Sunday, May 27, 2007

Thank you and goodbye...

Well Arizona, I’ve been here nearly two years and now I’m leaving you for a milder climate and I just wanted to say thank you before I go. Before I moved here I spent two years in a small town in NE Missouri, a town with very few trails, no bike shops, and nothing for bike lanes. Then I came here, to the land of many trails, wide streets with bike lanes, and inattentive elderly drivers.

I came here with only a rigid single speed and a 2:1 gear and you punished me for it. I didn’t cower in the corner and lick my wounds for too long though, I came right back armed with front suspension and an easier gear. With my newly morphed steed I found your trails to be utterly fantastic but I was still ill equipped. Not the bike, but the man. The buttery smooth trails of Eastern Washington, where I did much of my previous riding had not prepared me for the technical challenges that the desert would present me with. I got better quickly but I was also not ready for your insane late summer heat. My first escape to Flagstaff introduced me to Crazy Joe and the miles of trails in his back yard. This connection would prove quite valuable in my only full summer in the desert. Flagstaff turned out to be much like riding back home and was a great respite from the heat.

Soon I signed up for my first race in over ten years. The Whiskey Off-Road gave me another beat down that I wasn’t quite ready for. In spite of the pain I loved the event much more so than the NORBA races of my past. The laid back party atmosphere drew me in and I’ve signed up for every Todd organized race since. Not long after that first Whiskey I started hooking up for rides with MTBR groups, most notably, the “Wrecking Crew”. Jeff, SuLing, and Chris woke me up way too early and pushed me hard all last summer. They were likely the only reason I rode at all. 100+ degree rides at 5 a.m. was not something I was excited about, but it much to my surprise I still had a shitload of fun.

I explored many, many miles of trail during my time here and I've been constantly amazed by the variety to be found. From Tucson's super fast flowing Fantasy Island to the fantastic slickrock trails of Sedona, I went all over the state and I was never left disappointed.

Just this spring, when Michele and I found out that we were headed to Seattle I picked up the Volpe for Pac-NW townie duties. That purchase helped me to discover the joys of tearing up the canals on a cross bike. I didn’t really see myself hitting the pavement in this place, but I found with a little careful planning I could navigate around most of the road rage craziness with relative ease. More good clean fun.

In two days Michele and I leave for her graduation and then to Seattle. I’ll be back for a couple days to load a truck, but my riding days in the valley are over. I have always loved my bikes, but being here has helped me to fall back in love with riding them. I’m glad I’m headed back to the Pac-NW and it’s unlikely that I’ll ever come back to live here again, but you will always have a special place in my heart.

Thanks again Arizona and the rest of you that made living here great.


Yuri said...

bueno suerte yo

Anonymous said...

Love ya Sean...May we meet up again in the future! :D

su ling