Last night was my “Friday”. I wasn’t looking to go party, but instead have a little adventure. You know the kind that leaves you drained, sore, tired, maybe even a touch frozen. Not to hard to find really and with a nasty little spring storm blowing in, it was almost guaranteed…so long as I got out the door.

the Lake City Bridge, clogged with tumbleweeds

the Lake City Bridge, clogged with tumbleweeds

I rolled out at 8:PM and headed West as per usual, yet not really sure where my wheels would take me. Next thing I knew I was climbing up 9 mile and decided to ride to Lake City and back.

it was a quiet night in LC

it was a quiet night in LC

The storm abated for almost half the ride. Then a pocket of wind driven snow hit me covering the roads with half frozen slush, soaking my feet and butt. I took a break inside the warm light up post office, ate a soft taco and forced frozen Acli-mate out of my water bottle. I almost wanted to unroll the bivy and take a nap in that warm little haven…but alas I  rolled back out into the wet nastiness and worked my poor legs towards home.stormy night ride 4-26-27-14 017

Again the storm let up for a good while, the roads were mostly dry, the wind not so bad and I tried to push my sorry pace a bit harder. After dropping into Powderhorn the snow came on strong as I crawled up the back side of 9 Mile. The wind was howling, screaming in my face, pelting me with billions upon billions of snow flakes.

snow+wind+downhill=cold

snow+wind+downhill=cold

With more layers and a bit of a grimace I pedal into the fierce wind determined to get the most out of the downhill. The harder I pedal the harder the wind blows. Cranking with everything I have left and being pushed almost to a stop. Oh got to love 9 Mile, never a free ride, never. The air is filled with big heavy snowflakes. Brittle becomes my flesh, feeling every single one smashing into my cheeks, my forehead. stormy night ride 4-26-27-14 034Once I hit Highway 50 the snow has lightened up and the wind finally works with me and pushes me home. For the last few miles I dream of the all food that I have just finished inhaling. The sky is brightening, the birds are chirping….just another spring day…thanks you Universe, Thank You!

Overcoming Fear and Frustration….

chasing my shadow

chasing my shadow

Last night I went out for an evening ride. I was tired. It was a long and busy week, yesterday was a long busy day. Still I Was Going For A Ride! I missed a training ride mid week due to a few too many birthday beers. Despite feeling tired, lazy and a bit frustrated I rode, I did my scheduled hill repeats even when my legs screamed loud enough to make my lungs hurt. Getting stuck in the moment it was hard to not get more frustrated why does it hurt so much after all this training? Doubts slipped in under the radar, fear reared up inside my heart. All left me wondering if I am ever going to be fast, smooth, strong, that maybe I should give up all this “pushing the limits” crap and chill out….

Today I went for a road ride with a friend. We pushed against a stiff headwind all the way up to Crested Butte. My legs ached pushing over every rise, with every gust of intensified wind doubt was there waiting for weakness. Mean while my riding partner for the day talked and talked all the way up. Maybe it was my fully loaded mountain bike, with gear, clothes, food, water and bags to carry it all. Maybe it was the long week that had me feeling slow.

the clouds threatened...still it was sunny and short sleeves....

the clouds threatened…still it was sunny and short sleeves….

Luckily there was some justice, as once we turned around putting the wind at our backs we were flying back down the valley to Gunny. It was a pretty good ride, but pretty good wasn’t enough for me today. I rode on farther south climbing up Gold Basin, feeling more at home on the slow gravely dirt than the pavement of the past few weeks. The road lead me to to new and different places than usual. The dirt called to me to keep riding, keep looking, learning…exploring.

big sky country

big sky country

I eventually hit mud and snow and the bottom of my food for the day. With the sun high in the sky and desire still burning in my heart I somewhat reluctantly turned and headed home. Pushing big gears into that same headwind. My legs felt every effort. My stomach growled for more food. My back tightened up enough to remind me the day was already long enough. Today I could sense there was more punch in my legs, more power in my core and still more drive inside me. And that is an amazing feeling and couldn’t come at a better time. There are bigger days ahead, I can hardly wait to see them…..

the open road begs to be explored....

the open road begs to be explored….

 

 

Sundays

Sometimes I wonder if I really am weird or if I just absorb more of what goes on everyday. For I just can’t stop thinking, questioning, wondering. Leaving me in this thought trance, helplessly clinging to feeling the emotion of the previous moment, unable to walk on and be in the present. Things can be so good, so right, so damn perfect and then I mess it all up with my own head. And all I want is to let go of it and be free, to feel. I mean knowing you want something and being unable to actually let go and experience it makes you feel kind of powerless, sort of pathetic. Now disappointment hangs heavy on my head, when I could be flying up in the clouds, beyond.

Luckily the rest of the day is about bike riding. Riding bikes in the woods, up into the mountains along some sweet trails. Still distracted by my thoughts, regrets, the lingering sadness within myself, I am not all there on the bike. Railing corners, cleaning some climbs, feeling the sweat and ache of the body pedaling away, feels so good, so right, but still not as crisp and clean with my head stuck up my ass.

Sometimes I truly wonder if I am being challenged. I mean is it my calling to always be in doubt, stuck in thought, regretful about my actions and decisions. Why not simply revel in the joy, accept the good and bad and move on instead of this constant self critique. Perhaps it is my desire to try, to always do better, to seek the impossibility of perfection. Sounds like an ok idea, but living it sucks. Sometimes I simply wish to be happy and satisfied and drop this terribly insistent thinking, questioning, doubting and just be.

Still stuck in my head and hoping to cleanse myself I GO ride some more. Dirt roads, one trail, more dirt roads, some pavement. Solo, just me and the bike. The flowers are jumping out of the green hillsides, the mountains glow with summer growth and the remaining snow. It is trying to rain, almost but not quite. Smoke fills part of the sky from the raging wildfires not too far away. I am still stuck in my thoughts, but the ride feels good. I hammer the climbs pushing myself pretty hard. I stop and take pictures of the flowers. I think about how lucky I am. I think about the wildfires and the folks fleeing their homes and working hard to fight the flames. They are dealing with far more serious things than I. I feel silly dwelling on my shit, my petty personal shit. But I just can’t let go of my melancholy, what a dumb thing this is, somehow I simply can’t shake it off. Not sure how this could make me a better person, or improve my life, but I know I will get through it. Just got to keep getting out there, pushing, trying, sweating, for nothing heals like exercise. Plus it gets me out there seeing the life that grows, strives and persists around me, and that is not weird at allImage