Thursday, January 31, 2008

Grrrrreat news!

The daffodils in the flower beds at my work are starting to sprout. You know what that means - this winter will end eventually and usher in warmer, wetter temps loaded with bike racing and intervals. What more could a girl ask for? :)

Saw the Decemberists last night at the Moore. Um... pretty much kick ass. It also reminded me I need to go see live music more often. It makes you feel soooo good! And I love watching people do what they are passionate about. Check them out this video and then imagine the music turned up so you couldn't hear yourself think and a dancing stoked crowd all around you. Good times, good times.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

You probably heard it here last....

"Interstate 90 normally carries about 7,000 trucks a day. The economic cost of closing I-90 is $20 million a day, according to WSDOT estimates."

Yes, it's closed again. But only after another avalanche buried three cars in the Westbound lanes!

"By late today, crews had detonated about 850 pounds of explosives in an eight-mile stretch east of Snoqualmie Pass and have removed the equivalent of 200,000 dump truck loads of snow."

Got snow?

Even better headlines though - this makes 90 sound like a cake walk:

Route 20 avalanche strands 75 people in Diablo

Don't worry - they have helicopters on the way to drop off supplies. Whoa.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Speaking of real winters...

I-90 has been closed all day due to HIGH avalanche potential. They closed the highway from exit 34 (North Bend) Eastbound and at exit 106 (Ellensburg) Westbound. Crazy! Ryan and a bunch of people were trying to rally up to Alpental for the night - but apparently it's too dangerous. Wild stuff!

I was a good girl and opted to stay home, regardless of the potential powder fest to ride. (Pat on the back with a smile.) If they had been able to go up - I'm sure it would have been one of the best inbound ski days of the year!

My indoor roller ride went well. I spun my brains out, sweating all over my yoga mat and listening to some poor 700 pounder on Dr. Phil say he's scared and doesn't want to die obese. They chartered a plane for him to go to Hollywood and showed footage of him seated in one of the rows - his entire body was wedged between two rows in first class. Nothing like a little motivation to keep the heart rate up.

A REAL winter

Welcome to the Pacific Northwest, where winter weather is getting more and more unpredictable than ever! Only three winters ago, we had a record low snowfall - closing all of the local ski resorts for weeks and reaching temps of 60 in the city during the month of January. Last winter was decent - I recall only being forced on the trainer 3 times or so. And this this winter? Well this winter I have embraced what mother nature is throwing at us and taken full advantage of growing up with planks attached to my feet and mixing it up with a new found love for Nordic skiing.

Curious, I googled "benefits of Nordic skiing and cycling" and came up with a few hits. (Ah the beauty of google where you can make anything you want true, depending on how you ask it.) And to be honest, I just came across some fascinating stuff and will report back soon....

Taken from the following link:

Monday, January 28, 2008

We knew it'd be cold... but -11? Seriously!

But we had no idea just how cold it was until the following evening.

Ryan and I went to the cabin again on Friday. No new snow had fallen over the past week so we got to take our skiing stuff into the cabin and get the heat going. The interior of the cabin had completely frosted over and everything was frozen. Even our CD player refused to work until we warmed it up a couple of degrees. When it's cold outside - that can only mean one thing - Dance Party 2008! We danced to three entire CD's before calling it quits and crawling inside our double wide sleeping bag.

Even Makiah slept on the bed with us all night - and in the morning it wasn't as warm as I remembered it the weekend before. Would having one less person inside the cabin really make that big of a difference? Apparently! We headed out to recon the area and figure out some new downhill loops nearby and ended up skating the morning from Early Winters and then skinning up and skiing Goat Wall.

And it was at Goat Wall, after skinning up a couple hundred feet, that we ran into some ice climbers. One of them, Larry, owns the Mazama Country Store, and said the past three nights they've had record colds. Try -11! Yep, that's the reason we couldn't get warm. Burrrr!

Sunday we woke up to a warm cabin - the high pressure system had finally run its course, allowing for low pressure to come in through a series of storms bringing with it about 4" of new fluff. Daytime temps were mid-twenties; balmy compared to Friday! We headed back to Goat Wall and did a lap and then did a couple hours of skating on our way out of town. Ryan and I were so tired that we could barely make the last 4k of the loop! Makiah was too tired from skinning with us the previous day and only made it on a 4k loop. All in all - a great weekend of fun in the snow!

Next weekend - TAHOE! A break from the snow and then Beaver Creek... 2008 is shaping up to be a pretty kick ass year!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Before Aero Bars

Check out this old picture - I think it was from either Nationals or possibly the PanAm games. Jerry Baker is yelling splits at the team pursuits.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Craigs list

Craigs list rules. That pretty much sums up what I've been up to all day.

We had a tenant file bankruptcy and the employees took everything of value to them and left the big stuff for us to dispose of. Luckily we didn't have any red tape and hassle to reclaim the space by WaMu. Since we're the landlord, we get first dibs on the material as a means to recover lost rent. So I snapped a few photos and started posting them on Craigslist. Within minutes I had quite a few responses and nibbles. A few hecklers, but for the most part serious buyers. I meet with most of them tomorrow.

Hopefully we'll get things back and get a new tenant in the space within a month. Know anyone looking for office furniture? I've got tons of desks and chairs priced to move!

The winning Sonics

Attended a Sonics game last night against the Houston Rockets. The Sups maintained a 10 point lead over the Rockets and things were looking great until the final 4 minutes and things just fell apart. The inevitable happened and they lost - which brings their stats up to 12 loses, a NBA Franchise record. Way to go guys!

Seriously though - sounds like they need to invest in some mental training and work with some Zen doctors to get their heads on straight. They dominated 3/4 of the game and then things just fell apart. Bummer.

Kevin posted some amazing photos from the LA world cup on his flicker site - check them out....

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I'll take sunshine, thank you!

Today was one of those mornings that you hope to remember for the rest of your life.

I'm officially back in love with Seattle.

Rode early this am with Peter and Shawn up to Woodland, a suburb just outside of Edmonds. From there we watched as the moon dipped down behind the snow capped Olympics and watched the sun warm the colors across the Puget Sound. Oh what a sight.

And then I rode home, after stopping and grabbing a tea, and froze my digits off. You know it's cold out when your powertap stops working.

But that view - that view still puts a smile on my face. I just wish I had my camera.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Weekend Predictions

It's not looking good locally to do some biking this weekend. I know it's a little early to predict - but with possible snow showers/sleet forecast for the weekend, who would seriously in their right mind pedal in that kind of weather? Why fight what mother nature is dishing out and use it to your advantage to get in some snow play in the mountains?

That just cleared any doubt I had in my mind about going back to the cabin this weekend. :) Bring on the back country and skate skiing! Seriously though, should I be that worried that I'm not putting in massive amounts of suffer fest during the weekends and instead enjoying every sweat pounding minute of climbing mountains? I know I'm getting in a killer workout for several hours at a time - how can it be that different than riding all day? I guess we'll find out once race season rolls around.... (but at least I know my sanity will be in tact!)

98103 - (
Tues 37
Wednesday 41
Thurs 39/29 30% chance of snow
Friday 39/31 20% chance of snow
Saturday 40/35 60% chance of snow

Sounds like some killer riding conditions - not! I fully support you lunatics that kit up though and put in the mileage. I've been there - it takes a certain breed.

98833 - Mazama Time....
Tuesday 22/-3 Sunny
Wed 21/3 Sunny
Thurs 22/15 20% chance of snow
Fri 21/11 Partly cloudy
Sat 25/12 40% chance of snow

Thank you snow angels, thank you.

Monday, January 21, 2008

20 Skyline "Mini Vacation"

Unfortunately we brought our camera this weekend sans the battery, which was left in the charger in the living room at home. So no photos! You know what that means - something EPIC was bound to happen....

After 5.5 hours of driving, we arrived to a winter wonderland in Lost River. We had heard it snows quite a bit in Mazama, but we had NO IDEA our cabin would be encased in snow and 5 foot banks would line the driveway. First order of business - dig out a spot to park the car. Only one car can shimmy down the roads at a time so we went into digging over time to make a spot. Ryan did the majority of the work while Josh and I got the cabin lit up, plugged in the radiator and schlepped our gear inside.

This was our first time to the cabin in the winter - so we weren't sure what to expect as far as heat goes. It was chilly those first few hours - but after we tucked ourselves into bed for the night, I remember waking up sweaty and wondering who turned up the heat? Thank goodness our cabin was nice and toasty! Night time lows were in the teens with day time highs were mid twenties!

The next morning we got up, made the obligatory Krusteaze wheat and honey pancakes and bananas and some tea and headed out to do some back country skiing. At first we thought we would drive to the point where we could park down Lost River Road, which turned out to be about .10 miles from our cabin. So we piled back in the car, geared up and headed off directly from the cabin. We ended up skinning for about 3 hours straight - only to climb out Hart's pass area and up a crusty icy sketchy slope. Unfortunately the snow was shit - and we had made more tracks without much elevation gain, which meant a long slow skin back to the cabin. All in all we sweat our asses off for 5+ hours. We got in maybe a dozen turns. Well more like Ryan and Josh got in several turns - I chickened out and snow plowed the entire crusty way. Actually, I take that back. I made about 5 turns - and adorned three face plants! (Accompanied by giggling like a little girl the entire time.) I like to make things as easy as possible and with grace.

We returned to the cabin and had an amazing chili aroma - we planned ahead and put some ingredients in the slow cooker. It was a perfect way to make up for some bunk skiing. Josh brought some scotch - which was used as a dare during our heated game of "Asshole." The rest of the night was spent recouping from our long skin.

Our plan for Sunday was skate skiing. On Thursday night Ryan went and bought skate skis, poles and boots and Josh rented some at REI Friday night on our way out of town. Since the Methow has the second largest network of skating in the US we decided to give it a whirl. We drove down LRR to Mazama, went to park where you usually do in the summer, when all three of us simultaneously realized we were driving on the groomed trail! Ryan stopped immediately, and Josh and I jumped out to push us out of the tracks we had quickly sunken into. Luckily no one saw us - but how embarrassing! Just across the road, was a huge berm hiding the dozens of cars in a parking lot. Whoops. Now we know. I'm still shaking my head while chuckling.

We quickly found out the Methow Valley Nordic costs $20 per day per adult for access to their groomed trails. You mean we have to pay $60 to ski on a trail some jerk just drove through? Ha! Luckily we forgot our wallets back at the cabin so we sought the free trails - and dog friendly ones to boot! Makiah happily jogged behind Ryan and I a full 8.3k! It was a killer workout. REI only rents super duper racer skis and they were a little difficult to try skating on - but Josh rallied and made the most of it! Ryan of course picked it up and was skating circles around me in no time. He's the most amazing off the coach athlete I have ever met. Inspiring for sure!

Back to the cabin we went, ate lunch, packed up and headed home around 3. It took us about the same time to get to Mazama- a long five plus hours. Ryan thought it was worth- especially for his "mini vacation." He needed it too - on Friday his company let go 1/2 of their field workers as a means to cut back. Crazy! We're already contemplating going back this next weekend.... and after reading the ride reports from fellow teammates about freezing their asses off and doing indoor trainer rides - I think that 5+ hour drive doesn't sound that bad after all!

Hope you had a good weekend...

Jennie Reed Rules

In case you didn't read - Reed won gold in the Keirin this past weekend at the LA World Cup and silver in the match sprints. Way to go Jennie!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Whenever I lack motivation and need a little boost, I often visit Brooke Miller's blog. She's a talker that one - but living in Cleveland, and still maintaining a pro training plan throughout the winter - this chica is tough! For instance, the other day there was still some ice on the ground leftover from our little mini ice storm, it was cold out and doing 2 hours zone 2 outside didn't sound that appealing. Good thing I visited Brooke's site - she was saying how excited she was that it was 31 outside and balmy. I can only imagine how rough it is to train in one of the midwest states during the winter and just how much trainer time you really have to put in. It was just the attitude adjustment I needed and in minutes I was kitted up and in the saddle.

It has been nice to supplement the training with some backcountry skiing and skating. When it's raining at home and chilly - it's nice knowing I'll still get a killer workout on the slopes by my own demise. Endurance sports rule.

Ryan bought a skate ski set up last night without ever trying it before. I think he'll like it though - he played hockey for 20 years and I'm sure he'll be skating circles around me the first go.

Still cleaning up the abandoned space at work - I can't believe how much useless shit these people had! I mean seriously, who needs 50 stainless steel coffee mugs and plastic mugs with your logo on it? Anybody in the market for some swag? Maybe I can use those as primes! Just teasing.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Great Group Discussion

Around 16 ladies showed up last night for our track meeting and we made some head way! We came up with some solid solutions to some of the issues I mentioned in my previous post and also came up with some new ideas to improve track racing overall.

So - here's the skinny:

Cat 3 ladies are in an odd position if we do not offer a women's only elite field - they are intimated of racing with the men yet need to improve their skills by racing with people better than them. (One woman was so frustrated racing with the men last year, she obtained a downgrade.) To lessen the gap between the recently upgraded cat 3's and the 1/2's, the cat 3's can still race on Wednesdays with the Cat 4's in a combined and separately scored race. The catch - they will be in restricted gearing (say an 81") and will not gain any points toward an upgrade. As an incentive to get the 3's up and racing on Friday nights, we are going to offer Cat 3 only primes. We thought this was the best solution to getting the 3's showing up regularly to Friday nights and still allow those who are timid of racing under the lights or who want more practice the ability to do so on Wednesdays.

We talked about creating a distribution list where we can check to see who's going to show up on Friday nights - but really we thought the onus is on the teams to get their teammates out there and participate. If this means offering more ladies only track classes to introduce the roadies to track then we have more than enough volunteers and able bodies to make it happen. Teams just need to pick a date that doesn't conflict with something already happening on the track and we'll make it happen.

We also talked about making Sunday's a regular thing - say showing up for the Woody workout and having someone take lead for the women. More time in the saddle on the track means the better you'll get.

And one of my favorite ideas - mentors for Wednesday nights. A few ladies already volunteered to show up - basically they would provide answers to new female racers. Things such as what to expect in the race, what to do in certain situations, race analysis, etc. The mentor would tell the registration table that they are the mentor that night and if any new people showed up to direct them to them. Hopefully with more support people will gain the confidence and take out some of the learning curve in making them competitive.

We did have a few teams absent from the meeting - and as a group we wondered how we can get more of them involved. That remains a little bit of an issue - but hopefully the word will spread about the awesome support people get at the track and they'll start showing up.

I may be forgetting something - I'm a little busy at work right now. A tenant filed bankruptcy and abandoned all of their stuff. I've been going through it all and recycling a ton of sales information. Apparently these people didn't believe in getting rid of anything (I've seen stuff from 1999!). Know anyone who needs staplers and office supplies?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Women's Track Meeting Tonight

I'm hosting a women's meeting tonight in attempt to pool our resources and get some commitment from the ladies to have elite level racing on Friday nights. I know, it's January and what am I doing thinking about track racing now when it's a summer sport? Well my hope is that we get enough women excited about track racing that they come out during the regular season and race.

It's been an ongoing struggle to get the ladies out at the track. Last season we had 33 category 4 women show up - definitely a record! But the leap to Cat 3 seemed to have an enormous crevasse between the two. Because we didn't have enough elite women showing up, we were forced to race with the men. Personally I find racing with the men an amazing workout and forces you to be on your game. But for a lot of the women out there - racing with the men sounded too daunting so they wouldn't show up. Two years ago I was the lone woman racing with the men at the end of the season. Three years ago we had women's racing on Friday nights and a solid group of 10 showing up.

What to do?

Putting my own ambitions and desires aside, having a women's field is important. Especially if they want to grow the field and the depth of the women. But having the ladies show up has been a struggle - it seems only a handful of women want to be competitive and strive to get better. I've found the only way to do that is to race with people who are better and stronger than you. Maybe I'm looking at it from the wrong angle - but there has to be some way to get our elite level numbers up.

At the same time, I'm happy racing with the men. At least I know they will have a field that is the closest to elite national size. There's a big difference between racing with 8 women of mixed ability and 18+ cat 3 men. Last year I tried racing in both categories but found myself frustrated with the disparity between the two groups.

Hopefully tonight we'll come up with some viable options and make them work this year. It'd be nice to give the ladies who just upgraded from Cat 4 a chance to race and get better in a cat 3 field. And maybe come up with some ideas to keep the national level racers happy as well.

If you have any suggestions - please let me know.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Apparently I've been in the dark

Super star takes the world by storm! Does anyone know more about this guy?
For those of you who thought the chicken was cool... check this out.


We're attempting our first winter run at the cabin next weekend. In case you forgot, our cabin is RUSTIC. Meaning - there's no running water, the electricity is accessible from the exterior by running an extension cord through the window, there's an outhouse and absolutely zero heat.

And in case you're wondering - the forecast for the weekend calls for a balmy high of 24 and a low of 17.

Did I mention the Methow Valley offers some of the best cross country and skate skiing in the US? And with the Cascades at your back door - you can't go wrong with some back country skiing!

I'm saving up to build a real cabin already....

Monday, January 14, 2008

Weekend Wonder

Took my nephew Coleman (he's 4) to Snoqualmie for his first day on the slopes. He had a little anxiety when we tried to ditch him at the Kid's Corral and then again when we saw him later. We asked him if he would go skiing again, and without batting an eye, "No."

Coleman only last a half day - and slept the entire way home. We got back in time for me to do a ride before we were off to dinner with my Mom's new flame's family. They are really nice people!

That night Ryan and I went to bed by 9:30 to get up early Sunday morning and ski a blue bird day. It was amazing. Check out the views.

We got up to Crystal around 8:45am and parked. The initial skin was 2.5 hours all uphill. We contemplated a big tour or do some laps in the Cement Basin area. Due to the stability of the snow, we decided on the later and had 10-12" of untracked powder the entire day. I would say it was one of the best ski days of the year! When we got back to the parking lot the inbound skiers said it was one of the busiest days they had ever seen at Crystal. Funny, we only saw one other party the entire day. Yay for powder days!

Friday, January 11, 2008

A few more shots

This is Sonya, climbing in Arboli and kicking ass.

This was taken at Montsant during one of two rain days. The cave had some hard climbs in it - the easiest being a 7A. Which meant, no climbing for moi.

This is what happens to your hands when you climb on jagged sharp limestone for 12+ days.

A break from the funk

It's actually not raining outside at the moment.

Sorry about that previous post - I think that was some counter culture/ post relaxing vacation reality stress coming out. But it's peaked and I'm over it. :) Shoes.

Got an email from Suz asking the 1/2 ladies if they have a preference to ride with either the Cat 3 men or the Masters A/B field for the first few races of the season. Personally I'm happy with either group - it's a kick ass workout and simulates elite level racing the best. But more importantly, we only have 8 weeks to go before the local early season racing starts. I don't know about you, but I am STOKED to get some racing in. Be gone zone 2 doldrum! Hello intensity!

I can't wait to break my chicken legs out of their tights and show their ferocity to the world. :)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Just to cheer you up....

Not sure if I posted this here - but if you need a good laugh, here you go!

Did a 2 hour ride yesterday morning along the Burke and for the first time ever, I thought to myself, "I hate Seattle." Whoa. Things are getting serious.

So I vow, from this point forward, to no longer ride the Burke for 2008 (between the U and Log Boom). I'm doing it for Seattle.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

my own personal training camp

Siurana, Spain is located approximately 2 hours southwest of Barcelona in the San Padres Mountain range. It is accessible primarily by car due to its hilly landscape. Siurana was "discovered" by the rock climbing community in the 1980's and has seen a lot of development since. No wonder why - the village is perched atop a huge limestone crag and has thousands of bolted sport routes.

This photo was taken across the gully on my way to Arboli, a neighboring village. To give you an idea - a bird would probably only have to fly 1.5 kilometers to get from Siurana to Arboli but by bike it took 15k.

So why Siurana? In case you didn't know - Ryan's a climbing feign. Originally we were going to go to Thailand but due to the civil unrest and probably lack of cycling roads, we sought out another nice weather winter destination. (Not to mention this area is frequently by climbing heavyweights Chris Sharma, Piatxi Usobiaga, Graham, etc.) Toni, the owner of the camp site we stayed at, has won numerous world cups and has a nice little set up. He rents bungalows for 60 Euro a night, which sleep up to 4. Since we had 5, he gave us an extra mattress for free. Unlike previous Euro trips, this seemed like luxury. We had running HOT water, heat, a roof over our heads, etc. The only issue would be contemplating climbing back up the road to the bungalow or hitching a ride. (It was 6k from the main road from Cornudella de Montsant and gained about 500m of altitude.) Don't worry - I never hitched a ride. :)

This is the view from the road that travels between the campsite to the main village of Siurana. You can see the Montsant mountain in the distance and the windy road below. The best part? The roads were immaculate. They often hold the world cup indie races nearby (between Capafonts and Montral) and put down new asphalt quite often.

I mentioned there were 5 of us - Ryan, myself, Jesse, Sonya and Orion. They would climb all day and I would pedal several hours through the landscape. My companion was my trusty Kona. Everyday we would awake by 9, head to the cafe that served bocadillo fritta (egg omelette's with potatoes and zucchinis, sandwiched between fresh baguette bread smeared with tomatoes) and then they would head off climbing around 11am. Some days I would do a loop and meet them then attempt to climb, some days I would do a longer loop and come back to the bungalow and relax.

We had completely different vacations. I saw the entire surrounding area and they saw lots of rock.

This was my favorite village - Capafonts. It is perched in the middle of a small valley surrounded on all sides by rock formations and gullies.

From Capafonts I circumnavigated Montral - whose refugi is barely seen in the distance.

This is the view from the Montral village. Simply breathtaking.

Freshly paved roads that are barely wide enough for two cars to pass one another. Luckily I saw maybe 5 cars on each 3+ hour ride I went on. I saw maybe 5 cyclists total - half of which were mountain bikers. Honestly, I felt like I was stealing something. Everything was so clean - so carefully kept. No glass on the roads, no abandoned cars on the lands- the Spaniards know how to live.

I decided I could live here. So what if the roof caved in and there's no heat?

This is Ullemolins a terraced village on the 242 regional road.

Luckily climbers require rest days, which meant we got to head down to the beach and do some site seeing. It was warmer down there - about 12 C - but still chilly. I didn't think it was possible - but this girl managed to find boots to match her hair. Wow.

Now - back to climbing. As long as you were in the sun - you were fine. The moment you stepped out, freezing cold. But the views would take your breath away.

Ryan has been climbing for about 10 years now. (He'll probably correct me. :) He trained hard prior to setting off for Spain and planned his peak perfectly. He managed to flash at least 15 7A+ (about 5.12a). Um.... can you say, BAD ASS?

So you're probably wondering, what does flash mean? He basically walked up to the climb, with no prior knowledge, hung quickdraws as he climbed, and completed the climb from ground to anchors without falling once.

Yes, he's part monkey. But luckily not hairy like an ape.

The jaw dropping La Rambla Direct - rated 5.15a and repeated only by the worlds elite climbers. This is a view from under the climb - and the following gives you an idea of just how overhanging the route is. Other than the crack, I don't see ANY holds.

The guy hanging is jugging up a fixed line to work the upper moves. Because these routes are so long, often climbers will work the route in sections in order to master it. The hope is to be able to redpoint it - climbing from bottom to anchors without falling. This is different from an onsite or flash - because they have been on the climb before.

Of course we had to visit Barcelona on another rest day. Our mission - see as much of the city via walking as possible. Here's Gaudi's famous Familia cathedral - maybe it will help you understand the saying "that's so Gaudi!" He didn't really like details much - rrrrriiiiight.

We of course had to eat some tapas while there - but the Spaniards eating schedule is totally different from ours. Shops close in the middle of day from about 2-6 for a siesta and then they don't start eating till 11pm at night! By that point we were starving and couldn't wait to chow down on some finger food.

Because of this siesta, we would often find ourselves desparate to get some food right around 6. Corundella is the nearest village with groceries available and was a 6k drive down the road. So when we happened upon a supermarket on our rest day near Cambrils, we went a little wild. Between 5 of us, we spent 150 Euro on groceries.

Our favorite delicacy? Nutella and animal crackers. Thank GOD it's harder to find Nutella at the store. (But I hate to admit it, I found it at Fred Meyer's already and NO I did not buy any. ;)

Simply put - I have way too many photos to put up on one blog. These were just some highlights. My goal is to collaborate everyone's photos together and make them into one nice slide show. Our friends Ben and Danielle have a projection screen at their house and have graciously offered to host a showing. If you're interested in coming and seeing more of our adventure - please let me know!

Monday, January 07, 2008

Blurry Eyed and Fuzzy

So that's what happens to your vision when you wake up at 4:30 am in Spain, fly direct from Barcelona to New York, have a 4 hour lay over and then hop on a direct flight from NY to Seattle to arrive at 8:40pm PST. My math may be off a little bit - but I think we were traveling for about 24 hours. And it was worth every minute of it.

Luckily I have the day off from work today so downloading of the photos will have to wait till tomorrow. I miss that place already. The olive orchards, the whindy roads, the sunshine and rustic feel of the San Padres mountains. It's even been a little bit of shock not hearing Spanish every where - something Ryan and I plan on learning as part of our New Year's resolution.

Where to start? Simply put - that was one of the funnest vacations I've had. Roaming around seldom traveled mountain roads, seeing how minimally the Spaniards live, enjoying new foods and great company.

But for now, I think I'm going to rest my weary eyes one last day before getting back to the grind and reluctantly returning to reality. I still feel ultra relaxed and rejuvenated - and more than ever, ready to get back to the bike.

(Just to give you a taste - I put in 24 hours of riding, burning over 14,000 kj and climbing my heart out. The land is not flat - far from it. And what goes down, must come up, over and over and over again. More to come...)