Monday, June 25, 2007

Friends In High Places

I woke up yesterday morning with the song 'Stand and Deliver' by Adam Ant stuck in my head. Don't ask me why, some questions in life are best left unanswered. In any case, two thoughts immediately entered my head-'the day can only get better from here' and 'at least it was Stand and Deliver and not Strip'.

In any case, the day did indeed get better. We've been having a streak of hot, cloudless, mid-90 degree days and such weather isn't good for much of anything, esp. dog activities. So when one of Jonny's mountain biking buddies invited us up to his place in the relatively cool mountains for a group ride and some grub I was thrilled. Jonny agreed to ride separately with me because there's no way I could keep up with the group who are a collective powerhouse of mountain biking talent. One woman was 4th in the country in the Xterra series last year, another who often rides with them was at the last Olympics. The guys frequently place in the top 3 in their age groups in the various races they enter. Jonny won his age group again this year in the Expert class (next class under 'Pro') at the Winter Park Hill Climb. So even if I was in decent shape there's still no way I could ride with these people. The trails aren't mapped either so if I'd tried to go on my own I likely would have ended up hopelessly lost though I have been watching 'Man vs Wild' and I'm pretty sure that by now I know enough to get myself in a whole heap of trouble. I think they need to start a 'Woman vs Wild' series. Who gets trapped in the wilderness on a day trip with practical items like a bowie knife and a flint? I want to know how to survive in the woods with a camera, tire levers, 2 tampons and some hair ties because that's usually what I carry in my backpack.

Anyway, I'm trying to decide if I want to enter and off road tri in August and the race director has informed me that the trails are 'moderately technical' and I'm not sure if this will be over my head or not. The trails are private and the race director won't say exactly where they are so I can't pre-ride them but Jonny is familiar with another race in the area and the course is likely the same or close. So while he was riding with me he kept pointing out places on the trail that would be similar to what I might see in the race. Some of it I could ride no problem, some of it made me a bit nervous and some of it made me wonder if maybe I shouldn't have brought a spare pair of shorts. In the end we rode about 8 miles in an hour 40 minutes. When we got back to his friend's place the other cyclists had finished their ride and they assured me the trails I had been on were hard but I think they were being polite. I'm still undecided about the race and at the moment I'm not feeling all that confident.

We took Strummer with and left him in his crate in the house while we rode but when we got back he got full run of the place and had a great time playing with his buddy Maggie, an Australian Cattle Dog. They ran around in the grass next to the house, playing with sticks and rolling in who knows what. After lunch Maggie's owner and I took the dogs down to a nearby pond so they could cool off a bit. Eventually the rest of the crowd joined us and went in for a swim. After listening to them all screaming from the cold I decided to take a pass. I'd had enough with freezing mountain lakes after last week. Some kid took up the task of throwing sticks in the water for the dogs and Strummer was in paradise racing Maggie for the stick and nearly always winning. He would have done this tirelessly for hours so I had to put a stop to it after, oh, an hour and a half, 2 hours or so. And he still wouldn't give up, bringing sticks to anyone foolish enough to make eye contact and whining his head off while pawing the stick. That dog is way too obsessive/compulsive and once he gets overtired and/or overstimulated there's no bringing him down. We were at the lake a good 3 hours and he never relaxed for a single moment. He was a nightmare when we got him home, pacing around the house and barking at the slightest thing going on outside. Even putting him in his crate didn't help. From now on we're going to have to take care not to overdo things with him. Hopefully he'll grow out of this. He's already 2 but boys always seem to mature so slowly.

It was nice to be up in the mountains but today I'm back to the heat and reality. Of course as a weird coincidence 'Strip' was playing on the radio when pulled into work and I've had that wretched song stuck in my head all morning. Gonna be a long week.


  1. Strummer's obsessiveness sounds a lot like Mr. Gomez's. I have news for you doesn't really get better as they get older! Mr. G is eight now ans is just as nuts about chasing balls or sticks as he ever was--and he paces and whines as much as he ever did.

  2. Oh well, I can live in hope can't I? Cody calmed down when he turned 6-7 but I suspect he wasn't as deranged in the first place. I suppose there's always valium if all else fails.