Sunday, July 29, 2012

If you would have told me 11 years ago... July 28-29, 2012

11 years ago on this very weekend, I married Tim at Mt. Tabor Park in Portland, OR. Friends and family from near and far joined us and it was amazing. But if you would have told me 11 years ago that we would be doing what we are doing now, I would have never believed you.  
For my wedding, I had a beautiful scar on my right shoulder and my chin, b/c I was such a horrible mountain biker. So bad in fact, that when I told my mom Tim and I were doing this fun team 24-hour mountain bike race in the gorge the weekend before, she asked me if I thought it was a good idea, as did many of my friends. But Tim told me scars were sexy, so why not? I did it. Tim and I were NOT racers by any means. But when it included drinking beer, hanging out with friends, camping and riding bikes, we were in. And I didn't crash. 
Fast forward 11 years, our lives have revolved around racing for the past several years. BUT, the one thing that has not changed is that Tim is still my favorite riding partner. We still enjoy hanging out with friends and riding bikes. And we still always pack salty snacks and beer for the trailhead, (albeit healthier versions and unfortunately for me, gluten free beer), but above all, we still LOVE to ride our bikes. We may race and do structured training and yes, I may have quit my job to pursue racing, but it boils down to our love of riding. And our love of the outdoors. And our love of playing together. Skiing, biking, whatever! We both just love getting outside and we really know how lucky we are that we can do this together.  Our abilities are similar enough riding and skiing that it just works. On Saturday, when we were mountain biking on one of our favorite trails on Mt. Hood, I just looked at him and said, "Damn, I am so glad I married you, b/c if I hadn't, I may never have experienced the pure joy of riding such kick ass singletrack!" Tim and I have both become better riders, we have pushed each other and we have enjoyed the journey together. It's true what they say, time sure flies when you are having fun! Hard to believe it's been 11 years! THANKS TIM BUTLER FOR 11 YEARS OF FUN!!!

Broke out the first gift Tim gave me while dating for the anniversary ride: a jersey from Moab.
It was my only jersey I had for several years & in every picture of us riding for years.

Obligatory Boulder Lake pic.

Ahhhh.  My FAVORITE creek crossing. Smiling b/c I have just done the best trail ever!

The second half of getting over the creek.

Sunday was 40 miles & 4,000 feet of climbing on CX bikes. Tim's choice.
Here he is admiring the view of Mt. Adams while he waits for me.

The views are just awesome.

Always happy when riding my bike.

Riding with Tim makes it even better.

Don't see this every day on the remote gravel roads.

Still sexy.

And other things don't change either. That guy can sleep anywhere, anytime.
Post ride nap for Tim.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The 'almost perfect' weekend: July 7-8, 2012

Cabin weekends are always the best. Cabin weekends with only mountain bikes, even better. Throw in some friends and good food. Fun times ensue. The weather was perfectly warm and summer was here. Perfect deck weather. Friday after work, Tim and I casually meandered to the cabin, picking up fresh salmon, then some fresh veggies at the fruit stand and a few forgotten items in Parkdale. Although we some how neglected to stop for gas (more on that later.) Upon arrival, we sat on teh deck and had beers with Lindsay, followed by a late night grilling after the Stallings crew arrived from Bend. It was a great way to spend a Friday evening.
Saturday we got a late start. The warm weather just made it so nice to sit on the deck and have coffee and chat. Finally, we did head out and then the shit show began. Got to the trailhead and Dawson forgot his shoes and Derek his pedals. 45 minute delay while they booked back to the cabin to get it. Then we rode. It was hot. And the ride is not easy. Add a 16-year old that hasn't put much time in on his bike and it made for a long day. But Max did great. He and Dawson developed a back up plan and the 4 adults forged on. Granted, Derek and Tara may have preferred the 'back up plan' during the arduous climb out of 15 mile, but it gave Tim and I some time to chill out on the rocks and wait. And wait. And wait. But we all made it back to the car in good spirits. Tim and I did a bonus climb to get some extra descending on trail 450. I love that ride, and my mentality now is to mountain bike as much as I can and do all my favorite rides in case the doctor says I can't. 

Tim's got Mt. Hood in the palm of his hand. Sort of.

Derek & Dawson, the OBRA champ.

The fun descent is over. Now we have to climb. All smiles!!!

Chillin' on the rocks on 15 mile.

Tim decided it was time for a gun show.

Everyone happy with beers in hand.

With Derek's b-day on Sunday, Saturday night saw a bit of drinking. Again, another fabulous meal grilled up by Tim after Wendy and Emily arrived, plenty of libations and even Dawson baking a cake from scratch. Perhaps too good of a time, b/c the 'earlier start' ended up being about noon. And we couldn't even get the Stallings crew to ride with us again. They were scared. (ok, not really, but...)  Wendy, Emily, Tim and I headed to Pocket Creek to attempt another one of my favorite loops. Boulder Lakes, Gunsight, Gumjawic. Well, if a picture is worth a thousand words...  it didn't happen. (see photo 3 below.) Too much snow. More snow than I have seen on the road to Bonney Meadows campground EVER. Especially after the 4th of July. So after our turn around, we decided, well, we should just try Gunsight. Well, it has been a while since I have gone for a hike. Carrying my bike. In snow.  What we were able to ride was great. We got excited for long-ish stretches of clear trail. I am now going to hope it will be open and clear before cx season, b/c I really want to ride that ride, darn it. At least we enjoyed a really hot day in the snow in the woods.

It was HOT climbing up Pocket Creek. But the view was great.

Had to do the obligatory couple photo.


The long shale sections on Gunsight were clear. And fun. Almost worth it???

And so it was... an EPIC fail on wanting to do a ride so bad, not having any beta and deciding to go for it. It was super hot, so snow was nice. Tim and I rode back to the cabin and then I thought, why  not stay the night with Wendy and Emily. I sent Tim home with Lindsay and had some more deck time. And a fabulous lightening strom. But after a few glass of wine, I  realized I had PT at 8 a.m. the next morning and my car was out of gas in the driveway at the cabin. After getting up before 6 a.m., I coasted on fumes and made it to Pine Grove, which was open miraculously. See, it all ended well. Even a bad ride makes for a good weekend had by all.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Blog worthy mid week riding! July 4-5, 2012

When the sun comes out, all seems well in the world. I am ignoring the bad health news of late and enjoying some good riding. 4th of July was FANTASTIC! One of my favorite rides APE CANYON / PLAINS OF ABRAHAM (aren't they all my fav's) with my one favorite guy! And then bbq with friends followed by rooftop fireworks. Life ain't bad. And since I had workers stinking up my house on Thursday, I took off for the day and enjoyed the weather on primo singletrack in WA. Falls Creek and McLellen Meadow. Another amazing day on the bike. And lots of pics so you can enjoy our ride on the 4th as well! Too beautiful not to share. 

First 3.5 miles are beautiful old growth forest, untouched by the blast.
Tim when St. Helens comes into view.

Into the blast zone.

A little bit of snow to cross, but nothing too bad. BIG avalanche path from winter.

Tim riding Plains.

My favorite sign.

As we work our way along...

Me riding the spine. Picture doesn't give it justice.

The steep stairs down. They sucked to climb up.

The crater.

Spirit Lake.


Since the visitor center was closed form the other side, we parked our bikes and climbed up to the platform for spectacular views. It was awesome having the entire place to ourselves. The views didn't disappoint, but man, my calves were sore.

First time home on the 4th called for firework viewing from the roof.

Thursday's ride with Erin. An awesome day!!! 

Gotta stop at the hole.

girls know how to pack a picnic!!!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Racing, life and other things... It's already JULY. Yikes!

Summer is just too busy. Add some silly ongoing health stuff and appointments and putting your house on the market to an already busy schedule, and oh man, it has been nuts. It is hard to believe that a couple of weeks have already gone by and poof, no blog. It didn't write itself again.
Here. I will bring you up to date:
  • Post my MHCC crud, I started feeling better. Whew. But it took a while.
  • I got a positive Celiac diagnosis and am annoyed! I love beer and bread. WHY ME? More on that to come. Still working on the vitamin and mineral depletion I am experiencing.
  • We got our windows washed. No small task if you have been to our house.
  • I got outsprinted at Tabor by a very strong Amy Campbell on my first effort back, but the next week redeemed myself and outsprinted her. On my new RIDLEY NOAH! Which is finally built and getting put to the task.
  • Spent a weekend at the cabin sans Tim. (He had to do the obra road champs) and had a great mountain bike ride with Erin Ford. Emily & Wendy also came to play. So fun to see friends.
  • Went to Bend and raced a very fun Pickett's Charge. I crashed on my ribs again right at the beginning of the singletrack and watched Serena ride away from me and never saw her again. On the way back to PDX, Ryan came with us and we did some site seeing.
  • I haven't been to short track again yet. Big frown.
  • Had friends over for dinner on the one nice day we had. (not entirely true. there has been more than one nice day of weather. But not to many.)
  • I just raced Bakers City Cycling Classic and finished. Not well, but it was a step in the right direction, considering I had to take a car in last year. The crit went well. Got pipped at the line from the awesome Brenna Lopez-Otera. She has a hell of sprint & I knew she really wanted it. I got my share of primes, including a slick watch.
  • I had an MRI today and the technician said "your pictures are very clear. You can definitely tell what is wrong", but of course, she can't tell me. So, I guess I will find out soon enough. Hopefully there is a very good solution. Remain positive. 
And that brings me to today. Another busy day. I wish the 4th of July was not in the middle of the week, but it is, so we are going to enjoy our rooftop for fireworks for the first time ever. I will be sure to start taking more pics. I have been bad! But I scrounged up a few.

never in a million years would I do that.

Summer dinners are the BEST!


Stopping at sites you have passed so many times... Pretty cool.

Tabor pain face.

Love me some dirt racing!!!