Showing posts from June, 2012

Why is this man smiling?

There were a few reasons I was smiling in this photograph. I was about halfway through Pickett's Charge over in Bend last Sunday. It's the last race in the points series and the last short cross country race of the season. I've always loved this one. It's not a great course for racing. Mostly single track that's hard to pass on and it's so short, even a small mistake can cost you positions. Still, the trails are fun and the atmosphere is a bit less intense. So even before the race started, there was something to smile about. This year, the start was cold and rainy which you wouldn't think would be anything to smile about except a guy next to me waiting for our wave to go off asked if I wanted a hug. You couldn't not smile at that. In the cold and rain, snuggling with a guy from Boise did have a certain appeal but I took a pass. Fortunately, just a few minutes into the race, right as the trail turned into the woods, the sun came out. One more reason to sm

Test of Endurance

It's 8:30, the night before Pickett's Charge, the last race in the points series for the year. I need to hit the sack so I can be up at 4am for the 3 hour drive to Bend. But this has been sitting in draft mode for days and it's time I finished it. Thing is, I'm having some trouble setting a tone for this post. Anyone who's read my blog for a few years (thanks mom) knows the Test of Endurance has been a sore spot with me . In 2010 I missed the cut at the end of the first lap on something of a technicality and was pulled from the race. It was a rainy, nasty and slippery day. I think I was the only racer to get pulled. It was embarrassing, and combined with the weather, it set itself in my mind as a dark, awful theatre of failure and despair. This year I'm lighter, faster and riding a better bike. It was sunny and the trails were beautiful. I hit it hard and finished the first lap 40 minutes faster than in 2010. 8 hours and 21 minutes later I rolled across the fini

Of Birthdays and Bees

Last week was my wife Carolyn's 60th birthday. These big landmark birthdays generally fill most people with dread. Who wants to turn 60? Who really wants to throw that party? Lucky for me we decided a few years back that we just can't do big parties out at our place any longer. the logistics are too complicated. We don't want people drinking too much and trying to drive home. We're lazy too. All good reasons. So I took the day off and we went to the coast. We had a nice lunch, did a little shopping, came home, opened a very nice bottle of champagne which was remarkably disappointing. Not to end the night on a sour note, we also opened a bottle of Cos Cerasuolo that was absolutely transcendent. We spent the evening talking about what it means to grow old together and lose most of your dignity in an unfortunate explosion of cats. I need to back way, way up for just a second. In 2006 I started "Residual Sugar" as a wine blog. Carolyn was through the viticul