Wednesday, October 27, 2010


My Wednesday ‘master of the obvious’ comment pertains to politics. These elections really bring out the worst in people. I was listening to NPR reports on various elections across the country, and only found one story to be remotely interesting – the California Governor’s race.

Jesus H Christ, how the hell is Jerry Brown still in the political game? That dude was in office when I was a teenager, and I vaguely remember a lame attempt for during a Presidential primary back when I worked for the Stinkin’ Grand Hotel in the early 90’s. Now he’s running against the former CEO of EBay, a billionaire woman who certainly has her shit together from a business perspective. Just as the report was heading into the doldrums of political hell, NPR transitioned into a story about a 52 year old transvestite who has made his way up the political ladder in San Francisco. Way up the ladder to the point where he/she is a leading candidate for the SF Board of Supervisors. The thing that caught me was when he came out of the closet, his kids disowned him for a long, long time. WTF? I mean, he’s your Dad. Even if this guy decided to put on a skirt and start riding a pink bike and went to Thailand to have his parts changed – and I’m not talking about derailleur’s and handlebars here – I’d still ride and race with he/she. We might call he/she Joshuita or Joshdeisha, but me thinks he/she wouldn’t be disowned by his/her ridding buddies.

Anyway, there’s no point, as usual, other than I’m skipping the remainder of the political coverage until this election is over next Tuesday – or whenever election day is. I’d much rather hear about transvestites, crash and burn rockers, and great stories about singletrack and fresh powder on the mountain.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Fall Beaut

The singletrack at 9,500 feet - love me some fall colors. It's nothing like back in MN with the red/orange/yellow, but it's what we got - aspen gold.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Changes #2

Got me a season pass today. Got me some Fischer fat boards and boots last week to ski the trees. Got the snowboard tuned and ready to rip. Now, we just need a few more inches of snow. You know, like 50 or so. Let it snow!
History says that when I buy a pass we have a bad winter - c'mon man, let me cash some karma in on this winter. I swear I've been livin' right?!

Sunset lift, 10/14/10 Base: 0 Expected snowfall today: 0

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


The rains are coming, the leaves are blowing, and there's a fuck ton of change in the air. More on that in a few weeks.

Last night hail and a biblical downpour chased by black spandexed ass off the mountain. I felt like a wave was about to crest on me, as I was mowing down the singletrack decent home. Quickly into the garage, sit down in front of the heater to change out of the clown suit and - I'm surprised my skylights didn't just explode. Hail. Gimme shelter. Love me some warm house.

Aside from a thrilling ride, my legs feel like dock posts from Sturgeon Bay that were cemented in the '80's. I don't know what the heck is going on, but ever since I wasted the form I had two weeks ago, I've felt like a slow sack of shit. Yeah yeah, we're not talking about minutes slower, no - it's more about feeling good. I pounded out a good climb on Saturday with Navajoel and D at Wupatki, but even there I felt flat and unresponsive.

Speaking of unresponsive, the Montana State Cougs were totally unresponsive in the Skydome on Saturday night. With me, Lyza and a ton of friends cheering on the 'Jacks. NAU baby, college football powerhouse - they would only lose to Wisconsin or Alabama by 90+ points.

Remember L7? No? I know you love your Wilco, your Feist, your Coldplay, and your Arcade Fire - I get that, but throw a little L7 on and listen to some music that'll move walls. These chix bring it.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


The Phoenicians will be up in our little mountain town this weekend, so D and I made a good call to go on and get the heck up into the mountains before the really big SUV's with every kid donning A&F clothes clog the first mile of every trail in and around the peaks. Today? Sunny - 70 degrees, maybe 10 cars tops. The Aspen tree leaves are turning gold, and it all felt really pristine. I think that was my 50th trip up this year, and it never gets old. It never gets easy either. We rode at a very modest pace, taking nearly 50 minutes to do the climb. PR is 36:30, so it was a chill ride....but, it still hurt and I loved every minute of it.

The Phoenicians. They are like FIBS (f*ckin' Illinois bastards) are to Michiganders. Sure, come on up and spend your $$ here, but go on and get the hell home come 2:00pm on Sunday - and don't come back until next Friday. The difference between us Flagstaffians and Michiganders is that all Michiganders are one generation or less removed from white trash roots, often substituting snow machines for cars 9 months a year. Horriffic wine, pasties, Kid Rock, and Insane Clown Posse cap off the backwards-assness there.

Of course, I'll be heading down to Phoenix next weekend for Lyza's soccer tournament, and I expect to see lower gas prices, affordable lodging, unclogged freeways, and great food/service at an attractive price. You know, because you f*ckers stomp on my trails all weekend. It's like that.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

"dumbification" of trails

I came home from work yesterday and my daughter was playing ‘leader of the pack’ with the neighborhood kids. After ensuring she had her cellie, I put on the costume, and drilled it into the woods. Some local trail advocacy group has been doing so much work on Rocky Ridge that it’s close to deserving the name Less Than Rocky Ridge. Jesus people, back in the 90’s this was the litmus test for tech skills. These days – if it weren’t for the west side being obliterated by flood damage, thus incredibly fun and technical – it’s on its way to being one of those horizontal escalators you see at airports. I know, I sound like some retro grouch, but for fooks sake you don’t have to dig down a country fookin’ mile to remove rocks from the Paleozoic era just to smooth out a bumpy trail. What’s next, pavement?

Anyway, the big wheels kept on rollin’ until dusk and after sharing a colossal taco meal with the fam, it was “watch Brett Favre further self-destruct” time. Dude – it’s time to bail. Please. For the sake of everyone you have scorched in MN and WI. Can you please spell O-V-E-R? You can always come back to the booth, or go on Dancing with the Stars in a couple of years. It’s just time to get the hell on.

Somehow I missed just how great The Replacements were in the 80’s and 90’s. I stumbled on a Paul Westerberg track a few days back, and a few clicks later I’m uncovering gems I used to live for like “Alex Chilton”. Those guys were drunk for 10 years straight, and managed to rip off a sequence of songs that laid the path for a lot of bands – Fish, insert Wilco here. Quick transfer to my cell phone, and I’ve got some more killer tunes to listen to and from work this week.

Saturday I got semi-suckered into a pair of phat alpine skis – used, at the right price – but man after skiing last spring I really “needed” a pair. Yo, I’m still a knuckle dragging boarder, but these Fischer fat boards are going to be a blast. OK then, let it snow!

Monday, October 11, 2010

comin back

After the Tour of the White Mountains, I took a week off – had my bike repaired at the shop – and just worked a lot. It took a while to let go of that wasted opportunity. Me and JK, we’re still friends, no blood no foul, but it was a mental hurdle for me to get over.

Saturday afternoon I rolled out for a ride in the fading light. My legs felt like they had vices on them. Lungs, fine. Legs, worthless. The regression after 7 days off the bike was demoralizing, but not enough to keep me from smiling most of the way because the trails were in primo shape after 3 days of rain mid-week. I had sent Big Steve an e-mail last week talking about dumping my SS and getting geared bike. He didn’t reply because he’s heard it before. I was talking jibberish. Me love me some one gear.

Sunday brought another ride in the fading light. I still felt weak, but a small improvement was encouraging. Even today, my legs feel flat, but I think that’ll all go away soon enough. That mental takedown from a week ago hurt – much more than I thought it did.

Ahhhh, a new week. Soccer practices, work, a Snowbowl road ride with D on Thursday morning, and bam – it’s Friday. Here we go.

Monday, October 4, 2010

F'd up

I fucked up. A half day off from work, 5 hours of travel time, many days of riding/training – and I pissed it all away by agreeing to ride the same pace as a buddy over a 60 mile bike race. He exacerbated my frustration by crashing the race (skipping the entry fee), and experiencing numerous mechanical, psychological, and physical issues over the course of 6 hours, 15 minutes.

It wasn’t as though it was a bad day on the bike. The course was fun, the temp was perfect, the aid stations were well stocked, and the volunteers were overly nice bluehairs. As mon frère battled his issues, I had plenty of time to relax and see that riding in the B/C group meant I was surrounded with a bunch of guys who have plenty of money, but are short on time to ride. $5,000+ bikes were the norm. Carbon full suspension was the choice for most of these guys. I didn’t run into any posers – rather – these guys were all genuinely nice, and were giving it their all through some tough terrain. Most of them were a bit out of their element once we hit mile 50, but they were all leaving everything they had on the course. Pretty cool, I thought. Hell – these are the guys who keep the bike industry going. They pay the bills for companies like Specialized/Trek/Cannondale/Mavic/Shimano to ensure innovation year over year.

Once JK worked through his issues including severe neck pain that required a 20 minute shut down going into the last major aid station, we knocked out the last 10 miles with a moderate pace and no unnecessary stops except for one Latin woman he had to “help” because her chain came off. Latin, Navajo, Cuban, they are all like Goddesses to JK, and I wasn’t surprised to be waiting trailside for another five minutes after I passed a female rider. I was disappointed in him for not paying to ride (and not telling me about it until we met at the start line) in a well organized event – although he wasn’t taking from the aid stations along the way – but it just seemed lame.

So, I rolled into the finish, in my estimation – at least a full hour plus slower than I could have. Instead of me standing on the podium as part of the top 5 singlespeeders, it was my other teammate Adam who made it into 4th place. He had a great ride, and I would have loved to have ridden wheel to wheel with him. I have had very few podium-worthy rides, and it would have been nice to get one on Saturday. I congratulated him, and immediately just let it go. “IT” being the jealousy and aggravation associated with knowing that I threw a rare opportunity away. I fucked up.

The lesson from all this - for me anyway. Don’t waste an opportunity. A pie truck could hit me tomorrow and after a funeral with 11 people max, I’d be a distant memory. So, show up, punch it, and leave your best effort….dammit.