24 May 2013

Pavement Time

The other day Deutschbike and I went out riding. The fella was out of town so on my day off I had the luxury of pummeling myself into oblivion at my leisure. My knees, ass, and hands may beg to differ but my heart said, best road ride ever.

Better than riding around the lake even, because of the incredibly diverse scenery. Soft pedal out of camp along my own little lake, cut through picturesque neighborhoods, climb up out of Christmas Valley, a glade of the sharpest greens and most bountiful wildflowers with the tranquil Upper Truckee River running through it, over Luther Pass and down into Hope Valley where the craggy glory of the Sierras swallows me. Then a long and windy stretch through cow-town, the flats of Nevada with the Sierras on one side and the Pinenuts on the other. When I stop to eat a Pop Tart a big hawk peers down at me with disgruntlement and then moves down to the next telephone pole. Then a long, exposed climb through the sandstone canyons above Gardnerville, nothing to protect me from the sun and seemingly nothing holding the sand to the cliffs. Finally I made it to Daggett Pass and took the shortest route back to camp, through South Lake Trashhole, land of never ending road construction, and yet...generous shoulders, glorious weather, drivers who notice bikes. The final stretch was the hardest of the day, with a little baby climb up Tahoe Mountain and then the bone chattering road around the lake in all its pot-holed, pavement-rippled glory.

Not as long as my last big ride, but way harder: http://app.strava.com/activities/55419760
The ride resembles the Assault in a lot of ways. Big climbs at the start and finish, flatlands in the middle (in a different state, even!) Crazy beautiful, crazy tough, definitely want to do it again.

17 May 2013

Meanwhile, In the Here and Now

My favorite pre-work run, out the door of the cabin:
The dusty trail, a lung-busting climb up granite ledges and switchbacks, through snowmelt and bark debris

The views emerge quickly on the ascent
To one side of Angora Ridge, lush lakefront;
to the other side, lingering skeletons of the '09 burn
I dawdle at the fire lookout every time

The fleeing storm parks itself over Desolation
In the other direction Freel and company loom above
the Meyers valley

This time of year sees more blooming than I'd expected
Fast downhill, each footfall threatened by loose surface
or manzanita bottleneck

And back home (upstairs)
Sweet digs, perfect size 
My own little nook 

New Season

Angora Peak
spring in tahoe is pretty sweet. toasty warm days bookended by the occasional chilly drizzle that sharpens and clarifies all the new greens, so different from the darker everpresent pine green. a neon dust of pollen covers every surface and the birdsong is incessant. when the warmth returns the smell of baking pine needles floats in all the sunny spots; it has already made a permanent home in my olfactory memory bank.
Hikin (it's like running, just slower)
Just two girls dreaming of the east coast
i feel at home here and all is good in the world, but i can't wait for the smell of loam and the constant shade of canopy. i want to run over root baskets and stream beds again and ride up some gravel road, clinging to the wheel of whoever is in front of me and praying that the climb will end soon. i want to sit in the bakery and greet every single person who walks through the door. i want to hug my family. (is that weird?) in ten days i'll be flying over the blue ridge with my forehead and nose smudging the window, and i can't wait to be back.