Monday, August 27, 2012

You Know That Feeling...

Everything is about to change and get more intense and amazing, you know, that feeling. Do you know what I'm talking about? Even when you cash in on the single life, step away from the job with 3 days off midweek, those days spent biking the east mountains of New Mexico or the San Juan ranges in southern Colorado. There were perfect powder days in Taos, Santa Fe, Crested Butte and so on. Yup, those days are cashed in and spent forever in the memories. You now have a family and that is forever gone, never to return again. After having those experiences it was time to move home to Minnesota and explore all new adventures in a place all too familiar. Back to the old job in the city I'm from, Minneapolis. Minneapolis is a beautiful place where everything is accessible by bike. Lots of trail and micro beers, too! Ride to and from work, to the grocery store, long rides to the burbs, and all around park exploration. Sure, I'm not in the mountains any more, but it sure it good to be home and raising a family where there's great music and stuff to do.

About a month ago I sold off my beloved Niner EMD that was built and tuned all by me, for my first time. I gained an enormous amount of experience putting it together and working and racing on it. That bike was a game changer. However, with a daughter on the way and need for more space I had to give in and let it go. It's material and those things can be replaced. The important thing is that my kids aren't going to start their lives in a modern condo waste of space. These boxes that lay before me will be unpacked in a new home next week. Melinda starts her maternity and maybe our baby girl to be will hold off on being born for at least a couple more weeks. This is the feeling on complete change that feels so good. 

Over the coming winter I plan to work Sundays as a snowboard instructor to gain a little extra cash and it won't really take away from time with my family. The extra cash will be saved for the coming 2013 cycling season and some family travel to Tahoe for some snowboarding. Yes, we're saving for the kids, too. Don't be silly! Melinda wants to take up mountain biking and she's in charge of the budget. She's more than ready to have her body back after giving it up to two kids in the last two years we've been in Minnesota. She barely got any snowboarding done last year.  

Just because you're starting a family doesn't mean sacrifice to what you love outside of that family. You include it. Integrate the two. Melinda and I have had hardly anytime doing what we love with just each other, but can't imagine our lives without our son and our new daughter, due anytime now. 

Our training begins this winter. The trainers on the bikes in the family area of the basement and crossfit stuff in the garage along with the workbench. Other than training rides and just getting out to enjoy we don't have to separate home from what we have goals for next year. Melinda would like to complete the Lutsen 99er, but thinking more the 39er course. She'd also like to do another marathon and some off road trail run races. I'd like to get back at the 99er race with a much better time, the Dakota Five-O, some Minnesota series, but ultimately get on the Breck Epic. Sponsorship anyone? I've noticed that a lot of pros are in there mid 30s so there's still hope for me. Right?

The Breck epic appeals to me because I think it's becoming more of an outlet for suffering and achieving. My life is great. Living in Minnesota is great. This family is wonderful and I couldn't ask for a better partner. However, we greatly miss those mountains. I've spent some time in Breckenridge, CO and it touched my heart. Something about old mining towns with high altitudes. We're probably here to stay in Minneapolis for a while, so spending 6 days in these conditions and suffering makes it worth while. 

With all of this stuff there's a cost. We eat organic, sometimes eat out a little too much, and our kids need things. A lot of things. So how can we afford to do this stuff with out having a ton of money? That question does make me lose sleep. Is any of this important? Should we just bag up these ideas and goals and pinch every penny we can? Probably, but then where's the experience to share with your children and perhaps inspire them to do something great. One of those kids may get so inspired that they go pro and win a gold medal or something. Thoughts of that aside it's simply about getting outside. Enjoying life and sharing these experiences and inspiring each other. We don't buy a lot of things that we don't need. We don't even own a television. No cable here! Simple and humble is how we like it and it's how we're going to save for the future. There will be some improvements in our pay and things we can budget better. You don't have to be a rich kid to have fun. We're far from that, trust me. Some things are just more important than the latest expensive electronic gadget or going out to eat all of the time. That inspiration to each other in our family is what's important. 

Melinda's ability to pick up and leave Albuquerque with me, get through two pregnancies, run a marathon and just be a great parent has inspired me greatly. Just us being parents takes more endurance than any long distance anything. Just having the ability to hammer out this blog is pretty amazing with all that is going on. I've got some cleaning and packing to do. I'm sure Oliver will be up with a vengeance for some power playing soon. I wish I had a quarter of that kid's energy. 

So a lot is about to change again and it's going to be more awesome. 

A note on the bikes, since this is partially a blog about bikes and that sort of thing... 

Melinda will be most likely on a Salsa Spearfish now that it comes in extra small. We also have our eye on the new Niner Jet 9 carbon for her, too. Also available in XS. We had her set on a Niner EMD since that was the best 29er available in her size, but things have changed now that Salsa opened the flood gates to new sizing geometry in 29ers. I rode a 2013 Spearfish at a Salsa demo a week ago and loved it, but I still have love for the Niner bikes. I'm tossing ideas of a Salsa El Mariach Ti for the single speed availability. The Salsa Spearfish 1 stays on my sort list. I like the stiff rear triangle and low maintaining of the single pivot. The Niner Air 9 RDO because it's light and mega fast. Not to mention I love riding fully rigid. Finally on that list is the Jet 9, because I rode one last summer and felt indestructible. Pretty sure any of those bikes will get the job done. I have all winter to contemplate that debate. For sure I'm already planning to purchase the Surly Krampus for the fun fall/winter bike for next year. That's not even available yet. I'll be writing reviews as time allows and when I get test rides.

For now we're looking forward to some home improvements, grill outs, gardening and time with our children. Life is good and getting better.

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