Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Fall Moab 2010

Just came back from Fall Moab 2010. Several of the regulars--including Elden, Brad, Paul, and Gary--had to miss out, in some cases for decent reasons (Paul and Steve had to attend their father's 80th birthday party) and in some cases for flimsy reasons (Elden had to pick up an award for his Lance Armstrong fundraising).

While we were riding slickrock on Friday afternoon, it started to rain hard. We cancelled our camping plans, checked into a hotel, and crashed Dug's room to watch The Hangover.

"I just wish your friends were as mature as you."
"They are mature, actually. You just have to get to know them better."
[from outside] "Paging Dr. Faggot. Dr. Faggot!"
"I should go."
"That's a good idea, Dr. Faggot."

One of my favorite parts of Fall Moab is the fact that we still manage to act like kids even though some of us are well into our 30s. We talk about whether the Giants can beat the Phillies (yes), what to do when your teenagers get into sexting (express disappointment but secretly marvel at the language), and give advice on how to succeed in making a difficult move (try pedaling harder; think "cold fury").

"You guys might not know this, but I consider myself a bit of a loner. I tend to think of myself as a one-man wolf pack. But when my sister brought Doug home, I knew he was one of my own. And my wolf pack... it grew by one. So there... there were two of us in the wolf pack... I was alone first in the pack, and then Doug joined in later. And six months ago, when Doug introduced me to you guys, I thought, 'Wait a second, could it be?' And now I know for sure, I just added two more guys to my wolf pack. Four of us wolves, running around the desert together, in Las Vegas, looking for strippers and cocaine. So tonight, I make a toast!"

And today, I too make a toast. Here's to the guys who joined in Fall Moab. Twelve of us wolves, riding around the desert together, in Moab, looking for strippers and cocaine.

"You're not really wearing that, are you?"

Kenny, who is recently divorced, has a new girlfriend named Heather. Heather is a skilled rider, but apparently there is a Fall Moab rule that discourages women from attending. I was not involved in making that rule, perhaps because the one time I invited women back in 1995 or so, chaos ruled. Promises were broken, tents were peed upon, a chair was broken, and a grown man was very nearly thrown into the river. That said, I agree with this rule.

Sometimes men need to hang out without women around.

It has nothing to do with riding bikes. I don't care who rides with us. Anyone is welcome as long as they (A) don't force us to call search and rescue, and (B) there is no (B). It has nothing to do with physical ability. It has everything to do with untimely relationship crap.

Heather is a perfect example. She showed up with a fake mustache and soul patch and called herself Mike. Whatever. It was great riding with her. She took awesome photos and made a bunch of difficult moves. In one place, there was a hairy descent that crashed out a few of us. Heather tried this move several times, and her fear finally got the best of her, and she walked down. Still, it was awesome that she was battling.

When we got back from the ride, we all went out to the courtyard and hung out around the grill to cook brats. Everyone was there except for Kenny . . . and Mike/Heather. We made the obligatory jokes about gay sex, assuming they were up to the devil's work, but the devil's work doesn't take that long. The devil's work should take only 12 minutes, including cleanup.

We found out later that they were spending that time talking about their relationship. And that's why I support the "No chicks" rule for Fall Moab, but with a qualification. Women can come down to Moab and ride, but when the ride ends, they need to clear out so that we can talk about poop and pee.

However, I do support lifting the sanction against Germans attending Fall Moab.

"Would you please put some pants on? I feel weird having to ask you twice."

I wasn't in Dug's room, but I feel compelled to put this quote in because I assumed that after a ride, Dug stripped naked, lay down on the bed with splayed legs, and waited for his turn to shower.

Dug, would you please put some pants on? I feel weird having to ask you seventeen times.

"Why are you peppering the steak? You don't know if tigers like pepper."
"Tigers LOVE pepper. They hate cinnamon."

The relatively new tradition of grilling beer-boiled brats is fantastic. Kenny makes the homemade bread, and everyone agrees on honey mustard.


We don't want to call attention to ourselves!
[Through loudspeakers] Attention! Attention!

I'm going to call attention to myself for a minute. We had originally planned on doing a long downhill ride called The Big Enchirito, so instead of riding a singlespeed, I brought my Full-Suspension Mountain Bicycling System, which I'll simply refer to as The System from now on.

On Friday, we rode Slickrock in the rain. I felt like I was on a squirrelly little toy bike. Before the ride was over, I was working out a plan to sell The System.

On Saturday, The Big Enchirito ride was snowed in, so we rode Gold Bar Rim. If every Fall Moab regular made a list of his top 5 favorite rides, Gold Bar Rim would be on everyone's list. Because The System had let me down so badly the day before, I wasn't really looking forward to my second favorite ride. I was just happy to hang out with friends. After we had ridden over the bluff and through the valley to where the technical moves start, I told Nick that I was going to do only uphill moves--nothing downhill. With the smaller wheels and squishy front fork, I thought I was just too prone to spilling over the top.

We were doing our normal thing in which we ride along the flowy singletrack for awhile, and then stop in a play area to try difficult moves. About halfway through the ride, for whatever reason, I entered the magical, elusive state of mind that sports announcers call "the Zone."

I'm not in great shape right now, but I made it up the Triple Ledge Move, which is the crux move of all crux moves (the above image is of Kenny on the Triple). I rode up a serrated wall that looked impossible to climb, and then sat on my bike at the top shouting advice to Ricky, paying him back for the day I couldn't make the Daniel Day Lewis move in Draper.

And I started cleaning drops off ledges that I had always walked my bike down in previous years. In short, I was on fire. En fuego. Sur le feu. Auf feuer. It's a great feeling.

I hereby vow that I shall never sell The System.

"Oh my God! Phill, you were in the hospital last night!"
"Yeah, I guess I was."
"Are you okay?"

I have bruises, cuts, and scrapes all over my body, and I only remember falling twice. Maybe three times. There is a huge bruise of many colors on my thigh, and I don't remember ever getting hit on my thigh.

My wrist is so sore I can barely move it. When did that happen? What the hell?

And we're the three best friends that anyone could have!

Nick took a video of Dug going down a particularly sketchy shelf. Dug goes first, and then Mark:

And here’s part 2 of Nick’s video. I go first, and then Jon:

"I'm thinking of getting my bartender's license."

Good times.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Holy Mackerel

When it's my turn to put the boys down to bed, I sing them each a song. Tonight, I asked Luke what song he wanted to hear.

"The Cheese-It one," he said.

"I don't know a Cheese-It song. Do you want me to make one up?" I then started to sing a Cheese-It ditty.

"No! No! Sing the real Cheese-It song!"

"I'm telling you. I've never sung it before. Have you heard me sing it?"

"Yes, but you haven't sung it to me since I was, oh, about five."

"What does it go like?"

"It has a crib, and it ends with 'in the hay' and not 'on the hay'. Remember?"

So I sang him "Away in the Manger," the Christmas song about Baby Cheese-It, who grew up to become Our Lord and Savior Cheese-It Christ. You know the guy -- he hangs around with Heavenly Fodder and the Whole Wheat Ghost.

Public schools just aren't what they used to be.