Thursday, August 14, 2008

I miss the trail.

Katahdin reflected in the Penobscot River at Abol Bridge, Maine.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Back to Earth

The next two weeks I will be leading college freshmen on five night backpacking trips for the Orion program, here at Penn State. I'm envious of these kids because they are so quickly learning the surrounding area even before they start classes. I remember it took me some time to force myself to go explore. They get not only the opportunity to see the surrounding area but also to interact with a wide range of other freshman. Friendships made backpacking tend to be strong for some reason. The opportunity I have is to instill a sense of responsibility and respect for the local and extended environment. Even if they never return to the areas we travel through in this program, the Leave No Trace principles we teach will hopefully be applied everywhere they go.

Needless to say, these next two weeks will be hard and bittersweet. I will be missing my ripening tomatoes, opportunities to read ahead for the fall semester, chances to properly digest this summer's developments, and of course, time on my bikes. My backyard crop was so successful this summer that I was even forced to put excess veggies out for friends to pick up while I'm gone(Enjoy!). There are harder ways to make money, so I can't complain too much.

Looking forward...
-Classes begin August 25th
-Aug. 31st I get older.
-Sep. 7th there is a marathon in my hometown. I might give it a go. I've done more stupid things.
-Sep. 13th I'll head back to Bethlehem for Lehigh University's mtn bike race.
-Oct. 4th PSU Mtn bike race.
-Oct. 11th Tom and I kick ass in the Tussey Mountainback, a 50 mile running relay race.
-Oct. 19th I continue to run, this time on trails in a half-marathon called the Dam Half.

'07 Mountainback. My running-mate Jon finishing in a pink bunny suit.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

This is partially why I'm piecing out my super fancy road racing bike. Why, no matter how awkward someone looks on a bike, it makes me happy to see them riding. Why I try to nod, smirk, or if I'm really in a good mood, wave to fellow bike riders. It's why it doesn't faze me to hop on my bike an hour and a half early to ride up over a mountain to go to work. It's not just about saving gas, it's about being happy. Ride a bike to enjoy life; not to get fit, or simply get somewhere. Don't take everything so seriously and get out and ride! It makes you happy : )
Here's a guy who does not take it too seriously...

Friday, August 1, 2008


I've recently completed the epic Wilderness 101. It is a hundred mile mountain bike race here in central PA that goes through state forests on single-track and fire roads. The week leading up to the race was not the best preparation. I lead a backpacking trip for the Orion program and did not get much sleep. Nevertheless, I pulled through in just under thirteen hours last Saturday, completing one the hardest physical endeavors I have ever put my body through.

Thanks are in order! I pushed the pedals, but I could not have gotten through the day without the advice, encouragement, compassion, and work from the following people.

Frank M.
Eric D.
Rachel, Jess, Alyssa (Trail Angels!)
And of course Chaya and Coco!

Extra Special Thanks to:

E. Roman- I didn't do it on my San Jose, but I agreed to do it because of you. Thanks for pushing me to be a stronger cyclist. Thank you for all the fitting/technical advice. One more "death march" down!

- Thank You for looking into the mountain bikes for me. The Sok was awesome! I needed some spare tubes the day before the race, but the real reason I came into the shop was for a pep-talk from you : ) I needed some words of encouragement and you came through to help ease my mind. Luckily I never had to use the Pringles patch.

Scott W.- The aide stations were full service because of you. You told me what I needed to replenish my body and were so incredibly helpful. It was so good to have you around at the stations! I owe you and Ieva some PBR pounders ; )

Mom/Dad- Thanks for driving 3 hours to see your crazy son in another race. It always means a lot when you're there cheering for me.

Leah- I would've changed my mind that night if it wasn't for your attempts to "lighten me up". From the dinner to driving me there and back, your presence, hard work, and compassion was genuinely appreciated. I would have slept in Saturday if you didn't push me. Thank You...for everything.

Check out Leah's pictures of the race here.