Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Late Summer Altitude, Appetite

It was a perfect bluebird August day in Driggs, the kind we haven't experienced much this summer. I pounced, and rode my trusty steed up Mahogany Creek...up to Elk Flats...up, up and up until there was no more "up" in the entire Big Hole mountain range. There I was, on top of Garn's Mountain, with the Tetons in the background, 360-degree views, and nary a breeze. Epic.

The descent was pure nectar. Total ride: 17 round-trip miles, 3,100 feet of climbing (& descending), less than 3 hours. Late summer fitness is kicking in, at last.

Yes, I've been a bit of a bike-riding geek lately. Hey, it's a ridiculously short season, and you've gotta take advantage. Plus, LOTOJA is less than 3 weeks away. It motivates me on a daily basis now...the legs simply have to be ready. I did it as part of a 2-person team last year, and even that was painful. Doing 206-miles solo, across three states, with about 10,000 feet of climbing, promises inestimable suffering. Misery loves company, and 1,500 other riders will be out there with me. I'll take detailed mental notes of the pain as it unfolds, and relate it all here afterwards.

Have I mentioned the voracious appetite that develops from this kind of training? It's almost embarrassing. Meals every 2-3 hours; going to bed full at 11 p.m., waking up famished at 2 a.m.; repeat; still losing weight. I'm now the lightest I've been since college, and hope it translates to floating up Salt River Pass at mile 120. Then, the Snake River Canyon rollers...and then back to doing things other than just riding my bike :-)

The extended family, after an annual round of golf in Sun Valley a couple weeks ago. A handful of those people are really good golfers...yours truly not among them. The key is to keep smiling.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Swift, Sweet Summers in Driggs Idaho

Summer weeks pass so swiftly, it's difficult to stop and catalog it all. Outdoor adventures, family get-togethers, days at the lake, evening bar-b-ques, ball games, and oh yeah work...there's barely time to sleep.

I'm forcing myself to pause and remember the sweetness, because it'll soon be snowing again here in Driggs. Actually, it nearly did already on Saturday, August 8, when the Tetons received their first white coating of the season. But I digress.

Exploring new trails, outguessing thunderstorms, absorbing summer sunshine, and finding oxygen above 10,000 feet. It keeps us busy, curious, improving, and alive. Not to mention the views...wow.

Nothing puts you back in your place like a round of golf. I am not good, but I enjoy it a few times a year for the company, change of pace, challenge, fresh air, and nuances. Another Caddyshack is needed, to capture it all in modern terms. Cell phones on silent, no twixting please.

Back to the high alpine singletrack, from where it all seems to flow. Water, wildflowers, big vistas and grand plans. Here's hoping for another month or two of prime time, before the white stuff sticks for good.

Make your final summer to-do list now.