More

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I want more. More time for riding, walking the dogs, sleeping in, tinkering with my bike and gear and of course spending time chilling with my sweets. What is crazy is how hard it is to find that time and how easily it gets eaten up. Between working, cooking, doing chores, going to meetings, writing this blog and trying to get some decent sleep the days just fly on by.

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Sometimes the rush of so much to do makes my head spin with the stress of too many things undone. I find it hard to rest with such a long to do list. Then again, deep down I am thankful that I have a life full of passion and dreams. There was a time, not that long ago, when I did not fill the days to the brim, those were some dark and dismal times.

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Right now I am trying to balance making a living, building a loving, giving relationship, taking care of three crazy ass dogs and training to race down the Divide. Sometimes I feel like I am pulling it off, other times I wonder if I am trying to do too much? Therefor watering it all down and I can’t help but think that maybe it isn’t the best time to take on 2700 miles?

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Getting out on the bike this weekend under a gloriously warm spring sun, gazing up at the snow covered mountains, I was filled with a thirst for more. Spinning along, it felt like my full plate wasn’t enough, that despite my stress I wanted more dog time, more thinkering and more love. Damn it and I want to ride that Divide again so bad that it almost hurts. Somehow, someway I need to work more, ride more and all the while keeping that balance in check.

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Note to self: The best path is not the easy path, so suck it up buttercup!

Lucky

sunsets help everything make sense

sunsets help everything make sense

There are some that don’t believe in luck. That what happens to us, good or bad, is a result of our actions and behavior “not apparently brought on by chance”. Perhaps that is true, it is simply our attitude and way of life that sheds light on either the sunshine or the rain.

I can buy into that to some degree, yet it still seems like some folks are just plain lucky. They don’t work as much, they go on fantastic vacations, or maybe they get to travel around and race bikes as much as they want. Have to admit that I sometimes wish I was as “Lucky”. Then again maybe I’m simply ignorant of the choices they have made that makes it all possible.

love

love

I’m not a perfect person. I get grumpy with envy. I want more than I have. I am sometimes very impatient. I want to race and race and race my bike. Sometimes I feel really unlucky as I can not pull it all off. I have no money, not enough time and my body does break down.

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the distant and mighty San Juans

Then sometimes things come back into perspective and it all that negative energy seems so silly. Call it Luck, or being Blessed or just plain Happy. Life is good, there is much work to do, more focusing to accomplish, but I am feeling it, whether it is luck or not, I am grateful.

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Thank You, Universe, Thank You!

Sunrise and Sunset

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Life is funny sometimes and not always in way that leaves me laughing. That is usually my own fault. I get too serious, too self absorbed and acutely focused that I lose my sense of humor, my ability to roll with the punches and still come out smiling. The good thing is that it doesn’t take too much to kick my ass back onto the right track of loving life and the gifts it brings.

This morning I got up a bit earlier and took the dogs for a little hike. Nothing long or hard, just a little stroll through the sage. The dogs were stoked and charged about for no reason other than to feel the air flow, the dirt between their paws and to feel that irreplaceable feeling of freedom that being alive, happy and doing what you love can bring. Their simple joy was contagious.

sun dogs

sun dogs

We also got to see the sun rise up over the hills, and cast it’s glowing light upon the snow covered mountains. I am so grateful that a simple sunrise can make me feel so wonderfully small and make my inflated problems fall into place with a sense of enlightened perspective.

Afterwork I was tired, my tummy was a bit of a mess and my motivation level was not where I wanted it to be. Still, Rachel and I headed out for a spin in the waning hours of the day. Up a slow steady climb into the hills, farther and farther from town a huge sense of quiet engulfed me. All the accumulated stress of the day and past few weeks slowly melted away with the rush of pumping blood and pedals spinning.
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Cranking out a good effort we crested a small climb on a random dirt road. The hills slipped behind us and the view opened up with a gorgeous sunset lighting up the magnificent sky. Words and pictures can not truly express the perfection of that moment. I just wanted to hug the sky, shit, I wanted to hug the whole world and let them feel this amazing feeling. There is nothing to me as pure, real and empowering as a sunset. It makes me so happy be alive, to be in love and to have made that critical step of getting out the door and going for a ride.

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Life is too short to be grumpy, life is too precious to not get out there and live.
Live Love and gO Ride, it really really is always worth it!

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F$#cking Tour Divide

the path is not always clear

the path is not always clear


Getting to the starting line of the TD is almost as hard as the race itself. The past two times it was a struggle of balancing training, working multiple jobs and finding the time for the dog(s). Not to mention, finding time to do something other than working on bikes, riding bikes, building bags for bikes and dreaming eating and shitting bikes, training, maps and gear.
Now life is even more full. Sharing everyday life with someone really brings to life how obsessive and overpowering the TD can be. I never realized how stressful the TD prep was on a relationship, and now I do. Time is an even more rare commodity than ever.
Yet that damn ride is in my head. I want to be out there, I want to dig deep into myself and seek the limits of my abilities, skills and endurance. I want to see all those sunrises and sunsets from the saddle, cruising down the spine of the continent with everything I need strapped to my bicycle. That vision is a very strong one indeed.
Yet right now I am wondering how important that ride really is. Is it more important that the rest of my life? Once upon a time, I thought it was. Now I am in doubt. Life is a series of struggles. Reaching, striving, trying to do more, be a better person, a more complete human. Is the Divide the only route for me to take to push myself? I know it isn’t, I know life will go on if I don’t make it up to Banff. But I also know I will beat myself up all summer if I don’t try harder to make it happen.
There is no easy answer, there is no right answer. There is simply life and how we chose to live it. Damn it is hard sometimes….

Sunday Funday

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Somedays things just flow. Today was one of them. Got up, did some stretching as the sun rose and filled the living room with golden light. Whipped up some delicious breakfast, ate, drank coffee and chilled. Walked the dogs, worked on my bike, ate more food, took the dogs for a nice hike, ate more food and then topped it all off with a sweet little ride with my sweets.

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It was a simple little spin mostly on pavement with a touch of dirt. The sky was filled with an amazing glowing light, geese and sand hill cranes squawked in all directions in the marshy fields filled with cows and new born calves.

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My legs felt pretty good after a couple weeks of achey knees. The bike felt light and smooth. Pedaling was effortless and edifying. The stress of the past weeks and months seem to melt away along with the south facing snow. Spring is here, the change, the renewing energy is uplifting, powerful and so wonderful to feel.

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I need to take heed of my own advice sometimes. Let go of the BS, let go of the negative energy that wants to take root inside you. Forget about the crap that weighs you down. Get up, get out, move, feel your blood pumping through your entire being, know that you are just a tiny fleck in an immense universe and let that energy flow.

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Just gO Ride!!!

 

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gO Ride

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Sometimes I forget just how human I am. I expect more from myself that the ordinary day to day living run of the mill stuff. I want to strive, reach, try and make it happen. But I am human, and therefor fallible, fragile and imperfect. This does not rest well with me at times. When I am tired and exhausted I do not let it go, I get upset that I am not climbing mountains, riding centuries and crushing myself with eye bleeding intervals.

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Since getting home from the 24 Hours of Old Pueblo I have been pretty cooked. My knee has been sore, my legs cranked up so tight that it has been hard to sleep some nights. Then work got busy with the coming of an early spring and the warm air that makes everyone suddenly think about bikes. I was not riding much, hardly at all. That is not good, I get cranky when I do not spin those pedals, gaze at the hills and feel the air, my blood and let go of my too closely held thoughts.

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Today I got out for a good ride. Pavement, dirt roads with a good bit of climbing and simply amazing views. I really can not put into words how good it felt, and still feels. I seriously am blown away at what a bike ride can do. My knee feels better, my head is no longer a confused wad of misused junk. The worries I held too tightly, now seem to be easily worked out details.

good friends make everything better

good friends make everything better

How does a little bike ride change one’s perspective so quickly? I really do wonder, but honestly I simply am grateful for having such an outlet at my disposal. I am also so thankful to live in a place where I can ride from my door into the hills and gaze upon some of the most majestic mountains and feel things shift and change and see how silly my quandaries really are. Just gO Ride, it is the best medicine. Thank you Universe, thank you!

Finding Time

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There are times when life rushes at me a warp speed, so many things happening at once, too many damn things to do and never enough time or energy to pull it all off. I will admit that my life isn’t that crazy, I simply am wired for a different sort of velocity. That and I just can’t seem to say no to helping out, working more and of course taking on big challenges. Yes I will probably dig my own grave.

I constantly dissect my own thoughts and decisions. I rack myself endlessly with the what if’s, the why not’s and the “is that really a good idea?” Often I wonder how much better life would be if I took a step back from racing big big races and just lived a little away from that. Stop suffering, stop racing to the race and then racing home and right back to work. Maybe take a vacation that didn’t involve bikes, racing, or trying to break a record.

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It seems I am not there, ready to chill out and switch it up, maybe I never will be. I am just not comfortable being normal. I really do believe, most of the time, that when I die I want to be all used up. That brings me to the next thing.

A few weeks ago I thought that committing myself to racing the Divide again was a great idea. After my 2014 run I wasn’t satisfied. I wanted it to be a different experience than it was. In 2011 it was like a vacation, even when it hurt like hell, I was still so freaking happy to be out there, it really was like living out a long sought out dream. In 2014 I just wanted to win, break the record and crush myself trying to hit my potential for the route. That mentality might be great for focusing that single-mindedness into an epic mission, but it wasn’t nearly as much fun.

When I threw my weather beaten hat back into the TD ring, I did so with the thought that this year would be more meditative. More relaxed. More about the experience than the minutes, hours and days ticking by. I wanted to go into it this year less stressed, more rested, not so frazzled and ragged.

Damn it, life is not giving me a break. I am scattered, running around with too much on my plate. I am in a constant state of stress, there is no money, there is no time. I am not training as much as I want. My body is sore, tired, wicked tight and beat down. There is a thousand things on my To Do List and I am whupt. My impossible dream of being rested and relaxed is falling farther and farther away.

I really do wonder if maybe it is a mistake to take on the beast of the Divide once again. The idea of not freaking out for the next three months about money, gear and training, not to mention having a real summer afterwards, seems like a wonderful idea.

There simply isn’t enough time for everything. Tonight it was walk the neglected dogs or go do some intervals. The dogs won, but the whole time I thought about this quandary. What is more important, what is the path to happiness, what do I want? I am torn and somehow I want it all. Damn It!

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Still there is something about all those damn roads criss crossing back and forth across the Divide, the mountains and hills, the flowers and trees, the wonderful people and the miles and miles of adventure that lurk out there that won’t leave me alone, won’t leave me be. It is in my blood, in my brain, in my very soul. Shit, Life ain’t supposed to be easy anyways.

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