Spokin' Sportsmans

Team Sportsman adventures

Mineral King, Sequoia Kings Canyon National Park

One aspect of California living that we struggle with is the distance to the mountains and the LOGISTICS of backcountry permits.  However, once we are in the Sierra, it is a magical place to rival Colorado and BC. For the July long weekend, we had a backcountry permit for the White Chief Trail — 4 km and 900 m to the first backcountry campground. Thankfully my sister and her boyfriend adjusted their normal 30-40 km weekend backpacking trips to join us and help get the munchkin up the hill.

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High Sierra magic

We were well prepared for the steep climb: 1/2 lb of gummy worms and sweedish fish and another 1/2 pound of m&ms.  We only had to rely on the daddy train for about 1 km for the climb in.  The hardest part of hiking/backpacking with a child is keeping their imagination engaged.  She quickly tires if we are just hiking, but if we are climbing up the North Mountain (ala Frozen) or playing some oddball game from her imagination then she POWERS on.  Seriously, one day on our 2 week Colorado trip she did 12 kms in the rain without a single fuss because we were playing marmot and moose and baby deer birthday party.

Gummy worm powered hiking. photo by RM

Gummy worm powered hiking. photo by RM

Stream crossing with Auntie

Stream crossing with Auntie

Daddy: for when your permit is for the steep trail

Daddy: for when your permit is for the steep trail

I admit to being disappointed with being assigned the White Chief trailhead.  It was third on my list of 5 trailheads for the backcountry permit. We were hoping to camp near a lake and make use of our packraft.  That is what I get for not doing my homework… White Chief was amazing. There was an old mine, there were karst features (aka caves!), there was contact metamorphism (marble!), there was a beautiful alpine basin with a waterfall, there were wildflowers, there were snow fields.  Thanks to the permit system which limits the number of visitors at each trailhead we had two nights with no one else in sight.

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Caves

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Spelunking practice

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Beryl, master mountaineer 🙂

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Our kid is awesome

I really love having a little kid now instead of a toddler or baby.  The hiking is slower since we don’t carry  her anymore and her candy consumption/kilometer is really a marvel, but she is learning that this is what our family does.  We go outside. She is also big enough now for the junior ranger program at the National Parks.  We worked on her junior ranger book and I have never seen her so proud as when she got her first badge from the Ranger.  <3

Junior Ranger in the making

Junior Ranger pledge

Little miss is also learning the joys of backcountry skinnydipping.

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Who needs a bath at 10,000 ft?

CX and my daughter

I’m 40.  She’s 4. We both raced cyclocross this weekend.

She told everyone who would listen how fast she was now that she was on a pedal bike.  She lined up with the big kids and held her ground as they pushed forward and hemmed her in. She was excited and primed. She was strong and happy.

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Fierce

I told everyone I was old and didn’t belong racing elite class.  I stayed at the edge of the starting grid even hesitating to take a front row spot after the official opened up staging. I looked at all the other women and felt like I didn’t belong. My goal was to not be lapped and have a top 10 finish (17 signed up but only 12 raced)

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The woman ahead of me did a UCI race in China earlier this year! This is not middle-age mom class.

We started racing and the fast at the national/international level women opened a gap in the first half lap.  I was sitting in the second group of 5th-9th as we traded places.  To my surprise, I was more aggressive with the bike handling and managed to get several passes on inside corners when the other women went wide.  Of course, where pedaling and power were needed, they passed me!  I worked hard to keep the negative self-talk quiet and remember that all the women were getting tired.  My usual script involves believing that every other racer gets stronger each lap and I’m the only one working too hard and getting slower.  Surprisingly the results showed consistent lap times. I finished the race in 5th place and thanks to the (amazing!) equal payouts from the West Sacramento Cyclocross Gran Prix I won enough money to take the family to dinner and am considering buying socks to match my Team Roaring Mouse kit. In short, it was AMAZING. I raced hard. I was proud.

Here the tie in with my daughter. Not 1 day after the race and the negative self-talk started again. My result wasn’t from the hours I’ve spent on the trainer riding after our daughter goes to bed. It wasn’t the 30-minute runs I fit in during her gymnastics class. It wasn’t the once a week weight sessions or yoga class I take during my lunch hour.  It was the other women had bad races. It was Scott giving me water hand-ups every lap (which was actually vital). It was that my mom had come to babysit so we were temporarily relieved of parenting duties. In my mind, my results had nothing to do with what I’ve put into cycling. In my mind, my results were an anomaly and I am unlikely to have another great race. I don’t want my daughter to ever have these thoughts, to have this doubt, or to minimize her work and accomplishments.  This means starting with myself.  My only CX season goal this year is to quiet my inner dialogue.  If I can take responsibility for my failures in life, then I should be able to take credit for my success too. This is going to be hard! Wish me luck.

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Beer me!

Shell of a Hawk

After a few years with our FWC Fleet, Emily developed upgraditis, which couldn’t be more out of character from someone that still uses secondhand gear from undergrad.  After a few months deliberation, we pulled the trigger and ordered a new FWC Hawk Shell.

Yesterday, we said goodbye to the Fleet, which now belongs to self-professed dirtbag climbers, and lives on a Tacoma, an appropriately sized truck for a Fleet.

Good bye Fleet

This morning we took delivery of the new Hawk..

Hello Hawk

 

Hello world!

the outSpokin’ Sportsmans are back with a new addition

Gummy worm powered hiking.  photo by RM

Gummy worm powered hiking. photo by RM

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