Studs.

So we had a snow day here. And just like any kid would do, I woke up, ran outside, and gleefully imagined what snowy possibilities were in store for the day. And then I saw this:

And so then I did this:

And so I end up at Jerry’s house, but no one’s home. Which is a bummer, cuz I’d already planned all the biking adventures I was going to have. But hey, they must be out having adventures of their own on the bike and so I head back home. And then this happened:

And so then we did this…and this…and this….

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And it was a good day.

Snow Biking Part 2

I don’t know what the hell they were thinking, but the girls decided they wanted to go ride their bikes – in the dark, and the cold, while. It. Was. Snowing. I’m serious. And so they ask me to go do this and of course I’m thinking “no f-ing way.” Because, did I mention, it was cold, dark, and snowing?!@*#! But shit, when your kids come to you in full snow gear, headlamps in hand, helmets on, what else can you say, but “okay. Let’s go!”

Oh yeah, and then we played at the playground – while it was cold, dark, and snowy. Kids these days.

Snow Day(s)!

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The Methow. Oh, the Methow Valley. G and I hit the road last weekend for a trip to this incredible nook of Washington state. The thing that always gets me about this place is it’s wide-open valley floor that rises up into beautiful ridges on either side. G says, “well, yeah, it’s a valley. That’s what valleys do.” But the Methow just feels different. Grander. And this time of year I feel like it sort of welcomes you into its bosom with a big-gentle-snow-covered-hug. And who doesn’t like one of those? We got to stay in one of the Rolling Huts and wake up to a crackling fire (thanks G…except for that first morning when you chopped the kindling inside while I was trying to sleep.)

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As per usual, I was very optimistic about what we’d be able to accomplish. I wanted to classic XC ski one day. Learn to skate ski another day. And finally, ride a fat-bike on snow-covered trails. G makes fun of me for my ambitious, multi-sport trip plans – and admittedly, they rarely live up to my expectations, but…THIS TIME THEY DID! We totally did it all! TAKE THAT G!

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Seeing as this is a bike blog, I will forgo sharing about the skiing parts (plus, let’s face it, classic XC is a real snooze fest to watch…well, except for that one time that G and I did Xtreme Backcountry Cross-Country...). I do, however, include a video at the end of this post, that shows my incredible skate-skiing skills. This was my first time and I feel like I really nailed it and was super enthusiastic.

Now, onto the biking! I don’t think anyone could take a bike, with big ol’ plump tires and ride it out in fluffy snow and not feel like a goddamn kid on a snow day. It was hilarious.

And in the Methow, they actually groom singletrack trails for riding in the snow! Hell yeah! All you snow-sport folks, get outta my way! I got a bike to ride! And even though it seems like it’d be tough riding up a snowy hill with these huge tires, it actually wasn’t bad at all on the groomed trail – which makes you feel like you’re in way better shape than you thought you were.

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this is a groomed bike trail, yo.

Even where it wasn’t groomed, but folks had been riding, it was still fun. You just fish-tailed more. But hey, if you fall, no big whoop.

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this trail isn’t officially groomed, but it still looks fun, right? You might slide around a bit, but who cares! If you fall, it’s just into fluffy snow.

“I meant to tell you…” he says. This isn’t the first time I’ve somersaulted a bike, but it was totally the most fun time.

We rented our skate skis and bikes from Methow Cycle and Sport and they were real nice. And see those big-ol mitts I got on in the video? Those are pogis. Kayak folks know what I’m talking about. They attach to your bike and keep your hands real toasty. Mine had sweet fleece on the inside that I’m pretty sure was circa 1983. The Methow Cycle folks also invited us to their fat-bike party at the shop on Saturday. It included a cooler of beer, wine, and Fireball whiskey and a playlist that went from the Cranberries to the Beastie Boys – which is fantastic.

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So, that’s it! Git yer ass to the Methow and play!

Oh yeah, and here’s that skate-ski video…super pumped.

And who the hell knows how to pronounce supinate?! I think I was right.

 

Grace Under Fire

After seeing enough folks struggle (okay, really it’s mostly been me who felt like a scared little idiot sheep every time I had to hoist a bike to one of these nifty racks) so I had Queen Master Lindsay give a quick tutorial. The cliff notes: 1) stand on the right side of the bike 2) reach over and grab 3) lift and drop in handle bar spots. Bada bing bada boom. (Look for a special guest appearance at the end…)

Here’s to you, Tom.

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Tom

So today is Tom’s birthday. I happen to be in Bend (where he last lived); riding my mountain bike – a sport he first introduced me to, and so, of course, I think of him. Which makes me happy; because he was amazing and changed my life for the better. And sad, because we never got that one last ride together.

And if we had, I would have him help me with my cornering. I’ve been figuring it out slowly, but I know he’d use his patient, mellow voice, to help me do it better. Oh, and I’d get to follow him up a hill, staring at his calves….(focus, focus). And he’d laugh and get all twinkle-eyed when I wiped out trying (I would laugh, too). And he’d gleam his subtle pride when I finally whipped a corner like a pro.

And so here’s to you Tom.

I had a really good ride today. It was beautiful here in Bend. I got a few of those corners. I hit some kickers. I tried to pretend I was a climber so that I’d forget how much the hills hurt. And I thought of you.

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Excited to find “vintage” skis on the side of the road.

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Tom.

 

Post Nirvana

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Sweet love shines down on us at the top of Mobius in the early morning.

I don’t know what nirvana looks or feels like. And I probably never will.

But what I do know, is trail nirvana. And you can find it, too, by riding a sweet little 3ish-hour ditty that hits all the greatest hits of lower Post Canyon with nary an overlap (ok, just one, little, teensy, tinsy, one). I call it – Post Nirvana. Basically, it’s nirvana that goes beyond nirvana because it’s POST nirvana (see how that works?).

A couple years ago I lie in bed wondering – how can I connect all my favorite trails in lower Post Canyon? Perhaps you’ve considered this yourself, or maybe it seems a strange thing to do while lying in bed. Regardless, this is what the Gorge does to some of us. We go adventure and then drift off to sleep dreaming of more.

So there I was wondering how to make it work. I’d start at the bottom of Seven Streams, of course, and work my way up. But then how to get in both Mobius and Cardiac Hill? (The Slog as I call it). I want to ride Kleeway and also Mitchell, not to mention all of 8-Track and, obviously, my beloved Charley’s. But I need efficiency. A clean route, not sloppy with overlaps and double backs. So I started to lay out the route and with the help of sweet honey’s suggestion to use the 140 road as a link I came up with the following:

1. Up Seven Streams
2. Up Mobius
3. Down Spaghetti
4. Up Charley’s (sweet, sweet Charley’s)
5. Down Toilet Bowl (from the toilet, mind you).
6. Cut over to Cardiac Hill (don’t you dare get on Kleeway yet, that’s for later)
7. Up Cardiac Hill
8. Through Family Man
9. Up Lower 8-Track
10. Up Upper 8-Track
11. Down Bad Motor Scooter
12. Down Upper GP (hello Moments of Silence)
13. Down Lower GP
14. Head left onto the 140 Rd. (I always take wrong turns on it)
15. When you get to Post Flats staging area, cut over to those trails that connect to Mitchell Ridge.
16. Down Mitchell Ridge
(*Now, at this point, some of you – myself included – are going to arrive in that upper parking lot and you’re really gonna wanna just be done, and it’d be so easy to just head down, but TRUST ME, YOU HAVE IT IN YOU! Turn that bike towards Cardiac Hill and hit it.)
17. Go all the way up Cardiac back to Family Man.
18. Get over to Middle School and take that to Float On
19. Down Float On (humming Modest Mouse)
20. Down Kleeway
21. Down 7 Streams and YOU’VE DONE IT! Go buy a beer with your buddies and celebrate the feeling of awesomeness.

I call this Post Nirvana 1.0 – I’ve yet to see if I can reconfigure it to add in some of the new stuff like Mix-Tape, Eldorado, Sister Wife etc. I’m open to suggestions if you have them. Until then, this makes me pretty happy and maybe it’ll make you happy, too. I’ll be riding it tomorrow morning at 7am – if you’re awake, come join us for any or all of it! Or lemme know when you wanna give it a go and I’ll pack some extra snacks and join you (Doug? Jimmy? Come on!)

And one last little hurrah, because Old Man Graka is back in the country and back on his bike! Thank goodness – cuz he can be a real grouch when he’s not riding.

Go get it y’all! The dirt’s real nice and vine maples are glowing!

 

Butts Alive!

It ain’t just for the ladies! Here’s to fully-firing ass muscles for all! (Kipp, you’re cool if I share this, right???)

And if you’re wondering at the recent obsession with strong backsides, read this (and then, go donate to OPB, cuz it’s fall Pledge and you know you listen and have totally started sentences with ‘so I heard on the radio…’) You can also see the fabulous Julie “Jane Fonda” Caldwell rockin’ some backside busters in these 2 posts: Take That Dead Butts and AssMasters Part Deux.

Now go wake that butt up, folks!