Sunday, August 22, 2010

High Country Brevet and some Down Time

That's one small step for Paul, and one giant bill for his insurance company.....

Somewhere down below me, there are a bunch of riders on a brevet.  How do I know?  Well,  I started them off.  I'd thought the ride started at 7 so it was good I arrived an hour early as it started at 6 so I was a bit sheepish and apologised and got everyone off by 6 after 6.  I waited at the first control for them and then was off to go bike Sunrise Ski Area with my sons.  I didn't ride the day before this this year.  My Dad dieing has shifted my priorities a bit lately and I decided I needed time with my sons.  Not dissing shiny little metals or anything but, I think right now I have more important things to concentrate on, so I am working on bringing my kids into cycling more.  Since no one makes an affordable road bike for 8 year olds I have been forced to get them mountain bikes and as such, I figured they'd be OK at Sunrise.  I've included pictures from the brevet at the bottom.

All I said was "Smile and say 'We're all gonna die!'"

My older son thinks the ski lift is boring having ridden it with me awhile back.  My younger son thinks it's the coolest thing since sliced bread (and we all know how cool sliced bread is).   They both are not bored when we get to the top.  In fact, the younger one crashes before we even get around the first corner due to loose gravel and he is the one that's a little more skilled at these things.  Needless to say they are both a little freaked out as we start down the road which is pretty steep.  I keep having to talk my older son through things and I get more than a little frustrated at his negative attitude but I stop take a deep breath and keep working on it.  An offer of a blizzard at Dairy Queen if he soldiers through this works wonders and he has found new courage and the folks riding on the lift above our heads can now stop thinking I am the devil Dad as my son has stopped wailing and has started working on getting this downhill thing going.

The boys take on a rocky section of road

I have to admit,  the road was steep and was also on the steep side of a mountain.  I guess most people would freak out a little.  They did good though.  In fact,  they did so good that they had a good time by the time we got to the bottom and I am afraid I got a little too confident in their abilities and made a rather bad mistake.  When we went back up to the top I decided we could try the Fungus trail.  It was marked beginner green so I figured it would be doable.  Beginner doesn't really mean mountain bike beginner.  It pretty much means a person who isn't super good.  I didn't have problems with it but it is not as easy as it is made out to be I think.  Granted,  it's likely boring for the thrill seeking crowd out there but it's a pretty good terror to real beginners I found out.

My younger and more adventuresome son recovering from a most impressive crash.

I told my boys to walk the first few switchbacks and I'd meet them at the bottom of them.  Just as I got to where I was going to wait I heard a yell behind me and turned just in time to see my son fly through the air and go over his bars and down to the ground in an unhealthy melding of man and machine.  He usually cries until you give him a hug but this time he was hurt worse.  I was a little concerned he might have broken his leg but when I touched the other side of where it hurt he didn't have any pain.  In the end he just had a pretty healthy bruise and a whole load of shattered confidence.  In fact,  both boys mostly walked the trail from here on down.

A very frustrated son pushing his bike down the Fungus trail.

It took us forever to get down, occasionally someone would come riding through and give the boys encouragement (and if your reading,  thank you thank you thank you).  Eventually we got through to the fire road again and I managed to get the boys down.  My older son rode way ahead and ended up taking a wrong turn but I knew his tire tracks so we followed him to the wrong lodge where we could make our way back to the car in the lower lot.   Once we were in the car all was well again.  Mental note to self, less is sometimes better. 

The brevet riders would find similar suffering though.  The road to the resort was being repaved and so was not paved at all.  To make matters worse they got creamed for most of the late afternoon with wicked heavy rain.   I have to say if you are not expecting dirt,  it could hamper your ability to enjoy the beautiful ride back into the ski area.  I hope it wasn't too awful for the riders.  Sounds like some didn't have a problem and some did.  I suppose it is one of those glass half full things.

Patrick and co. arrive for a signature.

The Breakfast Club

Joey working to catch the breakfast club

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