Thursday, April 21, 2016


Barry-Roubaix 2016

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”
-  The Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear, "Dune"

It's tough. You have to fight your way through loose gravel, deep sand, dust clouds that hang over the never-ending line of racers.  It will scare you. You might lose control of your bike. You will feel like you're going to slide out into thick gravel at the bottom of a fast descent and break something.

You'll swear you'll never do it again.

But then, with time and rehydration, you'll see things more clearly.

Like, how just being able to do this kind of thing is a privilege that few are granted. That life is either a daring adventure, or it's nothing. That, with a little practice and determination, this becomes less intimidating and a lot more fun.

Show a little grit. The object isn't to get to the finish line as fast as possible.

The object is to never arrive.

Saturday, April 2, 2016

A Farewell to Death Valley

We came here to ride long miles under a blazing sun, of course, knowing that any plans we made  would be at the mercy of natural forces. We started with our favorite and familiar routes. But even the sand dunes, which might not look any different than before, move and shift over time. The same holds true with what we think we know about this place: it never changes,  and yet it's always different. Death Valley is a mystery that can never be solved.

This time around, we finally figured out one stunningly simple and significant thing: unfavorable riding conditions gave us the opportunity to go do something else. They allowed us to explore this place more deeply. What did we learn? That after all these years, we've just barely scratched the surface.
Contemplating the 7%, 10-mile climb to Hell's Gate. Crosswinds gusting to 40+ mph.
Team Stelleri's desert debut!

I can't do this as well as Jill can. I think her arms are longer. 
Hiking in Mosaic Canyon

Angie, Ruler of Rhyolite!

Furnace Creek Ranch, at 190 feet below sea level
Mesquite Flats sand dunes
Not a bad place to steal a kiss!

A highlight of this trip: summiting Dante's View with Angie!

Another great day at Artist's Palette
Gower Gulch Loop Trail, at sunset. 
Angie waiting for the boys at the top of the first climb, Artist's (F**king) Drive
Snake bait!
Another point in the physical world that coincides with the Alternative Universe of Kymaerica. This one is in Rhyolite, NV.
Bourbon and ice. Jason's new cocktail: The Artist's Fucking Tailwheels!
Wind is good for something
Waiting for sunset on the Mesquite Sand Dunes
Flying, as the sun sets and the moon rises

Me and Dave at Zabriskie Point
Badwater salt pan

The superbloom
Gold rush

Night hike on Badwater salt pan. Pitch black, really stupid idea but we all survived. Most of us unscathed.

The End!