2009 Review

Um, yeah, a bit late. I'll start with my plans for 2009:

  • Get Mark to Moab - It took 2 years but last September was Mark's first Moab. We rode Slickrock, Sovereign, Klondike Bluffs and Slickrock again. And I had my best recorded crash on Sovereign.
  • Ride with Alex - I had a great time riding Guacamole with Alex and his friends Cory, Rick and Colin. 4 weeks later I did another ride with Alex, the JEM/Hurricane Rim/Goulds loop. It was my first time riding both of these trails so that made it even better. Later in the year I did a few Park City rides with Alex.
  • Little Creek - The day after Guacamole, we (Jolene and I) rode Little Creek with Alex and his friends. I've had Little Creek on my list for years and it did not disappoint.
  • More Park City - So many good trails in Park City, and many I haven't done. Five enjoyable rides in 2009: 1 2 3 4 5
  • RAWROD (White Rim) - This year I rode a hard tail, seemed like a good idea, and in general it worked OK. What a fantastic ride.
  • LIVESTRONG Challenge - Thanks to generous contributors I was able to raise $682 for the Lance Armstrong Foundation in support of Team Fatty. I raised most of that with my LEGSHAVE Challenge.
  • Complete a Triathlon - Third time's the charm. The other two triathlons were rained out, this one I finally got to do all three events.
  • Do some road riding - Not a good year for the road bike. The annual Salt Lake Century was fun. A few Alpine Loop rides. Fantastic solo ride of the LaSal Loop near Moab. I still like the road, but I like mountain biking more.
  • Have fun riding - No major complaints, 2009 was a good year for me.
Other 2009 highlights:
  • Steamboat Springs - For our anniversary, Jolene and I went out to Steamboat Springs. The mountain biking was fantastic and we enjoyed all 1, 2, 3, 4 days.
  • Jackson Hole - The sweet single-track in the mountains south of town was one of my favorite rides of 2009.
  • 3rd trip to Arizona - Last February I escaped with Mark to Phoenix again for a few days of riding.
  • Crest Loop - The Wasatch Crest / MidMountain loop has to be one of the best rides in the state, and riding it with Mark last year was a good time.
  • Blackhawk Loop - Another best-in-state loop ride, with Jesse and Patty.
  • Hard tail 29er - I bought a 2005 Gary Fisher X-Caliber last January and rode it almost exclusively in 2009. I love the big wheels and the hard tail has been a fun throw-back. The bike has been great for almost all the local trails and for short rides.
  • 24 Hours of Moab - Jolene raced it with a team, I just hung out at the awesome Mad Dog compound. I rode the course before the race started and rode a night lap with Jolene. A fun event.
  • Hell-O-Ween - This costume ride was a riot. Thanks for making it happen, Rick.
  • Fall Fruita - 2.5 days of riding with great guys and amazing cyclists with such a good vibe.
I also cleaned up the sidebar. I removed the blog list since I use the Blog Buzz for keeping up with the blogs I read. I also removed the Fighting Like Susan section because that fund raising year is over. I'm a lousy fund raiser so I'm not sure if I'll do it again this year, but I will donate for the fight against cancer.

Reviewing all the fun I had in 2009 has inspired me to make the most of 2010, even though this winter is driving me nuts. I'll post about my 2010 plans soon.

Good YouTube

I've watched a few good videos on YouTube recently.

I liked the movie Avatar, and this spoof is very funny - welcome to Hometree Wisconsin.

Need a Winter pick-me-up? Try this funky Soul Train line dance. Yes, that's Rerun.

This next one is meatier. Synth Brittania is a documentary about musicians who experimented with early synthesizers to create electronic music as part of the New Wave movement.

The Human League, Cabaret Volatire, OMD, Gary Numan, Ultravox, Soft Cell, Yazoo, Depeche Mode, the Pet Shop Boys, and New Order are all featured with interviews of many of the pioneers. A fantastic collection of footage from performances, clubs and music videos. If nothing else, watch it for the hairstyles.

When I was in Junior High disco was in it's death throes and we (the youth) needed something new, something to call ours, and in High School New Wave was it. I was a casual New Waver but definitely loved the music, even to this day. So I thoroughly enjoyed this look at the history of electronic music.

(Part 9 of 9 got yanked so watch this part 9/10 and 10/10 to see the end.)

And finally, I enjoyed watching Long Way Down - a documentary about Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman riding motorcycles from the northern tip of Scotland down to Cape Town, South Africa. Who knew Ewan McGregor was such an adventure nut? Ewan and Charley are entertaining - they have a good report and enjoy the journey. A bit tedious at times, but fascinating enough I had to watch the whole thing.

A Sucker For HD

I've watched way more football this year due to one primary factor: high definition. (Thanks to the 42" LCD HDTV we got for Christmas.)

HD football looks phenomenal. You can see the texture of the grass on the field and the players numbers and names on their jerseys, even "from a distance". Close-ups show beads of sweat and beard stubble. The on-screen graphics are sharp. And the slow-motion replays are like little works of art.

It's as if HD and football were made for each other. Ratings are up for the NFL and largely due to HD. It also helps that there have been many exciting games this season.

If I was channel surf and came across a football game I was immediately sucked in. If it was a blow-out I might walk away, but usually I was mesmerized in by the amazing picture and action of the game.

And now it's the Winter Olympics in HD.

And even though I'm not a big fan of the Olympics, it looks so good in HD I can't help but watch.

Eye candy is not good for my fitness.

My Valentine

Running late this morning, opened the car door to discover this:

Inside the card it says: "oh, it's more than just a crush". It sure is.

Thanks, my Valentine.

Soggy St. George

The weather made it not the best St. George weekend.

Arrived in town Friday afternoon and left the kids with their cousins and Jolene and I drove to Santa Clara for a loop on Barrel Roll and the Rim trails.

Yes, that's fresh snow in the mountains, but the trails were perfectly damp.

A mildly tricky spot on Rim Reaper.

Ah, the desert terrain (ignore the snow in the background).

Coming back from Rim Runner and Rim Rock.

I'd been on Barrel Roll once before but this was Jolene's first time - we both liked it and will be back. The Rim trails are not as fun as Barrel Roll, but still good. The section of Rim Rock going out to the loops was my favorite.

We haven't been on our bikes in a while and the sensations of riding came flooding in. Both of us felt exhilarated to be riding dirt. All the little nuances, the skills that are second nature, the speed, the scenery - it's all a symphony.

It rained Friday night. Saturday we attended my niece's baptism. Afterward it was raining with no sign of letting up so we headed to the bowling alley. Let's just say Dixie Bowl has history.

Check out the tail fin styling of the ball return.

After bowling we went out to dinner and that was it.

Sunday the weather broke so we headed to Maverik for some petroglyph hunting, per Alex's instructions. We saw most of the same panels, but missed at least one they saw. We looked around some more but didn't see any other glyph sites.

From this glyph I'm certain the Anasazi had mountain bikes.

We got tired of walking around in sticky mud and headed to reliably fun Pioneer Park.

We had to do The Crack - it's tradition. (Gauging by the tight fit in places, I have some weight to loose.)

Kara and Kade exploring in The Crack.

We spent 1-2 hours roaming around the rocks. Here's Kade in a hueco.

Hanging out at the little arch.

Looking out from an alcove.

Being attacked by a rock snake.

The weather hampered our plans, but we made the best of it and we enjoyed the break from Winter.

Cheap Trick

A few years ago a friend recommended The White Stripes as a fresh take on classic rock. I liked some of their stuff, but it struck me as just an echo of the real thing. Then I remembered a band I hadn't thought of for years, Cheap Trick.

I was a high school senior when my friend bought the Cheap Trick at Budokan album on cassette and we played it on the stereo in his garage (I can still see those big Cerwin Vega speakers). It was high energy rock and we ate it up.

The lead guitarist, Rick Nelson, is amazingly talented and a goofy showman, as well as being the primary songwriter. Rob Zander sings lead and while not as gifted as some rock singers, succeeds in bringing the songs to life. Tom Petersson plays bass and Bun E. Carlos is the drummer (and always has a cigarette dangling from his lips).

I listened to several tracks tonight. The whole Budokan set is still fun, but I only bought these three songs.

I chose the live version - it has energy whereas the studio version is pretty flat.

This video shows Rick's signature 3 guitar solo. If you just want to get to "Dream Police" jump to 4:20.