Sucks to Suck (or) What’s the Point of Hobbies?

It’s a part of our go-go-go culture to define ourselves be what we do for a living. Over the past few weeks I’ve been doing a bit of soul-searching and have decided that my job pays the bills, but I would rather define myself by what I do during my evenings and weekends. My two current ambitions are piano and mountain biking, both of which have actually been part of my life for a number of years.

Recently I’ve passed my Grade 4 Piano exam through the Royal Conservatory of Music. This is a great landmark for my career as a pianist, but it’s brought another question to the forefront: what’s going on with my mountain biking?

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Being mediocre in Sedona, Arizona (and being okay with it). Self-shot.

Continue reading “Sucks to Suck (or) What’s the Point of Hobbies?”

SPAZNEV: Sedona, Azirona

The second of our three major destinations was the town of Sedona, Arizona which is renowned for having been founded with a bunch of pretty rock formations in the immediate vicinity among which folks have built myriad hiking and biking trails. This is actually a really good draw. So first we had to drive from Death Valley through the south end of Lost Vegas and right past the Hoover Dam.

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We had to drive across that bridge in the background so may as well stop.

There’s a lot of people wandering around aimlessly staring at their phones at the Hoover Dam and a lot of getting hit by selfie sticks and also jaywalking. The water level seemed really low but not because of global warming and I couldn’t remember if there was a fight scene from a movie where they used the near-vertical face of the dam as a horizontal surface on ropes? I never bothered looking it up either.

We questioned whether or not it was a God dam as well.

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heh heh.

So then onto Sedona! Except we went to this steakhouse and drank a beer and camped at this place called Wild Cow Campground and on the drive up there (in the mountains) we saw a COYOTE and then we saw a real-life BOBCAT and it was really neat. We got there at night but eventually it was morning. Madman saw a female elk (WILD COW) on his way to take a poop then after he told me about it and I went and looked at it too. I only took video of her but here’s what the walk back down the hill looked like:

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Here walks Madman. He never scored.

So then we drove along a bunch of road and ended up at Sedona, Azirona. We ended up settling down at a campsite on BLM land. Here’s a pro tip/lifehack for camping in the USAmericas: the Burro of Land Mandagement (BLM) has what we call Crown Land and you can camp on it for free. Woo! Our campsite was shitty:

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Shitty AMESOME. No wait that didn’t work did it?

Furthermore, at night there was a lot of stars and then a lot of yipping coyotes which really put the cherry on top of the des(s)ert experience (see what I did there?). We left the tent set up to guard our spot and headed to hike across the DEVILS BRIDGE which is a natural arch. After our experience in Moab, Utah a couple of year ago we’re kinda over arches? But we went anyways because it was actually a nice hike.

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So then it was time for get ready for bed! And have campfire! and get bike rental secured for tomorrow! And pretend your man-part is an axe-handle! We ate so much of hotdogs prepared in JETBOIL bramd cookware. Oh what a night it was. Oh and also there was a spider that came out of the fire rocks and was big enough to put the fear of God into both of us.

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So next day: BIKE RIDEING.

I’m throwing together a whole video of biking. I’ll EMBEDDEN it here when I get finished with it. But here’s some pictures of BIKEING in Sedona:

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EDIT: I’ve finished the video so embed:

 

So then I was tired. While I biked Madman did some other stuff? Climbed Mt. Airport and took the picture from the top of this page, saw some ancient Indian burial grounds (for I guess the early settlers from India? I know, weird).

Then because I was tired and probably grouchy and whiny we went back to Kingman and stayed in a hotel and had a shower. It was good stuff.

Presented without comment or context:

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Twenty-three Skidoo outta here!

END OF PART TWO \ Part three coming Spring 2019.

Drive Camp Sleep Bike Hike Eat: V B-d-N Edition.

tl;dr: drove to Québec, rode bikes, hiked, camped, came home. With pictures!

Beginning of August, 2016: My co-worker Michael and I loaded into my Jetta and drive ourselves across the Québec border to the land of syrup and language laws to find some mountain biking and to attend the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup Downhill stop in Mont-Sainte-Anne.

The drive went pretty smoothly. Michael almost ran into some problems at a Couche-Tard trying to get us some lemonades and timbits, but he ended up with lemon slushies which was a pretty good lost-in-translation moment. Our final destination was Vallée Bras-du-Nord near the town of Saint-Raymond, a coop specializing in outdoor recreation. We arrived in the late afternoon after spending the night in my gracious little sister’s backyard the previous night. Our campsite setup was straightforward and ultimately resulted in my being able to sleep in a hammock for the duration of our stay, something I’d highly recommend to anyone.

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Michael during a nutrition break nearing the end of the Nielson trail.

Continue reading “Drive Camp Sleep Bike Hike Eat: V B-d-N Edition.”