Yes, this blog has been dormant since the 16th of August, 2006.
Until this weekend, there really hasn't been cause to make any entry under the XC banner here.
And I really didn't think I would have the opportunity to post except that Delta is delaying my arrival back to Boston by five hours, yea...
Yet, I'm hard-pressed to complain too bitterly because my Delta award miles got me a free round-trip ticket to take advantage of an invitation made by Darrell van Ligten to make a return trip to Lake Tahoe last Thursday night through tonight.
The last time I was in Tahoe was on the 8th of June, 2006, so going back was both exciting and a little odd. Arriving there brought flash backs of riding through that area that day, ones that might have been warming, but it wasn't quite that. That time and event in my life will always be a colorful patch to iron on whatever garment I don, but it has revealed itself as a much more multifaceted affect than any surface layer can display.
It has necessitated an accurate identification of the work required to elevate one's life to its next progression.
Have I identified that work yet, you ask? Puh-leeze...
Life since the last posting in mid-August 2006 has been about enjoying times with Jamie, family, and friends; about residing in the moment, carefully mollifying the future...
This past weekend in Lake Tahoe with Darrell and his fiance Ronni was about the moment again... one that indulged connections formed last year, rejoined at their property in Tahoe City.
Friday, Darrell and I rode 73 miles around the circumference of the Lake:
|Total Time (h:m:s)||6:22:28||5:14 pace|
|Moving Time (h:m:s)||4:30:16||3:42 pace|
|Distance (mi )||72.98|
|Moving Speed (mph)||16.2 avg.||89.9 max.|
|Elevation Gain (ft)||+5,327 / -5,332|
The view from Emerald Cove which is near the casino part of South Lake Tahoe on the Nevada side of the lake:
The view farther north, obviously very windy...
5,300' of climbing yeilded some great views.
That evening, we drove to Truckee for dinner at Moody's Bistro - the organic heirloom tomatoes with three types of sea salt, high-end balsamic, and burrata cheese earned the grand prize:
Yesterday we had rain so we napped in front of the fire.
Today, Darrell's grade-school friend Len joined us for a ride to the top of Barker's Pass.
A perspective of the lake near Darrell's house:
Darrell warned us that it was a big climb, but we weren't expecting what we encountered as we neared the top at 7,785' - SNOW and 35-degree temperatures.
Not easy to see at this resolution, but the lime-green, lush moss, like an elongated muff seen on the redwoods (especially in the rear center of the shot), was overtly decorative:
Self portrait while torquing on the bike, gasping, sans goatee (for the moment):
Len and Darrell refueling at the top:
My Canon SD630 took this self-timed shot while perched on the pass's gate post:
We're smiling for the shot, even though we're wet and numb. Getting to the top of the pass was difficult enough work, but it couldn't compare to the incredible radiational-cooling, deep freeze we experienced on the way down. First, Darrell and I couldn't clip in because our cleats had a carapace of ice that wouldn't shake out. Then, the road was so slushy and slick, our wheels sprayed Titanic-temperature water on our feet, ankles, shins, and rumps. And the pitch demanded we apply the brakes thoroughly which created pressure on our fingers that further restricted blood flow and fully numbed them. We each had to stop three separate times on the descent to warm them up. My ankles were so painfully cold it was like wading in shallow, upper Maine, 50-degree ocean water. What was more amazing is that Len descended with fingerless gloves and Darrell descended without gloves at all:
Darrell flying by - he descends as fast as ever on his new Specialized Tarmac:
Darrell, teeth chattering, knees and knuckles wagging at 6,400' / 45-degrees:
Off to Darrell's right, we had this sunny mountain reward looking at Blackwood Creek:
Ronni was smart, she was off shopping while we convulsed.
Once home I filled the jacuzzi and sprayed the jets on my feet for five minutes to try and get them to feel again. Ahh. Except at dinner Darrell and Len said there wasn't any hot water left for their showers. Um, super sorry.
So, here it is, thirteen months later and I'm still doing some crazy riding. However, 2007 is quite toned down. Last year I logged ~7,500 miles. This year I'll be lucky to get 3,500 in. It's just not that compelling at this time.
In my early years of riding, I'd gear up to ride the Boston-to-Provincetown ride, do it, and put the bike away until the spring of the following year. In a similar way, the XC trip caused 2006 to be so saturated it begged 2007 to be less riding, much less; and with that, a gap to fill -- I still have no idea with what -- well, with what that's really meaningful and viable to me.
This trip back to Tahoe, back to a portion of the imprint of a milestone, was perfect thanks to Darrell and Ronni's sweet hospitality (they make a mean jambalaya and Ceasar salad BTW =). I make this post for posterity, for all those who think, "Where are they now?", and for a distraction from America's all-too-common airport doldrums.
Thanks for reading.
|Total Time (h:m:s)||2:56:59||6:04 pace|
|Moving Time (h:m:s)||2:10:10||4:27 pace|
|Distance (mi )||29.16|
|Moving Speed (mph)||13.4 avg.||38.5 max.|
|Elevation Gain (ft)||+2,739 / -2,725|
|Temperature (°F)||50°F avg.||51.8°F high|
|Wind Speed ( mph)||W 12.7 avg.||W 13.8 max.|