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Desert Trip with a Klunker Bike

     Last year I burned all my paid time-off by working at a bike shop. Yep, when my real job had no work for me I would leave and go help out a business that was slammed. But, instead of just letting me get a short check that week, my corporate overlords would suck away my vacation time to make full 40 hour weeks. So there was no vacation in 2020...or was it all a vacation?, it almost didn’t seem like a real year.        But 2021 is different, and my wife is a wonderful planner. I love that she plans, because I rarely do. Live life in the moment I say. That’s why I once tried to pull off the side of the road in White Ranch and camp with a girl camper. Then in the middle of the night a police loudspeaker was blasting across the hillside.       “Attention illegal campers! Return to your vehicle immediately or face severe consequences!” When we hiked back to the car he asked, “Did you have a campfire?” I said, “No.” He said, “I don’t believe you, take me up to where you camped and show m
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2021, bring it on..

 I've officially kicked off the '21 season. I dragged Brian to the top of The Grind, we flew down the traverse, then I led us on a clean run down Brown Town. I finally stepped up to the 'Double Tap' feature. This is a steep slab roll straight into a step-down log gap. It's a feature that I don't do when I'm by myself. But with him on my six, I sent it without hesitation. We pulled off at the bottom of Brown Town for fist bumps. I contemplated hitting the big kicker, but that would be the first big air of the year. I really feel like I should renew my pilots license at Valmont or Erie before I go big at Left Hand. So we rode around the kicker and I told him to lead down Indiana Jones. He'd been eating my dust so it was only fair to switch up. Plus he'd made a few runs down it previously, and this was my first since the snow cleared.  We dropped in and lined up for two minutes of mayhem, when suddenly I saw him wobbling right ahead of me, I think he wa

My old coffee mug

 The day I broke my Camp Four Coffee mug was a sad day, but it did lead to an hour of reminiscing about Crested Butte, so it wasn't a total loss. The day started like any other. I had my thirty minute drive. I took off my Vans and put on my work boots. I scrolled through my Pandora channels, settling on King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard channel. Then I pulled the trusty mug out of my tool box and gave it a wipe. With my bandanna secured over my face I headed towards the little alcove where the Bunn commercial coffee maker sits simmering away with a full pot of Folgers. It's not good, but it is coffee.   I took a shortcut outside and there they were. The Colorado Rocky Mountains. The mountains are always in view, sternly glaring at me, judging me for neglecting my duties. The mountains know that my purpose on earth is not to propel the commerce of American society, the mountains don't care about that. The mountains are gods who demand to be worshiped. I have to visit them o

Drops to flat, well, drops in general

   Everyone has done it before on some scale. Popping off the side walk onto the street is a drop to flat. But let's quantify this and say that a drop is a mandatory air. It's past the size where you could safely roll over it. Start at three or four feet and just go up from there. Behind my elementary school was a retaining wall of white limestone. It was probably about four feet high. We rode off of that on bmx bikes and landed flat on grass. Not because it was fun or it felt good, but just so we could say we did it.    That last sentence sums up all drops to flat. I know I still do them way more often than I should, on a bike or skis. Drops to flat are like choosing to watch an 80's action movie, you know what you are getting into. It's a cheap thrill and you may regret it. You're not going to find fulfillment when you land flat. If the drop is big enough it can even be damaging to you and your equipment.   Yet, they still exist. When I was starting out jumpi

Working in a bike shop part two: The Customers

   I wrote this in the middle of summer when the bike madness was sweeping the country. I was helping at my neighborhood bikeshop tuning bikes. Then, when big orders would come in at Longmont Bicycle Company I'd bring my girls in after-hours and together we would unbox and assemble the new bikes. I'd pull bikes from the box, the girls would cut off the shipping material and put wheels on. It was a great experience. But when the summer was in full swing, bikes and parts were in high demand. People got a little crazy and I came home and wrote some of it down. I didn't publish it at the time, because it sounded pretty negative. Now it just sounds kinda humorous. And I'm no longer annoyed by some bike people, now I love everyone. So I present you with a small glimpse into world of a small bike shop in mid-summer 2020... The country is still experiencing an unprecedented demand for bicycles and all cycling accessories and parts. Tubes and tires are in high demand with Amazon

A year without dancing

 In the before-times, I enjoyed several types of dancing. Hopefully soon the world will be dancing again. But until then I'm just gonna reminisce.  While I was in high school, a tiny ski area near us would host Rock-n- Reggae Fests. My friends and I would sit on the hill and try to bum beer from older kids, or we could go down and dance in front of the stage. Hay would be spread on the ground in front of the stage and I would do a slow and groovy hippy shuffle to bands like Leftover Salmon or Bunny Wailer. These events were a highlight of each New England summer. Often there would be a whole pack of us. We'd set out blankets and coolers in our area and dance, hang out, and then dance some more. When I moved to Denver I quickly discovered the underground rave scene . Pulsing techno music prompted non-stop dancing until dawn. There were no set breaks, no sound checks or tuning instruments between songs. When a new dj took the control of the turntables, they blended their first be

How to avoid crashing...often.

  While I'm still injured seems like a good time to cover the topic of crashing. Normally I wouldn't want to mention it. I treat crashing and injury like "He who's name shall not be spoken." As if talking about the subject will cause it to appear. This is part of the superstition and mojo that I believe in. It's the same reason no one should say " Let's make this the last run and head on down." Calling it the last run puts a serious hex on that run and drastically increases the probability of a crash. My friend Rex will say, "Two more, skip the last." And another friend Gurion will call the final run a 'Victory Lap.' Both are ways to make the call without summoning the bad omens.   The last trip down the run can also be a way to break a hex. If you suffer a crash towards the end of the session, you should try everything in your power to complete a run after that without crashing. Ending the day on a crash taints the mojo of the