Archive for the ‘Camphonescapes’ Category:

To Hell and Back


Well, we survived another Kern.

It was truly a trip to hell and back in all meanings of the phrase.

Its good to be back. I mean, really back.

~~~

This was without a doubt the toughest Kern I have ever tried to complete. I kept going through sheer willpower and the generousity of my friends. They kept me giggling and motivated. I think Laura kept losing stuff like her shoes and race number, just to keep me entertained and distracted. What a pal!

The first day was like riding straight into a blow dryer, I lack the words to describe how it felt. I just remember thinking that this wind is not earthly. People are not supposed to survive something like this. Why are we racing in it? It scared me and I stopped racing in it. I am impressed by those who could push through such a thing, but I think you are crazy.

The morning of the second day was fun fun fun. Bella magic all over the place. Have I mentioned that I love my teammates?

The afternoon was another story. I set out on that stupid hillclimb with a heart heavier than those big ass motocross tires on my Dawg. As soon as it got hard, I wanted to stop. Linda and Andrea patiently tried to keep me motivated but I had pretty much given up. I told them to go on ahead. And I got off my bike. I envisioned the ripping off of the number that happens in a tour and how sad the riders look when that happens.

Then I dumped a bunch of water on my head, took a few breaths and got back on my bike. I repeated this a few times until I finally made up my mind to finish. And so I did and I saw Lorri calmly helping a new racer decide whether to finish or not. (They did!) And I heard Bob’s clarinet and I rode the longest 1 K ever and finished and ate watermelon until I got sick.

A Velo Girl was at the top eating watermelon too and she just looked at me and said “that was hard”. Yeah, sister, you ain’t lying. And I told myself I would take it easy down the tricky debris scattered climb, but let go of the brakes anyway.

Sunday was good. We had a cool new venue and Tyler and Barret set up our bella camp. Our home away from home. The race went well, but I was not really a part of it. I fell off and came back about 6 times and just could not do it a 7th time.

The team was remarkable. Erika didn’t want the responsibility, and Sue was there to help on that end. They made quite the climbing pair. Laura is the fighter. Don’t let that smile fool you. She’s nails. Andrea is rock solid and its like she’s been on our team forever. And Linda, Linda is our guidelight.

I was more weight than help. In fact they all helped me more than I helped them. But sometimes its good to let your friends help you.

And Laurie Simonson stole my red lantern.

~~~

The pic up above is one of two very large traffic delays on the way home. That was almost harder than any of the stages.

May 19th, 2008 / 25 Comments » / by sabine

Paint a Pretty Picture


I don’t think I can.

May 16th, 2008 / 2 Comments » / by sabine

Live from the Poop Trails


Camphone 26, originally uploaded by Sabine Dukes.

I have to maximize my lunch time riding time, which means, I only have time for a euro shower before returning to work.

So, that means, I could very well have little driplets of cow poop still stuck to me somewhere as I type this.

There is this one section of trail, that as long as no one is coming in the other direction, I like to hit at super fast speeds. As so, I did that today, but then found myself headed straight for a big ol pileopoop. Kerplush.

At least I am not afraid of the cows at Harvey Bear anymore. Even the ones who try to be all badass and stand in front of me and try to punk me and stuff. Its all bluff. I just give them a hearty “heeya!” and they scamper. Thats right, I made those cows my bitch. (says the lady who shops for orthopedic shoes)

But I am afraid of some things at Harvey Bear. Three things actually:

1. Mountain lions (for obvious reasons)
2. Ticks (ewwwwwwww!)
3. Mama pigs

Kenny and I were riding down one of the Harvey Bear trails last Friday. We had just finished showing those cows who was boss, when we spotted a little calf about to cross the trail. It was the ugliest calf I had ever seen. And, it didn’t scamper to our Heeyahs. Instead, it squared its shoulders to us and stood its ground.

Thats when I realized, it wasn’t an ugly calf, but an ugly wild pig. I didn’t take a picture, but I found one on the internet that looks EXACTLY like the pig we saw.

And when I saw how this pig was holding her ground against us, I knew what that meant. I told Kenny, “we better back up…slowly and calmly”. I think we took two small calm steps back, and the pig took one step towards us, and then we ran back up the hill. Kenny might have even screamed. Can’t remember.

Once we backed up, the pig started to cross the trail, and sure enough, right behind her were 5 or 6 wee little ugly pigs. They were sooo uglycute. Their little pig tails stuck straight out behind them and their little pig hair was all wiry and piggly.

We waited a good and long time before we finished our ride down the trail…just in case. But at least we lived to tell the tale.

~~

So, sort of a side story. In my search for a pic of a “wild boar” I had to sift through endless pictures of guys posing with dead boars, with the mouth all open so you can see the tusks. I mean, endless pictures of this. Why do men like to pose with dead animals like that? Just wonderin.

~~

I think my Sidi mtb shoes are the culprit by the way….this is very sad.

April 2nd, 2008 / 9 Comments » / by sabine

Bucolic


Camphone 25, originally uploaded by Sabine Dukes.

I have turned into a mountain bikeaholic

The Bucolic bikeaholic.

I seriously can’t get enough of it. My days are spent either mountain bike riding, or planning my next mountain bike ride.

Even riding sploosh splash right through a giant wet pile of cow poop can’t undermine my enthusiasm. (although it does make me wonder what in the world those Harvey bear cows are eating thats given them all the runs)

So, yeah…I won’t be at Copperopolis this year.

Mooooo

March 21st, 2008 / 12 Comments » / by sabine

Wah!


Camphone 22, originally uploaded by Sabine Dukes.

My laptop is dead…long live my laptop.

Well, less than 24 hours after learning that my laptop would be an expensive fix (i’ve been wanting a new one anyway because all the photo editing has been stretching it the hilt) I bought a new laptop.

I researched, read reviews, comparison shopped, and plunked down the cash within 24 hours!

Thats a new record for me. I don’t make these decisions easily. I usually have to ferret out every piece of information on the subject possible and twist and turn the data and do various scenario analysis and then change my mind 37 times.

But, not having a laptop was a serious hitch in my life. I was motivated. The computer on my desk has spider webs. Thats because sitting at a desk longer than absolutely necessary sucks ass.

I do all my surfing, emailing and photo-ing in 4 places: bed, couch, patio, hotel room.

So I got all impulsive and bought a new one.

And now I am questioning my hasty decision.

Because I did not buy a laptop. Not unless you count Andre the Giant’s lap in the assessment. Its more like a suitcase computer. This thing is HUUUUGE. Michael warned me not to pick it up by the monitor (which probably led to the early demise of my old computer) and my new computer weighs so much that it would give me a hernia to even try.

And I hate Windows Vista.

And stupid controls that don’t let you see hidden files.

And moving the backspace and delete key to new places.

But I LOVE that big ol mackdaddy 17″ widescreen monitor. Not as much as I love chocolate, or Michael, or beer (not necessarily in that order), but its up there.

March 19th, 2008 / 21 Comments » / by sabine

Coe Legs


Camphone 11, originally uploaded by Sabine Dukes.

Ouch.

They still hurt.

But man, was that worth it. Nine of us headed out to Coe on Saturday. It was an incredible Juneuary day. Birds a twitterin and streams a flowin.

And hills a rising. Lordy there are some hills to climb in that park. Ann mentioned that Serpentine trail would be a tough climb and we might have to walk a little.

A little?

I’m quite sure I push walked more than I rode. I even had time to stop and take a picture with the phone.

But it was so very much worth it to get to the top and see nothing. Well, not really nothing, but nothing man made, save for the observatory on top of Hamilton.

At 90,000 acres, Coe is the largest state park in No California. Because it is so large a park, it can maintain its wild habitat, with very little influence from encroaching populations. I imagine it is what California used to be, back when the Ohlones migrated seasonally to harvest the rich wildflowers.

How precious to have preserved such a chunk.

Unfortunately, it is on the list of parks to get the axe under Schwarzenegger’s budget proposal.

48 State Parks to be CLOSED.

CLOSED.

In the history of our state park system, no Governor has ever closed a state park to meet a budget. What an utterly dreadful legacy we would leave to actually CLOSE a state park.

The cut would “save” $13.3 million from the state budget, as part of an effort to fill a $16 billion gap. That is less than 1% of the shortfall.

Just seems a stupid way to save some chump change.

Many its just an act on the Governor’s part, or maybe the State Parks is just gesturing, or maybe it would really happen.

Sure, we’d probably still get to ride in these parks, but thats not really the point, is it?

More info on the proposed closures here. And a sign it and send it thingie is here.

 

January 15th, 2008 / 15 Comments » / by sabine