Sunday, June 8, 2008

A weekend with the boys and a bike.

The weekend began in Bethlehem with some coffee downtown then a fine home cooked meal. We then made our way to T-town, threw some back and went to the now infamous Macungie Pub. Not sure how we got back, but there was karaoke, many shots and plenty of PBR. In a haze the next morning , Brent and I drove a block to the oven that was the Trexlertown Velodrome. We baked in the high ninety degree weather and had a good time racing. With some cash from his mother, we got some fine food at the Coopersburg diner as we drove down to Southampton in the afternoon heat. Showered, repacked, then rolled out on our brakeless fixies to the train station. Our urban assualt on Philth-adelphia began at Temple and ended up in Manayunk. We navigated our way with courier bags full of beer and all sorts of sweat pouring out of us.

Saturday night was chill at first, then got interesting at these "pimp-ass condo's" where a friend of a friends old frat brothers were throwing down. Many more of the fine brew, PBR, were had. We even chilled out on the roof of this place that looked out over all of Philly. Sunday was the pro cycling race, with just as much heat as Saturday. We had a late morning because our hosts couch and air conditioning were quite comfy. Our bikes were ogled all day and once in a while we returned the favor. The race was pretty cool, especially since there were some current Penn State riders and alum's racing. We probably got twenty miles of fixed gear fun in on Sunday, all said. Cooked was the most appropriate adjective for how we felt. Train ride back to Southampton, another family meal, then we returned to State College via the four wheeling, gas guzzling method.

Here are some quotes from the weekend:

"He has the voice of an Angel..."

"I got so shelled!"

"Can I get a chocolate milkshake, please? Two straws."

"That roof was the tits!"

"Dude, I'm so cooked."

"We definately need some coffee."

"We need to get some more Wa before we leave this area."

"Brent, are you riding safe?"

"Yo guy!"

"Thanks pal-sy"

"My grandparents are going to think I'm gay now."

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Back to the Track!

I just realized that it has been 7 years since I've raced at the velodrome, doing track cycling. I didn't think it has been that long. It used to be how I spent my summers; driving out to Trexlertown two nights a week to train and race Saturday's at noon. I've dreamt about it ever since. It was such a good time. I was never very good, but I felt so cool back then for doing a sport not many people knew about, not to mention how fun it was. I remember thru-hiking the A.T., daydreaming about getting back home, getting back on a bike, and really getting good at racing on the track. I told everyone about it. I spent many days pondering the day I'd be back to T-town racing again. This weekend it's finally coming true...and on a freshly re-surfaced track nonetheless. I hope my first day back isn't like my very first time on the track. That road rash was really nasty...

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Starvation run

I once came to a pond so clear you could see all the life it embraced, and it soon held me in its beauty. A day of intense pain, wearily limping through freezing sheets of what could've been my own tears. Cold, hungry, and alone, I found myself finding friendship with the body of an element I cursed that day with every aching step. It reflected the pastel sunset to hold me in its warmth. I sat on a jagged rock, not caring for I was dry finally, sitting at the edge of my sorrows. There’s a time, but not always a place, of incredible reality. When there is both it could never be captured, a glimpse of perfection in an imperfect existence. I slept that night in an ice-cold stillness with a forever frozen dream. You can only walk there.

30 Mile Days on the AT

The first was hard with chafing and rain. Hard pack trails without any hills. Hot dry summer day, the beginning of a long period of late afternoon thunderstorms. It was all about being a bad-ass. Thirty-four miles of glory. Running for the hell of it. Sleeping never felt so good. We earned it. Sleep you deserve is so sweet and delicious. A birthday cake on your 90th. My final thirty I found poetry in the power of three. Celebrating the triad, invigorated by the idea that after the first ten miles, I get another, and yet another. There’s something about three that is both forbidden and desirable, punished and treasured, captured and embraced. I was discovering the latter in all of these.
My second thirty was the only one out of necessity. And somehow I enjoyed it the most. I was constantly entertained. At the base of a long mountain climb, I stopped to prepare for the early storm, threatening me with wind and growls. As I pushed hard, I was rewarded with cooling downpours and intense surges of rain. Howling at this present from the sky, I rejoiced with every slosh of my footsteps. Soaked to the bone and happy to the marrow. Walking in a river, swimming up to the sky. Sweat washing away before I could feel its heat. I passed a hiker and his poor load carrying dog, watched them melt away before I passed them on my cleansing climb. There’s nothing more spiritual than water on a mountain; whether it’s flowing from it or pounding on it. And on top it all stopped. The steam consuming the valleys below, pouring from my purified body. A view into fog, millions of crystal clear prisms. I breathed in their light and all the colors they had for me to hold. I exhaled, in glory bound pace, the next twelve miles. Finding myself at my predestined road before dark.