Who the Hell is maadjurguer?

My photo
I like to ski, mountain bike, drink beer, cook and listen to any jam band I can get my hands on; all while making a complete ass of myself. Hopefully this catharsis is as interesting to others as it is to me.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Epic Gnar Year...I'm totally Stoked

Well folks, I went back on a promise I made last year. Last year I promised to NOT hold back on driving 3 hours north on the scant promise of powder....because it rarely saved me disappointment. Yet once again, I've been skunked. I made a call last night to not ski today based on early reports of total snowfalls being less than expected.....only to have that snowfall rate accelerate after I went to sleep to bust all expectations by sunrise. Friends have used the terms "hip-deep" and have lamented needing partners to help break snow on the skin track. My only consolation is riding a great route on South Mountain today on velcro-like conditions after the wonderful rain the previous day....scant consolation however....because skiing constitutes less than 10% of my stoke time.

In any event....this is not meant to be a groan and moan thread...instead...it's yet another opportunity to poke fun at me...and my wife...in cartoon form. I present to you...."The Maadjurger's". It's a standard sitcom depiction of my own creation based around every Friday-off/weekend conversation I have had with Mrs. Maadjurger this year (and probably next year too).......I never learn apparently.

Friday, December 18, 2009

The good....TheBadAndTheUgly

The Good: Day 2 on snow; beers, burgers, laughs, bluebird, good company....

The BadAndTheUgly: Chollaball on Day 1, drinkin' sport drink, rockin out with no shirt, showing his flair...

This won't be the last of it....check cholla's site as well as U2metoo's site for more info and a video of.....ahem.....whatever that was, which is shown above....

Saturday, December 12, 2009

How's your Aspen?

Mines pretty worked because of yesterdays recon trip with splitchimp......On the profile....it's not much of a tour, only 4,375 ft of climbing. Over breakfast at the Place to Be....the only place to be at 5am in Flagstaff....Mike and Rhonda's...we figured we'd be at our destination by 9am. Yeah....whatever.

Dawn patrol gave way to copper and smokey-azure hues showcasing the coming system. More than once, split and I mused aloud if we were better off buying a bottle of Wild Turkey and entertaining ourselves for the day (or was that just me, twice?)....but we knew better. We're both sick of bikes at the moment and looking for refreshing methods of self-flagellation.

Warming up with the sun at our backs, I paused to shed some layers and noticed I was standing in a hallway of photons, framed by ponderosa.....

As the sailors warning colors waned, the baby peaks began to show themselves....looking pretty chapped from the wind event during the last storm....

Skinning up waterline, glimpses of Cliffband and it's SE protected main couloir looked promising....
...yet closer inspection of other protected areas revealed hints of pickup stix snags just below the surface...

Split remarked that the aspen looked good to go, but we both agreed that the nice 2' of snow out of the last storm was consistently soft...so much so that it gave way to the landmines below our skis far to easily.

Resisting temptation, we continued on to the IB where vaporous clouds seeded with snow and wind obscured the cirque and snowslide canyon....

Windows of sunlight gave clear views of Cliffband...
And crunchy views of Fremont proper with a wind-stripped upper Telemark falling from it's summit.....

At this point, my IT band issue started cropping up especially after breaking trail in the 1-2' of snow. After some silent battles...I confessed to the injury and fell to the rear to let Split take over break duties for the rest of the day. Resting at a lunch spot, we dug a wind break and played with crumbly slabs.
The trip back was a slog with waterline seemingly uphill both ways. Too shallow to ride out, too steep to skin down....we were left to cursing and second guessing. For my first day out; the recon was educational, the first major coverage was impressive and the suffering was elevated. In honor of the first day out, I'll be calling this one "Pancho"....

.......and this one "Lefty"....

Welcome to the 2010 season!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Winter Haiku 2010

legs once tuned to turn
now shuffle upwards through snow
joyful bliss now here

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


Flight of the Pigs started early for me. A 40 minute drive with a check in at 6:15 left me with an alarm set at 5:30....somehow I managed to wake naturally at 4:30 and toss and turn the last hour. C'est le vie. Upon arrival, I saw the rumors were correct....weigh in with bike and full gear.....197lbs.....Oink, Oink.

The rollout was a bit chilly, but as I warmed up quickly with my legs coming to life; I was glad I had placed my jacket in my pack instead of leaving it on...there would be a lot of folks pulling over in the first hour to remove some clothes. However...I did manage to screw up somehow....I forgot to use the bathroom...so the 1-liter of water I pounded before the ride was painfully displacing the 1-liter of water I consumed the night before.....pulling over to remove the pressure, I glanced back and saw riders approaching.

Other than the pitstop I had just performed, I was relieved to reach Buena Vista lookout in the time allowed without any of the drama which would have prevented me from doing so (mechanical, extensive and/or messy bathroom break, aggressive laser equipped javalina's, carnies)....

Meeting back up with Noelg whom I was looking to ride with, we took off on one of the more beautiful sections of National due to it's proximity and clear views of the eastern front of the Estrella's as they rise steeply from the undeveloped bajada below.

Descending down to Telegraph pass, I was met with the foreboding that prefaces a long Hike-A-Bike. For me....nothing triggers IT Band pain more than an extended HAB...and for every foot I descended...I knew I would have to regain it on foot. After the HAB, we all paused at the top with me snapping a pic of Noelg...
....as he snapped a pic of me.

Riding on, I saw the "Bevinator" who I had first met at the 88 back in August. She had brought her famous cookies with her for everyone to eat at breakfast, but I had yet to partake in them.....yet.

Descending down the west side of National Trail, I tried to stick with Noel since he efficiently flows over most anything SoMo has to offer on his Kona hardtail that I manage to bumble over on my 5.5" of travel. However he opened it up and quickly disappeared down the talus and loosely formed trail/scree field that I had almost performed a ninja-dismount two weeks prior. Feeling sketched and very much wanting to avoid the "DNF", I walked down a section or two before riding on. Coming around a corner, I found Noelg looking dejected. It quickly became apparent why....he had cracked his Head Tube. I gave him a voile strap which I always carry for field repairs in a feeble attempt to reduce the play in the growing crack. I resolved to follow him to the road where he would call his wife for a pickup. Riding on and feeling bummed for Noel, I came upon San Juan lookout where folks were waiting for everyone to regroup.

The original flyer for the ride requested that participants bring "interesting food for trade"....so I brought some interesting food.....apparently, I was the only person who brought interesting food. I gotta say....I much prefer my interesting food heated up with garlic and butter. I believe this was the sentiment everyone else had who were brave enough to try them out of the can....let's leave it at that. I will note that the Del Taco hot sauce did cut the slime out of my mouth somewhat.
Taking off to the northeast, we rode the canal up to 7th street where much to my surprise, we found Noelg and his wife. Apparently, he had missed only 15 or so minutes of the ride and his wife was able to bring her bike so he could finish the ride....very cool.

An uneventful ride took us north on 7th to Zoe's where we parked our bikes....

Had some food and got out of the sun....

....and I stuffed my face with "Bevinator" cookies. I think from now on...I will ride in any event that features "Bevinator" cookies....

As the riders trickled out of Zoe's to gather for the second half of the day, I snapped a picture of some FOTP flair....

....and we were off again, heading to the Phoenix Mountain Preserve to ride Trail 100. Riding north on 7th, I was listening to some Parliament Funkadelic feeling very much in the groove. I had been looking forward to riding T-100 since I have never set foot on this trail much less some knobbies...hard to believe. Stopping shortly after the start, I snapped a pic of some of the folks climbing away from 7th Street....and switched over to a Phish show on my iPod....Alpine Valley, 8 JUL 2000.

It was at this point that I wished I had drank more water at Zoe's. I had a full camelback, but I had only drank one glass of water during lunch. Hindsight told me I should have had far more because the heat of the day and it's radiation beaming back at me from the black rock was wearing me down slowly as I rapidly drained my camelback. Despite this and the climbing level of pain in my knee on some of the HAB found on the steeper climbs, I thoroughly enjoyed this part of the day. The craziness of Trey leaning into his guitar just centimeters from my brain during "Guyote" distracted me enough from the pain as Phish transitioned into "Run like an Antelope". The memorable moment of the day came after cleaning one climb up to a saddle and seeing a long, flowy descent below me. Just as I saw this descent for the first time, the crescendo in "Run like an Antelope" hit me between the eyes. Seizing the moment, I shifted into the large chainring and dropped down a trail I had never seen or ridden, descending with a sense of renewal, trust and the wind in my face; singing...."Run like an Antelope, out of control......". Before I knew it, we were nearly at the end of the trail when I ran into RobZona who had a low tire. Waiting for him to get it aired and chatting him up, we finished the flow back into civilization, on a grassy knoll, with shade....and good beer.

Feeling home free at this point, but very pained by my IT Band which at this point was a red-hot stabbing icepick; I knew I would make it but would do so with a week of easy riding and lots of stretching rehab ahead of me. Meeting up at the last rally point in Papago Park at Hunt's Tomb; I took my lap around the tomb.....

.....dismounted for some beer and bacon....

.....admired the scenery.....

.....had some more bacon.....

....and watched the sun set behind the Estrella's.

Riding south on Mill, I stopped to take one last picture of the tired piggies lined up, waiting for the light to turn green....and bring us one street closer to some beer and some burgers.
I had a blast on this ride. Being a social ride; it was great to meet new folks, ride with others and eat bacon with strangers. I'll be back for more bacon next year.
Distance: 68.5 miles
Elevation gain: 6,046 ft.
Riding time: 7:19
Beer n' Bacon time: 3:26

In addition to my photos, someone was kind enough to post up their video of the event. I feel it accurately captures the vibe of the day.....very chill. Grab a beer, crank up the volume and enjoy!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Pigs on the Wing

I decided to start logging my body changes as my "prep" begins for FOTP on Friday morning........

I'll be updating my weight changes on this post as the "pre-Turkey", "post-Turkey", "pre-ride" and "post-ride" progresses. It will be funny to see how a total disregard for ride and pre-ride nutrition schedule will affect things. I took the 88 seriously back in August, and managed to not lose any weight during that time...which tells me my nutrition was spot on. I suppose I may even gain weight on this ride despite ~70 miles and ~6500 feet of climbing....simply because of the discretionary beer, bacon and Ding-dong stops.......Oink, Oink!

Starting Friday morning, check out my SPOT track here....I'll try hitting the "OK" button for every beer, bacon and Twinkie stop I make.

Pre-Turkey Dinner Weight: -147.4 lbs, Wednesday Night....let the cooking and beer drinking begin.
Post-Turkey Dinner Weight: -153.8, Turkey with Mole was yummy
Pre-Ride Weight: -197 lbs......my weight with bike and gear gear...my bike weighs 27 lbs, so my clothes and pack came in at 16 lbs.
Post-Ride Weight: -149 lbs....and this is my weight after chowing down at the party afterwords. I ate a chili cheese hot dog, a cheeseburger, 2 "Bevinator" chocolate chip cookies (giant), a plate full of Doritos, two beers, an oatmeal raisin cookie and perhaps 6 slices of cheese with a handful of water crackers. I figure that was a solid 2 lbs of food....so my pre-turkey and post ride are roughly equal. I'll post up later with specifics.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

I have the fear and it feels good....

My selective lack of commitment is disturbing. I feel this as sharply as feldspathic phenocrysts cut into my painfully softened fingertips......having been off rock for the past 5 years; I curse as I find myself in another zone of lameness of which I'd allowed myself to back-slide into vis-a-vis the lack of callus on my fingertips and tendon strength in my hands. Hanging like dead meat in the harness as the belay takes my weight; I realize that in previous times, I even had better calluses on my left hand when I was playing violin....but my ski/bike and office lifestyle have rendered my fingertips into tender bits of sausage.

One week out from the FOTP....I was very much looking into an excuse to NOT get on the bike and ride thereby allowing my knee some rest. Given the last week at work....I very much wanted.....no, NEEDED....to crank out some miles and zone out at 160 bpm. But the thought of my ride next week and my questionable body part left me scrambling for something to do outside with the mild risk of peril. Drinking beer all day and watching football has always been a last resort, yet always leaves something to be desired......and then I got a call. Splitboarder was going to be down from Flag and needed a partner to do some climbing. After detailing my absence from climbing...and my overall weak experience when I was climbing (almost a plea to not pick me)....Splitboarder was still up for it. Damn....that dude is trusting.

I was gripped before I even tied in on the first climb we found...an obvious layback all the way to the top.

After the cursory safety check, he sent the route like a ring-tail lemur. The experience for me left me pumped.....and all I did was maintain and take in slack on the line while watching the efficient movement and placement of protection on the route.

Now....my turn. I made it 12 feet or so.....was gripped.....lost the focus....failed to capture whatever it was that made me enjoy this in the past....and promptly asked to be lowered back down into defeat. Split then made a second climb as before....cleaning it in style. After he was off-belay, I snapped a pic.....

After rappelling down, we packed up and started looking looking around for a second pitch.

Split decided on a small dihedral which had some questionable blocks and flakes that looked a bit hollow or loose. The plan was to lower if it got sketch....but if he topped out, to top-rope at the bolts and allow me to work the slab to the right. While a bit dirty in places, and a few hollow flakes and blocks to contend with; Split tore up the dihedral save a sketchy move over plenty of cams and a few stoppers. I was still gripped just watching on belay and was glad to hear "Off-Belay"....so I snapped another shot before tying in.
I was thinking that this time would be no different than the last; that I would only flail about and demand to be lowered again. I was entering the arena with a defeat mindset.....and I knew this was wrong...but could not find another way to make it right.....the loser worm started to eat at my ego.

The start was pretty slabby with an obvious right-sloping finger ledge tapering out into a zone of disappearing pinch crystals....my hands felt up the slab like Helen Keller on a hot date....Split taking up so much slack that I think he may have been hanging on the belay to give me some "oomph". I cheated in the lower crux section by pulling up on my line to reach a higher finger ledge to secure a good foot-hold.....all the time, a plethora of beta shouted out from my able partner below........and then it started to click.

Looking over at some blood on my torn thumb....something happened. The pain in my pinched nerve of my right big toe was numbed....my fear of falling subsided....my focus narrowed. The beta from below started making sense.....crystals and bumps at eye-level were filed away for use a minute later when my feet searched out a purchase. Chicken heads were linked together to form a pattern....the problem was reduced from the whole.....to a move at a time.

Just as I started to feel comfortable (albeit, cursing the entire time), it was over when I topped out. Lowering to the ground....I felt a focus that I had not felt in a long time. Granted....there was a lot of help from the rope cheat I used, to the hang-dog time given by a patient partner as well as the encouragement......but the fire was re-ignited.

I can't wait to go again knowing that I have a well to draw from when I feel all is lost. It was there all along...I just forgot how to drink it in.

Monday, November 16, 2009


Just a light post here....I headed out to do a Coast-to-Coast-to-Coast ride on National trail out at SoMo this weekend as a warm up for FOTP. I made the hour cut off to the Buena Vista parking lot with no problem, so that concern was wiped from my brain having never done the FOTP before....I'll post more on that after the ride which is to go off, the day after Turkey Day.

I can't say that it was a true C2C2C....so I use the little "c" for the middle point simply because we did not feel like riding the last 1.5 miles or so of un-redeeming, XC across the bajada....so we turned around.

I met up with NoelG and FATTRAXX from MTBR at 730....the air was pretty crisp, but as the sun's rays broke through the horizon, I quickly warmed up.

The views, as usual were striking; with the natural pancake like rock-forms contrasting against the grid-like precision of the city down below.

Do the towers make me look fat?

The raw front range of the Estrella's come into clear view as one heads farther out west on National.....

So much so, that we all felt compelled to stop and look.
26 miles, 4520 vert climbed. The old adage of 1 mile at SoMo feels like 2 everywhere else holds true. My IT band can testify....the first flare up I've had since the 88. I'm going to have to nurse it if I'm to make the FOTP pain free.