Sunday, December 10, 2006

Boards on my feet

The day broke sunny and mountain biking was on the menu. Yet another ‘last ride’ for this season that doesn’t want to give up it’s warmth for the cold and snow looming on the horizon. The days leading into the weekend had been cold, first below zero since last February which meant that the skiing venues were madly making snow. I have a season pass at Welch Village and the snow was calling to me. Last year, after a promising start, my ski season was cut short when I twisted my knee. Fortunately, and quite interestingly, cycling was part of my PT to strengthen my knee so the trainer spun all winter effectively starting my biking season early. So the siren song of the snow, even snow machine-made snow, turned out to be stronger than the lure of the single-track.


Snow, wheeeeeeee!


Oh how great strapping boards to my feet and speeding down a frozen slope!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Know vem brrrrrrrr....

November Dull, grey, sloppy Dark, cold, sad Bright sunny day shining through like a palm tree in a blizzard,
    grabs the eye makes me high
Dead and gone all too soon, a victim of November

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Growing from disaster

Disaster can often be seen from a long way off. Only problem is we don’t always understand that it is disaster from that vantage point. It was a long single track that I knew pretty well considering that I was a newbie. Oh others have made it longer but for me it was long enough. I knew that I was fatigued, not thinking as clearly as I should have been for the line ahead. I first ran with her in a gentler time when the world was softer, kinder somehow. Or perhaps I was just more alert, less fatigued. Oh you knew there would be rocks and other features that prevent the smooth ride the roadie knows but that’s why we do it isn’t it? If life present no challenges, then how do can we know we are alive? It’s the jolts that refresh our perspective, crank up our appreciation of the smooth hard-pack between the rocks. So there I was tired, fatigued but spinning along anyhow. I also knew she was unyielding; that was the charm. Except when I was tired and fatigued, then it wasn’t so charming. The turns keep coming hard and fast, she leans to provide me braking with the gravity of the turn, slows my flight with an unexpected rise and the bank of the turn, my wheels caressing the dirt as I strain to see around the next bend for the adventure yet unknown. Yet I knew what was around the next bend, more or less, but the excitement still built as I bombed down the trail, worn by familiarity not just of my wheels but of so many others that have come before. We hurl our knobbies down the hard-pack looking for somewhere they can dig in and earn their keep. Do we know how we flirt with disaster seeking knobby notches to gain purchase for our potential? And what if we outride the trial, push the banked turns past their vision for our clear carriage, slip beyond the known sliver of single track unrolling before us. Perhaps we careen slightly, falling into the turn a bit harder, grasping the edge, thrilled when we regain the black ribbon that carries us on to the next challenge. So I pushed, the trial, unyielding but knowing that was the rules until just when I knew it was time for something different. Perhaps more speed, a different approach to the turn, jamb the rocks on the other side that looked scary but held the sweet promise of a thread to the other side, safe but exhilarated for the conquest. Perhaps that old track, bubbling up from a memory long forgotten, glimpsed at the edge of my eye, clear as a deer track on a foggy morning; indistinct but surely there. I knew I had two choices. The safe, easy way I had gone at first or the tougher way I had softened to my fancy. But then I knew, or at least I know now that I knew then, that there was in fact a third choice and I had to take it. Reckless and wild I dove for this new choice knowing that it really was the only steady path, the only true path. The obvious choices were worn with boredom, padded with safety, like that old pair of slippers clearly beyond any practical use but too familiar to abandon. No exhilaration compares to finding that steady path except actually embarking on it. We all see it as we’re jamming gears, then braking down the hard-pack. We know it’s there but custom, tradition and desire for the safe and familiar keep us from admitting we know it’s there much less actually considering taking it. At some point you have to take it or live forever with the inner let down of never having tried. Now as I hang facing certain disaster, I can find no fault in anyone not choosing this path. Before I even start this descent into hell, trail rash preparing to dine on my flesh, I don’t know that even I would make this choice again. I mean, given another chance, which of course we never get, I don’t know that I would have made this same choice again. It is with equal clarity that I know that this time, seconds from the dire crunch of handlebars testing the structure of my ribs, I have made the right choice. This time, yes, this time, it was the right choice. Not because I like or need the pain. No, this time it’s the right choice because I will only know that I exist when I emerge on the other side of this disaster. Knowing my pain for sure, but more importantly knowing that this time I took the steady path. That this time I had the strength to face potential disaster. That this time I would make the choice anyway, learn from it what I can but know that I have tested myself.

Tuesday, October 3, 2006

Not TGIF...

Sure Happy It's Tuesday!

Monday, October 2, 2006


Tawdry tentacles tease terrible tendencies


Take tenacious triumphs to those
the thorny terrace teaching temperance.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

It's hard to say how to start a new life or when it might start. Sort of like figuring when your wheels start down a new road; they are always in contact with terra firma, well mostly, and at some point they were on one road and at another they’re on a new route. When did the change occur? Can you tell? Does it matter?

My life has been rich with many trails passing beneath my wheels, yet I don’t often know when the changes come. My professional life is all about planning but in my personal life I don’t signal my turns much in advance. Not so much as a lack of communicating my intentions but as a result of following the circuitous path of life’s butterfly as it wends it’s way cutting and dodging through the currents that appear.

Or perhaps my personal life is exclusively about planning and my turns aren’t really turns but course corrections back to the long range plan, my vision of life. Activities are transitory but philosophy is the guide to how activities are executed and what activities are engaged.

Saturday, September 9, 2006

Circle of life

As life rolls forward many changes come along. Dealing with the change is always a challenge but losing my beautiful Quincy was really hard. I did, however, get some relief from writing his eulogy: We all get exactly one lap around the circle of life and no one knows how long our race will run or how big our circle will be. Today Quincy crossed the finish line and is trotting happily across the rainbow bridge, free from the burden his body had become. He adopted me in May of 1994 and raised me with patience and unbounded cheerfulness, always willing to try it again. Perhaps this time, I'm sure he was thinking, I would get it right. I don't know if I ever did but I do know that he never cared. He was a brilliant obedience dog and an enthusiastic agility partner. I didn't have a clue how close a bond could exist between a dog and a person until he showed me that my life-long love of dogs prior to meeting him had just barely scratched the surface. I will forever remember his cheerful enthusiasm and miss having him at my side for even longer than that. Dearest Quincy, The hole in my heart seems infinite just now but the pawprint you left on my soul is even bigger. I look forward to the joy of your memory replacing the pain of your passing and thank you for every single moment you gave me.

Friday, September 1, 2006

It's all about the wheels, it's all about the dance

It starts out simple enough, a plan, a vision and off you go. But it always takes a little longer and surprises come along but also an easier way. And so it begins. It's simple enough, a shortcut, a patch and off track you go.