Monday, December 01, 2008

How I spent my winter vacation

Actually, I started out my Cranksgiving post as a recap of my week off, but decided that there was enough info there to stand alone. Hopefully you'll be able to digest several shorter posts a little easier than lasts weeks leftover bird.

A week ago Sunday (11/23) for those counting, I met up with the usual crew for breakfast and morning riding through the woods. We had a bonus in the fact that the manager for the Hy-Vee on Grand and Railroad wanted to reward our patronage with free breakfast including the coffee. Talk about an offer you can't refuse and one that was duly appreciated as well. After breakfast we headed off for our typical laps of Denman's, etc. I was pacing with Steve who was out for a hundy and I sure didn't feel like killing it. This time of year is about pacing and enjoying the ride. I was sure in the mood for that! A couple hours down and it was time to head to the farm to help out my parents.

Whilst I dearly love my parents, trying to accomplish any sort of helping them out seems to be a nearly impossible to get done quickly and efficiently. As such, I tend to feel a little guilty about not doing much for them. Today's plan of attack was setting the new kitchen counters I'd had my work build up. True to form, they were indeed a pain to put in due to various circumstances, but I persevered and in the end, they were happy with the finished product which was about all I could ask. Additionally, I figured I should come back down Monday and try to finish off a few other projects before they hosted Thanksgiving dinner in their almost completely renovated house. This turned out to be even more of a cluster copulation and I ended up bagging the day later than I wanted and with less done than I wanted. Ahh well.

Tuesday was me day. The weather was perfect for a morning ride. Just cold enough to freeze the trails until the day started to warm a bit. I rode for a solid 2 hours just feeling everything and taking the loop to task 2 full times before bagging it and heading home for a rewarding shower and then off to meet up for lunch with the family and a friend.

Funny thing about vacations is that I don't remember much if I'm just being lazy. That must have been the plan for Wednesday, nope wait, now I remember. I actually got something knocked off my list of chores. I got the leaves blown and bagged (and looking back) not a moment too soon.

Turkey day was something I was absolutely looking forward to. Funny, it wasn't necessarily seeing family or stuffing myself on good food, but actually spending the morning with 50+ buds riding Squirrels 9th Turkey Day ride.

Plenty of good times hanging out, stopping to watch people try the skinnies, and just general good times. The rest of the day went pretty well too with family, food, and more good cheer. Definitely a day to be thankful all I've got as a part of a pretty darn good life.

Friday morning I was back out early with Squirrel. I was determined to take advantage of every perfect riding day I could during my time off. I'm glad we got out Friday as it was another beautiful day and now things are a bit more "frosty".

We putted through all the haunts and just enjoyed the morning. He headed off and I took one more turn through Denman's, just not ready to head in yet. Squirrel had been busy earlier in the week, making some new skinnies, and reworking some of the older "toys" to make things a bit more beginner friendly. As such, I thought it might be a good time to get started working on some more skills and made sure I got a roll over the tractor tire. Damn that was fun.

We did make one stop to check out the "rock garden" idea off the new connector blacktop. Once J-11 is back in progress, this will be an option to riding the full trail. We scouted some lines and even spent a little time trying to make something ridable. Not quite there yet, but a couple mates and a few tools and we'll have something in no time flat as there is a pretty clean line that just needs some working over to make it ridable.

One more last thing and I'll let all you good people that managed to get this far, back to your lives. The first snow ride of the year was yesterday. Man, it was great. Fresh snow is something to be experienced, not just looked at from inside the confines of our comfy homes or rushed through on our way in from the cold. You've got to get out in it and play just like you were a kid again. Of course now we're playing on thousands of dollars of expensive equipment and being a little more cautious, but still, use the same principle. Several enjoyable hours were spent making fresh tracks Sunday morning with some good friends and good times.

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