Friday, January 9, 2009

Busy at work, Busy in life...

I've had a wonderful holiday season, and I hope you have too. For New Years I went down to Houston and Jeremy & I hosted a dinner party for 10 of our friends. It was really fun, and everyone was able to stay until at least midnight. Even the folks with little kids. I also got the chance to ride my bike three times that weekend! I got in a 45 mile road ride on Saturday morning, followed by a messenger race in downtown Houston in the afternoon, and then a mountain bike ride on Sunday. The messenger race was awesome. I got to meet a whole bunch of new people from Houston, who were all really fun and nice. I met a few of the messengers there and hung out with them for a few hours. The welcomeness of the messengers there (and their friends) reminded me of the climbing community here in Austin. It was just so great to go to a race without knowing anyone, and to have such a great time. They even cheered me on during the first part of the race! I didn't actually finish the race itself, but I did about half of it. The race consisted of 3 manifests and 11 unmanned checkpoints per manifest... plus an obstacle course that you had to do six times! So for those of you that don't know, let me take a minute to explain this further.

A manifest is a piece of paper with a list of places that you need to hit. These were unmanned checkpoints so you just had to go to that location and answer the question listed on the manifest. ie - What color is the house at 2400 Bell Street. So you rush over to 2400 Bell St. and look at the house and write down the color. Fortunately all the people were given maps, so even us out of towner's were able to do the course pretty well. It was also a closed course. Which means all the checkpoints were within a 8 by 8 block radius. The manifest consisted of 5 checkpoints that you had to hit in order, then you had to run back to the "home spot" do the obstacle course, then do the next 6 checkpoints in any order, then go back and do the obstacle course again, then repeat for 2 more different manifests. When you were done you had to rush over to this pizza joint and turn in all 3 of your manifests. I made it through the obstacle course twice and through one full manifest before I was done. I probably wouldn't have come in dead last, but it was getting late and I knew I couldn't finish the race before I had to head back to clear lake. Either way, it was totally awesome.

I just realized this post is getting way long, so I'll just comment briefly on the mountain biking that I did on Sunday. I went to Jack Brooks park south of Clear Lake, TX. It's a pretty fun park with a bunch of man made obstacles in a section known as the playground. Now, I'm partial to Austin mountain biking, but if you've ever wanted to try trials type stuff, this isn't a bad place to check out. I decided to try out a ramp, but it didn't go very well. Needless to stay, wood does not give as much as ground does, and the fall was pretty spectacular. I'm glad I had my helmet on, and before I try those again, I think I'll make sure someone is with me in case I can't get up. I don't think I broke anything, but my pinky on my right hand is still up for debate. Anyway, if you're in the area, it's not a bad place to check out. Quite good by Houston standards. :)

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