Sunday, August 9, 2009

yes you can can

it began with a pedicure.

it'd been quite a while since I'd had one, and I finally fit one into my schedule thursday.

the first thing you get to do when you arrive at the salon is to choose your polish color from the two hundred or so they have displayed on the shelves. I looked for my current favorite, espresso yourself --- the one I have a bottle of at home for touch-ups --- and it was nowhere to be found. (this could be an entire post itself: this company has terribly creative names for its colors: everything from blue my mind to kinky in helsinki. this is my dream job: to spend my time and be paid to come up with names for nail polish colors.)

but since my favorite wasn't there, I had to choose a new color.

I pulled colors that fit my general criteria (deep, dark purples or reds or browns) off the shelf, considered them, looked at their names, and after much consideration finally choose an intense, glossy garnet with a name that fit my upcoming ride: yes I can-can.

yes, I can ride those can-yons. I can I can I can.
I can.

I had grand plans for yesterday.
big tough ride; big tough me.
3 canyons: millcreek, then big cottonwood, then (eek) little cottonwood.

the day dawned bright and crisp (cold) with a forecasted high of 72 degrees and a 50 percent chance of afternoon rain.
perfect day to head up a canyon or two. or three.
I considered it highly likely that we would be rained on at some point, and tucked my beautifully painted toenails into warm socks and put my toe-covers on my shoes. I wore arm warmers to start, and tucked a wind jacket and skull cap, 2 Gu's and a pack of shot blocks, four fig newtons and my cell phone into my remaining pockets and stash zones.
ready to roll.

millcreek was fairly easy.
as I've said before, it's all about mindset. if I was only going to ride up millcreek, it would have been a sufficiently challenging ride. but since I knew I had a lot more in front of me, it was just one leg of the journey.
the down was cold, even with every piece of extra clothing I layered upon my body.
after a refueling stop at the 7-11 (banana, water fill, bathroom break) we started up big cottonwood. I had stripped back down to jersey with arm warmers rolled down to my wrists.
this climb was like just every other time I've climbed big cottonwood: at times I think I can't do it, at certain spots I think it might be easier than last time, at other times I want to quit and turn around, and then I reach the top and am so damn happy and proud I could spit.
well, you know what I mean.
then we started down.
with every layer I possessed stuck to my sweaty-from-the-climb body, I was soon frozen and shaking with cold. this is trembling magnified: I was shaking so strongly I was worried about the stability of my bike on the road.
then came the rain.
it was that little spitty rain that stings as it slaps your skin and bites right through your goosebumps. it only lasted a few miles, but between the cold and the wet it was enough to dampen my spirits tremendously.
at the bottom of the canyon we looked back east and south to little cottonwood, and decided we would be crazy to attempt the climb up to snowbird. actually, we agreed that we could handle the ride up the hill --- if the rain wasn't too serious --- but that the descent would be pure misery.
I love to bike, I love to push myself, and I love to achieve my goals . . . but there are sometimes when the cost outweighs the benefit.
we headed north, deciding to make emigration our 3rd canyon of the day.
a definite disappointment, but probably the right decision.

the story ends with a 90 mile ride with 9500 feet of elevation gain: nothing to sneeze at.
but if you know me, you know that a climb up little cottonwood is in my future.
my near future.
because I am one stubborn, determined, particular, bull-headed, focused, driven, committed, slightly sick and twisted

see ya at snowbird.

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