Thursday, November 12, 2009

My Little Barnyard

Just in case you don't know, I've become quite the little backyard farmer. Last year I posted on my garden. Now in addition to growing my own veggies, I have daily fresh eggs as well. Keeping chickens and ducks is very simple, requiring almost no work. Here are some photos.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Sadness for the Helen's/Subaru/Gary Fisher regional mountain bike team

Unfortunately, the failing economy has finally made it's way to our team. The team's contract won't be renewed next year. I feel very lucky to have been part of the team and intend to continue riding for Subaru/Fisher regardless. I was treated very well by John and Matt, the national team manager and mechanic and will show my support whenever I can. They helped me discover the awesomeness and excitement of mountain bike racing, which has provided some of the best experiences of my life. Thanks guys!!!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Just because I feel like posting again even though this blog is dead I'm sure to anyone who used to read it...So, to my non-existent audience:

It's been a long time since I've been out on a mountain bike. For me it was first school, and then the fires ravaging the Angeles Crest that kept me off the bike. So Sunday was a great day, getting on my 29er again. I didn't know what to expect, given last month's fires.

Heading up Lower Sam Merrill trail, it started out same as always: every hiker never failing to obey their subconscious compulsion to "graciously" stop exactly in the middle of the most ridable line on only the most technical sections of the trail. But despite their ignorant "politeness" I was really happy to find that the trail wasn't touched by the fire the whole way up, and even happier to discover that my legs were still completely capable of taking me up that trail!

As a side note, mountain biking is amazing: even if you are already in good spirits, going out for a ride never fails to bring those spirits up even more!

Anyways, cresting Lower Sam and crossing Mt Lowe Toll Rd, I decided to head down Sunset. Apparently the Toll Rd acted as a fire break because the mountains were stark and desolate beyond that point. Everything was black and dead and brushless. There were two black crows perching in the most perfectly sinister position on a fire-blackened leafless tree, I was almost positive they worked for Sauron himself. Sunset Ridge Trail was covered in debris: dead branches, rocks, gravel, leaves and sand. But still somewhat rideable in sections.

And then I encountered the landslide just before the half-way exit point. SCARY AS HELL! I was in quite a dilemma as to whether I should hike my bike all the way back up the trail, which would mean I'd be up in the mountains by myself after dark without any sort of light or phone or... Or whether I should risk crossing the landslide to the paved road just on the other side. It didn't appeal to me to be the only living animal left up there at night with the dinner-less mountain lions, so I chose the latter. With each step I took across that sand, I spent about 30 seconds of moving one muscle fiber at a time and trying to shift my weight imperceptibly to minimize moving the sand under my feet. If I started sliding, I knew wouldn't stop until I was 1/2 mile straight down the steep canyon buried in rocks. After about 5-6 steps like this I get across to solid ground, only to find there is another, steeper slide just ahead. Now I'm between 2 slides, no safe way out. So I cross this one too, SLOWLY, SLOWLY, SLOWLY! Some sand is sliding a bit above and below me, and so I leap the last two steps quickly to get off. Whew! Just writing about it gets my heart beating. Sorry I have no pictures to illustrate my point!

I decided not to bother continuing on to El Prieto (my original plan) until I got some more trail condition info from someone...(Might I risk hoping that anyone is reading this thing??? Any current info?) I headed out Chaney Trail Rd, and lo and behold THERE are the forrest closure notices! Why didn't they put up signs for people coming from the other direction! Apparently the infraction I just committed is worthy of 6 months imprisonment and $5000 that I don't have...AND possible death by burying in the bottom of a ravine by a landslide. Hmm. It would have been nice if they'd made it clear not to go down Sunset Trail, just like they made it clear not to go up it. (Okay, okay, I know it is my responsibility to check trail conditions and access...and I can't guarantee I would've followed the rules anyway [sheepish grin] ;).

So that was my fun for the weekend. And fun it was! Thanks to my fabulous and trusty Gary Fisher 29er!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Naked Crow

The Naked Crow Mountain Bike Challenge was last weekend. For a little local, weekend-warrior dominated race, the course was decent! And the cash prizes didn't hurt-especially since no one knew about it and so there weren't too many to try to beat!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I'm still alive

It's been a great big retarded amount of forever since I last posted. I heard all the cool kids weren't posting on their blogs either. But I guess blogging's coming back into fashion now.

Race season has been well under way, and that makes me happy :). Racing hurts, but that's one of the good things about it. It is really amazing what mountain bike racers accomplish on race day. I don't care if you get DFL, you are still a bad ass. What we put our bodies through is beyond what the average non-racer could ever even fathom. The pain and the courage, without relenting to the obstacles, Wow.

Props to all of you!

Thursday, September 4, 2008


It's been weeks since I put up the poll on Lyle's hair, and according to the number of votes so far, I have reason to believe that no more than 2 people read my blog. For all I know, it's one person who voted twice. So, if you do read my blog, would you mind taking half a second to vote for me? Then I will know that I am not just writing to myself. :) ------>