photo credit jean and ed

2 of 3 laps done
70 miles
8040' uphill
8 hours and 6 minutes
> billions of trillions and millions of trees in compete fall madness
> one particular, literally, singing-out-loud-yeeehawin' downhill freak speed fest
> one hell of a happy jeny
> one temporarily incapacitated (and crunchy sounding drivetrain ...eeewwww that sucks) (anyone feel like trying to fix it?)
> one slightly mis-aligned and possibly bruised tail bone!
> one hell of a snow-rain-thunder-lightning storm
> one blow-me-away friend and support woman, jean
> one comrade in arms: eben, master of perseverance and kindness
> one Good Left Turn that made all of the difference in doing it Right
> one brilliant 2nd wind (thanks to said left turn ... and:)
> one hell of a good partner-in-crime: ed, my darling

maybe not 'done' in the way i thought, but done Right well enough. less rain and snow and lightning, things might have played out slightly different. but i'm happy, i'm proud, and mostly, i'm very, very lucky.

blessing counted. heart full.



more fall sweet wonders

JOY be to the sweet spots in the sweet season

i wonder how long i can make this last



sweet spots

sometimes, as juancho states so eloquently, the hardest part is just getting out the door. i couldn't agree more.

today, however, the momentum was just flowing and there were, apparently, a few places i was required to ride though. no question about it.

initially, i felt tired from yesterdays ride. but a few climbs in and a few rock sections cleared i felt right at home and right in sync with the universe.

i like it like that... in sync.

unfortunately, i only took pix of 2 sweet spots. the other spots were just so full of flow i didn't dare to stop and ruin the space. so, limited pixels, my apology.

sweet spot #1: this is a favorite, nice spot along a funky little climb out of a creek. i think i'd like to picnic here sometime.

sweet spot #2: i ride through this little spot so many times, and always fail to take a picture. it's a set of 3 quick switches in really, really fun, tacky, dark dirt -- and towering, lush foliage (a rarity). i am not sure what it is about this particular space, but it feels super secret (it's not) and super protected. it feels like a sweet spot. i should linger here a little longer, i'm sure of it. but it's so much fun to pedal, lean, roll right on through. yeah, i like this sweet spot.

so, there are some sweet spots that won't show up on film... like the spot i'm kinda currently in - having ridden in the particular manner i have all spring and summer, and then so pointed and perfectly these last two days. my sweet energy is primed and ready for a big adventure. while i absolutely will not say that i'm ready for a race, i will say that i am ready to push it for a long, sweet haul and test my ability to withstand a long, long day, with likely many not-so-sweet internal-moments (coupled, of course, with the succulent fall space-scape of Crested Butte single track). Oh, holy wonder ... how I am both fixated and fearful, both primed and doubtful, both calm and anxious, both knowledgeable and naive. I am excited beyond belief, and totally and utterly terrified. (nothing new in my complex little inner-world ;-)). part of me thinks that i should not utter the word "terrified". how dare i admit to such a state. but you know, it's so completely a part of my makeup it's just unavoidable. so there you have it.

i have VERY distinct and clear goals (i don't think, yet, that they're in any particular order):
1.) finish
2.) have more fun than i think is possible
3.) make at least 3 people laugh on each loop (that is, of course, dependent on the proximity of other people -- i might be too far behind to reach this goal, but who knows. i can make the people at the center stage laugh as i roll through, i guess)
4.) finish before dark? pretty please?

ANYWAY. saturday ed and i rode with the sweet, SWEET company of Michelle and AJ. I know Ed took a world of pictures, and will post them on his blog, and has done so on f88 and god knows where else ;-) the thing about riding with Michelle and AJ is that, really, they create sweetness around them and wherever you are, you are smack-dab in the middle of a sweet spot! NO SHIT! Aj rides with such a calm demeanor, i don't know how he does it. and michelle rode AWESOMELY, and ed was the photo-ninja from heaven. we rode a twisted route of happiness that found us all in a perfect state of bliss the whole damn day. we were lucky to be cleansed and blessed with a sugary little rain storm, and warmed by the heat of the sun. it was truly a magical day, and i am so incredibly grateful! THANK YOU!!!

and, now ........ i eat and rest. and eat some more ;-)



trail spaces

the last week has found me with deep senses of places i so sincerely need and want to be ... like a warm longing to be in very particular place, at a very particular time of the day.

trail places. trail spaces. dirt and pine and light.

the beginning -- michelle, this rollers for you ;-)

up, playing with the foxes

getting a little clarity and perspective

THIS is the ONE place i HAD to be today. i had no choice. it was destined. i'm so glad i made it.

the other place i had to be today. just for a few quiet moments.

see ... happiness!




so, while ed lounged, socialized and ate on saturday, i took off for a nice solo adventure on the new pony (yes she's still new, yes i still have new pony syndrome, and yes she is still faster than i expect) ;-)

i climbed up marshall pass, and hit the usual monarch crest descent from that point: colorado trail, silver creek, rainbow trail, and back to absolute bikes ... a super zippy 45 mile rolling playground ... (where i found ed primping and getting his light set up dialed by ay up for the vt125).

trees. green. high country. big peaks. blue sky. being on yer bike.... priceless ;-)

the first 11 miles is one hell of a blissful rail road grade climb on a dirt road. it is THE perfect way to warm up in colorado. it goes up, and you hardly know it. you climb through dense pockets of aspens, you stride along wide-open fields of high-county grass, you pass view after view after quintessential colorado high-country view. it's really rather ridiculous.

unfortunately, i rode into a head wind the entire way up. funny thing is, i didn't really realize it until i was about 3/4 of the way up ... where i finally put on the sleeves and gave up the fight ... and just let it roll to the top. silly woman.

how's that for a view in the middle of playing outside?

another one of the many spectacular colorado views on the way up

so i summited marshall and sat there in the wind wondering why it took me so long to realize i was actually fighting a head wind the whole way. i jumped onto the trail ... and immediately saw my first 3 people of the day. they were very sweet, and very quiet. i passed and asked that they let me know if they want to pass back ... and they didn't say a word.

from the top of marshall, the trail climbs just a wee bit ... it's one of my favorite sections: a few rocks, swoopy corners with roots in them, undulating and not just a straight shot down. it's playful. the dirt is dark and most always damp. this trail hugs a ridgeline for just a few moments then throws you back into a deeply wooded forest. it smells good in there!

then, i passed 4 people on the 4x road that i call the walls of insanity. they're not tough, they're just annoying... after runnin' it through the single track, these few pitches of 4x that shoot up and up the up once more are just annoying....

at the 'lunch spot' i saw at least 30 people packed around the 'view point', eating, chatting, etc.... so i just flew on by and headed to the next blissful section.

just before the descent to rainbow. welcome to heaven, folks

sliver creek to the rescue!!!!! i was looking forward to testing the new pony on the loose, rocky maddness that descends from this point to the start of the rainbow. i was a little nervous that i'd be slow. god forbid that happen ;-) so i let out a little bit of air from the tires, let two boiis pass, and put on the glasses..........

it wasn't a slow descent. and those two boiis were passed with ease... the rocks were smooth as strawberry jam and i rolled the one little launcher near the bottom. that didn't suck one little sticky bit!

ohwait ... THIS part is heaven ;-)

i made it through the river and over the woods to the rainbow trail turn off. i sat. i stretched. i ate. i smiled a LOT. could i really be having this much fun and moving this fast? giggle giggle eat eat.

i started the rainbow slow and succulent like. roll over the rocks, and flow through the bends. i thought: the racers should really feel this good here -- even tho that is so highly unlikely. i wanted them to. i wanted Ed to ... i wanted to leave a vapor trace of jeny bliss all along the rainbow so he could feed off of the momentum and energy and fly through one of the sweetest sections of single track anywhere ... everywhere.

i think my smile was probably pretty ridiculous.

i cleared the first two little drop-water-steep climb sections and thought to myself: would be super sweet to clear them all today.... especially on the new pony ;-)

the final big drop-water-techy climb presented itself in a flash and what do you know: nailed it... passing a hiking biker, grunting the whole way! LOL. that guy had to be laughing his ass off!!!

i did it. i cleared it, and moved on. as i looked back i saw someone in yeti garb jumping back on his pony and taking off like a rocket.........

off i went!! ;-)

only to be caught a couple miles down the trail.... he didn't have a smile on his face at all. and nope, we didn't have any fun pushing the pace and flat out blasting through the forest, over the rocks, through the trees, leaving a trail of star-dust in our path!!!!

then he got a flat.....!!!! poor guy.

i waited at the highway for him just to say thanks for the energy boost and the rockin' good game!

i pointed the pony towards salida and had a nice sprinty-spinn out all the way back into town -- the cool breeze pushing as i blazed through the wide-open sky.

i made it back to absolute in under 4 hours, literally shaking with bliss and excitement!

thank you, ed, for the overwhelmingly pleasant and blissful weekend... on ALL accounts. i'm so glad you had such a good time nailing your 4th VT125 ... i'm so proud of you. next time, i'll leave more vaporjeny energy out on more of the trail ;-)




it's pretty simple, really, when you break it all down: start at 10pm, ride all night mostly up up and more up, ride most of the next day (mostly more up), finish before the sun sets.... not much to it ... eh?

yeah. whatevea. enormous congratulations go out to the VT125 finishers -- and really, all attempters as well. you all have the guts and spirit to challenge yourselves to the utmost. i admire you all.

edmund, my darling ... i'm so excited for you for having finished your 4th vapor trail!!! well done, and with such grace and style!

so click on the image below for the very few pix i captured of the VT125 start/ride/finish, more words below. i will post pix of my own vaporization ride from saturday later this week! for now, go gawk at the rock stars!

so, jen and i sent our racers off saturday night. sunday morning we awoke to a beautiful morning and accidentally had a leisurely morning getting to the trail head. we parked at the bottom of marshall pass and rode the super mellow climb up to the marshall pass aid station -- ed had left that aid station just minutes before i arrived ... and word on the trail was that aaron would be back for his 2nd required pass through this station within the next 15 mintues. so jen and i bundled up and sat and chatting with the insanely awesome crew....

lo-and-behold, first Cal rolled into the station, jaw ajar, standing as he climbed to meet us: 'i just rode that'. that was all he needed to say ... good job, cal!!

then aaron: 'you've got to be kidding me!!' jen got him all caloried up and sent him on his way.

kerkove rode through, stopping with his jaw ajar.... very serious like ;-)

and then steve -- also with jaw ajar ... moved through the station with efficiency and blasted off.

that must have been one hell of a climb, boys. ;-)

jen and i descended starvation creek and then rode back down to the trail head. we blasted back into town in time to miss the first 3 riders, but just in time to catch Jefe nailing down 4th!!! and aaron and cal and steve rollin' in in grand style!! it was awesome to see them roll through, completely shelled, and completely satisfied. nothin' like it!

i hung out with the crew and Tuuuuurrrboooooooooo for a while, and ed came rollin' through literally dancing across the finish line! so beautiful!!!!

all in all, a truly wonderful event -- and a truly wonderful time supporting ed and his fits of manic mtbBliss!

more pix of the weekend to come soon.



vapor day #1

ed and i spent the day in salida, working on bikes, hanging out in the sun, chatting at the coffee shop for hours, visiting with cal, fixiedave, tom , shawn, and anton ... what a darn pleasant day ;-)

everyone is gearing up for the big day ... after hanging out between the coffee shop and absolute bikes -- which is brilliantly set up in a shared building, right next to one another ... ed, cal and i went for a short little ride and shared a most excellent dinner ... we caught up with more of the crew for after dinner drinks and more desert.

click the picture above for pix of this most blissful day!!


downhill in the dark

playing within the front range forest into the darker hours of the night -- riding by brail, letting the bike roll and flow and smooth out the rocky madness of the trail... such fun with such enormous smiles. the darkness actually brought with it a bit of quietness, which i found so inspiring, enlightening and calming ... i think maybe i might try and make this happen more often. only next time, i'll bring at least a small light, to make sure that the ride home is safe.

thanks carrie and ariana for driving up and coming out to play!

michelle -- next time, you know what line you're clearing!!

Click the image below for pix of your local HOT front range kick-ass mountain biking women ;-)