Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Get out and ride

We finish dinner as the sun sets and a refreshing breeze sweeps over the land. I’m exhausted from work, but the river calls, and I clip on and ride into the twilight.  

May life never find me too tired to heed the call.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Mountain Unicycling

I'm always intrigued by activities that get you interacting with familiar terrain in a new way. I see these guys at Turkey Mountain every now and then and am blown away by the level of core discipline exhibited in these descents.  Equally impressive is the cable cam they were testing out. Check it out.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Ah, sunshine

Wow! What an epic day.  Deep azure skies, a bright and warm sun, the smell of damp earth and fragrant blossoms. Start the day with NPR and coffee on the porch, work on the vegetable garden, then a bike ride up into the Osage Hills North of Sand Springs. 45 miles total. On the way back home I couldn’t resist a short loop around the Arkansas. It appeared that of Tulsa was out on the trails this evening as I carefully weaved through wandering children, snippety dogs, and texting teenagers. Finally, Recovery time at the Blue Rose with a Marshall IPA. Life is good.


Friday, March 23, 2012


Unfortunately, my hopes of converting my Raleigh Professional into a gnarly cyclocross rig were dashed yesterday when I discovered that the rear forks don’t allow for much more than the current 25mm tires. Knobbed tires usually don’t get any smaller than 30mm. There are a few 28s out there on the internet, but its too close of a call to put my money down. Ah well, nothing truly worth while comes cheap, I suppose.

This afternoon I laced up the trail shoes and took off on the Raleigh for Turkey Mountain. The plan was do a little uphill training to get the legs ready for our trip out to Colorado next month. Instead of riding on up Elwood to the parking lot, I turned off onto the utility road. The road dips down to the river, crosses the railroad tracks and turns South. Hmmm... is this the beginning of an adventure?

Alas, it was not to be. The road ends in a gravel lot just past the overpass. I turned around and made my way to the river trail at the base of the hill. If you look hard, a path begins around here that goes straight up the steep South side of Turkey. It has to be to toughest climb you can find around here. I tied up my bike and hiked a few repeats.

The trail ends here at the top.

Heading back down again.

I eventually made it over to the West side of the mountain. There were many signs of  this morning's TATUR Snake run. Three or six hours of running three mile loops. (Edit: apparently this race occured the following day, Saturday. When your on vacation its easy to get he days mixed up.)

Eventually, I grew bored hiking the usual trails and began bushwacking, with ever an eye out for the more rugged terrain. At some point I stumbled upon this little cascade that remains dry for most of the year.

I was pretty worked by the time I retuned to the bike. Channel six was there looking for hikers and bikers and yours truly was interviewed about the nice weather and the park. Hey, whatever it takes to spread awareness of this beautiful treasure.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

A break in the clouds

The sun came out on a much greener Tulsa this afternoon, offering us a brief respite from the nearly constant rainfall we’ve had since Monday. Without any evening work commitments, I headed out on my Trek for a quick circuit of the Arkansas. The signs and smells of Spring were everywhere. Oklahoma does have more than two seasons after all!

For the recovery, Sam Adams Alpine Spring Lager. Meh. A little too sweet for a Lager, in my opinion.


Monday, March 19, 2012

New plans/ Red Ale face off

About a week ago I headed over to Turkey Mountain to see if my knee had made any progress. Nope. Three miles in and the same old funkiness kicks in. Frustrating.

But the weather has been great (until today) and there are plenty of other things to do in the great outdoors, after all. Rather than wallow in self pity, I've decided to focus my energies on cycling. On the road, I would like to do a century before the baby comes in June. More on that goal in a future post. I'm also very close to converting my Raliegh Pro to a cyclocross bike. Its either that or sell its parts and get a entry level  mountain bike. As I've explained before, the latter option feels adulterous, considering our history together. I've seen a number of cyclocross bikes on the more moderate trails of Turkey and I think I would enjoy carefully navigating around obstacles as opposed to plowing straight over them. More on that soon as well.

With the next season supposedly only hours away (did we ever have a winter?) the Red Ales, for reasons that escape me, are legion. Amber Ale, as a style, is not my favorite, but can be quite delicious if they crank up the American hops a bit. I had a suspicion that this would be the case with both the Coop (OKC) and Marshall (Tulsa) takes on the style.

Coop, btw, has one of the greatest IPA's I've ever had the good fortune to try. I've tried some of the West Coast IPAs of renown, and let me tell you, Coop holds its own. They need to can it! Their Native Amber is excellent, if not quite the awesomeness of their IPA. It Smells of citrus. Smooth on the mouth, with a toasty maltiness. And nice fresh hops: juicy citrus followed by the more bitter rind. A great option for those who love fresh hops but need too bring balance in their lives now and then.

Look at how much darker Marshall's Revival is! Its blood red when held up to the light. This one is going to be more malty, I'm thinking. I take a sniff and smell citrus and...roasted malt. My first sip only confirms my suspicions: rich roasted malt, caramel, and citrus hops. Pretty soon, however, more bitter, earthy hops take over the show. A very drinkable, if slightly unusual, take on the style.

While I enjoyed both brews, I would say that Coop's Native is the better amber. Its closer to what a Amber ale should be, while having enough fresh hoppiness to keep me interested.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The discipline of resting

A few weeks back, around the time of the last post , I decided to take an extended break from running and biking. On the one hand I was frustrated with the slow pace of recovery of my knee, while on on the other hand I was getting bored with an aimless routine of running three or four miles three or four times a week. It was time for a physical and mental break. I stopped most cycling as well, thinking that a more radical break from my entire exercise outdoor routine was in order. So lately I've been spending more of my free time sitting on my rear, working on yard projects, and, well... sitting on my rear. At first it was real easy, almost enjoyable to have this void to fill with other pursuits. But now, with the weather as warm as its been, its become a challenge not to lace up and run out the door. Strangely enough, its required more discipline than I've ever needed while running. Go figure. I'm thinking of holding off for yet another week to make it a full month of rest.

I did make one exception to my no running rule, and that was when I traveled to Indialantic Florida for a work related conference a couple of weeks back. Our hotel was right on the shore, with miles of beach stretching for miles in either direction. How could I not take advantage of this prime opportunity?