Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Just when I thought we were getting used to the elevation here, we decide to go up even higher to Woodland Park. We mountain biked around Rampart Reservoir which is at an elevation of about 9,200 feet. It was incredibly quiet and peaceful because they weren't allowing any boating on the Reservoir. Apparently those stupid zebra mussels are a problem in Colorado and they don't want this body of water to get contaminated. Good for us, bad for boaters.
After growing up on Lake Michigan, it is a bit disconcerting to learn that Colorado Springs water source is this reservoir. I definately do not leave the water running when I brush my teeth.
I am slowly getting used to the fact that most of the trails here are made up of little slippery red gravelly rocks. You really have to control your speed going into the many blind, off camber corners, or you could find yourself with nothin' but air underneath you and your bike. Luckily I have disk brakes and an irrational fear of breaking my collarbone to keep me in check.
Even with a record high in the Springs of 86 degrees, it was at least 15 degrees cooler at the reservoir. We were still suprised to find our trail suddenly turn into ice! Chuck had to show off his bunny hopping skills over the crevasse.
It was so pretty up where we were riding that it was hard to actually get any riding in. We had to stop every 5 minutes to enjoy the view, or play in the snow, or feel how cold the icy mountain water was.

Hopefully you aren't getting sick of seeing pictures of Pikes Peak. This photo is actually the backside of the mountain, looking at it from the West.
Well, time to head out for a little ride before work. I have to go now since there is going to be 40 mph wind gusts starting at 1:00pm and that is NO fun.

Monday, May 19, 2008


5280 is a popular number around these parts. Is the adopted pet name of Denver (mile high) 5280 feet? You can get 5280 coffee 5280 angle offers advice on living in Denver. There is a 5280-bike team also.
Here in the springs Our apartment is a 6450 feet above sea level. Coming from 814 above sea level feet in Grand Rapids that is a difference of 5538 feet elevation. Here are a few things I have observed.
1. Yes, there is less oxygen here, consequently I see more (old) people with portable oxygen tanks.
2. The high altitude directions on baking mixes are there for a reason. It takes longer to cook stuff in general.
3. The jets flying overhead seem larger and seem to move faster.
4. There are fewer opportunities for clouds to form impenetrable barriers for the sun.
5. Sunscreen and sunglasses and necessities rather than novelties.
6. A Suzuki GSXR 600 will only do 146 mph rather than a claimed 156 mph as claimed in their literature.
7. Sound travels farther, faster, louder. Thunder is LOUD Here!
8. Less moisture in the air (I think this helps #7)
9. Wild life is everywhere. I look out the window right now I see 5 mule deer in the green space across the road eating breakfast. I saw a coyote on the way to work yesterday. Juli saw some 6-foot snakes on the bike trail the other day.
10. You can go to REI, buy things like rock climbing harness thing, carabineers, rock climbing shoes and rope and a book that gives you climbing routs, and use them 5 minutes away.


Saturday, May 10, 2008

Happiness is........

Outriding scary thunder clouds dumping rain and hail.....

Being able to admire your dog's gorgeous leg muscles.

Avoiding very prickly cacti while flying through singletrack.

Enjoying a free tour of the Air Force Academy a la road bike. Check out the B-52 Bomber--very sweet.
Trusting knobbies. Trusting them a lot.
Checking out the view as I ride by Garden of the Gods and admiring the ever-present Pikes Peak.
Riding!!! Riding here!!! Being in oxygen debt!!!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Hasta la Vista, Michigan

Everything happened so fast when we decided that Chuck should accept his job offer and we were moving to Colorado. We barely had time to say goodbye to all the important people in our lives. Luckily we were able to get together and have a couple of beers with our buddies before we left. All we did was pack and party for weeks!

There's Chuck with his good friend Craig.

And here is Danielle with her greyhound, Naomi. I miss Danielle very much because she is the only girl I know who rides bikes more than me. She is also the only person that could haul me on a 6 1/2 hour road ride and make it fun. (Rock Star and smoothie stops help!) I am extremely excited for July, because Danielle is coming for a visit. I need to start training like a crazy person so I can keep up with her on my mountain bike.

Ahhhh, my teammates. We got to hang out at Founders the night before I left for Colorado. That's Amy and Mackenzie, crazy fast bike racers. After racing with us in Michigan for a few years, Mackenzie now gets to race with Tina Pic. Yes--the one and only---the National Criterium Champion--on her team. I am so happy for her, but I am pretty sure she is going to have to come to Colorado Springs to get some good training in.

Saying goodbye to the family was not easy. I am the pround Aunt of 4 of the cutest nephews in the universe: Noah, Simon, Charlie, and Sawyer. They are smart, energetic, and amazing and I miss them very much!

Goodbye house. Okay, its just a house, but it was Chuck's and my first house. I will miss grilling out on the deck. I will miss hearing the fireworks from the White Caps Stadium on Saturday nights. I will miss our favorite neighbor, Cheryl. I will miss seeing Tia sprint in the tiniest circles ever in the backyard.

Hello, Colorado! I still can't believe we live here. Its a good thing it is so amazing here, because it was really difficult leaving everything we knew and everyone we cared about behind. I feel like this blog is a bit of an advertisement to try and lure my friends out here so I can see them!