Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Back On The Horse

Well today marks the start of an earnest effort to start getting things done. I have a nonprofit to run now, a training career to continue pursuing, cycling season to get in shape for, travel plans to make, and I have to pack my entire life into a two-door Ford Thunderbird... again. Sound like a lot? It sort of is, but I wouldn't have it any other way.

I've got a lot on my plate in the next 2 weeks. My "To Do" lists include shopping for airfare and train tickets, moving out of my place in Crested Butte (and cleaning house so I'll see my security deposit again), planning a 3 week training program for a boot camp I'm leading in Dillon, snowboarding every day, arranging interviews for a new job in Seattle this summer (I have a 72 hour window to interview for and hopefully land a job), set up and launch a website for TakeYourBike (Eric, I know you've got my back), compete in a rail contest, enter my first "slush huck" (I'm snowboarding on water and hitting a jump), shopping for and purchasing a new race bike, training like an athlete, and doing some living out of my car (tents are for those without the luxury of the front seat of a 2-door coupe). Sound good? I think so.

This past week included a visit from my Eastern friends (VA, not Asia), a backcountry trip that was too much fun (not for "Iron Lung" Brandon Olsen), a lot of cycling (on a trainer or Spin bike... boo), even more snowboarding (in Crested Butte... hooray), more than a few boots at Trackers (it's a glass shoe filled with 3 beers), and so much more. I need a vacation.

Side note: I realized after writing that I don't need a vacation - I'm living one.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Big Air, The Autowet Crew, TakeYourBikeand More

I'm still trying to catch up from the last few days; it's been epic, fun, challenging, and exhausting - all in the best way possible. Big Air on Elk was Saturday, which was pretty ridiculous. The whole town shut down main street for the sole purpose of building a 40 foot tow-in step up jump, which is the most logical use of a main street in the downtown of any city on a Saturday night as far as I'm concerned. I photo I took is above (I opted out of entering - although I'm not sure I would've gotten an entry pass from the organizers, anyway - due to my recovering sprained back, my focus on not hurting myself for cycling season, and due to the fact that I didn't have much interest in attempting my first snowmobile tow-in on an icy runway in the dark in front of the whole town). The guys involved, though, put it down. It was epic good fun, and a real treat to watch. It's invigorating to live in a town this cool. Sunday was spent on the bike (for those of you with sense - who would never know this - riding a trainer is like caging a wild animal. It's depressing, lonely, and pretty damn heartless. But you get out what you put in.), reading, listening to some quality music (I'm still convinced that Tommy Flanagan is an extremely underrated jazz pianist), and A LOT of progress on the TakeYourBike project. The idea brainstorming is piling up, the website outline is coming along more and more every day, and the progress is rampant. Maybe it's the fading snow base, maybe it's my belligerent enthusiasm for cycling, but this is getting to be more and more of an undertaking. I'm thrilled to have found some genuine direction to place my energy, and I couldn't be happier that it's contributing to the greater good. Possibly the most exciting part - the first draft of our route is done! The picture is above, and the link to the real deal is below. Check it out:http://tinyurl.com/y8hlgg4You know you want to come. It's going to be too much fun. If you're seriously interested in coming with us, email me at believeinsnow@yahoo.com. We'd love to have you. We're working more on the website today - our optimistic launch date is April 15 (one month from today). Gotta get the dirty work done now because the Autowet Crew arrives in CB tomorrow. For those of you not in the know, this means I'll get less than desirable amounts of work done for the next week. Which will be great fun, and I can't wait to have the team out. I live for this.

Monday, March 8, 2010

The First Step

Today is a big day. March 8, 2010. Probably the biggest day in my professional life; the day I got the ball rolling. Or, if you're into wordplay, got the wheels rolling.

For those of you who don't know, I'm a very serious commuter cyclist. I never thought that until I started meeting other commuters who rode when it was nice out, rode when it was under 5 miles, or rode 3 days a week. For me, it was an all-or-nothing type thing. When I switched to commuting by bike, I did so wholeheartedly. 7 days a week, everywhere I went, rain or shine. I started dating a girl in a different city than me some 25 miles away? Better get the legs up to speed. Got a new job that moved my workplace from 3 miles away to 18? Set the alarm an hour earlier. And with the exception of this winter in Crested Butte (snow and ice have foiled my plans to be a truly green commuter, but I still walk or talk the bus instead of driving), I have lived this lifestyle for the last 18 months. I've driven my car (discounting the drive across the country) less than 2 dozen times in that time period. And I love it. Commuter cycling has changed my life, my attitude, and my outlook. It's a lifestyle that I recommend to anyone. If you're not in the best shape of your life, start slow. Ride a few days a week instead of driving. Build up to the big days. Pick a date 6 months from now and promise yourself you'll be riding to work 5 days a week by then. Make it your own. You'll thank yourself; I promise you that.

Today I put my money where my mouth is ($104.78 to be exact), and purchased the rights to own and operate takeyourbike.org. This website is to be the web domain of my still-in-the-works nonprofit organization, Take Your Bike, which I am using to promote commuter cycling as a viable and rewarding lifestyle. There is a lot to this - and all will be revealed in due time. But for now, share the excitement with me on this basic level: today I put something into the world that isn't about me. Or even people I know. And that means a lot to me, to be actively making strides toward creating a better world for no other reason than that.

Next time you have to run out, leave the car. Take your bike.

Friday, March 5, 2010

A Day In The Life

Today involved client training, snowboarding, and riding bikes. This is the current state of affairs in my life. I have to admit, I'm pretty smug about it. I have one month left in Crested Butte (this time around - I'm not sure when I'll be back, but I'll be back), and I'm pretty excited about it. My calendar for the next 30 days involves a lot of snowboarding, friends coming to visit, the annual slush huck at the hill (it will be fun, I assure you), Gaper Day (you can only understand if you live here - I'll be wearing the pictured one-piece), the end of season rail jam (when the snow is melting and the skies are blue, the park rats will eat their cake), and a lot of bike training. Come to think of it, a lot of bike training has already started. I've averaged 90 minutes a day for the last 2 weeks, and it's only getting better. It's 8:24 PM on a Friday night, and writing this while stretching to get ready for a 2 hour ride while watching the LeBron James Show on ESPN. The path is dark. I'm about as stoked for bike season as I was for snow season about 7 months ago - races, rides, commuting in Seattle, and so much more. To add to my excitement, I'll be teaching a 3 week boot camp for cyclists and triathletes at Elevation Fitness in Dillon, CO in April if you want to come hammer with me. Leading that training bootcamp, enjoying two wheels on my own time, and park laps at Copper and Arapahoe Basin all April? Sign me up. You should sign up, too. It'll be fun. I swear.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Exciting News

I just signed up for the RAMROD race today. I entered the lottery, anyway. There's about a 50/50 chance I get in, so cross your fingers for me. It's going to be the crown jewel in my cycling season (assuming I do well): 154 miles with over 10,000 feet of climbing. It's going to be absolutely ridiculous. I can't wait - again, please pray that I become eligible to ride via the lottery.

On an optimistic note, if I don't get in this year I still have STP (202 miles with just under 2,000 feet of climbing), which I am committed to doing in one day. Shoot for the stars, land on the moon.

I'm starting to feel better on the board again (my back is maybe 75% tops, but at this point it's only affecting my ability to spin - my ollie and fast twitch turns are back to normal), and back to progressing every day. One new trick a day - that's the dogma. With so many features to play with here in CB, it's not hard. Front lip to fakie on an up box, anyone?

Today is March 1. I had to lay in bed for 5 minutes just to grasp that fully. I have 5 weeks left in CB before the adventure continues. That's Marty McFly "heavy".

Speaking of the adventure continuing, below is the first draft if my 2010 calendar. I'm pretty excited about it. If you have any thoughts, ideas, comments, criticisms, etc. please email me at believeinsnow@yahoo.com.

April - Nov 2010


April 4 Closing Day in CB

April 5 Start getting ready to leave/leave for Summit Co.

April 5ish to May 1ish Ride and train at A-Basin and Copper

* progressive snowboarding

* train for cycling season

* Get SERIOUS work done on NPO for fall, recruit riders

* Get a job at a gym(s) in Seattle

April 30ish Leave for Seattle

* take your time - do some cycling, sightseeing (SLC, Boise, Oregon)

* look into places of interest online

May 2ish Arrive in Seattle

*** May 8-15 changes if you're flying directly to Miami ***

If so, you can stay in Miami past the 16th and fly directly back to Seattle

May 6 Fly to DC

May 8 Go to Norfolk, visit everyone

May 11/12 Meet with Mom & Dad and drive to Miami

May 14 John's Graduation

May 15/16 Leave Miami for DC

May 18 Arrive in DC

May 20ish Leave for Seattle in the Suburban, if you haven't gotten it yet, hopefully with your brother

May 21-26 (Depending on driving/flying) Arrive back in Seattle

*** Spend your summer training, playing music, working on NPO/Bike Tour, organizing Tahoe Winter ***

*** Study for, register for, and earn you AFAA Personal Training Certification ***

May 24/31ish Start work at new job in Seattle

May 30 SkitoSea Race at Mt. Baker. Epic.

June 12 Flying Wheels Century ride in Seattle

July 17 STP Ride from Seattle

July 29 RAMROD (Race Around Mount Ranier In One Day)

August 13/14 RSVP Ride from Seattle

August 16ish Fly from Seattle to Japan to visit Mom and Dad

August 17- September 7ish Enjoy Japan with Mom and Dad (and hopefully John)


* Finish up work on NPO/Bike Tour

* Finish up organization for Tahoe Winter

September 13 Leave for start of Commuter Cycling Awareness West Coast Bike Tour

October 13ish Arrive at end of Bike Tour in Los Angeles

October 13-15ish Enjoy Los Angeles

October 15ish Return to Seattle via plane, train, automobile

November 1ish Leave Seattle for Tahoe

... and let the winter begin.