A big thank you to Mai who encourages me to abide by the bike every day and helps me get out and ride. Without her support and encouragement I would not be as healthy. For example sometimes when we go on a road trip Mai lets me get out and ride for a while. Then she forgets to pick me up and I have to ride extra to make it back to the car and the food. Every cyclist knows a supportive family and strong group of inspirational friends is key for making cycling at a high level fun and approachable.
Mai takes many of the photos I use on this blog. On Sunday before Labor Day she let me have her camera and I photographed her near the Kachina Trail on the San Francisco Peaks.
Mai on the Kachina Trail
Mai won second and third place in the “experienced” category at the Coconino County Fair last weekend for two photos she entered. Her work can be seen at sanaistudio.com
Arigato Mai-san. You’re the one!
The Everest Challenge bicycle race is coming up at the end of this month. I’ll do a weekly post on my training. My best training weeks sometimes begin with a rest day. Today however I did a couple climbs of Snowbowl and was rewarded with an impromptu meeting with Karin from the MS Environmental Sciences and Policy program at Northern Arizona University. The people from that program along with the Flagstaff cycling community are two pockets of excellence here in the Southwestern United States. NAU also has amazing undergraduate environmental sciences and environmental studies students many of whom go on to do a masters. I usually run into the students and alumni while they are out running or biking through the pine forests looking after their “first environments”, the human body. I remember riding my bike up Mt. Elden once and seeing Lauren running up and down the mountain! Way tougher than I am. They are also legendary rock climbers and crushers of quantitative data while carrying the touch to melt ice away from the human heart.
Even though I didn’t rest today I am energized and inspired by the people I’m connected with. And I’m rejuvenated from a camping trip to Bandelier a few weeks ago. Here are photos of how I got recovered from the 7 hour rides I did in Albuquerque.
Landscapes can provide the first milk for our imaginations if we stay open and seeking.
This complex wonderment includes a cholla cacti and the Rio Grande.
Shimmering in the Southwest sun underneath the dry stone ledges of ancient Valles Caldera we drink in the sun through our skin and imbibe the spirits in the air. We learn the language of the world by listening and being a part of it. We gather strength from the whole land.
We light a bright fire and watch slippery stars falling down the icy arc of the black firmament.
This landscape restores us.