Tuesday, February 28, 2012

64337 Minutes

I decided this morning was a good one to catch up on the blog. My Pugs is sitting by the front door and my gear is ready to go for a 2 hour cruise. This is what I am looking at out my window, grinning like a giddy little girl!

The fatbike has evolved into an awesome snow navigator and commuter. I have it geared 36/20. Yep. That's right. Yes, it goes through the snow. Yes, I stand up on the hills and it goes up. Yes, its hard. Yes, I have to push up some hills. Yes, I ride by some geared fatties on hills....yes, I do love the pain. I have taken boatloads of good-spirited crap about this bike, but I love it. I love that it is a frame from a friend, parts from many other bikes and leaves tracks like this:

And just because its kinda cool to compare, I noticed a Larry, an Endo and my two Nates side by side after a ride a few weeks ago:

Who notices and compares tread in the snow and takes a pic?  Someone needs a life..

About a month ago, I entered a 24 hour race in West Yellowstone called the Equinox Ski Challenge. It is too close to the AZT 750 to take seriously so I am going to have fun with friends and ride my fatbike. It will be an awesome training race and I absolutely love western Montana. Pretty stoked for this one. And yes, I will regear to 32/20.

The Pugs evokes the urge to just be silly and rage through the snow like a kid. I  have the permagrin constantly when I am riding and have NO problem doing this on rides:

And I have learned that if left unattended, random snowboarders will "borrow" it to let their 10 year old out while waiting in the lift line:

I even considered commuting to a nice dinner with some friends a couple nights ago, but the shoes just didn't allow that to happen (believe me I tried)....

It has proved to be a good training tool as well. There are many days that I need to back off and go for a Pugs ride to keep my mind from racing through all the logistics, travel, gear, time off work, workout schedule and nerves I feel for the AZT 750. The mind game, as we all know, is key to my success in Arizona. Last year's 300 taught me so many things that I will take with me this year. I honestly cannot wait for the adventure that is in store. 

750 miles. On a bike. In a strange land. I have never seen the Grand Canyon and I am going to break my Superfly 100 down and lug the bastard from the south rim to the north rim on my back with this and some webbing:

The Osprey Switch 40+5...my $20 Craigslist find
I dream about the unknown, the challenge and pushing through the fatigue and pain I know will be a huge part of my days in the desert. But what draws me to races like this is the simple freedom I find on my bike, the different beauty and intrigue of Arizona, the survival skills necessary, and as much as I love solitude, I never forget all the the people I meet on the trail or the unique individuals that take on this challenge as well. I love that something stirs in their heart the same way it does in mine....

So here are a few more pictures of the FrankenPugs I am so damn happy with:

Again, I can't thank Kokopelli Bike and Board enough for making this beast roll!!!

So, as of right now, I am 64337 minutes away from the start of my adventure through AZ. The only huge setback I have experienced is that I lost my GPS while training near Oracle, AZ. It is somewhere past the Tiger Mine Rd Trailhead. I have put the word out if anyone finds it, but I am not holding my breath. It's gone.

Right now, the money is not in my pocket to replace it either. Anyone feeling like helpin' a sista out and lending me theirs for 8-10 days in April? It is an essential piece of gear in my setup that has to go on the trail. Just throwing it out there if anyone feels compelled.....

Til next time.....

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Tongue Tied

Let silence take you to the core of life.

I sat down to finally drop a wordy blog post about all the things I have been doing to prep for the AZT 750 over the last two and a half weeks and absolutely nothing is getting written in this text box. I am simply unmotivated to "report" stats, details and miles right now. 

There is a huge, very silent upwelling within me at present that is working to crush the demons of self-doubt as April 13th approaches. This movement within is fostering silence of my outer voice as I work through it. 

Pictures from my journeys over the last two and a half weeks and some powerful words from Rumi that are constantly fueling the fire will have to suffice.

Do not be satisfied with the stories that come before you. Unfold your own myth...

Why do you stay in prison when the door is so wide open?

Forget safety. Live where you fear to live...be notorious.

My soul is from elsewhere. I am sure of that and I intend to end up there...

Let yourself be drawn by the stronger pull of that which you truly love...

Move within, but do not move the way fear makes you move

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. Do not go back to sleep.

And you? When will you begin that long journey into yourself?

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Kiss Me....It's Snowdown!

I sit here before work in the middle of the afternoon at the Irish Embassy Pub listening to seven people cranking out "Whiskey in a Jar" (how appropriate)on a fiddle, accordion, banjo, many guitars and some unidentified noise makers and look out the window at the snow lightly falling on the streets of Durango.

No blizzards here, just a few inches. But it IS sticking...and a few inches means a few feet in the mountains that tower above this sleepy little town. Oh yeah!

No epic rides or adventures in extreme conditions lately. Nope. Just a shitload of work while Snowdown is in full force and then I will disappear into the desert for a few days with my neglected Superfly and some bikepacking gear. Looking like a solo trip is in the works as plans, schedules and work take potential riding partners in many different directions.

The fatty is alive and has evolved to its final form. The Superfly is getting a little TLC from the boys at Kokopelli Bike and Board. Many a trip to Cortez have I made and I forsee many more. These guys are hands down the best around. People, mechanics, friends. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I have been experimenting with the Osprey pack that is going to tote my bike across the canyon (pics coming) and I have been busting my ass at the Rec Center on the spin bike, on the track and in the weight room. A lot of yoga classes and podcasts fill up the rest of the time I am not otherwise occupied. I am not at all motivated to post hours and numbers. Boring.

My personal reward for all the gym time is laps on the awesome water slide at the pool. The harder the workout, the more laps I reward myself with.

And you all thought I was there training for some 750 mile race across the desert?

Merely an afterthought to the water slide.

So I end this boring blog post with a small taste of the local culture:

My knights in beer can armor on the final night of Snowdown.