Practice Vacation

It’s been a long time since N and I have had a proper week-plus vacation together. Sure, we’ve stolen some long weekends this year, to Utah, to Yosemite and to Mammoth. But those in the travel biz would call those “short breaks”, which in my book doesn’t qualify as a ‘real’ vacation.

So I’m really looking forward to the two week trip we’ve got planned to France later this year. It’s been a long time since I took that much time off, so I figured a training vacation was in order. Nothing special, just a week away somewhere that wasn’t Tahoe. Bend’s a close enough drive, and offers much of what we love (outdoor recreation, good coffee and food), plus, N’s parent’s live there. And they have a dog that wears out our old lady – built in doggie day care!

It was a most relaxing week despite the unusually warm weather that was apparently my fault (karma really is a bitch). Our days consisted of mountain biking, hanging out with his parents, and reading, with the odd jaunt into town for coffee or lunch. It was blissfully unscheduled.

One area of my practice vacation that I didn’t do so well on was the photography. Sure, the trails in Bend are swoopy singletrack fun, but I didn’t stop much to take photos (or when I did, I would inevitably get N in the shadow). So, the pickings were slim from the trip.

riding without a seatpost

it's more fun riding *with* a seat. trust me on this.

About the only photo I have is from the last day, when the screw that held my seat to the post shattered at the beginning of the final descent. N takes such good care of the bikes that we never have the typical maintenance issues on the trail…just the extreme ones, like a 10 year old screw disintegrating. So, seatless, I was forced to channel my ‘inner Marla’ and stand up in the pedals for the remaining 7 miles, most of which was downhill, some of which was pump-track like with the jumps and turns. I did make it to the trailhead in one piece, which admittedly is more than my bike could say.

Overall, practice vacation went well, even though it didn’t involve TSA, passports, another language, and a different currency. I’m feeling like I’m ready for the real thing at this point. Time for real vacation.

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