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Holiday Cheer Brings in the New Year

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. I’ve got some cool photos from the past few months to share, but first a little story telling.

My parents and sister flew out for Thanksgiving. The weather always seems to be crummy when people come to visit (as if a few days of cloudy skies is really that crummy…). We had some friends and our neighbors over for dinner on Thursday, it was a nice feast.

On Saturday we took a drive over to the Grand Canyon, it had been a while since I’d been there and Evie had never been. The south rim has become super commercialized with asphalt pathways and thousands of people all over taking selfie photos nonstop.

Next time we go, hopefully it will be to hike rim to rim, or spent some time on the north rim, which is much less accessible, thus less crowded.

The weeks after Thanksgiving flew by as they always do. I’ve been doing more running and hardly any riding, which I’m okay with. I’ve purposely tried to stay off the bike for a few weeks to give me some time to prep for next season.

Dave came to visit in mid December, we did some riding in the Phoenix area, the McDowell’s, Phoenix Mountain Preserve, then out in Gold Canyon and Picket Post. Desert riding is sure fun, but it doesn’t compare to high altitude dirt 🙂

For Christmas Evie, Lucy and I went to Colorado Springs where her brother, sister in-law and 3 kids live, and her parents met us there from South Dakota. It was a little snowy and COLD. Bitter cold. One morning I went for a run and it was -6!

We hiked the Inlcine, which I had never done. Think a mile long staircase. It was pretty cool, we took the Barr trail down around the back side and it was pretty icy in the shade, but still fun.

Star Wars was sold out when Evie’s nephew and I tried to go see it. Maybe one day next week I’ll take Evie. On our way back we stopped in Pagosa Springs at one of our favorite breweries Riff Raff Brewing Co. They have the best Red Ale I’ve ever had, and their IPA is one of my top 3 of all time as well.

Lucy found a hot spring along the river and dove in. Snow on the ground and 30 degrees outside, but she didn’t care 🙂

Next year is just around the corner, so I guess it’s time to start thinking about next season. Since moving to Arizona the Epic Rides races have become much more accessible so planning to hit all of those (Whiskey 50, Grand Junction, Carson City). There are some really cool races in Colorado like the Gunnisson Growler, Crested Butte 40, and Outlier Vail that are on my list. We’ll definitely be going back to South Dakota for the Dakota Five-O and Evie will be doing more DH racing so that will probably take me to a few new cool spots.

The MBAA series (Arizona’s mtb series) starts up next month so I’ll jump into a few of the marathon races to log some good base miles in the warm desert. I’m done with USAC after they announced yet another price increase for a UCI license, now $200 + a $25 anti-doping fee + increase in entry fees. Racing the ProXCTs can be fun, but it’s become so easy to upgrade to pro the fields are getting saturated with 100+ riders.

On a 5-mile course it’s a joke. Unless you’re racing WORS, it’s really tough to show up to a SoCal ProXCT, start in the back row, and expect to move up into the top 50, let alone into the points contention. That means no National’s this year either, which, to do just that one race XC Nationals at Mammoth would cost nearly $400 (UCI license, anti-doping fee, $100+ entry fee). When top 15 at an Epic Rides event are getting paid and no UCI license needed, it’s tough to justify.

Well I said I’d share some photos so here ya go! See ya in the New Year!

Fall Swim
Lucy going for a fall swim at Scott’s Reservoir.
Lucy and Evie on the Mogollon Rim
Lucy and Evie on the Mogollon Rim north of Payson.
Forest Service Elevation Marker
We’ve been spotting these cool Forest Service elevation markers
Grand Canyon
Evie’s first time to the Grand Canyon.
The Grand Canyon
Pretty neat.
Dave and I on the AZT
Dave and I on the AZT
McDowell
McDowell.
AZT
View from the Arizona Trail.
Picket Post Trailhead
Picket Post Trailhead.
Lucy Pagosa Hot Springs
Lucy in the Pagosa Hot Springs.
Riff Raff Brewing
Riff Raff Brewing Co.

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