Monday, March 19, 2007

Madison's 2nd MTB Ride

Sunday Madison and I went on her second mountain bike ride. This time I took her on another of my lunch rides the V&T or railroad grade. This trail has options to either do technical stuff or not so it was good practice for her and she did not have to do the hard stuff if she did not want to.

Here she is going down the first set of little hills. They seem little to us but to her, it was huge. She was pretty tired from the weekend (basketball and soccer games) and a late night the night before (see previous post) so she was not to hip on the climbing this time. She would hessitate for a few minutes at the top and have this scared look on her face but she would do the downhill.

Here she is at the turn around point of the trail. Taking a breather and being all proud of herself. She is still learning all the technical stuff so I warn her in advance of any obsticles and tell her how to menuver or how to avoid that section. There is one point in the trail that is real narrow and goes around a corner and on the one side is a steep hill. Here is a picture of my buddy Todd falling at that very spot. Ok, there was some snow involved, whatever. So I tell Madison about the turn and that if she gets scared she can just walk that section. I go first and stop to turn and watch her and she practically ran me over she was behind me the whole time and said that it was no big deal.

The other fear that she concured was a steep little hill with lots of loose sand on it. We walked up the hill on the way in and now it was time to go down that hill. She hesitated for quite a while on this one and was truly scared. She would not let me take her bike and have her walk she wanted to do the hill. She finally let it rip and almost lost it in the sand but recovered and made it down. Her poor little face had a look of terror on it as she was coming down but she was so happy afterwards.

She said she prefers the other trail we did but this one was ok and she would do it with me again. She also mentioned more than once that she had fun biking with me so I know it was a good experience for her. We also saw lots of butterflies and a rabbit! She loved that part as well.

St. Patricks Day Party

In celebration of my heritage, we hosted our second annual St. Patrick's Day party. My dad's mom was Irish, her name was Viola May Gallagher. I never had the chance to meet her since she passed away when my dad was only 15 years old. Dad came to the party and brought an old photo of him, his parents, and my aunts.

It was an intimate gathering this year filled with family, friends, bikes, love, laughter, food and drink. We started the evening with a short cruise around the neighborhood to work up our appetites.

After the cruise, we returned to the house for the Ruybalid family tradition of the Irish Car Bomb. Brent was the first to indulge...

Followed by my dad - it was his first one. That is our cousin Robin encouraging him.

Robin and I split one cos they are pretty filling. The Mosers, being purists, just had the straight Guiness in a frosted pint glass.

Brent made his famous corned beef and cabbage and I made Irish Bread Pudding with a Caramel Whiskey Sauce.

The wee ones (Madison & Charlie) had lime aide that Madison made and dyed green. Charlie's parents, The Mosers, are flexitarians so when the meat was brougt out he wispered to his mom that he didn't eat meat. Madison's parents, are also flexitarians, but she proceeded to eat three servings of the beef.

Everyone left at about 9:00 or so but Brent, Madison, and I stayed up until midnight eventually dancing in the living room to Rapper's Delight - the long (and not at all Irish) version. Next year, mommie will have less green wine....

Monday, March 12, 2007

Madison's 1st Mountain Bike Ride

Let me start by saying Madison (9) is a triathlete, soccer and basketball player - she is an athlete and avid bike rider. However, she (until yesterday) would not ride in the dirt. "Too scary" she would say. Being an avid mountain biker myself, this brought me much sadness.

In an effort to get her on the dirt last summer I purchased a used mountain bike from my friend Kathy.
It is a Specialized hard tail that is just her size and her first bike with actual gears and a front suspension. Brent and I took her out about a week after we bought it to the bike path that leads to our lunchtime dirt trails. In all fairness, she was still learning to shift but did try the dirt without much luck. We used the bike all summer to commute to summer camp and work respectively.

A couple of weeks ago Brent ordered her some new tires with better traction thinking that might help her concur her fear of riding in the dirt. Yesterday when she got home from her weekend with her dad I took her over to the bike path after I had already done my 9 mile solo ride so I was in post ride Zen mode - perfect for teaching.

We parked at the entrance to what I call the WNCC Marina and rode to the bike path. She was a bit nervous but excited to be out with me on bikes. She is still at the age where I know more than she does and I don't completely suck to be around. We headed north on the bike path til it ends and then made a left up the Observatory loop. She actually had a great pace going but did want to stop for water breaks. There were options to bail out but she did not take them she wanted to go all the way to the top. The downhill was a bit intimidating for her at first but she was ready to go once I told her I could take a video on my cell phone of her coming down.

My baby girl did the entire loop and did not fall once! She did better than I did the first time I rode that trail and her bike weighs more than mine does. I could not have been more proud of her than I was yesterday. We had a blast and she wants to go again next weekend. I think we will try the V&T.

I am counting the days....

Monday, March 05, 2007

Andy Warhol's Dream Amercia

My dad gave us some free passes to the Nevada Museum of Art. After both girls soccer practices and dropping Shayna at a birthday party/sleepover Brent, Madison, and I headed to the big city to go to the museum.

We really enjoy the museum and love art we just never find the time to drive up to Reno to enjoy it. I especially love the cafe but it was already closed by the time we got up there Saturday night.

The last time we went was on a Sunday in 2003! It was the grand opening of the new building and we saw the works of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. The Warhol exhibit was interesting, you always learn so much about the artist by seeing an exhibition of their work. I learned that he sprinkled real diamond dust in his prints before the paint dried. There were also high school artists on display so that was pretty neat. Madison really enjoyed all of the art, it was really cute.

After the museum we decided we needed nourishment and ended up at the El Pollo Loco cos that brings back fond memories of Huntington Beach and we don't have one in our town yet. Another favorite thing to do when we are in the big city is to look for the "hot" sign at the Krispy Kreme. As if the sign being on is a sign that you have to stop. Needless to say, we got a dozen of the originals oh and our free samples of course. We ended the evening at home where we watched The Benchwarmers which Madison and Brent thoroughly enjoyed.

Another well spent Saturday night if you ask me...