Hello Old Friend

Idyllwild January 22, 2011

Dear Idyllwild,
Long time no see. Oh how I've missed you.

You are an old friend to us now.
Stunning views from the fire roads and single track delight.

 We were the couple with the small fire and the "jiffy pop."
The only campers in the entire park.

 You'll be on our minds, until we meet again.

Thanks for another great weekend.

A Man and His Dreams.

 They say only a fool stands between a man and his dreams. Today I was that fool. It started out a lovely Sunday stroll north on the PCH. We decided to combine business with pleasure and stop by Hansen's Surf shop in Encinitas to exchange a Christmas gift. Technically it was a Christmas gift for me that didn't fit quite right. It was sunny out. I was feeling generous and maybe a little guilty for making the exchange. I offered to stay outside and watch the bikes while Tim handled the exchange. I encouraged him to get something cool and sensible. Also, I had never been inside Hansen's which has very cute surfer girl clothes. I figured if I went inside I might start a new bad habit.

I waited outside with the bikes for a very long time. I expected Tim to come out to the door with two hoodies and ask my opinion. He didn't. He appeared with exuberant and slightly flushed with excitement.

 You see Tim found the Oakley Frog skin Iridium sunglasses he had been wanting since age 8. At 8 years old he didn't have much spending power. He saved up his money but could only afford the non iridium lenses. He was fortunate enough to purchase Frog skins with a dalmatian print frame. Like every boy who lost his baseball cards, Tim claims his mother threw them out. I don't know why she would do such a thing. Tim is very proud to announce he pulled out the same wallet he used when he was 8 to purchase the first pair.The wallet is another blog in itself. I made a comment that Tim should be driving a van with tinted windows or an ice cream truck with those shades on, instead of riding a bike. I promptly got dropped after that. Tim said he couldn't help picking up the pace, the superior optical quality propelled him.

Lastly, Tim says they'd go great with a "stache". Oh brother!

Winter Reading

 Sometimes it's really hard to remember that those in the Midwest and on the East coast are struggling with 18 inches of snow daily.  Based on yesterday's ride around the Great Western Loop and today's run on the beach life is grand.

January days end relatively early. After getting a good dose of fresh air I am happy to curl up with a good book. That is after I have checked Facebook 20 times and read every body's blog 5 times. One of my many goals for the year is to waste less time so I have more time to read books. Lately I have read some good ones.

Every dog lover will enjoy this book. "Enzo" the dog absolutely stole my heart. Those of us who truly are "racers" or have a passion for something often are not understood by others. Sometimes we don't quite understand ourselves. Enzo gets it and can even put it into words. It's just a book and Enzo's just a made up dog, but Enzo will have a place in my heart forever.

Most triathlon books have given me a better understanding and respect of physiological and mechanical aspects of  sport. That's great but I always wonder what goes on in the head of true champions. This book clearly demonstrates the what great things can be accomplished when the body and mind work together. It's not a "heavy book". In fact just the opposite, you really feel the lightness of Madonna Buder's persona and her relentless energy.

This is a great book on mountain biking. Of all the books I have read on running, skiing, or triathlon this book is the most helpful. I know you can't just read a book about mountain biking and ride like a champion. I  think it would have helped me to read it before I began my off road adventures or at least before the first time I rode Noble Canyon. There is solid advise for about any situation. Recalling this books tips and being confident in execution makes a huge difference. Instead of listening to your riding partners or spouse say "FAIL" as you push your bike around the technical section you will smile graciously/smugly when s/he  asks you how you did it and say "It's easy, Ned says ....".

In addition to advise on riding I have read the importance of understanding your mountain bike from a mechanical perspective. I have read and believe to be true that every mountain biker should be competent in removing a link from a chain and changing a derailleur hanger.

I confess I probably wouldn't be so interested in learning those mechanical skills if my multi tool wasn't the most fashionable multi tool ever. It's got to be on par with a Coach handbag  or a pair of Jimmy Choos. In the event that I don't master all of it's functions at least I'll look sharp.


Riding on 1/1/11 made me want to scream "I won, I won, I won."

That goes for everybody, not just me. We all won.

It's pretty invigorating breathing in the fresh cool air. 

I'm not sure what will emerge in 2011.

There could be changes in direction and obstacles that lie ahead.

No worries. I learned long ago to always look ahead.

When I come to those bridges I will cross them....

At least with a smile, but hopefully with style and flair.

 I'm going to enjoy every moment of the  ride

Just like the descent time goes passes too fast.

New Years Eve

 New Years Eve was celebrated in style.

Wild Horse Ridgeline

 Due to work and rain I hadn't been on "Fat Tire Flossie" in over 2 weeks. 
It was high time we headed to high and dryer ground for some action.
To Palm Springs it was.

The sky was blue. The air was clear and crisp. 
The cactus thorns were cruel and unforgiving.

 One thorn tried to mess with Paul's tire. 
It was no match for Paul's home brewed tire goop.

Dunn Rd.

 I worked up a sweat during the 3 miles sand slog they call Dunn Rd.
When we were done it was time for some X-mas cookies ...
...........and then the real desert dessert.

A video of me riding the ridgeline.
 Looks like I'm just a speck on the great big Earth.