Monday, December 22, 2014

The Greatest, Top 10 Moments in the History of Forever (or my top 10 of 2014)

2014 is drawing to a close so it's now time for all those year-in-review shows like TMZ's Kim Kardashian's 10 Best Ass Moments and Barbara Walter's Most Fascinating People of the year like Tyler Swift (who the hell is he?) and Elon Musk (wasn't he the bad guy in the last Iron Man movie?).  Her list didn't have Jens Voigt so I know it's a bullshit list anyhow.

Yeah, I know what you're probably thinking, "Holy shit Not-So-Serious, you haven't posted in a like 4 months and now you want me to read some lame-assed year in review?"  Well, yes is the answer to that question but I'm also going on record to state my pre-New Years resolution is going to be posting on here in a more semi-consistent-sporadic state than I did in 2014.  So without further ado, here are the top 10 moments and/or things in the NSS year on the newly recommitted, slightly more consistent blogishness.

10.  Knocking myself out at Terry Peak.  Yes, I know that was technically in 2013, but hey it was almost 2014 and truthfully, the effects were lingering into the new year.  And the story was told many times in 2014 so it qualifies. All of this leads me to the next moment:
The Boy and I at the "Peak".

9.  My season snowboarding at Terry Peak.  There were a lot of great days on the hill this year, even if it was not the best conditions.  Don't get me wrong, the snow was great all season, but it was a damn cold winter.  But those days that the temperature hovered in the single digits didn't prevent me from being there first chair to last and having some fun in the Dark Horse in between. (Although this year there will be NO PBR consumed unless some bartenders can assure me of winning something in the PBR drawing). Plus it was great to be able to spend time on the slopes with the Boy, as well as my brother and his family.

Busted bike stuff #1
Busted Bike Stuff #2
8.  All my broken bike stuff.  This all started out with a cracked Kona Jake frame and then spiraled out of control for the rest of the year (which will be a theme from here on out).  Yeah, I know some of it is because of my fat-ass asking the bike parts to do more than they should, but some of it was just plain dumb luck.  And the Jake frame failure was in the exact same spot as my previous Jake's frame failure, so I'm gonna chalk this one up to design.  And besides, Kona came through for me with a new, sweet assed ride which will roll us into the next item:
Busted Bike Stuff #3

7.  My NEW Kona Jake.  My 'cross bikes have always endured more abuse than any other bikes in my stable.  I use 'em for just about everything, from commuting to road riding to gravel to singletrack to riding rollers in the winter to general abuse.   It's no wonder that I break frames every few years.  And as I mentioned in #8, Kona and Acme came through for me once again.  I took my cracked Jake to the great guys at Acme Bicycles, they stripped the frame down and sent it off for "inspection".  Sure enough it was cracked and the options were a different model of Jake frame or a whole new bike for just a little bit of scratch.  Well, um, duh, lets get a whole new bike with new components, disc brakes, etc.  It seemed like a no brainer.  And this new model is sweet!  Even if it is one of their lower end cross bikes, it is a great whip, and it took me on way more adventures this year than either one of my mountain bikes did (GASP!) but there were plenty of (long) off road adventures on it, so don't worry, I'm not becoming the Not-So-Serious roadie.
The Maiden Voyage

6.  My new favorite distance loop. As I said, the Jake and I went on many long adventures, exploring the gravel/forest service roads around the NSS HQ.  As a matter of fact, the first ride on it garnered me a sliced sidewall on a forest service road straddling the Lawrence County/Pennington County line somewhere.  In my exploration, I found a nice 85+ mile loop that I can start from the house, get some good climbing in to Nemo, SD, on into Sturgis, then take gravel roads home from Sturgis.  It is an amazing ride, climbing up through the Black Hills, roll out past Bear Butte, and finish up in the rolling prairie, eventually climbing back up to the looming Black Hills.  I'm already looking forward to doing this one many times in 2015.
Bear Butte!

5.  Winning the Leadville Lottery. The shock of getting that e-mail that said I was entered was like no other.  Excitement, fear, anger, joy all rolled into one.  Since I'm getting older, it could have been a moment when I pooped my pants, but thankfully I still have control over that function.

4.  The Leadville experience.  I am happy with the way I handled that whole day.  I could have been just a complete bitch with a broken seat post, but instead I didn't quit, stayed positive and gave it my best effort to get through the Twin Lakes checkpoint, missing it by 12 or so minutes.  That all being said, it lead me to meet:

3. The Kevin Lewis Factor.  As the 3 of you (outside my family) that read this blog might remember (if you don't, click on the linky thing on the Leadville experience above), during Leadville while I was climbing up the first big climb of the day, sans seat and seat post, I came across a guy that was having a difficult time with a repair on his bike.  Despite my personal bike issues I stopped and helped him.  Please, go back and read the account.  It was a cool experience for me because he was so unbelievably stoked about getting his bike going.

A month or so later, I get an e-mail from a guy named Kevin Lewis.  He was wondering if I was the "Chris from South Dakota" that helped him at Leadville.  After a couple of e-mails back and forth to verify that I was the person he was looking for, I got to hear about the rest of his race.  He had just barely made it through all the checkpoints, some with just seconds to spare.  He finished the race (although unfortunately, he didn't make it under 12 hours for the belt buckle) and received a finishers medal.  And that is why he was searching for me.  He told his wife at the finish that "this medal belongs to Chris from SD if I ever find that guy", so that's why he was looking for me, to offer me his medal!  (I also found out later that literally hundreds of people rode by him and I was the first one to offer any help.) Obviously I couldn't take it, but the offer was overwhelming.  This kind of stuff is why our sport is so cool.  We line up on race day, complete strangers and through a couple small acts you've impacted another person in a positive way and have made a new friend.  Very cool.

Rambler Mick Ride
A different Rambler ride?
2.  The Rambler experience.  There is a great group of guys that form our really loosely defined cycling "club" The Queen City Ramblers.  Every year we have our annual trip to the desert of Western Colorado and Eastern Utah and our annual Mickelson ride in one day and every year we have a blast on both.  Maybe it's because of all the beer/alcohol we drink on these trips/rides, but I'd guess it's more because of the people that make up the group.  There are guys on each of these trips that might never otherwise socialize together, coming from very disparate careers, interests, etc. and yet all have a common love of cycling.  This contributes to the fact that we say after every trip/ride that this was the best one yet.

1.  Camping/trips with the family.  You knew I'd have to save the sentimental one for the best, but it's true.  From our rain soaked camping experience at the Gold Rush Gravel Grinder to the shared "cabin" at Leadville to another rain filled camp-out at the Dakota Five-O (what's up with the rain at Spearfish events?) it was all a great time!  And even if I had supremely bad luck at two of those events (I broke NOTHING at the Five-O and truly had a blast!) and two of them were completely rain-soaked, I wouldn't trade them for anything.  The only thing I'd do differently this year is do it more often.

So there you have it.  The Top 10 moments/things of the NSS year.  I hope your year was a great one, because I know mine was.  I'm looking forward to 2015 and seeing you all out on the trail!

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