Monday, February 28, 2011

Land of Sun

No doubt, it has been a long, cold and snow-filled winter in New Jersey and most of the northeast. So, when four mountain bikers boarded a plane destined for Arizona, there was much excitement and anticipation to ride our mountain bikes in sunshine. Once in my seat on the plane, I rolled up my puffy down coat and put it away for a week…. well, that was what I thought.

Destination: Wild Outdoor World of Arizona “WOW”, an amazing restored natural habitat oasis that draws butterflies, insects, birds and a plethora of wild animals, and coincidentally has 40 miles of mountain bike trails out the backyard.

We arrived late, when it was dark, and we went to sleep in anticipation of the week ahead. In the morning, the first sound I heard was a familiar “wheet, wheet” of the Curve-billed Thrasher. Nearly a year had passed since I heard that sound, and instantly, I was back home with it. We live in a world co-mingled with noise pollution, and being able to step outside of our man-made world, if only for a bit with our ears can be peaceful and rejuvenating. I draw back the blinds and see blue sky over beautiful mountains.

Six days of riding in sun.....

a sun so strong, that it bakes.

These may look friendly, but the desert has a harsh side.....

with a small price to pay.

Alcohol enhanced electrolyte elixer ...aka: "margarita"

Some surprise snow to ease us back to NJ weather

Puffy coat comes out for the ride to the airport.

Happy birthday MA!!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Feline and Frozen

It had been 7 or 8 weeks since I had ridden a mountain bike in the woods. Frozen snowmobile tracks made that possible today. I mounted my studded cheetah and off we went. Keeping in touch with your handling skills may not be something first on the list for some mountain bike racers, but it is a ritual I try to practice. Besides keeping you upright, uninjured and not broken down in a race, It can be sooo good for the spirit. Today was no exception.