Sunday, April 13, 2014

Like a new born baby

Before I get into the meat of today's post, it appears that I possibly could be responsible for shaming Mother Nature into getting on the wagon, sobering up long enough to wrest control of the weather away from Old Man Winter. I am positive she read that last post, realized she had a problem and decided to get on the wagon. Unfortunately, it also appears she's planning a party this weekend. So, once again Mother Nature, I implore you, don't get to tore up this weekend. Don't relinquish complete control. Thank you.

OK, all that being said, we finally did have Spring around the NSS HQ this last week and HLMP opened it's trails up on Wednesday. Finally, some singletrack/dirt riding to be had!
The Boy taking a fiver at the top of the climb.

For my first mountain bike ride I took the Boy out for some trail adventures. Riding at his pace I figured I was able to chalk up my ineptitude to our slow pace. The Boy on the other hand railed the Lower Rim Trail!

I went out solo on Friday for a quick jaunt after work. A zip back over to HLMP and I realized that my problems from the previous evening had nothing to do with the Boy and everything to do with the fact that I haven't ridden singletrack since December 3rd.

I suppose every cyclist (and especially mountain bikers) experience this. Last Autumn, before Winter took over, you were smooth and graceful (at least by your standards), riding down rocky sections like flowing water, not having to think about that quick flick of the shifter, that dab of the brake lever or that little back pedal to clear the rock. Now that you haven't been on a daily singletrack quest, those movements don't come quite as naturally. Sure you may have it happen in a section or two of the trail, but not for the whole ride. You're like a newborn horse, sure you can run, but it is definitely without the speed, style or grace of the fully mature horse.
Looks exactly like my riding style.

So, yesterday I got the Moots out for one good, longish ride before Mother Nature gets all weird on us. It started out kind of rough, as I climbed singletrack to Dinosaur Hill, there were a couple spots I stumbled on, but after I got back over to HLMP, things started to smooth out. Sure there were a couple of miscues, but they were fewer and further between. By the time my ride was wrapping up on the Lower Rim Trail, in my mind I was Mark Weir bombing Downieville although reality says I might have been a touch less skilled. 
Look! I can time travel on my bike!

Well, we've got about 2 1/2 weeks to go until we go to Moab. I hope I can get a few more rides like that in, you know so the horse matures. 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Ode to the Idea of Spring

"In the Spring a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love." - Lord Alfred Tennyson. 
"In the Spring a middle-aged man's fancy turns to the thoughts of mountain bik...what? It's SNOWING again? Dammit Mother Nature, you're drunk, go home." - Not-So-Serious Cyclist. 

This is the view we're getting SICK of seeing...
Ahh yes, Spring is in the air around the NSS HQ. Terry Peak closed for the season last weekend (and the last day was a blast), my pass to the Swim Center expired this week, and there have been enough nice days that I've been able to get out for a couple road rides. And yet that drunken tart Mother Nature is passed out on her day-bed with a box of wine on the floor next to her while Old Man Winter is still at the controls, having his way with us. 

Just when we thought it was turning into Spring, we start the week out with a mini-blizzard on Monday (it was forecast to be a big one, school was called off, but it didn't really materialize), snow on Tuesday morning and then 6+" of snow on Wednesday.  C'MON! This is getting ridiculous! The last time I rode my bike on a trail was December 3rd. 4 freakin' months ago! This is NOT good for my overall mental health and well being. 

Last spring we had 3 blizzards in the month of April. Working in a public place, when people come in they like to talk/bitch about the weather which makes sense because it is something we all have in common.  I jokingly said in a post I was gonna punch the next person out that said "well, we need the moisture". Well, THAT post about got me punched out by someone that felt like we did need the moisture (and they unfriended me on the Book of Faces, sheesh). But guess what people are saying this year? NOTHING. No one is saying the classic old-man'ism "Well, we need the moisture." That's because everyone is SICK OF THE SNOW! 

And, even if we don't get anymore snow this season, it's still gonna be two weeks or so before any trail is dried out enough to ride without causing damage (which is a whole other blogpost). Holy shit, we're going to Moab at the end of the month. There is some technical riding there. I'd really love to be able to ride my mountain bike a few times on some trails before we go, you know just to shake the cobwebs out. 

See this Mother Nature?  This is what we're looking for...

So Mother Nature, if you're reading this, please put the box of wine back in the fridge.  It's time to sober up, give Old Man Winter a kick square in the balls, and take control of the Spring. There are flowers and robins and baby wildlife counting on the weather to be nice. Even more importantly, there is a certain middle-aged man that is tired of riding rollers, swimming monotonous laps in an indoor pool, that would really LOVE to be able to ride his bike on a trail. So, can you sober up long enough to make that happen? Thanks. I knew we could count on you.