Apr 14, 2005


It was only on the market for two days & it sold anyway. After the 30-day Escrow is up, our little house on Raven Way will no longer belong to us, but the new owner has agreed to rent it back to Denise & I until July 15th. By that time our new place will be done & we won’t have to go through the trouble of moving twice. Actually, it should be done by the end of June, which will give us two weeks to landscape the backyard with a tricycle track around the perimeter (complete with cobbles), a patio & cover, a spa, some grass & a few trees. Long-term plans include a climbing wall scaling the side of the master bedroom outside wall.

Injury Report
In a freak teaching accident, Cindy Noriega managed to get a paper cut on her eye ball this Tuesday. It must have hurt like hell. Hopefully for her sake, it won’t change her liberal views. Joey Lanza seems to be recovering quickly from the broken femur he suffered at this year’s Adelanto Grand Prix. He should be off crutches soon & be able to ride a bicycle as part of his rehab program. Joey & my sister got Dance Dance Revolution for their X-Box, so that will probably serve as a form of rehab too.

Quote: “There’s a victim.”
Steelman Steve when he saw Sam roll up, as we sat drinking coffee at GFE on Saturday morning in preparation to ride to the 8,442 foot peak of Onyx Summit. As it turned out, Hwy 38 was iced over so we went to Oak Glen instead. And we were the victims because Sam bailed early & Steve & I nearly froze to death on the way down. Then we were met with a stiff headwind in San Timoteo Canyon.

Stick a Fork in Me
It warmed up on Sunday, which made it a perfect day to ride up to the 7 Oaks Dam, over to Warm Springs & down to Hwy 38 from the halfway point of Morton Peak. I left my house around 7:50 AM on the mountain bike and got to GFE with a half hour to spare before Steve & Greg Johnson were supposed to be there at 9. That gave me plenty of time to have breakfast & coffee. I should have eaten more because not long after crossing the dam I fell apart. Between racing the previous Sunday, putting in a really hard training week, freezing in Oak Glen on Saturday & not eating enough on Sunday, I became as lame as lowered pick-up truck as we climbed Warm Springs. Even after reaching the Mill Creek Ranger Station, I still had to ride all the way home to Grand Terrace. Luckily I made it to GFE & got a Coke & three-quarters of a crumb cake in me before passing out of exhaustion. To add insult to injury Steve did the whole damn (no pun intended) in his big ring. For Johnson, it turned out to be more like a yard sale than a mountain bike ride. Before we reached the dam his Oakley glasses fell off his helmet & landed somewhere on the road & later on the air cap fell off of his Fox fork. The next observant guy who does that ride is going to score big if he finds the glasses.

By the time I got home it was 1:50 AM & I had been on the bike for nearly five hours. I got home just in time to watch Paris-Roubaix on OLN. It was freaking awesome to see an American finish second. That race is just freaking awesome period.

Vacation Continued
When we last left off, Denise had just suffered a horrible defeat in a round of mini-golf in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. She was also very disappointed to learn that the hot springs closed early on Sundays, which meant she’d have to wait another day before soaking in the sulfur.

Monday, 8-2-04
The day started like most; with a quest for coffee. From bed Denise requested a lemon or cheese Danish, but when I got inside the lobby & saw the offering I knew she’d be eating the breakfast bars we had brought with us. The continental breakfast at the Silver Spruce Motel was less than desirable. I brought her back a couple of pastries – the only one they had. I also made her some instant oatmeal with brown sugar & maple syrup. For myself, I toasted up the world’s largest English muffin topped with grape jelly & Country Crock (speaking of crock, it was a freaking crock that they didn’t have any peanut butter). I balance all that, two cups of coffee & a newspaper back to the room. Denise wasn’t into what was on the menu so I ended up eating her instant oat meal. It wasn’t bad (and so began my relationship with instant oat meal).

By 8:50 I was out the door & on my bike headed for the bike shop in town. A guy at the shop gave me directions to a pair of mountain bike trails & sent me on my way with a map. I chose to ride the one called Transfer Trail & it wasn’t much of a trail. It was a dirt road that headed up the mountain in the direction of the Glenwood Springs Sky Tram. The road was wide at first & reminded me of Radford Jeep Trail, but I rode it anyway. At times it split off into some two- & single-track but I thought it wise to stay on the road more-traveled since I was riding solo. I climbed at a heart rate of 170 beats-per-minute for over 40 minutes, finally stopping when the then narrow road was completely surrounded by trees & brush on both sides. Bears had been in the news so I decided to cut the ride a little short & began bombing down the same dirt road I had just came up. Just like the old days – ride up a fire road until you’re about to puke or run out of water & then turn around & head home.

Once I got back into town I found the bike trail by the river & rode that until about 11 AM. When I arrived back at the motel Denise was back from shopping. She had found a couple of dirty birthday cards at a book store. I got cleaned up & we walked back into town & ate at Doc Holliday’s Tavern. Denise had French dip & I was bad & had a buffalo burger w/fries. It was good. Afterward Denise took me back to the bookstore where she found the dirty greeting cards. I purchased two rare bike magazines & three magnets. They said, “Jesus Loves You, But Everyone Else Thinks You’re an Asshole.” “No Whining” & “Team Work, Dedication & Motivation – There’ll Be None of that Bullshit around Here.”

After good laughs we walked to the Glenwood Springs Hot Pool & by a few minutes after 1:00 we were with hundreds of other people enjoying the hot springs. The big pool was about 90-degress & the small pool was about 104! In the large pool we walked around its shallow grounds & watched a bunch of idiots plunge from the diving board. Two teenage kids did a couple of impressive dives, but everyone else pretty much sucked. For fun we judged each person’s dive. There were some pretty big splashes, if you know what I mean. We flip-flopped back & forth from pool to pool, leaving the cooler pool only because I actually got cold in the 90-degree water. Denise thought I was weird. The last half hour I spend napping & Denise spent swimming. Afterward we went into the locker room, rinsed the sulfur off our skin & then met in the hallway. Denise was surprised to find out that I got totally naked in the men’s shower. “Big deal,” I said.

Just before leaving the hot springs we saw a little dog tied up outside with a couple of kids trying to pet it. The owner of the dog didn’t seem to be around so every time the boys reached to pet him, he would bark & snap at them. This went on for a few minutes. Finally, one of the little boys summed it up best when he said, “I don’t think that dog likes little kids.” Luckily he figured that out before losing a finger.

Before eating dinner we walked back to the hotel, picked up the van & then drove into town. We dined on the patio of an Italian place called something-Nino’s. I had kick-ass crab-stuffed salmon topped w/shrimp & pasta on the side. Denise had the usual. The place was really good because they left the pitchers of water on the table & when I ordered ice tea, it came out in a carafe. Since it was our last night in Glenwood Springs (or so we thought), we walked Grand Ave. one last time, almost purchased ice cream & laughed at the Teva sandals at an adventure clothing store. Our last stop in town was to get water, yogurt & ice at City Market. Oh, & M&M’s too. The checker at City Market asked where we were from & when we told him, he told us of his family in Laguna. When we got back to the van, we realized we had forgotten ice so Denise went back inside & when he saw her standing there he said, “Ice?” She said, “Yes,” & he let her cut in line to pay for it. The dogs in Colorado may not be friendly, but the people are.

About two exits up Interstate 70 is where our Monday night’s resting place was located. The campground on the river was called Rock Garden. It was very beautiful, in a canyon & if I mis-stepped out of the van a dip in the river would have been for sure. Where we were driving in to the campground we had to wait about five minutes as some family in a giant fifth wheel was trying to back into their campsite. They finally let us pass, but never got themselves situated until about 30 minutes after we had parked the van. I think they may have even hit something while trying to park. It reminded me of vacationing with my parents.

We walked up to the campground office & paid $4.95 for a bundle of fire wood. When I got back to our campsite I realized the only thing I had to start the fire with was a road flare so I did it. The fire got going pretty good, but I was nervous about keeping the flare going so I put it out with some gravel. That eventually meant the death of our entire fire so went to bed.

To be continued…

On the Road
Okay, I’m off to Monterey for the Sea Otter Classic. I’ve got a circuit race on the Laguna Seca Raceway at 8 AM (brrrrr!) Friday morning, a road race at 8 AM (brrrr!) on Saturday & finally a mountain bike race around noon on Sunday. I’m sure by Sunday I’ll feel like a million bucks. Hopefully Denise doesn’t go into labor over the weekend.

I promise no bike stuff next time.


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