Monday, May 16, 2016

Wearing Many Helmets Redux

Facebook delivers up “Memories” each day.  At first it annoyed me, but I’ve come to enjoy the surprises I get served every morning.  I joined Facebook in 2008 and while I have an excellent memory I have begun to lose things in the past.  And little bits of my writing come back too.  I don’t do long text posts anymore, but I used to compose status updates that looked more like blog posts.  Then I discovered Notes.  And finally I shifted over to a blog and got away from status updates that turned into political arguments with my “friends.”

The following post is one of those memories from May 15, 2009.  It was a bit personal history and a bit rambling pontification.  It seems like a good fit to The Chainring Report.  Enjoy!

I've got strong legs. Always have had strong legs…when I was a kid I thought I was fat cause when I'd sit in a chair my thighs would spread out and it looked like fat to me. But even then I rode my bike (a steel banana seat bike) all over creation. Then as I got older I ran cross country and track, backpacked and hiked with Boy Scouts, walked around the desolate farmland of rural south western Ohio and the rest of the time rode my bike back and forth past the girl down the road's house.

After high school I moved to Nashville to go to college and rode my bike all over for the first semester because I didn't have a car down there. Then later I lived in Dayton and rode to reduce the chance that my clunker car would break down on me in the city.

In my 20s I hiked as an end, then later to get to climbing walls and boulder fields. I rode my bike to trailheads and to get around when my car finally died.

Legs, legs, legs…I used them a lot.

I avoided steep sport climbs because my toothpick arms were not conditioned to haul my steel beam legs and donut belly up more than a few feet, hence the bouldering, which consequently trashed my elbows from all the dragging of the beams and donuts, even just those few feet at a time.  I was much better at climbing slabs where my titan legs could push the flabby parts of me upward. 

Then I didn't do much of anything for a while. We quit guiding, I didn't ride and Mandy and I were finishing up school, trying to work and raise a kid or two.

Once in Colorado I started trying to ease back into my previous lifestyle. At least I tried to incorporate as much of my old lifestyle in my normal day to day activities as possible. And then some…

So here I am. I am at the cusp of abandoning the second car and going totally over to human powered transportation as my personal primary mode.

This morning I rode in to Golden, crawled back up Lookout Mountain for the second time this week, this time all the way to the top, then screamed down Apex Gulch. It was so much fun. That descent was the most fun I've had on a bike in a long time. I alternated between gritted teeth as I rocketed over obstacles and a big goofy grin as I glided around sharp turns and launched over water bars.

Looking down Lookout Mountain

Looking up Lookout Mountain

Dave Lutes would have been proud.

It felt good to ride a trail. I don't consider myself a mountain biker at all. I've used my "mountain" bike to ride fire roads to remote climbing areas, to pull my kids in the trailer on paved bike paths and little else.

Now that I've got it in decent working order and have realized that I live in a great area for mountain biking it’s hard for me not to take the opportunities to dive down gulches.

[That’s what I] hated about Kentucky. A) No safe place to ride walk; B) Too far to go to work/store/etc for it to be possible to ride or walk...

The nice thing here [Colorado in 2009] is that there are bike paths and bike lanes and bike routes (roads that are ideal for riding) a
nd also there is a much greater awareness that people are riding because so many people do. In the 16 miles between Denver and Golden this morning I saw at least 20 people riding one way or the other. In Kentucky I wouldn't see 20 people riding on the roads in a year around home.

People here complain about high taxes, but I like that the tax money is used to improve the overall quality of life. You get what you pay for for sure...

1 comment:

  1. Same here. I'm lucky to see 20 cyclist all year in my neighborhood.