Take That Dead Butts!

So a couple years ago, I had my first encounter with Dead Butts Syndrome. So sad, really. And in sharing the horror of that experience, I had very little to offer in terms of remedying a very fixable rear-end situation. One that probably a lot of us are facing.

Alas, that was then, and this is now. And more importantly, this is Julie. You may remember her as my partner in bravery – facing down bears and cougars on an early morning ride. She’s badass in a lot of ways, but for this post in particular – she’s simply going to help you get a badass-ass. (After which, she’ll take you out on a mountain bike ride and simply kick your ass.)

Thanks Julie. Rumor has it she has a line of workout videos coming out soon – all filmed post-ride, in full gear, with a live audience. If that doesn’t work out, you can catch her at the Tucker Road Animal Hospital in her day job as a veterinarian.

A Love Letter.

heart hands

To My Gorge Gals,

When I first moved to the Gorge I knew one person. He was gonna be my husband. And he lived with these 2 other people, a girl and boy. And also their dog. And I can remember one day, early on, coming over and learning that the girl was out on a bike ride with a bunch of other girls. I think the guys even said “she’s out on a girls’ ride.” And my tomboy-self puffed up its chest, put its hands on its hips and thought, oh hell no. When I move out here and marry this dude, I am not going to be relegated to going on girls’ rides, I am going to ride with the boys! And for awhile, that was the way it was. Partly because hubby-to-be was teaching me to ride and partly because, well, I didn’t know anyone else.

But things happen and times change and, thankfully, so do people.

I have started this letter many times in my head. I’ve even said some of it out loud. But mostly, I’ve just thought it – usually while riding my mountain bike on a girls ride.

I moved here to marry a manly-nerd. A rare and incredible breed of man that happens to congregate in the Gorge. What I didn’t expect, was to also fall in love with Gorge Women. Where have you been all my life?! You too, are a incredible breed of human. Full of a vim and vigor that has inspired me. And humbled me.

Gorge women are powerful women. You blow snot rockets, wear dirty bike shorts, slaughter goats, and make good bread. Gorge women value a badass bike climb, an early morning run, or the strength to say whoa, what’s up with all this exercising? I just want a beer. You have scars with stories and dreams of more to come. You have taught me that garlic doesn’t come in jars and that there is more to dinner than mac and cheese…though I sometimes still wonder why.

You are bold and brave, but still somehow humble. You give me shit, and make me lattes and muffins, are patient when I drink all your wine, and bring me gas on the side of the road. You’ve had grace with me, even when I didn’t do that for myself. And have dropped everything to support me and my family when I wasn’t feeling strong. I’ve watched you show your vulnerabilities and share your fears – and that has taught me to try and do the same, because I knew I’d be safe. You are moms and partners and professionals, or some combination of all three. And we have struggled and wondered together, at how this all works.

You somehow manage to be strong and independent, yet so quick to draw someone in, and to nurture. I have learned to nurture, because of you. You have handed me stiff drinks, folded my laundry, taught me about nature, made me think, and made me laugh – big, hearty, pee-your-pants kinds of laughs – which, may now be easier since having kids. And you have forgiven me, or will eventually, I hope, for putting such oozy, sentimental, cheesiness down in writing to you.

And – we have gone on rides. Girls rides. Oh, and they have made me feel high. Giddy with adrenaline at what I have learned and at what we can do together.

With much love to you all,





So You Think You Can Ride?

I got my hands on a 1980s issue of Bicycling Magazine (thanks Old Man Graka). The date on it is April 1980 and for the most part, it includes articles about road-riding and rad  advertisements, like this one.


But the magazine also happens to feature a story about (what at the times was) a relatively new sport called mountain biking. And for the riders in the story, that’s literally what they planned to do – take their bike and go to the mountain.


It’s not pretty. Roads are rocky, suspension is nil, and the whole thing feels like one grand experiment. For all intents and purposes, their main goal is to take whatever 2-wheeled steed they have handy (or can Frankenstein together) and find out if they can get it up and over Pearl Pass – a 12,700 ft. summit between Crested Butte and Aspen, Colorado. At the time, this meant 40 miles of rough road and river crossings, where the only gear talk you’d hear might be about one-speeds, balloon tires, and bailing wire. From the looks of it, helmets were optional, jeans were encouraged.


I share this all for three reasons. One: to pay homage to our forefathers (and mothers). Would we even know what berms and flow and disc brakes were if it were not for their sacrifice? (Not to mention Strava and spandex, but I digress). Two: because next time I think the hill I’m riding up is hard, I will imagine I’m riding it in jeans on a single speed from the 1970s and I will stop being such a baby. And three: because it friggin’ warms my heart and makes me smile to see this motley crew  just out for a good old fashioned, fun-filled adventure. The article calls the riders “clunker aficionados,” but I call them, goddamn visionaries.




Wild Ride

Hey all, if you haven’t heard, there was a recent bear/cub sighting in the Toilet Bowl vicinity of Post Canyon. We also came across a dead goat on our ride yesterday – right near the base of Seven Streams. (Anyone know if that’s connected to all the signs about a cougar sighting?) And this morning we passed a runner who warned us of the infamous attack owl…We’ve got a great, wild place in our backyard – so be prepared to share the trail, with all walks of life.


Julie and I were a little rusty in our wild animal preparation for this morning’s early ride – but we did our best. I’ll be Googling “what to do if you meet a (fill in the blank with a wild animal)” before our next ride. But feel free to weigh in (Jocelyn, I’m looking at you.)