simplicitee

Reading, thinking, biking, sharing…

TOWM October 10, 2008

Filed under: arizona,life,mountain biking,Nature,Uncategorized — onarete @ 7:04 pm

 

This years TOWM was sort of a disaster for me, but also alot of fun.  After finding out that the 60 miler was actually 67.2 miles the evening before, I headed to bed.  We were camped in a lava field with all sorts of rocks and painful items stabbing me in the back, when Blair got really sick (the 6 hour flu?).  Needless to say, I was awake almost the entire night.  I still felt pretty good when the alarm went off, and I was looking forward to a day on the bike. 

The first 20 miles or so, I was just suffering.  For some reason, my bike wasn’t shifting and it was still really cold, so my asthma was acting up a little.  After the second aid station, I hit a fast and beautiful dirt road, and from there I had a wonderful day.  It was a little bit cold and breezy, and all the trees were turning.  So  many times during the race, I found myself saying a little prayer thankful for the beauty, for the fresh air, for the blood pumping through my muscles.  I am so lucky to have a life like this.

I ate really well and paced myself and just had a really good time throughout.  I never crashed and felt like I rode the downhills and technical sections really well.  Right before the final aid station it started to rain.  I stopped to put on my jacket and looked at the time.  It was 3 o’clock.  This was a serious bummer because I knew that the cutoff time for the aid station was at 3.  About 5 minutes later I rolled in, the rain pouring, and was pulled.  Part of me was really upset with myself and dissapointed, but a bigger part of me was smiling and happy and thankful for having so much fun and feeling so good.

I hightailed it back to the venue where the road was already turning to a gooey mess.  Blair and I threw all of our wet gear in the car, and decided to leave.  Judging by the numbere of other cars leaving, I think it must have been a pretty small crowd that stuck around for the night.  After a pitstop at Dairy Queen, Blair drove me home and unpacked.  I definately owe him one now.

The good thing about this race is that I felt really good and have obviously built up my endurance.  On the other hand, I am slooow.  Which I knew, but it was good to be reminded of it.  Now I know where I have my work cut out for me. 

Overall, I’d have to say it was a lot of FUN!

 

Worth a thousand words October 6, 2008

Filed under: adventure,arizona,happiness,life,love,mountain biking,Nature — onarete @ 3:10 pm

I will write up a report on TOWM soon, but first I want to share some pictures from the last several weekends of biking.

This is a picture of the McDowell’s on a hot summer morning.

 

Sweaty but still smiling.

 

 BB at a beautiful lookout in Prescott before we started descending.

 

Lovely little pool that we ran into late in the afternoon.  I stopped for a snack.

 

 

Going through a tunnel blasted through the rock.  This was in Flagstaff. 

 

Riding through the aspens; moments of joy.

 

Flagstaff September 23, 2008

Filed under: arizona,Camping,Flagstaff,happiness,life,love,mountain biking,Nature — onarete @ 8:11 pm

Photo Credit

We escaped to Flagstaff for the weekend.  These little trips become so easy when you do lots of them, things are organized, you know exactly what you need for 2 days camping and biking.  Flagstaff was cold and windy when we arrived early Saturday morning.  It felt like fall!  We set up camp quickly and headed out on the bikes.  

What a ride.  We rode singletrack for 5 1/2 hours, sweeping through all kinds of scenery: meadows, aspen forest, pine trees, red rock.  I was so giddy, I was flying.  After 2 1/2 hours, Blair finally made me stop to eat something.  I didn’t even feel like I was working.  “This is mountain biking,” Blair said.

Sunday we rode from camp, climbing several miles before we started “the climb.”  We rode waterline road to Abineau Canyon.  The road is surrounded by Wilderness area and offers spectacular views.  Every time I went around a corner my heart jumped in awe.  Right before the cabins, the road winded through the most amazing forest of aspens.  I had never seen anything like it!  Fat aspens as far as the eye could see.  (I will post some pictures once I get them uploaded).  After the cabins, the road became more primitive.  There were areas where the whole road was covered by rock slides.  The wind also picked up and was blowing me around like crazy.  Just as my legs were starting to give in, we made it to the end of the road, Abineau canyon.  This was at 10,500′.  I think that is a record on my mountain bike.   From there, we were able to see the Grand Canyon!  What a view!

From there, we had close to 20 miles of downhill.  Both Blair and I were riding slow to enjoy the scenery and also to keep from getting too cold (we were freezing by the bottom).  This was a fabulous ride.  Lots of climbing, but never too steep and jaw-dropping beautiful.

I feel so blessed to have a weekend like that.  In so many ways I am blessed.

 

The God of Small Things August 11, 2008

Filed under: family,friends,happiness,life,love,summer — onarete @ 6:00 pm

Even small things can delight us,
Even small things can be precious.

 

My Weekend:

1.  Riding my bike. 

2.  Eating mexican food.

3.  Spending time with Blair.

4.  Watching the Olympics.

5.  Swimming in the pool.

6.  Reading bike magazines.

7.  Sleeping in.

8.  Taking naps.

9.  Eating potatoes.

10.  Talking to my sister on the phone.

11. Watching TV at the gym.

12.  Laughing.

13.  Loree’s birthday party.

 

Catching up August 4, 2008

As usual, the last few weeks have been a whirlind.  Finally, a moment to take a deep breath and rewind.

STP:  KD came to visit and we rode Seattle to Portland with another of her friends.  200 miles in 2 days, crazy fun.  Here we are at the finish line (pic stolen from KD).

Idaho:  I went and visited my family in Idaho Falls for close to two weeks.  The highlight was an epic mtn bike ride with my dad from the Kelly Canyon area to Driggs.  We rode up and over Garns mountain at 9,015 feet.  Not only was it fun and beautiful, it was awesome to experience it with my Dad.  It is a day I will never forget. 

 I also got a fun, if impossible, ride on the South Fork trail with Blair.  One of the most beautiful places on Earth.  Other than mtn biking, Dad and I went on a killer road ride.  I also got in some fun cruises around town, an overnight float trip on the South Fork, swimming at Heise, lots of good cooking by Mom including homemade ice cream, fantasy Tour de France, and most importantly lots of love.  My family means so much to me!

Road trip:  Blair and I drove back to Mesa in a rental van with all of his stuff.  The first day we drove to Zion National Park and arrived by mid-afternoon.  We rode that Pa’rus trail and then the road into the canyon.  At the lodge, we locked up the bikes and went for a hike to the Lower, Mid, and Upper Pools.  Zion definately counts as one of the most spectacular places I’ve ever been.  We also went swimming in the river; I thought I had died and gone to heavan. 

The next day we drove to Flagstaff and went biking in the Shultz Pass area.  These trails were fun, fast, and we loved biking through the pines.  We had planned on camping overnight but a monsoon hit us, and we drove back to Phoenix in the downpour.

Mesa:  Now I am back at work and back in Phoenix.  I didnt realize how much this seems like home to me, until I went away and came back.  I love the dessert and the sun and my life here.  Blair is here with me now too, which makes it that much better.  We’ve gotten in four rides since being back–Hawes, another Hawe’s ride (this one at night), S. Mountain, and the McDowell’s. 

All and all, life has been pretty darn good.

 

Me August 1, 2008

Filed under: life — onarete @ 3:59 pm

The concept:
a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. Using only the first page, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd’s mosaic maker.

The Questions:
1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One word to describe you.
12. Your nickname. (this used to be “flickr name” but I thought nickname was more fun)

1.  Kristen. 

2. Ice cream.

3. Boise State University.  This picture is awesome.  It is the  bridge between Julia Davis park and campus.

4. Pink

5. Lance

6. Water

7. Nepal

8. Fruit

9. Writer

10. Family

11. Loving

12. Special K.  I was pretty excited that a bicycle came up.

 

Back to Arizona July 9, 2008

Filed under: arizona,life — onarete @ 5:00 pm

Sometimes he caught himself listening to the sound of his own voice. He thought that in her eyes he would ascent to an angelical stature; and, as he attached the fervent nature of his companion more and more closely to him, he heard the strange impersonal voice which he recognised as his own, insisting on the soul’s incurable lonliness. We cannot give ourselves, it said: we are our own.  -James Joyce

Tommorrow is my last day at work here in Washington.  I will do the Seattle to Portland ride this weekend, then I’m off to my parents house in Idaho for a while, and then back to Arizona. 

I’ve grown pretty fond of Arizona.  I feel like it is where I really found myself.  When I moved there, I had no family (at least not that I’m close to), no friends, no idea what I was getting myself into.  Needless to say, I’ve gone through some pretty low moments there.  Extreme lonliness, fear of responsibility, moments of deep depression and anxiety.  But I also became an adult in Arizona.  I figured out what is important to me, and also how capable I am of making my life a good one.  I became strong, both mentally and physically.  Stripped of those things that defined me, my home, my family, my boyfriend, school, I was able to be me.  I learned how to forge a career for myself, pay the bills, do things that scare me.

When I left Arizona, I wasn’t sure I was going back.  But I am.  All I can figure is that I still have some more lessons left to learn there.  And this time is going to be so much better than last time.  Because this time I know who I am.   

Photo credit