Zen On Dirt

Back log

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After my last post, I got a little bit discouraged by the whole blogging thing.  I didn’t have a camera, I didn’t have my own pictures, and then Scott and I ended up, independently, writing nearly identical blog posts.  It makes sense, it was all stuff that we talked about while we were up there, but the combination of feeling like I had nothing unique to share and having no pictures of my own sort of took the wind out of my sails.

Then my mom called the other day. ‘You haven’t called, posted anything on your blog, or made any noise on Facebook.  Are you alive?’  I lamented the lack of a camera, but assured her that I was still alive.  A day later, after an absolutely beautiful solo ride where I couldn’t take a single picture, I called her back: ‘You remember how you were complaining that I haven’t posted pictures in forever?  Remember how we never went out for sushi for my birthday?  I’d really love a new camera.’

So I guess now I owe her a backlog of what I’ve been up to, which has been a lot (and knowing my luck, Scott is in the next room writing up this exact blog post as well).

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I left off my adventures with a ride that was a length and difficulty that I couldn’t quite explain away with my Law of Cosines, which basically says that if LW says to ride for 3 hours, I can get away with anything under 4.5, as long as I don’t count the downhills in my ride time.  The knee continued to be sore, and I continued to be restless but things were improving.  The pain wasn’t unbearable, and incrementally getting better, especially with five days of Vitamin-I heavy dosages, daily massages, copious amounts of stretching, and a religious adherence to PT, which I think I dislike even more than doing core work.

The riding continued.  Cat had a few days off of work, so we made the most of it.  First, a Dry Fork/CT run where we gabbed and gabbed about all sorts of girl things.  I’m not sure if Scott was fascinated by things that girls talk about, or horrified.  Either way, it felt absolutely amazing to rally down the CT effortlessly on a section that seems to take an eternity when sleep deprived and fully loaded.

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Then a trip up Animas Mountain Trail the next day with Lee Blackwell who was in town for the weekend.  The climb crushed me, humbled me, and continued to remind me that fitness is rebuilt one pedal stroke at a time.  I could climb, not fast, not with any sort of grace, but my knee was letting me climb.  That was step one towards regaining fitness.  We played on the Dalla Mountain Trail and Test Tracks afterwards.  The quality, diversity, and sheer milage of trails straight from town continues to amaze me.

With Lee and Joan in town, we paid a visit to town and found the mobile, homemade ice cream cart down by the river.  It rivals 3rd Bowl Ice Cream in Crested Butte and even with a limited number of flavors to choose from, the blueberry goat milk ice cream was divine.   I love ice cream.  Maybe a little bit too much.

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And the riding continued.  Stevens Creek was on tap with Cat having to go to work in the late afternoon and no one in our posse believing that riding before 9 am was kosher (this is coming from me who used to LOVE riding in the early mornings).  Cat firmly worked me over going up the hill in her big ring while I struggled in my granny.  When I grow up, I want to be as strong as she is, physically, mentally, spiritually.  And I want to be able to make margaritas like she can.  The descent reminded me of riding in Ned.  Primitive, narrow, with a little bit of exposed off camber to keep Team Vertigo honest.  Cat and I waited at the bottom of the rowdy descent for Scott and Lee.  We waited.  And waited some more.  Eventually, I declared that in 10 minutes, I’d start to worry about them.  Luckily, they made it down after having to fix a flat.  I’m lucky I didn’t have to start to worry or seriously contemplate climbing back up.

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On the way home, we did what has become Durango tradition for us.  Buy a watermelon.  Sit in the river.  Watch people float by in tubes, tourists go by on the train, and watch the clouds change shape overhead.  It’s a rough existence around here, working for a few hours each day, riding, soaking, watching Tour Divide, trying to figure out how it gets to be 10 pm each night and I still haven’t done my PT.

With rest days in the future (I worked myself over good last week) I’ve got two bike pack trips to post about and lots of pretty pictures to steal.  There you go, Mom, I’m alive and well and my new camera should show up tomorrow.

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