Saturday, July 30, 2011

Disequilibrium of Electrolytes and Its Discontents

La Nina could not put it at bay forever. The heat is here. Instead of getting up at 4am to ride like I should have, I lingered at the farmers' market eating a croissant from Tulie Bakery (which I recommend). So the fam drops me off at 10:30 at the Pipeline trailhead. Its already hot at 5200 feet. 4000 feet to go to the Park City ridgeline with 4 liters of water, no electrolytes.

It does not mater how much water you bring if salt is what you need---but the lowland singletrack was sublime anyway, and the cooler temps of the high Wasatch beckon onward...

Aspens: a good sign, but still dripping sweat. I bummed some water off some returning hikers, but again, it does not mater how hydrated you are if you need ions.

Even salt deprived, the clock tells me I rode record fast to the ridge, cranking hard in the saddle (for me, at least).

Everyone having a good time. But I feel terrible. My heart rate won't go down after all but taking a nap on the ridge. So I bag my plans for a Super Crest adventure and head back down canyon, across the asphalt desert of town. But 4000 feet of climbing in 15 miles is P. L. E. N. T. Y. Mental note: bring ion-tabs in July/August.

Friday, July 29, 2011

TTC rides marginalia

TTC has been riding a lot.

Getting ready for a big tour this fall...

Innumerable miles, then to the Gatorade.

Currently I spend more time on the tandem than any other bike.

Hard efforts lead to apres-ride cafe lounging.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Haute Wasatch

Off the gravel descent of Guardsman's Pass, the major climb of the day, and into the verdant valleys atop Deer Valley.

Climbing it.

Hairpin on Guardsman's...

Grinding to the top on 10%ish grades.

At the top we met some East Texans having a good time. After 17 smartphone "say cheese" group-pictures we were best friends.

With the 4500 feet of climbing over Guardsman's in us, we set out on the pastoral Jeremy Ranch road---rolling gravel delivered us to the foot of the second major pass of the ride: Big Mountain's sage to pine to aspen ascent.

Over Big Mountain and then over Little Mountain to descend back to town. After 80 miles in the saddle, over 6000 feet of climbing in three passes, and a few more miles to go, we stopped at the Sun and Moon Cafe for refreshments. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The rarity of songs about nature

Lately I've been trying to listen to new music and I came across this band called Tennis, which are out of Denver of all places. This is strange because their album Cape Dory, is a musical document of the husband-and-wife duo's year-long trip on a sailboat along the eastern seaboard---far from landlocked Denver and the Rocky Mountains. The NPR write-up has more details, and several tracks have graced Pitchfork ,the AV club, and such. The music is not typical for what I listen to---indy rock doo-wop numbers about sailing---but I find the whole thing utterly unique and compelling.

You should have a listen:

Now if you want more about the band, check the links I provided above. I can't say anything new about them as a band, or what they're like, or their very self-aware WASPy vibe. But what I will say is that listening to Tennis made me realize that very little contemporary music is about nature. And this album Cape Dory is such an earnest homage to the natural experience. Now most artwork/writing/music that approaches the natural world tends to be bogged down in its preciousness and overly serious. Not Tennis. And I'm not a big fan of sailing or anything, but when listened for a while, I was completely taken in on how these two people (a couple) bonded and mutually experienced their surroundings---coconut coves, squalls, the surf, the sand, the tides. Yeah, it really works, and I wanted to be there too.

Monday, July 11, 2011

High Country Kid Hauling

"Look, over there!"
Imm's new word: "mou mou" which means Mountain.

The Dads brought them up---all 3000 feet up---for a picnic. 

Relaxing at the beach meant playing constant lifeguard but the kids loved it.

The Dromedary mou mou and You're Crazy ridgeline still skiable in July...

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Chasing Rabbits

We went to the Park City Glenwild-Jacob's Ladder [Flying Dog] loop---on a Saturday.

Buff trails, with climbing that went in short bursts of steep, then not-so-steep. The descents were speedy-technical and edifying.

But its in Park City, a place with a certain type of rider with an affinity for carbon dual-suspension long-travel bla bla... Each to his own, and I'd probably develop certain tastes if my income afforded it, but I digress. But when you see said group of riders ascending a climb, granny gears grinding away, I tend to want to accelerate and bridge the gap, then drop them with the afterburners on. Ben called it chasing rabbits: you see someone on the trail or a skin track hopping along, and, like an excited puppy, you get after 'em. Of course, we're all just out having fun. Trail respect is always observed, and like an excited puppy, you smile and leave everyone on the trail with more friendliness than when you found them, wether you're the rabbit, or the puppy.

Happy riders taking a break. The next rabbit up the trail awaits...

Saturday, July 2, 2011

After 5700 feet, Roadie Quest is still on

Big Mountain Pass---7500 feet.

The big ones still covered in snow in July---my mountain bike is calling for them, but roadie quest is still on.

Out to East Canyon Reservoir State Park, 55 miles or so, up and down both Little Mountain and Big Mountain passes. Switchback Switchback Switchback Switchback...

Hugs and Smooches to Canada, from SLC XOXO

To celebrate Canada Day we were going to go grab some Molson Canadian from the Liquor Store, but we decided to ride up City Creek instead---this time all the way up, about 2000 feet of climbing total hauling the Trailer Captain. Tandem Trailer Continental is made of true grit.

In honour of Canada, I threw a "u" in the word honor and we went down to the Sears parking lot for street tacos---something oh so very un-Canadian. There are no poutine trucks for about 2000 miles, so we had to get resourceful.