At the end of last week I wrapped up my first semester as a graduate student, 25% of the time is completed, yet I feel that only about 0.01% of the actual work has been done. Oh well, that I’m sure will be another story to be told in the future. Similar sentiments were shared by many of my fellow grad students as the semester came to a close, we gathered at local watering holes, hoisted a beverage, and toasted to the temporary pause in our studies. We bantered back and forth about what we planned to do with our time. Little things like not having to set an alarm, or drinking a cup of coffee while reading the newspaper. Personally, there was only one thing I felt like doing with my time, riding bikes. Luckily for me when other parts in the USofA were dealing with single digit temperatures, snow, and ice, Fort Collins was hit by a heat wave.
Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday were spent enjoying trails with names like Shoreline, Blue Sky, Devils Backbone, and others. Sweat dropped from my nose down to my stem as I struggled to carry all of my “December Dough” up the climbs, and my smile stretched across my face as a rode the descents. The more time I spent on the trail, the more the collective stress from school simply melted away, and by the end of day three of mountain biking I felt like a singletrack hero.
Aside from riding bikes, life this past week included such simple pleasures as sitting at a bar with a frosty mug of The King, watching my favorite football team, and listening to the talking heads ramble on and on about Brett Favre’s streak. I dont know how much the readers of this site really care about football, but I must tip my cap to Favre for his streak. The same way that the hardmen of cycling will stick their nose into the wind for their teams even when they are beyond “banged up”, Favre sucked it up for close to 20 years. It’s a shame that the final years of his career will be remembered by breaking the hearts of an entire city, throwing his coach underneath the bus, interceptions, and sending pictures of his dick to a low-level Jet’s employee. Personally I think it all stems from his bitterness of losing Mary to Ben Stiller.
Other activities included, get this: an evening of drinking with more of my friends who were celebrating the end of their semester. One such evening a group of some fine Fort Collins cyclists got together for some laughs, drinks, and good company. Unfortunately, one of our friends who is only known as “Man Pup”, could not join us due to the fact that Uncle Sam doesnt think hes old enough to drink. Instead I did the next best thing, printed out a picture of his face, and taped to the body of some stick figure made by some elementary school student.
With the crew of flunkies that were present, and the amount of alcohol which was being consumed, it was only a matter of time before things took a turn for the homoerotic.
Not too worry, soon things went from awful to awesome, when some ladies joined us, and a threesome of sorts took place
Enough about spending time drinking with a stick figure, lets get back to the riding I got in at the end of this week. Proper December weather had returned, the kind where beardsicles form, feeling in my fingers and toes will come and go, and the preferred way to cap off a ride is with with a hot shower rather than a cold beer. Would I prefer the 60 degree temps, allowing me to wear shorts while pillaging singletrack? Of course, but if I didnt want to experience winter I would move to Yuma. Winter has its place, which is to make the start of mountain biking in the spring that much more enjoyable.
What winter really looks like outside of Fort Collins, CO (photo courtesy of Jeff Kerkove)
With that, the holiday season is upon us, I will be heading to the land of IROC-Z’s that can only be affectionatley called “Dirty Jerz,” I am only hoping I do not return with an orange spray tan or a tattoo of a cross. I got big plans that include, eating some fine chow prepared by Momma 40 Hands, pilfering the scotch in my parents liquor cabinet, drinking Yeungling and Troegs, laying down some plans for a bike tour with Poppa 40 Hands, playing tourist in The Big Apple and The Big Cheesesteak, being yelled at by my sister, and hoping my girlfriend doesnt kick me to the curb after meeting my college buddies, and seeing the worthless individual that I become when in their company. I offer you well wishes and positive vibes for your Holiday Season.by