"Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face." — Mike Tyson

Monday, July 16, 2012

Back at it...

Well, I got on the bike over the weekend.  Saturday saw a gingerly paced ride in PC up the Armstrong Trail.    I was attempting a couple of things...one, to ride and see how my neck felt and two, to ride the new Pinecone Trail to see where it goes.

I accomplished the first with more than satisfactory results.  My neck, albeit tender, felt ok....and things felt ok after the ride too...but I'm getting ahead of myself.  I started out later in the day than normal and prior to a planned night out (which didn't materialize after Friday nights debacle).  With rain assured but not known when, I started the ride outta the parking lot toward the trail head not really knowing how things were gonna turn out.

I took the climb easy and enjoyed however long I was gonna be riding...coulda been 5 minutes if my neck started flaring up.  I ended up passing each bail out with a feeling like, "I might actually make it".  I did make it to the top of the climb where Armstrong intersects the Mid Mountain...and that's when the rain started in earnest.  I continued on with the idea that I'd be riding down in the trees and wouldn't get too wet but the storm was a bit more strong than I anticipated and, before long, I was riding in a river of water down the centerline of the singletrack all the way down Spiro.  Your Mom isn't even as dirty as I was after the ride.  Pinecone will have to wait.

I limped back to the car (for the first time, I didn't bring beer for apres ride) and swaddled into a blanket for the drive home.  I was actually cold.

Sunday brought better, cooler weather with some sprinkles but in and out of the rain drops, I managed to thoroughly clean my bike and ready it for another possible trail ride.  I got some things out of the way and, with a later dinner planned, got kitted up and out the door for a ride on the Shoreline.  Up Dry Creek and down City Creek was the plan and the plan worked out.  Cooler temps, great trail conditions and pretty much no one on the dirt.  You know the trail is in good shape when you start the ride with a shiny, clean bike and end of the ride pretty much the same.....and easy hour and it felt pretty good too.  It's nice to be back on the bike.

That's it for Monday's installment.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Wow..since March, really?

Been  a while faithful readers....I know that you've all been hanging on for some news...any news about what the fuck is up with me.


Riding has been on the back burner whilst I recover from a rather painful nerve pinch in my neck region.  No riding = not so happy Mike.  The good news is that it's been hot as fuck so riding isn't so attractive an option anyway.  I've been hitting the pool instead, mostly with my girls...swim lessons and all.  I've completely forgotten how fun sitting around/in the pool can be when it's 101 deg out.

Still no activity on the dating front.  A beat up 52 year old, twice divorced, with 2 little ones isn't so much a winning ticket I guess.  It is Utah after all and all that's around are really fit, cute 27 years olds that want absolutely nothing to do with a guy like me anywayz or Mormons.  Go figure.  Mormons...they say shit like "acrosst".  Yeah..."acrosst".

I have, though, been watching some pretty cool/fun movies as of late.  Prometheus, Savages, Moonrise Kingdom, Submarine and Lymetown.  Thank you Netflix for some of those.

Ahhhhhh....that's about it.


Thursday, March 29, 2012

Long time

I hated to blog over my last post....we all miss Jeff so much.

I'm on a new found kick for my mountain bike over last years road bike embrace.  Dunno why...maybe riding an MTB is just more fun and filled with less "tools".

I've been in a mechanic slot now for about 4 months with some pretty cool people not from around here and pretty psyched about riding the local trails so I've made a decision to ride more single track and less road.  Lately, I've been getting my ass handed to me (more than normal) but it's good, hard riding and that's what I need to keep my mind right.  I'm also back on a single speed.

One of the guys I work with...he and I have a pretty similar viewpoint on a few things cycling so it's always good to throw a leg over our bikes, ride, get thrashed pretty hard and end up drinking a few and telling stories.  A couple of the things we've been talking about lately is the downward spiral, IMHO, of cycling in general and PRO racing in particular.  With all the earpieces, SRM's and the Lance Armstrong phenomena of  putting all your eggs in one basket called the "Tour"...it just seems like bike racing become pretty boring as of late..like the last 10 years of late.

We're both pretty sick of the surgical dispatching, almost to the kilometer, of any and all breakaways by teams that are instructed to go to the front and chase down the escapees.  All this to set up yet another bunch sprint where the guy whose supposed to win wins.  I just think it's bad for the sport, the riders and the spectators.

On another note, I've been pretty happy about my new digs and my ongoing relationship with my daughters.  I couldn't have one without the other so I just need to keep my nose to the grindstone to afford my place.  I've pretty much figured out that, besides work, I have room for one other thing than seeing my girls...that right now is riding my MTB.

OK..that's it for now.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Jeff Bates

I went to see my buddy Jeff yesterday.  In a word, hard.  He's really weak from the daily radiation treatment and it's knocking him for a loop.  The treatment for the cancer, bio chemo every 3 weeks for 4 hours a pop....is killing him, literally.  He's frail and is in bed a lot.  I fucking hate seeing him this way and I told him as much.  I got all welled up...he just took it like a man.

I'm gonna spend some time with him Saturday....gonna take that all in and bank it for sure.

I don't know what to say about it anymore....I don't want to trivialize it but the best analogy I can think of is the video below.  At about 3:20 in is where it's at for Bates...

Dragline (cancer): "Stay down, you're beat.."
Luke (Bates): "You're gonna have to kill me..."

I can't put it any better than that....  Fuck yeah...get some Bates.

If you pray...throw one out there to the ether for him.

Monday, August 8, 2011

45 miles, 3 hours, roto-milled road,1 flat = tired legs.

It started rather like any other ride I've been on....asking for permission.  Once I got the go-ahead, I decided to try a little "adventure".  I decided to ride toward Heber City and then hit the East side of the Jordenelle....I'd been out there years ago and it's a pretty ride.

The route was Park City to Heber up River Road and on to Francis then Kamas then back to PC over 248.

I looked on google maps to see if there was a better way to Heber than riding US-40.  I thought I found a secondary road that would do the trick....

Ooops....  So, reminding myself that all good rides sometimes include roads like this one and assuring myself that this is the road I saw on the "map"...I headed out.  The road climbed for a bit and wasn't all that bad.  I'd ridden worse roads (rim deep sugar sand on fixed gears) back in the day with my buddy Brian.  I traipsed up this little path for a bit and came across something a bit more smooth and decided to give that a try.

Stupid is as stupid does.

This path didn't go very far but it was a might better than the gravel.  Needless to say, the gravel petered out after a while and turned into dirt.  Yep, you guessed it....I followed that for a bit until common sense over whelmed me and I turned back only to find a gap in the deer fence paralleling the highway and bushwhacked down to US-40.  I musta looked a sight to all driving on the highway but whatever.

Once on the highway I was in the company of tractor trailers, diesel trucks towing boats and everything in between....needless to say, not fun but direct.

After about 5+ miles of this, I got to the turn off on River Road.  It's a beauty of the climb...nice and steady at about 5%.

Once over the top of that, the road undulates a bit and then ends with a great descent into the valley that leads to Francis.

It's not North Carolina, but it'll do....  10 miles of this to Francis.

The rest of the ride goes like this.....I hit Francis and went up a punchy little climb...short but sweet.  Over the top and down to Joe's Country store for a powerade and banana bread.  That's where tail wind started.  Only 2 miles of it but I'll take it.  Next stop Kamas and 12 miles to PC and home....sounds easy right.

Once on Hwy 248, I encountered roto milled highway up and over 2 climbs....that's where the legs went south.  I did "ok" over the first....until I saw Levi Leipheimer TT'ing the other way....flying....he did have a tail wind...but that didn't seem to matter to my ego.  But he is a PRO after all so I said "fuck it" and kept riding....as slow as humanly possible without coming off the bike.  I then descended toward the next hill and flatted.

After fixing the flat with a patched tube, the smallest mini pump known to man or beast and an CO2, I limped up and over the last hill and rode it in...  All in all....a good ride....actually a great ride because I got to ride.

Friday, June 17, 2011

An open letter to my friend

I have a friend who's pretty sick.  It sucks watching him go in and out of this pain cave made for him by cancer.  He's use to the pain cave....he's a baller for sure.  But this is a horse of a different color....not self induced.

We all know he's sick but not really how sick.  We really don't wanna talk about that....too scary...too close.    He's such a great guy and, I for one, am torn on whether it's better to see him get crushed by the treatment for another year...month....week....or for him to sit back and try to take it all in one last time.  I've seen what the treatment can do...on him...on my mother.  It's ugly.  It's necessary for hope.  It's necessary so he can try to last a bit longer...maybe this time will work.  If he goes through it just one more time, I'll see my friend kick this demon.

He's not one to give up.

It's hard for me to get my brain around the possibility that I may not see him in the near future.  This demon is insidious...unrelenting....evil.  I want him around for a long time.  I want all the Pro's to put down what they're doing for everyone else and work on his case...only his.  Fix him for me.  Fix him for his friends.  Fix him for his wife and son.  Fix him so he can ride again....live his life...raise his son...love his wife.  I know it's not possible but I'd really like it to be so.

I'm not really sure where this is going...I just needed to get it down on "paper", as it were...  I guess I just want my friend to know that he's not letting us all down by not crushing this demon.  We love him regardless and want him to know that any of us would take a part, if not all, of his pain so he could be well again.  I don't want to see him suffer....not this way at least.  I want my friend to know that I will be there to help him or his family in any way.  He needs to know that he and his family are loved by an enormous group of people.  He needs to know not to be afraid....that everything will be ok.

Be well, my friend.  Keep your chin up.  You are hard as nails.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Jeff Bates

The fundraiser benefiting Jeff and his family was held last night.

Wow, what a turn out.  Wow, what a great bunch of people. Wow, what great music.  Wow....

You can read/see all about it here: Tons of fun...

I am lucky enough to know Jeff.