Emma's cycling development is coming along. Her cadence averages 140 rpm with her 60mm cranks and she has been rocking the single speed from day 1.
We've been working on drafting lately. She loves the new found speed. Lots of whoops and yeehaws.
She learned to do the Hula Hoop too. Core strength and flexibility training all rolled into one. Adult males evidently cannot Hula Hoop. Wesley proved it was a skill lost with old age by doing the hula perfectly.
OK cheating a little. We got her a trailerbike and it is a lot of fun. Ems and I can keep up with Wesley now on family rides.
How I just love that little girl. She makes me smile every day in my heart with her combo of cute, smart and spunk.
I'm tired. Really! How did that happen? Winning Rim Ride, following it up the next day with a White Rim lap, then Big Friggin' Loop all single speed maybe? I slowed down a little the next week and had to pedal gears down to the casino in Mesquite and back. Then last weekend I absolutely finished myself off with the bikepacking adventure in Parashant National Monument. I do not have a bionic body after all.
Dave on the other hand appears to be truly Bionic and is getting faster and skinnier by the day. On Monday he repeated our Lime Kiln ride but skipped the overnight/buffet at the casino and ditched all the gears except for one. That is more than crack that is pure nitrous...
All is good, I am not hurt just tired and need a week or so sitting on the bench to get my nitrous back.
More fun on bikes this weekend in the million acres of the Grand Canyon Parashant National Monument. This time we drove the 30 miles south from St George to the border of the park and started riding from there.
We also took overnight gear.
This was my first bike-packing adventure. I'm not sure how much I like riding with all that extra weight on my bike and back. It was hard work...
The route went down Jump Canyon to start
There were more flowers in Jump Canyon than I have ever, ever, ever seen in one place in my entire life.
We had to stop every minute or so for closer looksies and pics.
The entire canyon glowed orange. It was heady and mesmerizing. I felt almost stoned riding along rubbernecking around at the flowers and views.
Next we headed up Hidden Canyon but the turn off down to Pakoon Basin looked very attractive - what is around that corner? Must go back... Pakoon Basin - maybe there was a bazaar down there? Who made up these names?
Fields of yellow flowers.
Is this a turban? Maybe lots of these down in Pakoon Basin?
Hidden Canyon climb goes up about 3,000 rubbly feet in 8 miles.
Hidden Canyon Rim looking down towards Lake Mead and along and up to Snap Point in the hazy distance. The end destination was to be Snap Point but we fell waaaay short of there. Must go back....
Big kudos: To Dawn til Dusk 12 hour race in Gallup for adding a female solo single speed category. While I will be sad not to race directly with the guys on my SS this coming weekend I am excited to support this new category. Old Pueblo is one of the few races I can think of with a female SS category.
Gear obsession sequel: We are not going into D2D as blind as we went into Rim Ride as far as gear selection goes. Dave has raced solo there twice with his power meter on board so we have scads of data to over-analyze before committing to a gear size.
For Sale: Spring cleaning continues and I have my Gary Fisher Rig for sale. 16" frame. 29er Reba fork and all stock parts. $600 obo. Shoot me an e mail to email@example.com if interested.
It is warming up here. I switched the sprinklers on and the kinders dashed in for their swimsuits to run through them. It really isn't that warm yet - they are fueled on something I am not...
In an effort to get more veggies into their bellies I let them choose what we were planting this year. They had a great time putting in seeds and little plants. We put in lettuce, eggplant, pumpkins, squash, peas, tomatoes and strawberries.
After dinner they went back outside to see what had grown yet - LOL.
I'd set my bike up to race this one. From all the locals I'd heard it was a challenging and fun event. It was challenging and ironically it was the Vision Quest part that was the challenge not the racing part.
A vision quest is a rite of passage, similar to an initiation, in some Native American cultures.
I had trouble with my vision all day. First it was getting ready in the dark without a light, then riding up a narrow rut filled racer choked road in the dark and fog with no light. This put me in a borderline panic state until it got light. When it did get light my glasses were too mucked up to wear and the fog put visibility at 30 feet sometimes. After narrowly missing a rut at 20 mph I slowed waaay down. Muck in the unprotected eyeballs added to the Vision challenge.
I'm not sure what I was supposed to be learning but lessons were all over the place. The course was not marked! This did not actually occur to me that a race I paid $128 to enter would not be marked. It was a complete surprise... Throughout the race I waited up at intersections for someone to catch me from behind who knew the way... Another vision challenge. Hmmph. My racer head was switched off and I found some joy looking at the scenery and riding along some fun trails on my bike. The course was open to the public and I met many hikers out on the trails. I dislike being uncourteous so slowed and thanked each one for letting me by. Towards the end of the "race" there was a fun single-track section with two way racer traffic, hikers, dogs and I even saw a deer! The 2-way single-track racer traffic was confusing. Having that as part of a race course was so outside the realm of what I though was probable I was sure I had missed a turn and was riding backwards on the course. I didn't know where I was - in SO California somewhere?
But I kept plodding along and reached the finish-line 3rd SSer in 6:22. Good enough for a female SS course record.
On the way home we met up with the fella driving this car. Head on.
He greeted us from the oncoming direction at 80 mph doing donuts after losing it in a corner. He tagged an F350 pick up truck in front of us turning it sideways then spinning in the air. I saw its roof-undercarriage-roof-undercarriage a few times in the space of a second.
Then BAAAM, the asshole rallying his little souped up Subaru with fake decals to make it look like a higher model than it actually was, hit us head on. It was most violent and shocking.
On this little corner of the road where it happened there were 5 memorials presumably of people who had died there. The lame yahoo who disregarded everybody's lives on this public road was on the way to see his friends finish Vision Quest of all things! In our car were my 2 kids, me, Dave and Carol Ann driving. Four in the pick-up. No serious injuries. Wes and I have some nice seatbelt burn and we all have an assortment of bruises but are ok. Poor Carol Ann now has no car.
It was exciting checking in on the live timing at Old Pueblo this year. With 5 athletes and multiple friends circling the course I spent far more time than I probably should have at the computer. Luckily my 2 handsome dinner guests on Saturday evening were just as eager as I was to get lap splits and updates.
The women's solo race was a nail biter with the lead changing hands several times and the final winner making a pass for the win in the 24th hour of the event - wow! Kudos to Mary coming in 2nd and Terri pulling in 3rd in the women's solos. Sarah put down impressive splits to take the fastest female day and night laps before pulling out of the game.
Krista anchored her team Kenda-Titus-Hayes to 1st place in the 4 person open women scoring the fastest lap in her division at 1:11and pulling off 7 laps. I estimated her TSS score as 629 - whew! Jeff scorched a few laps himself helping his Ergon 2 team to the win in the 5 person open division.
In the friends dept duo team of Dave Nice and his partner Nat rode their fixies 14 laps. I am always awed by Dave on his fixie!
Up in Phoenix Jim held strong and finished an impressive 3rd in the GC at Valley of the Sun stage race in Phoenix.
Up north even further in the nation at the Susitna 100 DaveB hauled his snowbike through the best mother nature had for him until his survival instincts beat out his racer boy verve and he bowed to her ferocity scratching after 11+ hours.
Kudos to all who raced this weekend. I can't wait for my turn March 1st.
A full weekend in the arm chair. Well not quite I did get out for 556 TSS myself. Twas very nice here this weekend.