The Wednesday night XC races have started up again and boy those things hurt. I ended up winning, but didn’t feel great while doing it. I think Bruce, who usually wins and does well, wasn’t feeling all that great. Man that guy can climb.
Wyatt did great great, getting second in the 9-14 class. I think he said had a over the head crash and his main competition got a flat, but I think he is having fun. Which at 10 years old, is the most important thing.
I have always wanted to play the guitar. I love guitar rock and with few exceptions most of my favorite songs are so because of the guitar parts. Listening to David Gilmour’s guitar effects me at a level where it feels like raw emotion. Like saying something profound without picking the wrong words. Anyway, a couple Christmas’s ago Rory got an electric guitar and never really took to it. Wyatt started taking lessons and eventually saved up to get his own full size Stratocaster. Its a beautiful guitar. I plucked around on it and Meghann kept encouraging me to sit down and learn. I joked by saying I’d wait until my next injury kept me off the bike. Well breaking my fret hand was fittingly ironic.
Anyway, as Wyatt got more and more into it I decided it was time for me to give it a try. I initially had decidedI was going to get acoustic, but had probed a Craigslist ad for a good priced 2006 Epiphone Les Paul. I have always like the way they look. Perhaps playing one would help me be as good as Jimmy Page, but probably not.
I took Wyatt to try out the guitar because I only knew a few riffs and I didn’t want to embarrass myself in front of this guy. I really didn’t have any intention to buy the guitar, but when the sunlight hit that finish and I held it in my hand…. the decision was made. Something about it made a connection and I have always heard that guitar’s pick their owners.
I have played my guitar through Wyatt’s Fender Frontman 25r and a borrowed Fender Princeton 65r, but never was all that happy with how my guitar sounded. It played great, but never sounded that great. So after an exhausting search I picked up a Laney CUB 10. Its a 10watt, all tube amp with a 10″ speaker. It took one power chord to know this was the amp. It sounds incredible at pretty much any setting, but where it really makes my guitar sound like the classic rock I love is with the gain cranked up. Its hard to quantify how it sounds, but once you hear it… you’l know.
Back in January I crashed at Windrock and broke two metacarpals. Well, to call it a crash is a bit overkill. It was kind of greasy as would be expect for January at the Rock and I was on my second run down Snakerock. I got a little off line and out of time going through the fat rock garden before the powerline cut. I got pushed to the left and into a rock wall. My fingers got caught against the rock and pulled off the bars. I fell off the bike, but hoped right back up and restarted. It quickly became apparent that something wasn’t right. Holding my body weight up off the bars was really getting high. I started to let other by me as I limped down the rest if the hill. By the time I got to the bottom I knew it was broken.
I had grand plans to lay waste to the enduro field this year and was starting to ramp up my training. I really had the goal of winning an overall stage this year. TTC was my best bet, given my skillset, and it was 8 weeks out from injury. The denial was funny now looking back on it. I was in the hard cast for 2 weeks followed by a splint for another 3. The doc said I was lucky in that most of the hand injuries require surgery to get everything realigned. Which is funny because I rode down the some of the gnarliest mountain biking trails in the country with 2 broken hand bones and it still had good alignment. Something was in my favor.
To stave off the madness I tried my feet at running. Needless-to-say, once I was able to ride again, I haven’t run again. Hate that I spent $40 on running shoes.
At 5 weeks the doc said everything was good for a return to biking. However I couldn’t see a visual difference between the 2 week and 5 week X-rays. I guess that is why he is the doctor. His advice was to slowly ramp up over the next 3 weeks avoiding any major crashes or impacts to the hand.
Now at 9 weeks, I have returned to full force riding whatever I want. DH, DJ, etc. I would say that my confidence to take larger risks while DJing is still reduced. It just seems more likely to stick a hand out during a crash.
For Wyatt’s 10th birthday we got him a new frame that might suit his riding better. The Yeti DJ that was originally Meghann’s and then Wyatt’s is brutally stiff and pretty small. Its a great DJ, but we felt that a nice steel frame would probably be more fun. Meghann, who never noticed anything on her bikes, said the move to her steel Chromag Aperture was very noticeable. If that isn’t a glowing review, nothing is. I found this frame used online for an extremely good price. Consdiering I still had all the parts off my Chromag Aperture, the plan was to just leave the Yeti intact for Rory eventually. The fork is probably too tall for him at 150mm, but changing the travel would involve spending money and he eventually just grow into this I guess. First first on it will be this afternoon. I’ll report back on how he likes it.
Meghann and I started the minimalist game. It goes like this: on the first day you give up one item you don’t need. On the second, two items. On the third, 3 items. And so on it goes for 30 days. The items can be as big or large as you want. A old pair of socks, an unused jacket, etc. Just no garbage or trash. That is too easy. The last person still getting rid of stuff wins.
I think I’m going to win 😉
The Saturday before Christmas my dad and I took the boys hunting. While both have deer hunted with Granddad, I don’t think either has truly hunting for something that they could actually kill. My dad took Wyatt and I took Rory. Rory and I walked down behind the cabin along the bike trail and before long we started seeing some squirrels move in the trees. I tried to get Rory to shoot, but he wanted me to try first. After a couple missed shots, Rory found the squirrel hiding on a tree branch. Luckily we were using a .410, otherwise at this distance there would haven’t been much left with a 12 gauge. As I learned, you eat what you shoot. Granddad showed the boys how to skin the squirrel, which was pretty humerus. As expected Wyatt wasn’t too keen. But Rory was pretty fascinated and I think eventually may be the hunter partner my dad is looking for. I bagged the squirrel in some Dale’s seasoning and dad finished it on the smoker the following day. Rory and I concluded it was the best squirrel we have ever had.