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Showing posts from January, 2011

How many people with assault rifles did you see on your ride today?

"Why do I do this?" came back as a recurring question yesterday while I was riding up the Gooseneck fire road, the same road my sister nearly killed herself on. I've been up this road maybe a couple hundred times in the last three years. It's a nasty steep hill you have to be in pretty good shape to clean even in your granny gear. There's no view to speak of and there's a fair amount of truck traffic so you have to hug the shoulder if you have an ipod on. And you have to have an ipod on to dampen the noise from the shooters. Gooseneck road is the unofficial shooting range for Polk county and they love guns out here. Most of the shooters are friendly. Sometimes we'll talk a bit. Usually I just wave and crank by up the hill with music drowning out the gunfire and giving the whole experience a sort of redneck "It's a Small World" theme park ride kind of vibe.

The sun is out for the first time in as long as anyone can remember today so a long r…

New Year

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Holidays at our house are always something of a contact sport. Christmas day bike rides, shoveling snow off a neighbor's barn roof, running, baking, cooking, there's not much sitting around when my sister's family comes to town.

This vacation began with a near miss. My sister went over the bars on her mountain bike going about 30mph down a dirt road. She doesn't remember what happened. She might have contacted Joe's rear wheel with her front. She might have caught her front brake. The net result was she used her head to protect her bike and clothing. The good news is they survived the crash just fine. The better news is my sister's helmet did what it was supposed to do and it probably saved her life. She ended with a concussion, strained shoulder and a cracked scapula. Someone with a pickup truck heard the crash, drove down and gave them a ride home. Joe took her to the hospital from there.

Mallory rallied pretty quickly and the rest of the holiday was as fun as…