Sunday, January 24, 2010

NEW BLOG....

Gus has kicked me off of HIS blog. I've moved to...

www.commandonlandon.blogspot.com

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Snow Bird.....

Jingle Bells Jingle Bells, Jingle All The Way, Oh What Fun It Is To Ride On A 60 Degree Day.....
YEA!I rode from Cheeva Falls trail-head up to Bellota Ranch road, caught the Arizona Trail back west and then tip toed down La Milagrosa. (I had forgotten my knee shin armour, which is BAD on this trail)

All together, with the ride back into town, it was about 25 miles. My mind still thinks that I am as strong as I was in October when I did the Centurion, my body says otherwise. Still, a 25 mile day in the middle of winter and I was feeling pretty good. Two more weeks of this and I'll be fit as a.... oh I don't know.....

Gustifson H. has been digging the temps this year. It's a little cooler than in February when we normally come down. Still, he prefers to wear his white shirt, which I wet down with water. His little swamp cooler keeps him pretty happy for 90 year old dog averaging 10 miles an hour.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Snow dogs...


We spent the week watching Keith and Suzanne's dog Meka. I'm more and more impressed by the Heeler breed. They're quirky, but their loyalty more than makes up for their quirks.

The dogs had been in the house for way too long, so Monday we went for a hike in the snow. The sun was strong and warm making for quite a pleasant day out with Mary Mo and the doogers.
As much as I enjoyed this hike in the snow, I am glad to be leaving the white stuff. ARIZONA HERE WE COME!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Last Days of November....

Wall riding with the Moon off my starboard bow!
Still warm and dry on this side of the mtns!

Greg photo's are always fun to post!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Connect the dots....


Riding on bare, naked, untouched slick rock is like nothing else in this world. It's appearance changes with every tick of the suns movement through the day. The same landscape in the morning will be different in the evening. Moab is famous for slick rock, especially the trail that bares its name. Painted dots keep one glued to an imaginary line. The dots make a chaotic terrain more....manageable. The slick rock world just above town is hard for most Moab visitors to grasp. The sea of frozen sand dunes leaves folks from more humid climates at a loss for words. There just isn't anything "back home" to compare it to. Luckily, years ago, dots or dashes were painted on the rock, in an effort to give order to the chaos. The dots keep kids, grandparents and "expert level" riders from flying off of cliffs. They keep riders on track so they do not wander afar and disappear, becoming a part of the desert themselves.


I'm glad for the icon that is the Slick Rock Trail, for I might never have journeyed here my-self were it not for its world renowned notoriety.
For all the fun I have had on Slick Rock Trail, these days it leaves me somewhat bored. There is no danger, when the word "DANGER" is painted on the rock. The dots keep me from feeling the rock, from learning how much traction is available on any given stratified layer, from training my fast twitch muscle fibers to "PULL UP QUICK!" when what looked roll-able turns out to be a 6 ft ledge. What if there was a Slick Rock trail that had no dots, no crowds, virtually no sign of man or his machines? What if there was a place in the desert where one can surf, riding frozen waves for more than six hours?

(the view from inside looking out)

Well.... Such a place does exist, but the price of admission is high. Those with vertigo need not apply, and for those with legs that aren't up for massive amounts of steep climbing, and frightening cliff side descents, you too may want to stay within sight of some painted dots.

And like all good surf spots, these waves are kept pretty secret. "It's classified." "I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you."
So don't ask, and I won't tell. Be happy knowing that there is a place in Moab where Jeeps, ATV's, Redneck Golfcarts, Hikers, and even Mountain Bikers don't go.
(Some pics are from a trip with Greg Luck in 2008, the rest are from a few days ago)

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Epic, Defined......

adjective Also, ep⋅i⋅cal.
1.
noting or pertaining to a long poetic composition, usually centered upon a hero, in which a series of great achievements or events is narrated in elevated style: Homer's Iliad is an epic poem.
2.
resembling or suggesting such poetry: an epic novel on the founding of the country.
3.
heroic; majestic; impressively great: the epic events of the war.
4.
of unusually great size or extent: a crime wave of epic proportions.
–noun
5.
an epic poem.
6.
epic poetry.
7.
any composition resembling an epic.
8.
something worthy to form the subject of an epic: The defense of the Alamo is an American epic.
9.
(initial capital letter) Also called Old Ionic. the Greek dialect represented in the Iliad and the Odyssey, apparently Aeolic modified by Ionic.
Mountain bikers tend to use the word "epic" a lot. It gets overused and is a trendy word we like to use to describe rides that maybe weren't really all that uhh...."epic." The definition above doesn't really cover what we off-road cycling folks mean by the word. One above definition, which I highlighted in red, does discuss "great size," but I don't think a ride must be long to be "epic."

I think "epic," in mountain biking terms, must have one element. The element of adventure. It's a state of mind. On our way back from central Utah on Monday, Mary and I stopped off of I-70 for a dirt road ride in the San Raphael Swell. A sign noted "Head of Sinbad" 5 miles. I asked Mary if she was up for a 10 mile total dirt road ride. "Heck Yea" she said!


We headed out with Gustifson at a leisurely pace, on smooth red dirt roads, heading for the "Head of Sinbad." But a few miles in, a very smooth (good for Mary's healing hands), ATV trail left the road to the left. We ditched Sinbad, and headed into the wild desert. The trail was perfect, kind of flowy, very smooth, no rock gardens.

Because I had promised her a 10 mile only ride, I stopped us at 5 miles out. But....Miss Mary said, "What if we kept going to see if this road connects with that trail we saw a few miles back, the one that veered off to the left?" And I said, "I'm sure it will connect, it has to!" And thus an "epic" ride began.




As the trail disappeared, the sand got thick, and the sun sank low, I could see Mary was suffering. After a year off the bike, pounding the middle ring through soft soil is not easy. But I could see that despite the cold, the impending darkness, and the sucky "trail" conditions, she was having fun.

In a last ditch effort to keep her hands from freezing I gave Mary my gloves and wrapped arm warmers around mine. The sun gave the tips of the surrounding mesa's one last red kiss and with that it seemed to drop 10 more degrees. Finally we started finding ATV tracks in the wash again. The wash dumped us out at a recognizable spot and we were finally heading back toward the truck. I looked at Gus's black fur in envy as he trotted along impervious to the dropping temp. The sky had very distinct lines of color as the light faded. Visions of flipping the trucks heater switch drove us on. Fourteen miles! Two hours! Yea, it was EPIC!




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