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I wish I was the full moon shining off a Camaro’s hood

August 25th, 2009
The view from my front porch a few weeks ago.

The view from my front porch a few weeks ago.

What is it about the end of the summer. The sun starts moving around in the sky, looking for just the right angle to increase its intensity for those dog days. The nights start to feel cooler, portending fall. Vegetables ripen faster than you can enjoy them and start to decompose where they fall, when only weeks earlier you’d have given 10 bucks for one ripe tomato or cucumber from your own garden. 

And oddly, the floodgates at work open up as if they’d been holding back a wave of hard problems all summer long.

I’ve been looking for 13 or maybe 14 spare minutes to give some thought to what I might write about a great trip with friends to Leadville, Colorado. But since I only have eight minutes, and since Dug gave me permission on his own blog, I’m going to resort to a photo-fest while it’s still somewhat relevant.

The core team cleans up pretty well.

The core team cleans up pretty well. photo: Kellene Mortensen

 This was the moment I decided I needed to join my friends on their annual pilgrimage of suffering they call the Leadville 100 mountain bike race, if only as a gimpy pit crew member.

The drive passes through a nice corner of God's country. Book Cliffs and Rainbow.

The drive passes through a nice corner of God's country. Book Cliffs and Rainbow. photo credit unknown, but thanks for an amazing shot.

 

Relaxing in the lobby of the historic Delaware Hotel, built in 1886.

Relaxing in the lobby of the historic Delaware Hotel, built in 1886.

Elden, center, has all the hookups in Leadville and secured the best rooms in the house for our entourage.

Elden, center, has all the hookups in Leadville and secured the best rooms in the house for the Core Team.

For those of you with great vision, yes that is a creepy mannequin in the background. We never did figure out why it, or rather, she, is there.

Elden had mentioned on his blog that he and some friends would be doing a simple ride around the lake the day before the race. It was pretty moving to me to find folks from the local newspaper, a father and son from Denver, and several riders from back East who are loyal readers of the Fat Cyclist, all there waiting to meet Elden. Several had no desire to ride with us, but simply wanted to express their sympathies for his recent loss and to wish him well on his race the following day.

Against all better judgment, I popped some pain pills for the ribs and rode along. But I paid for it that night.

Against all better judgment, I popped some pain pills for the ribs and rode along. But I paid for it that night.

That’s Rick Maddox on the left and Dug Anderson on the right. Both of them have raced and finished well in the Leadville 100 in previous years. But both decided to run the pit crews with me this year. Problem is, they are two of the funniest guys I know. Normally that is a breath of fresh air. But their constant wisecracks and snarky commentary had me first cracking up uncrollably, then nearly crying in pain from the busted ribs. They set my recovery back a good week, and I am considering legal action.

Someday I'm going to write a book about this guy. Maybe two. Vince Adams.

Someday I'm going to write a book about this guy. Maybe two. Vince Adams.

For years I led a double life. I had my Core Team mountain biking friends, many of whom I also worked with at various tech companies. Then I had my rock climbing and kayaking friends. But rarely did the two ever come together. I knew Vince Adams from the climbing and kayaking circles I ran in. He was the guy everybody wanted to climb and kayak with back in the day when we were doing a lot of it. There were climbing and especially kayaking trips my wife never would have let me go on, until I told her Vince Adams was going. That changed everything.  Nothing really bad could happen if Vince was there.

Now, lo and behold, Vince sold his kayak and is totally into mountain biking. If we could just lure a few more old river running and kayaking buddies over to the two-wheel habit, it would be a reunion every weekend. Or at least at the annual Fall Moab trip.

The view from my hotel window at 6:30. 1400 cyclists about to test their mettle.

The view from my hotel window at 6:30 a.m. Fourteen hundred amped up cyclists are just out of view and about to test their mettle.

 More later. My eight minutes are apparently up.

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