Monday, November 30, 2009

Tour de Merde, Stages...Ah, Who Knows?

There has been one race and four days in Utah as the Tour de Merde has soldiered on. I've missed three days on the bike—one was a day on which work consumed all, one was a rest day, and one was a travel day. So I guess today was stage 18, and there are 11 days until Nationals. No missed days from here on out.

What have the stages been like? Well, I had one standard cross week (easy Monday, short and really hard Tuesday, longer and slightly less hard Wednesday, endurance Thursday, recovery Friday, recovery Saturday with a few short stomps, and race Sunday. You can see what the race was like to the left. Yes, it was muddy. If you ever doubted that having two bikes is an advantage in cyclocross, those doubts disappeared out at Kruger's Farm last Sunday. When the gun went off I found myself near the front, riding the wheel of Portland/Kona superstar Erik Tonkin. He disappeared quickly, however, getting a fresh bike twice a lap, each time he went past the double-sided pit.

I finished on the lead lap, I'm proud to say, in 14th place out of 29, which is not a bad effort out here in Portland, really, especially when Erik Tonkin is driving things.

Then a couple of work heavy days passed before Amy and I headed to Moab for our usual Thanksgiving festival of Turkey, Stuffing, and Mountain Biking. We were a little lighter on the Mountain Biking this year, but I'm happy to report that I'm a little stronger or a little ballsier. I once asked Captain Dondo what kind of mountain bike I should buy to become a better bike handler, and he said "How about you go up a testicle size? Or go down a brain size?" That seemed to be working, as I was able to push up really steep sections without worrying about tipping over backyard, and roll down steep sections without locking up the brakes.

Moab is a special place. The riding is exquisite, the town is lovely. Amy and I got back to Denver before I flew back to the great Northwest and started looking up realty prices in Moab. It's that special. As soon as you leave the town you want to turn around and come back. This year, it didn't last nearly long enough. Happily, we did have our serving of Thanksgiving oysters in the middle of the desert.

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