It’s not about the race, it’s about the journey. Wow, what a trip it’s been… The sswc08 race itself will be blogged about all over the web so there is no real need for me to cover the actual event. What will not make it to the blogs is the experience in the desert at Fred’s Well with the Durango Crew that showed up and kicked some major ass and will be bringing sswco9 to south west co and the post sswc08 tree house dance party with the Durango crew that got broken up by the cops at skyline park around midnight last night. I would like to give a huge shout out to Curtis and Crew that pulled of one hell of a time and took the time and energy to host something worthy of making me take two months off and drive 10,000 miles. Though pictures don’t even start to either of these two events justice I offer you some. See you all in Durango next year...
Rock it the fuck out!
Friday, August 22, 2008
We made it to California. It has been a trip within a trip and I am well rested at Aunt Pam's pad in San Rafael. Of course I took it to the edge before resting up on a couch last night and by edge I mean the middle of nowhere Nevada in the desert for a few days with Doom, Jon and crew from Durango and other assorted fellows from CO that we hooked up with at the Windmill, Bike Alter and dry lake bed. Bruce and I drove all night after an evening polo match on the lake bed to make it to California just in time to pick up more beer then meet up with the SSWC08 crew for a ride in Sonoma and free beer and tacos at the sycip headquarters. It was the perfect way to come back to society after a few day in the desert. Post Moab Bruce and I headed to Zion for a ride Gooseberry Mesa and met up with his step brother who just happened to live on the road that lead to the trail. We got up early to beat the 115 degree heat that was expected and rode rocks for a few hours and meet up with a similar soul on day 42 of his experience on the road. From Gooseberry we headed to the extraterrestrial highway for the light show of a life time. If you happen to be heading west stop in Rachael NV around 11-Midnight and see what new toys your tax dollars are going towards. Bruce and I spent an hour saying nothing but "dude! look at that one, dude, look at that one. WOW!" for an hour straight as we witnessed "crafts" turn into fireballs and stop change direction and repeat in the night desert sky. The next morning we met up with the Durango crew at the "other windmill" and we saw jet fighters flying 100 yards above us, as we styled out the bike alter, and shot plastic army men and coins at 20 yards. It was a day that words just can not describe so I won't go into details but I will say that one day felt like a week and I had my own personal burning man experience on la playa and feel like I am more in tune than I have been in years. Today it's off to the S.F. for an urban ride then on to a sswc barbecue. Tonight it's mayhem in S.F. and we will see where I wake up. Pics coming when more time is availalbe. Livin' to the max. Lovin' you all.
Moab Utah Rocks. After the 111 degree day of riding rocks we were about to head north in search of cooler temps. Little did we know that slickrock desert rides are not all that Moab has to offer. After a quick stop by Rim Cyclery we were pointed in the direction of the La Sal Mountains. Just a short 10 minutes out of town we hit Ken Lake for a bath in the cool water then headed up another 15 miles to Gyeser Pass that sits at a very cool 10,500 ft in elevation. The temps dropped 60 degrees over the course of a thirty minute drive. We had found heaven after a ride in hell. The campsite at the entrance to Blue Lake was the best so far and we called it home for three days. The battery in the car when dead but with four gallons of water we knew we would be fine for a couple of days. We rode Burro Pass and Moonlight Meadows over the course of two days. Both of which entailed screaming fast descents and climbs that stretched over 5 miles. Burro Pass takes you up a two mile climb and tops out at 11,500 ft a few hundred ft above the tree line. Long super steep descents with jumps over creeks and switchbacks that made Heartbreak Ridge seem like a walk in the park. No room for error and as Bruce said “you better be good at doing cartwheels if you go off the trail”. On Saturday we decided to ask someone for a jump and took the road back into Moab. Our host Ken and Rachel Moody were awesome and let Bruce and I set up camp in their beautiful backyard. Over a couple of beers Ken mentions a shuttle ride that was planned for the next day and Bruce and I jumped onboard. The next morning Ken, Chris, Bruce and I loaded up the truck and drove back up to the La Sal Mountains and dropped in Hazard County Trail that sits a good 7,000 ft above the slickrock trails below. We started off at a cool 50 degrees as we dropped into the desert after crossing through Aspen forest and alpine meadows with wild flowers in full bloom. I was treated to local lines as soon as we hit the Koopleli Trail that then turns in to UPS or Upper Porcupine Singletrack. The Aspens were soon replaced with scrub brush and cacti and dirt turned to sand and rocks. Ken and Chris lead us on the locals lines away from the painted dots to where the big boys play. The Maverick handled it fine though there were a few times that I seriously questioned some of the 5 ft drops and shutes that were pea gravel on 70 degree slopes. We linked up UPS to LPS (Lower Porcupine Singletrack) then bombed down the 4 mile climb that most people take to the top of Porcupine rim and linked up to the Slickrock Trail. We once again were treated to local lines on one of the world’s most famous trails. After riding half of slick rock we then connected up with Hell’s Revenge for a torturous grind up steep slickrock and sections of sand. The prize trail was still waiting for us ahead as we hit our final descent of the day, The Chili Pepper Trail. The drop into the trail had a few options ranging from a 6 ft drop or a 5 ft step down a few boulders the trail then switchbacks for another eight of a mile with a few inches of sandy loose soil separating you from the a good 50 fl slide down jagged rocks. A jump park sits half way down the trail with 20 ft gaps and step downs that required speed and balls that I just don’t have. There were a few jumps that were with in my reach so se sessioned for awhile then finished it off with a few more sections that were scary just to walk down. We rode back to Ken’s house hit the hot tub and Ken broke out the Barbeque and cooked an amazing Pork Loin washed down with a few too many good beers. At the moment I am 30 miles from Zion National Park heading to Goose Berry Mesa trail for some first class singletrack tomorrow then on to Nevada and a stay overnight at the “Windmill” on the Extraterrestrial Highway for a bike polo match with the Durango crew on their way to the SSWC. Wednesday we will drive due west and cross through Yosemite National Park on our way to San Fransico to see my brother, his wife Yacoco, and my new nephew Noah. Then it time for the party to begin as the SSWC crew starts arriving from all over the country. All is good from the road and if we don’t ride tonight it will be the first day completely off the bike in 16 days. My life rocks. Later.