12
May
08

Wow, lots to catch up on – first, Moab!

I can’t believe that I’ve been home a whole five days, but let me catch up on some things, and provide some links if possible.

Amy and I had so much fun last Fall, when we traveled to Girona with Marty Jemison Tours, that when we returned, we immediately began planning for another trip with them. Due to the dollar’s fall against the Euro, we pretty much ruled out another trip to Europe, but in a timely decision, Jemison started offering some domestic trips. When they offered up a week in Moab, Utah, we jumped at the chance. Our friend Chalmers went with us, and the three of us embarked on May 1st for some riding and adventure in the desert oasis.

Moab is really famous for its’ mountain biking, but Jemison is keen to open up the road riding options. Furthermore, the place is surrounded by National Parks and State Parks, and lots of public land, so while it’s popular, it’s also, well, pretty empty.

And BEAUTIFUL.

We did a short hop on the first day, riding out to a part of the Colorado River called “Potash”, which was fairly flat, and just followed the river. There were 11 of us in total, and Marty completely understood my need to ride at a higher tempo. With this elevation, and this type of catering, I was NOT going to let the opportunity slip through my fingers. So, I tempoe’d out, tempoe’d back, and met up with the crew before dinner.

http://picasaweb.google.com/Whareagle/MoabMartyJemison2008/photo#5197416409481801730

http://picasaweb.google.com/Whareagle/MoabMartyJemison2008/photo#5197415391574552498

http://picasaweb.google.com/Whareagle/MoabMartyJemison2008/photo#5197418488245973154

In the last photo, that’s John Hamann, owner of iBike. He came down to escape the cold and snow in Montana, and he and Jo Anne brought their bird, Einstein, seen here.

http://picasaweb.google.com/Whareagle/MoabMartyJemison2008/photo#5197413351465086754

So, we had a dinner afterward, made new friends, and planned out the rest of the week. I pretty much tempo’d most of it, and while the altitude hurt for the first few days, I did adapt pretty quickly. The fun part was just holding tempo, watching wattage, and then CLIMBING some of the REAL climbs. There was a great 20-minute climb out on the last long day, and there was a fantastic 5-minute effort at the very beginning of the day we went in to Arches National Park. I think I set some new PR’s, and the ibike/quarq/ptap combo really started working well for me. I think we got variation within 1% most days.

http://picasaweb.google.com/Whareagle/MoabMartyJemison2008/photo#5197424282156856050

http://picasaweb.google.com/Whareagle/MoabMartyJemison2008/photo#5197433262933472626

http://picasaweb.google.com/Whareagle/MoabMartyJemison2008/photo#5197652156772679522

The final two days, however, were just epic. Chris, one of the guides, stayed an extra day or two with us, and he took me on some of the famous mountain bike trails in the Moab area. I hadn’t been on a mountain bike in over 6 years, so I was nervous, but the rental that we got from Poison Spider was an Intense 5.5, and it had to be one of the most fun bikes I’ve ridden, ever. We did the Moab Rim Trail that overlooked the town, and then we did the famous Porcupine Rim, which had to be one of the hardest damned trails I ever rode. I liken it to riding over 8″ tombstones stacked in a 30 degree angle. It was RUGGED. I won’t say that I rode well (it was clipout city), but I did find my groove, and we used every inch of that travel as we descended down. I did finally end up doing a bunch of hike-a-bike, but in the end, the trail was perfect, and I will never, ever forget just how kick butt that ride was.

http://picasaweb.google.com/Whareagle/MoabMartyJemison2008/photo#5197762649101337810

http://picasaweb.google.com/Whareagle/MoabMartyJemison2008/photo#5197759797243052978

We returned home rested, adapted, tan, and ready for the next few weeks or months. THAT leads me to the second part of this blog, but I’l have to do some work first. I think I’m really getting stronger. We’ll see, but this was just what I needed.

Today is my anniversary with Amy. I can’t imagine life getting much better. Well, maybe it would if I hit the lottery, but since I don’t play the lottery, I can’t complain about that, either! 🙂

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