Where have the good times gone. Spare time has been hard to come by. A month ago, I finished up a two year avalanche science program at Colorado Mountain College in Leadville. It was a lot more work than 4 years of under grad at the University of Colorado. Most likely, due to the fact that I actually did the school work and wasn't enrolled simply to partake in the keg parties and blackouts. Completing the program was nice. Being back in the land of academics was a welcome change of pace and a challenge worth sticking out. Always need to keep the gray matter growing. Now I can work in the avalanche industry for $10 an hour and go back to eating Ramen noodles and driving an old mini-van. Oh the things in the life that make me happy.
In between the school work and work work, I found time to ski this winter. Based on my Instagram account you'd think I was dead, but not yet. Instagram is bullshit. The people that post on there every time they go outside, or take a shit in the woods are pure posers, wrecking the sport. Where has the creativity gone, everyone does what everyone does on social media. It's fucking lame. I get comments from friends that think I've stopped breathing because I don't post on social media sites. The remote places you post about will soon be filled with crowds. Is it worth wrecking the culture and remote landscapes just for some likes and free gear? I've stepped away, as I always do once the masses get a hold of something. Digitally irrelevant, flying below the internet hype, the likes and the comments. It doesn't matter. What matters is the 113 ski days from this season, 105 in the backcountry and still counting. These are MY ski days, they are personal, close to my heart, not to be shared with online content fiends. So keep posting, keep pretending, keep showing that good life, somebody out there finds it relevant from behind their screen, but not me.
Mountain Film in Telluride is an annual movie festival that takes place every Memorial Day weekend. Jah Kief has been riding there for 4 years. On Friday we rolled out from Leadville with the hopes of making it to Gunnison by sunset. 130 miles in a headwind is brutal above 8500 feet. Brutal.
On Thursday it snowed 4 inches in Leadville, so on Friday we sat around, drank coffee and farted until the pavement was dry enough to ride. The rubber hit the road around 11am.
Monarch pass was hard after five and a half hours of pedaling. I think everyone in Colorado has a pull behind camper these days and they were all headed over the pass to warmer weather. It was surprising to see all of the vehicles with expensive mountain bikes on the back buzzing us on the road. One would think they would have some respect for fellow cyclists, but not the case. It's safe to assume they were most likely Front Ragers heading to Gunnison for the Growler. I'll remember how close you buzzed me next time I'm the one behind the wheel and it's you riding on the shoulder.
I've lived in Colorado for over 20 years and I still see new things on old routes when on two wheels. It's scary to think where I'd be without the bike, skis and mountains in my life. Well, I'd probably be fat, have a good job in a city and would be able to retire someday, but that's not living!! I've never really bought into the idea of retirement. Saving your money and saving really living until your 65 or 70... That's no guarantee. What's a guarantee is right now, living in the present.
Made it to Telluride on Saturday night around 8pm after 270mi, 17k of ascending and 18 hours of ride time. Time for beer and relaxing. I was fucking crushed. Red eyes from dehydration, an appetite for destruction and a mental state unable to process even the simplest of decisions. That's how I like it. Blasted into simplicity by adventure. Unable to think or process, no choice but to be and let be.
It's Thursday now, the fatigue is slowly lifting. I question my ability and motivation. I'm older. Am I weaker too?
I was once young, semi-talented with a bright future. July 1998- 18 yrs old racing in Michigan.
Off to Eagle this weekend, excited to get the MTB out and put away the skinny tires.