Monday, July 29

Grimacing Skywalker

Big Purple Guy

I had appointment the other day with my old dentist from before the move out to Colorado.  For a dentist he's pretty hilarious.

He asked me if I grind my teeth and I said "sort of."  He asked me to show him so I gave him my best crooked jaw-clench.

"Well don't do that," he implored. "If you clench your jaw try to do it straight."

"That's my 'this is gonna hurt' grimace," I replied. 

"Grimace?  Like the big purple guy from McDonalds?"

"Like 'I'm going to hit that tree' (when I'm riding my mountain bike) grimace," I insisted (I even speak parenthetically).

Grimacing AND Photobombed!
"Well try to clench your jaw straight," he said.

So in a future post I'll offer a cost-benefit analysis: is it better to dedicate attention to clenching your jaw in a dentist approved manner and risk losing your entire dental componentry to an oak, it better to just let your jaw clench naturally while giving your full attention to the trail at hand and dealing with some light dental work as a result?

I'll have my entire Pavement's Edge journalistic staff (and probably most of the legal staff as well and maybe the cleaning crew) putting all their energy into this matter.  Night and day they'll be racing toward trees with varying jaw-clench configurations for your enjoyment.

Jeffing Awesome

It was a big trail building weekend.  The Mozhican Clan MTB Amusement Park and Flea Market has a complete loop now.  I can't take all the credit, but without my entertainment abilities Jeff wouldn't have gotten anything done on Saturday.

Found this little guy in the path of Jeff's MTB Superhighway.
After a quick environmental assessment I informed Jeff he would have
to move his trail into another drainage. Being a militant fungitarian
Jeff just plucked it up and ate it. 
Actually Jeff and his family have been working on this trail for some time.  The kids and I put in a few hours a few months ago.  And because my son insists I never blog about him (he doesn't pay for the slot) let me add that on that first day we worked on the Mozhican trail system Boone fell off a boulder and nearly killed himself.

They kept chugging away at the trail and a few others helped along the way.  Last weekend I went back and Jeff and I put in another couple hours and finished the western side with a couple hundred feet of trail.  Then the Mozhican crew went into overtime foregoing food, sleep, and proper hygiene (well, Jeff anyway) to continue the trail down the eastern side of the ridge to within a couple hunnert yards of the existing valley trail.

East side near the top

Horseshoe Bend on Saturday

This thing is also fantastic for hauling bodies deep into the forest for burying
Saturday Jeff and I worked on the last switchback on that side and between Saturday and Sunday when the Tomahawk and the Librarian Formerly Known As Single Speed ("Mark, why are you still here?") showed up to help the trail connection was made.  With the three of them exerting themselves and me adding my monologue of historical tidbits, sage cycling opinions, daft humor, and a little bit of comedic insults we managed to bring the trail all the way down to close the big loop.

I tell you all this, Dear Readers, not to make you jealous (because I know you are) or to invite you to come play on the trail (because you'd never find it and become lost in the wilds of Powell and/or Estill Counties), or to brag.  Well, maybe to brag.

No, my purpose is to share with you that it is possible to build a scale model replica of Veterans Park using all volunteer labor and create a sustainable and enjoyable trail.  Didn't I mention that?  Jeff's all time favorite mountain biking area is Veterans Park in Lexington.  He's said if he could only ride one place for the rest of his life it would be VP.  Frankly, I don't see what he sees in the place, but I guess all that wood glue has affected his reasoning abilities.

Descending the grapevine bend
(Notice the advanced two finger grip)

Ascending the grapevine bend

Slavedriver Jeff showing Mark how he should be doing it

Escaping the Peanut Gallery

Climbing the grapevine bend

Finally getting the horseshoe bend clean
(helmets are not allowed on Sundays)
Skywalker No More!

While us manly men were subduing nature the ladies were out slaying Sky Bridge Hill.  Yes, my hard-lady wife rode Sky Bridge Hill; all 10% average grade of it.  Truly Sky Bridge is THE area testpiece rite-of-passage cycling objective.  There are harder climbs, there are longer climbs, but Sky Bridge Hill is the gem.  It's in the Red River Gorge on the Red River Gorge Scenic Byway.  The rides to it and from it are enjoyable.  It's in a beautiful area.  And it's no giveaway.  

What's even cooler than that is on the way back to Jeff and Casey's house where I was meeting her after the ride she rode High Rock from South Fork without stopping for the first time.  Mandy's definitely busted through that psychological barrier.  The hills don't just get easier, but once you've overcome the intimidation of the steepness it becomes easier to walk on the rice paper without crinkling.

You gotta celebrate with a novelty tee
News From The Red River Valley

It was a pretty good weekend for cycling in Powell County.  Sunday morning the kids and I saw a lone cyclist topping Furnace Mountain.  Had no idea who he was.  Later we saw a neighbor (possibly a neighbor triathlete) riding her road bike.  Then as we were headed up to work on trails I saw a pickup out front of the local Mexican restaurant with two mountain bikes on a hitch rack.  One was a newer version of my bike.

Things are looking up.


  1. Hey how about some helmets! Bad examples you are :)

  2. I'm going to have to train pretty hard :)