Tuesday, March 23, 2010

"go back to those gold soundz"

The drive was great, thanks for asking. America by car is a funny thing. It's like an informative speech that goes on too long, punctuated by little comedy intermissions called truck stops. You're always trying not to fall asleep, and during the comedy intermissions the jokes are bad, but entertaining.

Headed west, at the speed of a bucking rental, plodding through the mountains.

Since we've been here we're comfortably installed in our apartment, but far from financially comfortable. I was fortunate enough to have full time work from day one of our return, but Jenny's search for a place in the Jenga tower of Portland's employment world is ongoing. For the time being, The Bike Gallery is stepping in and giving her hours on the front counter at the shop, but with the asterisk of temporary status hanging low. So we scratch on. Keep our costs down, eat cheap, thank our endlessly generous parents (that costco trip will keep us alive for many months), rest up for that interview tomorrow and hope for the best.

Low-quality cell-phone picture of a view to be reckoned with. Our roof is a wonderful place.

My place in the cycling world is hazy for now. While our finances are relatively grim, I'll keep working my current schedule, which leaves little time or energy for training or anything else. I forgot how easy I had it at the shop in Colorado, how draining it is to work 9 hour busy days at a bike shop in BikeTown USA. My paychecks reflect the extra work, thankfully, so the rent is paid and the lights are on. Things will come around, but for now my break from the athlete's lifestyle and focus will extend a little longer.

On my weekends, the morning starts like this and ends many miles later.

Cyclists in this city don't know how good they have it. On my days off, riding is much more a pleasure than it was in Colorado. Helps to not be constantly in fear of the tobacco-stained Billy-Bobs, ready to knock you into a ditch or worse. Granted the big city has its fair share of piss-poor drivers, but not many as malicious as the back-water boys of the Rocky Mountains.

Something about the twisty, abandoned lanes and forgotten roads in the west hills actually makes me want to climb. Crazyness. The descents don't hurt. Blasting through corner after perfect corner, down hundred-year-old roads built long before the traffic engineers and highwaymen clamped down on switchbacks and one-lane tarmac. Keep your arms loose, your eyes open and your brain quiet. Let the good times roll.

Five days of the week my training is limited to my commute and occasionally a few hours in the gym. Luckily, my commute does not suck. Bridges and boulevards, fixie on fire. Flying home in a private killer-copter.