Friday, April 29, 2011

Maui Redux

So yeah, this post is basically a lot of photographs from our recent trip. If you're into that, cool, if not - move along, nothing to read here.

I still love the island of Maui. Ben and I re-confirmed that it is our go-to place to relax and rejuvenate. Here's why:

The islands are something like 3500km from the mainland. The air smells fantastic and there is something awfully romantic about being out in the middle of the Pacific. I took this on our decent into Kahului at around 6:30pm.

We make and drink tasty pina coladas. I know I talk a lot about blended drinks on our vacations but these, with fresh pineapple tossed into the blender, just taste really damn good after a day out in the sun. And we drink these beverages in cute accommodations in real neighbourhoods rather than in big hotels or condos on the beach. It feels like a second home.

The water is warm and the beaches are beautiful.

When the beaches aren't beautiful, the shoreline is still spectacular due to the volcanic rock and the lush green everywhere.

The light, when the sun sets, is magnificent. I can't say that it is better than our northern light, here in the Yukon, but Maui light is warm and it bathes everything in soft, soothing shades. I haven't retouched this photo of Ben at all - look at the colours on the mountains behind him!

The sunsets are beautiful, too. This was was taken at the airport as we dropped our car off before getting on to our flight home.

Basically Maui is beautiful and relaxing and we always return home feeling rejuvented and happy. Can't beat that.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Pisgah Voting Starts Anew

6:07 sunrise
21:49 sunset

Attention, your attention please! A newsflash has this moment arrived from the North Carolina front. Our cyclist, in Maui, has just won a glorious victory.


Okay, so that was my lame attempt at George Orwell. I haven't actually won squat. Yet. But you can still help me get there. Due to some problems with the survey tool used to calculate votes for the winner of a free entry into the Pisgah Mountain Bike Stage Race, the organizers have switched to Facebook to calculate the results. So all votes that were cast, over at the survey monkey website, have been rendered null and void as of this morning.

Now you can see just where everyone in the contest stands and, the bad news is, I am not winning. Actually, it's not even close. Please help change that by voting for me. Look how happy I am when biking is involved!
Thanks to Paul Gowdie for one of my favourite bike shots. Click on it for maximum happy goodness.

My profile is here.
And you vote, here.

Thank-you!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The 50th state for the 4th time

6:27 sunrise
21:31 sunset
Tomorrow I'm off to pick Ben up in Vancouver and then we are en route to Maui for a little r&r. I suppose that could be rest & relaxation but in all honesty it's probably going to be more like rum & reading. I can't wait for that first piña colada in the sun.

Hopefully, by the time we return at the end of April, some more of the trails will be snow-free and riding season can really begin. Until then, I'll make do with a surfboard and a bikini.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

In my mind I'm goin' to Carolina

6:49 sunrise
21:13 sunset

Holy crap.

I've been shortlisted in the Pisgah Stage Race Blogger Battle.

When I entered this thing I was at home, alone, probably eating one of my fine dinners of cupcakes and wine (life's rough without Ben) and thinking about summer challenges. Somehow that translated into "hey, wouldn't it be great to ride 185 miles with 40,000 ft of elevation gain over a 5 day period in North Carolina?!"

And now it might actually happen. If I win, I get free entry into the Pisgah Mountain Bike Stage Race. In return, I would have to blog about my training and the race itself. The winners won't be announced until May, so there's lots of time to vote and lots of time for me write more convincing blog posts about why you should vote for me. I'm clearly not as talented as some of the other riders (um, note that my blogger profile photo is the only one of the entries that does not feature a bicycle) but I think I'd be pretty damn entertaining on the course.

In proof, I offer you this photo of me, on a bicycle, having a good time.


And no, even if Sierra comes with me for this event, we will not be riding it on a tandem.

So, check out my profile (I love that they called me a "crusher from the Great White North") and throw me a bone!

And, if you're feeling generous, toss another vote in this guy's direction. They are giving away two free entries after all. Team Dicky's blog is pretty hilarious and I almost won some T6 gear from him last year. But best of all, his blog gets a hell of a lot more traffic than mine does and he promoted my bike-wife in the BC Bike Race contest. So while you're at this voting stuff, if you can click just one more time, please vote for her too.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

WH4

6:52 sunrise
21:11 sunset

So last night kicked off the first Whitehorse Hash House Harriers (W4) run of the season. I enjoyed it more than I thought it would. I ran slowly (and at the back of a small pack) and the ~5km felt okay. My hip flexors are a little bit tender this morning, but not much. I should probably learn to do something about that if I plan to run at all this summer.

There's still snow on the ground :( [and ice on the river] but it *is* melting.

And beer after a run always tastes good. Even if I have to endure what K. referred to last night as "the cult part" of hashing. It's really not that bad and of course the archivist in me loves the idea that these rituals are common no matter where you run.

The days are plenty long now and summer will be here before I know it. I'm still sort of kicking around for an event or a fitness goal this summer. The Soggy Bottom 100 in Alaska and Whitehorse's own trail marathon are both on my radar but I haven't made any commitments yet. Crap thing is that both of those events are on the same weekend. So for now, I'll just wait and see.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Last snow ride of the year?

7:00 sunrise
21:06 sunset

Kate and I rode out on the Cantlie Lake Road today. It was surely the last day for snow bikes to be out. The trail was moderately hard when we left (around 11am) but we really should have left sooner for better snow conditions. That said, it was still fun to head down this road which I have only ever travelled on (and then only bit of it) during the summer.

We stopped at around the halfway point to look out at the mountains and then I thought I heard someone's voice. Indeed - three other cyclists (friends of ours) were returning from the lake and from our high perch we could see them coming.


We had grandiose plans of attacking them with a battle cry and snowballs, but the dogs smelled us first and blew our cover.

The day wasn't as gloriously sunny as I had hoped it would be and Kate and I decided that after our botched attempt at ambushing our friends we were all good with returning to the trail head and ending the ride with a cup of tea rather than making it all the way out to Cantlie Lake itself. That can be a destination for next winter. Now - it's time for spring! Melt, melt damn'd snow!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Get out the vote

7:13 sunrise
20:53 sunset

I highly doubt that anyone between the ages of 18 and 25 is reading this but in case you are - PAY ATTENTION! He's funny, but he's right.


Monday, April 4, 2011

Vancouver for the weekend

7:16 sunrise
20:50 sunset

Not only did I have great work-time in Ottawa but I also had great JennandBen-time in Vancouver on the weekend.

It was sunny and the cherry blossoms were out!

I bought a bunch of cute cards and this super cute button at one of my favourite Granville Island shops, Paper-Ya.

The thrift gods presented me with these shoes for a mere $3.99.

Then the bicycle gods spoke and said that YES I DID need another pair of Sombrio bike shorts. 65% off since they were last year's? Okay.


And then as I walked back to the Granville Island Hotel, where we were staying for the night, I decided to pick up a bottle of wine and wandered into a BC Wine Shop where they were having a tasting. Delish!

A view like this from our room and Greek food in Kits for dinner - all in all a most excellent weekend. Vancouver - you reminded me why I loved you for many of our 11 years together.