Monday, February 23, 2009

Tour of California

The largest bicycling race in the USA was held this past week in several locations in California with the final stage of racing here in San Diego County. A lot of the route includes many miles of roads that we are very familiar with due to camping, hiking, and motorcycling. My buddy John Edwards and I decided at the last minute to go check it out up close and personal by hauling our bikes to within several miles of the start, ride to the start in Rancho Bernardo then get back on the bikes and ride to the finish in Escondido. It seems that we were not the only San Diegans who had that idea because the estimate was that 300,000 people watched some part of the race live. Saying that there were a lot people doesn't quite convey how crowded it was. My guess is that anyone who had ever ridden a bicycle decided to come be a part of the action. That being said, the energy, enthusiasm and overall excitement was simply way over the top. It was a BLAST!!

We got see many of the riders up close including Lance Armstrong and the eventual winner Levi Leipheimer. Right before the start all the Asanta Team came right next to me as evidenced by these pictures of Lance and Levi.

It was a fun day also because John was kind enough to loan me his super deluxe Merlin racing bike that weighs only 16 lbs. That really helped me get up some of the hills around Escondido. Here are a few more pics of this very fun day.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Most people who follow these kinds of blogs seem to like looking at pictures. I have been blessed with having remarkable friends and family and thought some of you followers of my blog might enjoy seeing some of my favorite pics that are reminders of great times we've had. If you're interested, just click on this link.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Boys Ski Trip '09

Well, we have successfully completed yet another Boys (read "Old Guys") Ski Trip. Once again hosted by my baby brother Denny from his ski chalet high in the mountains outside Park City, Utah we have brought four separate Utah ski areas to their respective knees.

The first day, using the freebie "Fly and Ski Free" lift pass Denny and I skied Park City and managed to find several good stashes of pow . . . the best turns being in the trees of Tenth Mountain and on Jupiter. We also found some good turns in the trees next to Shaft.

The next day we were joined by Pete and Mark along with Denny's son-in-law Dom and we hit the wilds of Alta. Needless to say, other than by accident we didn't see a groomer all day! We did most all the bowls, trees and chutes that were open. I'm not saying we all did them good but we got down 'um. This includes the High Traverse above West Rustler, East Greeley Bowl, lots of chutes off the Supreme chair and the trees off Wildcat. It was a blue bird kind of day that was very special.

The third day was at DV (Dear Valley to all you flat landers) and Pete gave us the personal tour of all his secret spots. We were joined by yet another of Denny's sons-in-law, Travis and two of his friends Grady and Rob. Funny thing, while on the mountain we also ran into one of Denny's daughters, Jillian. While girls are not allowed on these Boys only ski extravaganzas, we did let Jill take a couple of runs with us. Pete made us do all the fun runs like Daley Bowl, Son of Rattler and other unnamed scary places at DV.

The fourth day was Super Bowl Sunday and we got an early start at PC. We skied hard and fast and despite the fact that anything off piste was considered "technical" (for you flat landers that means crud) we still managed to get off trail and hike up Jupiter to ski the chutes and X Files. Another funny thing was we ran into Denny's other daughter Tammy and she did a couple of runs with us. We beat ourselves up pretty good before making a quick run back to the chalet for the Super Bowl. Oh yeah, Denny's hot tub was really popular each day after skiing. Mark's wife Peggy took pity on us and made a giant pot of turkey chili that really hit our respective spots.

The fifth and final day was at Brighton where Travis instructs alpine, telemark and snowboards. Yes, he does it all. Trav showed us around all the regular tourist spots then convinced us to hike up above the Great Western Express lift and go out of bounds on Clayton Peak. The view from there was quite possibly the best in the entire Wasatch. You could see Deer Valley, Park City, the tram at Snowbird, parts of Alta, Sundance, Brighton and Solitude. Of course, he then convinced us to ski down the back side of the mountain in Clayton Bowl, otherwise known locally as Lack a Waxie. We then had to hike back up to a saddle from where we could make our way down a canyon and through the trees to return to Brighton. Quite an adventure for this guy.

We had a great time and two days later I can still hardly hobble around the house. Five days in a row skiing is a PR for me and a lot of abuse for my old wheels.

For those of you who might be interested, here is a link to more pics and videos of this year's great adventure.