Sunday, May 31, 2009

Saturday morning me Finn and the girls went for a hike up Sunset trail. The girls tore it up but Finn and I just kind of explored.
Wasn't the recorder every body's first musical instrument? Yeah that's right, one handed.
Then in the afternoon I got dragged around May Valley by a friend who is in the shape of his life. His been training like an animal and it shows. This morning we had the last running club of the year. We went long and did some different trails. How cool is it that after a year of meeting each week we can still find some different trails to run. This afternoon Finn and I ran up to Humber and back, just to mix it up. I was going to go riding between runs but my brake pads are shot on my firm tail and the Songs brakes are singing. I told my friend yesterday that these brakes are made by the same company that produces the bear bell, both are effective at keeping bears aware of my whereabouts. New pads should be on there way in the next day or so. Looks like I'll wrap up the weekend with some spinning.
Ride on!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Been hitting the hills. I rode over to Black Mountain yesterday morning. Ended up getting around 5,000' of climbing. As you might guess we had another beautiful day in the mountains. I hear the coast and valley are stuck under the marine layer most mornings.
This morning Finn and I got out for a short hike with Gary and that I met up with a good friend from Big Bear and one of his buddies. We spent some time tearing it up in May Valley. I had to cut out early while they continued on to do a Hurkey Creek lap.

Here is a shot of my new ride. I think I'll change out the rubber but other than that any upgrades or changes I make will happen after I learn how to ride it.
I'm hoping to get for some good miles over the weekend. In a few days I'll need to start thinking about a taper.
Ride on!

Monday, May 25, 2009

New ride

It's yard sale time up here in Idydllwild. Saturday while I was riding Bonnie checked a few out with Grandma and Finn and found something I've wanted for some time now. A unicycle! So my newest ride has only one wheel, making it really light, right? Wrong, I think it weighs more than the new firm tail I've been loving. The bad part is I can't ride it until after Big Bear. I have this funny way of injuring myself just weeks before major races. Once I broke a toe taking out the garbage, three days before Nationals. A another time I broke a rib two weeks before a race. I ended up racing but after a crash about 12 hour in I decided to pull out. Another time I wrenched my back on a final training ride, One week before a race. I couldn't walk upright for two days. With these injuries on my resume Bonnie thought it might be best if I hold off on doing the things that can easily lead to me damaging me. So it's two wheels for me for now.

Ride on!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

We opened the final show of the season last night. It was well received by a large house. Let's hope tonight goes as well. We've been in pretty good shape during most of tech week so the past couple of days I've been able to get out for some good rides. I've been trying to pack in the climbing while I have it. Yesterday I got in over 5,100' in 40 miles and today I cobbled together just over 5,000' of climbing in just under 30 miles. Most of the riding today was in May Valley. Got a shot of some of the late bloom going on down there.

I came across this guy, believe it or not, on a trail call 'Snakeskin'. It was in a tight spot so I wanted to convince it that it would be better for both of us if it slithered off into the brush.
Yesterday on my way back up from Hemet I came across a lot of snake tracks on the control rode. It's funny right after the Idyllwild Pine cove split I didn't see a single snake track on the way up to P.C.
Tomorrow I don't know that I'll get out for a ride. I've got running club in the morning, then I'm meeting Bonnie, Grandma, and Finn in town for a pancake breakfast, and then the show in the afternoon, followed by strike and party. Speaking of Grandma it's been great having her out for a visit again. It makes it easier to be at school so much knowing Finn is with her.
Ride on!

Thursday, May 21, 2009


What was just a pile of parts and a super light frame on Monday became a fast Siren firm tail on Wednesday. It's a full 29 with ti seat stays and a Song flex plate behind the bb. The idea is that the ti will flex a bit the take the edge off. Along with the 29" wheel this should feel like a pretty smooth ride. A happy medium between a hard tail and a soft tail. Here is a shot of the bike before I've even got a leg over it.
I did a shake down ride yesterday morning. After a little dialing in I got in a good couple of hours. This bike is a lot of fun. Quick, snappy and efficient. I don't know that I'll ever race this bike in a 24 with a ridged fork, but it might be fun to do an xc or marathon race on it.
Things are coming together for the West Virginia race the weekend after graduation. My teammates are taking care of a lot of the logistics, which I'm grateful for since I'm so busy with the last show of the year. Brendan is putting the two Songs on the fast track for Chris and I. The biggest news is from my sister. As most of you know she and our good friend Becky are major players in the pits. I got word that they'll be making it out for this race. How cool is that? I'm lucky to have such great people around me. The only way this could get better is if Bonnie and Finn were in the pits too. That will happen in July.
Ride on!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

News Changes Things

It's been an eventful week out here in CA. Finn caught the stomach flu last week and passed it on to me early this week. It laid me up for a couple of days, I remember the last time I didn't ride or run for two days straight. I got an early father's day gift from Bonn and Finn...a trip to the first Granny Gear event. It'll be great to race with teammates Brad and Chris. I've raced with them before but never as teammates. The only down side is Bonnie and Finn won't be there. So the official Best Wife/Mom ever (title's official status given by teammate Brad) won't be there to be pit boss. The other good news I got is Siren is coming to town this weekend with some bikes! I'm going to get to test out that prototype that's been in the works for a while now. I think it's going to be a really fun bike. I've decided to go with a ridge fork up front. Something I've never tried before so I'm looking forward to a new style of riding. A new Song is in the works as well. Brendan likes to write a little message in each of the down tubes we uses on the bikes he builds.

Looking at the picture in the background makes me think Brendan is living on the dark side right now, get out for a ride man!

Brendan has built up Songs for Chris and I before and discovered that the frames are nearly the exact same so this time around he was able to streamline the process a bit and built the two frames together. Mine is the faster one, which is good because I'll need ever advantage I can get at Big Bear.

No a much different note, and I'm sorry I can't change gears more gracefully...Tuesday night we lost a good friend to cancer. He was one of the senior Faculty members at Idyllwild Arts that Bonnie and I looked up to From early on in our tenure. He will be missed but his inspiration will live on.

Ride on Jerry!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Thoughts of Summer

Summer type weather has hit the hill, daytime highs in the 80's and nighttime lows in the 50's. All blue sky all day long, which makes for good riding. I'm starting get out of bed about an hour before Finn wakes up so I can get some spinning in, then when he goes to town with Mom I can hit the trails. My plan hasn't worked as well as I would have hoped. Today for example I got about 8 minutes in and Finn was up. Oh well, there's always tomorrow. But since I'm on duty tonight I don't think I'll be getting up too early tomorrow, I gotta be fresh for Mothers Day. I think I'll restart the get up early cycle on Monday, what a great way to start the week.

I think I've finally decided against racing the first Granny Gear event this year. Time is just too tight. But I am hoping to be back in WI in time to race Crystal Ridge. I did this race years ago as my first 12 hour. I had a blast and learned a lot. I think they are doing time trials there again on Wed. nights through out the summer, also something I'd like to take in. Could help me build up some speed, something I do not have.

So as you can see I'm getting into that end of the year mode. I thinking of the best way to drive back to WI. What do we want to see, where do we want to camp. I'm thinking of what races we should be lining up to do. And I'm thinking I gotta hit these great trails while I've got them. Ya know living up here I'm totally spoiled.

Remember your Mom tomorrow! (o.k. not just tomorrow)
Ride on!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Fingers crossed

We had a tough night last night. Finn got the stomach flu. Let's just say we have a lot of laundry to do now. Who knew so much went in throughout the day. Bonnie hung out with him this morning while I got a ride in. I'm with him in the early afternoon, until Bonnie is done with class and then I'll go in to school for shop. I think he is out of the woods as he has been able to keep some food and water down. As you might guess he is sleeping a lot to day. Our fingers are crossed, let's hope Bonnie and I don't get it.

Tomorrow I hope to hit the trails in the morning before Bonnie's meeting. This weekend ride time will be tight. Saturday is a duty night for me. I'm making up for the duty weekend I missed when we were racing Old Pueblo. Sunday is mothers day. Last mothers day I spent most of the day driving back from 12 Hours of Mesa Verde. It was o.k. because Bonnie had to work and wasn't home anyway. This year I'm not sure what we're going to do.

Ride on!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Get Out There

Yesterday was one of those days that just made me itch for one of those multi day rides I love to do. One of our students father was doing what I just love to do. He flew down from Washington to Palm Springs with nothing but his bike and some cloths. The plan was for him to ride up to Idyllwild yesterday, see his son in a studio production tonight, and then ride back down tomorrow. Since I knew he was pretty much out there on his own with no emergency contacts I thought it might be nice to drive out and check his progress. I ran across him about half way, he was doing great. Huge smile and just loving life. All he need was a little water, and probably didn't even need that but since it was there for the taking, way not? After we chatted for a bit he was off.

On my way back home I came across two through hikers looking for a ride to Idyllwild. This time of year the through hikers are making their way through town on their way to Canada. They are always good for excellent stories of the trail. They needed some things and a little rest. Their plan was to spend one day, and two nights in town and then get a ride back to the trail. One of the hikers 'Blue Eye' is from Colorado, the other one, 'Ace' is from Ohio. Both of them were just all smiles. They couldn't have been happier.

I can't help but think people are just built to be active. These three guys were working hard and yet were happier then most folks I run into on a daily basis. I know when I my activity level dips I get a little edgy. I think physical activity is something we tend to gloss over too much. I mean just look around you in public places. Doors open of us. Stairs step for us. We drive everywhere, and park as close as we can. We're outside for just a fraction of our day. It's ugly, it makes us crabby, and it's killing us.

Wow where did that came from? Sorry for the soapbox moment, I guess I feel pretty strongly about play time, I should have been a P.E. teacher. If you haven't already get out there and play today!

Ride on! or whatever you do for fun!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Another great weekend

So I probably say that we've had a great weekend every weekend, but it's true and this weekend is no exception. It started with me and the girls going for a run before we need to head over to the race. When I got back home it was still early so I got some spinning in. The plan was to get to the check point by 10:30, Finn had other ideas. He was fast asleep so I hung back and Bonnie headed over to the race. Finn got up around noon, shortly after we were on our way to the check point, me in the saddle, him in tow.

Everybody was working hard to make sure the racers were getting what they need to make the final push. I think Finns next words will be 'water, cyto, gu'.
We knew all the racers had passed when these two showed up. Either Brendan has enjoyed an adult libation or the altitude is getting to him.
Finn made sure Brendan's steed was good to go for the final climb.
" Did he really drink all of those...I thought you were watching him, Mom" O.k. so not only do water bottles work well for hydration but they can keep a little guy busy for extended moments.
After the race Finn and I headed home. When Bonnie got home I slipped out for a ride. When I got back we grilled out. Bonnie and I got to enjoy the growler Mary pick up for us the weekend before from Prescott Brewing.
This morning started the way most Sundays do. Playing and breakfast then off to running club. We had a good run on the trails around campus. When I got home we played a bit, Finn took a nap and I got out for a ride. I headed down to May valley but hit some climbs before I got down there. I ended up getting in about 4,500' of climbing. I gotta take advantage for the hills while I have them. After the ride we headed into town to pick up some things and check out the action. Bonnie is off to Prom tonight so that means it's my 'hotter than something that's really hot' chili for dinner...Finn's probably not ready for that...he can have something else...I'm making my chili. After dinner me, Finn and the girls will walk up to the state forest and go for a hike. See I told you, great weekend.
Ride on!

Friday, May 1, 2009

I am definitely NOT Racing...maybe

The Idyllwild Spring Challenge is tomorrow down at Hurkey Creek. Bonnie is working an aid station out on the long course. I was planning on racing but it looks like weather could be a factor, 60% chance of rain. Not great conditions for Finn to be in. Instead I think I'll work the aid station with Bonnie and if the weather gets bad she and Finn and head home. This race isn't one I shoot for anyway. It's a little too short for my tastes, only 35 miles. Although I have had a good tapper if I was to do it. The past couple of days have been hit or miss as far as train goes, and today doesn't look any better. Does it sound like I'm trying to talk myself into racing?

Ride on!