootin' it up just as much! ed got some absolutely STELLAR shots of michelle mastering the chaos unfolding beneath her wheels..............

section IV also brought with it a super-yummy tricky UP bit near the 'bottom'.... something worth doing over and over again ;-)

and, we climbed the 'sucky mile' (as michelle and aj have named it) to the last top, and we descended madHOT all the way back to the trail head.

and smiles were had by all ... deep ones.

THANK YOU AJ and Michelle --- for playing tour-guides and generally blessing us with your SUPER energy and presence all day long. it was a pleasure on all levels.



all that glitters is gold

today's after work ride:

decided to go UP Choss this time around, and down Switch (which would make this version a clock-wise adventure, for those who know where i'm riding), adding to the loop Tippy. I've definitely decided that Choss is easier to get up than Switch .... However, I've re-re-named the trails: they're now named Glitter and Gold (Choss is now Glitter, and Switch is now Gold). Deal. ;-) it will be fun to mix up the UP factor depending on my states of being. nice to know that what i thought was going to be the more difficult climb was actually not. but i'm usually backwards in these ways anyway. so who knows.

pinch flatted on the way down, which was a major disappointment ... otherwise a brilliant and wonderful ride. very, very few people out and the sunlight was just scrumptious.

alright, serious question: who has the remedy for 'busy mind' on the bike? i have a ridiculously busy mind, even on the bike (not always, but often enough that i feel it's 'wrong'.) i've always just relied on the Art of Riding to just calm the brain ju-ju ... but for some reason that's not happening!!! who has the secret to the Deeper Shhhhh?

also, who else finds Fried Chicken to be magic food? seriously. (maybe this is why all my jerseys feel a bit small these days. hum).




big day on foot! 10 hours out in the sunshine, didn't see a single other party out there. not a bad way to spend independence day ;-) ed and i spent another miraculously beautiful day celebrating the grandeur of our world ... celebrating the enormity of it.

go see the pictures. motivation for many of the pix was to try and get that 'thing' or that 'part' or that 'something' that made a thing or place resonate within me.... not sure i was really too successful. and, it appears that there is a scratch or spot or something smack in the middle of my lens. so, most things are out of focus... go figure ;-) anyway. my inspirations were attracted to round shapes, and things that were intentionally placed and old -- or looked intentionally placed and were completely natural or wild (my favorite) ... and, in some cases, to try and get a different perspective of the things we photograph so often.

(go see ed's pix -- when he gets them up -- for a more sweeping view of the day ;-))

thank you, ed, for a wonderful Wild celebration.