Out of commission for a while. Here's a brief recap:
Birthday: one year closer to 30, and now my age matches my wheelsize, something that hasn't happened in, oh, atleast 3 years, and means very little unless you are a cultural member of the hipster 29 scene. Yeah, they work and are fun, but lets stop talking about it eh? If you missed my birthday, good for you, I did too. We had a non party, and you were invited. Thanks for coming. What did I do? Flew to Phoenix, AZ
Jetset Pheonix: Accumulating frequent flier miles faster than actual riding miles, so I decided to try to use evil for good, and fly to Phoenix to escape the 4 days of freezing rain and snow heading for C-town.
Day One: Someone at Brodie translated "FS cross country/trail bike" into "35lb 7" downhill death machine." Just as a heads up if you ever find yourself in Phoenix, "technical cross country trail," actually means "setting for a mountain dew commerical and the next red bull ruckus." I don't do gravity well at all. Nor am I used to riding a two wheeled mattress over the edge of the moon laced with cacti. I think that my results are probably average to below average for a cross country racer. That, and my knees are rockaphilic and tend to naturally gravitate towards abrasive surfaces, evidenced by all the pink parts of my shin that aren't actively bleeding. This trail, along the ridge of South Mountain, was the natural habitat for youth in baggy shorts, graphic tees and skate helmets, trotting effortlessly amongst the drops and gaps like fast food fueled gazelle. My lycra clad (I did wear baggies to try to fit in) xc ass was met a few times with looks of pitty, and even offered directions back down to the sandy trail that circumnavigated the mountain, rather than deal with it in this head on manner. I actually crashed a few times, one time landing on my last remaining "good" wrist, and it hurt so bad I started to passout and had to sit off the trail for a few minutes, like John Davis in an endurance event. Editorial note: because John catches a lot of crap from us, I'd like to state for the record that he is a lot faster than me, more fit, and short. 2 outta 3 ain't bad. Lesson learned. Back to the road for some actual "miles" of effort.:
Day 2: Got a late start on Saturday morning, because my friend/car rental company didn't need to be at work until 1:30. Dropped her off at work, and headed to North Scottsdale to pick up a bike and ride towards Bartlett Lake. Saturday was the first day it was actually sunny, and it made for a beautiful day of riding. I kept thinking of all the folk back in Cleveland's snow, and Greg, riding in the rain after going all the way to California to ride with some guys from Specialized and watch the tour. I had sunny and 62. Perfect. And then I saw this:
If you can't make it out, let me zoom in for you.
Where does this guy live? On the sun? It certainly wasn't cold, and them's tights folks. In the desert. I know people aren't used to the temps we ride here in the north, but I thought 60+ was universally accepted as a temperature where one does not seek the benefits of things like tights, or "layers," both used shamelessly by this rider, who, I have to admit, was no slouch. He didn't have 75 degrees of rise in his stem, a triple, or a camelback. It actually took me a minute to chase him down. How on earth was he to continue into the desert in that garb? Maybe he's a highschool wrestler trying to make weight. Maybe he's getting ready for bikini season. I bet he has a wind jacket shoved in that saddle bag. Picture dump from the rest of the ride.
Did about forty miles, including a hellatious 9 mile climb. Alright, I've tried 6 different spellings for hellatious, and none of them are registering....is that a word? Goodbye Phoenix. Heading home to start moving. The first step in the long term goal of live in two places/actually move away from this place process.