Rolling back into real life was difficult after my work-ation. It's never easy to sleep on the overnight train even though it's so much more relaxing than driving. Big Brother finished up first grade last week and Little Brother still had a few days before he graduated preschool (today!). Biking has always been the way I'm able to find my balance again after busy times so I was really excited to have some fun bikey adventures with my biggest monster this week.
Tomorrow, we're celebrating having Little Brother join our silly summer by taking him on his first dirt ride. It'll be one of his longest rides so far as well so I'm a little nervous about taking them both on my own, but I can't wait!
I just got back from a week of working on the Adventure Cycling Columbia River Gorge tour. While I didn't get much riding in, the whole trip was incredibly beautiful and the group was super fun. It was a lot of work but it didn't feel that way.
I carpooled up to Portland with Cindy, another staff member, and stayed at my brother's for a couple days, getting coffee with Kath, and stopping in to Gladys Bikes to get Oscar a functioning front brake and kickstand.
This job is incredible! The participants ranged from 23-73 years old, rode 387 miles, and climbed over 25,000'. I was so impressed! The routes were mostly quiet rural roads. Despite the challenging ride and chilly (sometimes pretty wet) weather, everyone stayed in high spirits and got along well. There were mountains, waterfalls, and so much food to eat.
I loved getting to know the riders and their interesting stories. I think I had as much fun being on the staff as the participants. Plus, the bonus riding I got to do up Lolo Pass and in Trout Lake was amazing. I definately look forward to coming back and riding it all myself. Although I'm not sure I'd be able to do all the climbing, yet! Certainly something to start training for. If I can get the legs those riders had at 60+ years old, I'd be thrilled!
Last weekend was the national Bike Travel Weekend! We arranged an overnight camping trip to Camp Pollock but I was offered a chance to go mountain biking and didn't have the boys to enjoy the family overnight with so I decided to just head over with the small Kidical Mass group from the Capitol for the afternoon.
Even though it was hot, there was a nice breeze. The five mile route took us through the Pride festival downtown and along the American River Parkway where even the youngest rider was able to pedal on his own.
Then, I just couldn't give up the opportunity for more dirt! I can't seem to get enough of trail riding. There's a possibility that I have a full suspension bike coming my way, but for now, I've been bouncing along on a beautiful Surly Troll (affectionately known as the Trollop now).
I dragged another friend up to Cronan Ranch (again) and we checked out a longer loop along the South Fork American River Trail. The next day, we headed up to the Confluence Trail in the Folsom State Recreation area. This section was mostly too steep and too technical for me but it was some good practice on harder trails at a slow speed and extra hill climbing. I don't have any photos of these areas as I was hanging onto my ergonomic cork grips for dear life! My friend did give me his full suspension Trek to test out and I have to admit that it was pretty lovely for those rocky chunks. The weekend rides ended with Olmstead Loop in Cool which somehow managed to be uphill in both directions. We were tired and hot and there was a lot more bike pushing than before. Somehow, I magically avoided most of the poison oak that encroached the trail on both sides. A very satisfying weekend of bike playing!
Now, I'm headed up north for the first of my big summer adventures: working the Adventure Cycling Association Columbia River Gorge tour! Today was a long day of driving up but tomorrow I have a day to repack, organize, and grab breakfast with a friend. Then, it's off down the road to meet up with the rest of the CRG crew to explore the gorge for the next week!
This is us. We're fun.