I went for a mountain bike ride with James Hoffman and Nate McArthur on a seemingly beautiful late-January Saturday. The thermometer in the car said 30 F, so I thought the ground would be hard. It was not. We headed to the trails north of our sub-division because it tends to stay dry with the sun exposure. We did have some dry sections, but most of the trail was mud or snow. This is my front tire looking like a motorcycle tire.
This is my front chainring oozing mud. My bike was covered in at least 15 pounds of mud. The muddy rides don’t happen very often, and I was just glad to be out riding with James and Nate, so we took it in stride. If you are familiar with bikes at all, you may have noticed something is wrong with this picture.
The mud was so bad that it broke my derailleur in half. I rode for 45 minutes and five miles before this happen, so at least I got some time in the saddle. I hiked for 30 minutes and 1.77 miles in the mud when James met with his freshly washed white truck to pick me up. It could be worse. It could be July with a broken derailleur, or it could have happened on Slickrock in Moab or the JEM trail in St. George where I would have to hike back much further. James also noticed that I am missing a bolt where my shock mounts to the frame, so that could have caused problems. I think I was actually jumping on my last ride with James and Mike Both without that bolt. That could have been bad. It’s been a mild winter so far, and I’m just glad I have been able to get out and ride.
It was June 27, 2011, when I got word that my close friend Theron had died. It was a Monday morning, and I was in Dollar Tree when I got the call from Mike Both. I could not believe it. I had spent a few hours with Theron the previous Thursday night, so it didn’t seem possible. I felt numb all day. I had this song going through my head all day, and it has reminded me of Theron ever since. Something about the music and lyrics just seems to fit. Theron has two daughters and a son, and they are the same ages and order of my three oldest, so it hit a little bit harder.
Theron and I spent a lot of time together at E*Trade. We worked together on the graveyard shift for a long time, so it gave us time to talk and screw around. We might have sparred a few times, and we spent a lot of time pranking each other and our co-workers.
Theron and I were working in Washington, DC at the same time in May 2006. We found a rooftop restaurant on top of the Hotel Washington that Theron wanted to try. I wanted to skip it because I thought it would be too expensive, but Theron prevailed. We ended up sitting with some students from Georgetown, and it was a fun evening. The weather was great, and the view was even better.
A few days ago I was looking for a video to watch while I exercised, and I found the videos Theron made me several years ago. I watched the one of the US Secret Service yesterday and today, and the SAS In Action before that.
Theron really was a great guy, and I really miss him.
I decided to change my blog background because I am stuck on a boring conference call that I was told would be over 45 minutes ago. I haven’t blogged much lately, but it’s something that I will get back to recording. I was able to put down 20 miles on my mountain bike so far this week. I don’t remember a January like this since I moved to Utah 16 years ago. Maybe my memory is just bad, but I love the fact that I have been able to ride on dry trails with plenty of warm air and sunshine. My dog loves to run while I ride, and it keeps him docile for the rest of the day. I know the weather is going to change, so I added a rain theme background. I love the rain, as long as I’m not stuck in it wearing dress clothes.
My nephew entered the MTC today, headed to the Italy Milan mission. It actually takes in the old Italy Padova mission where I served. It made me sad to hear my mission closed, but I was also floored when I heard there would be a Temple built in Rome. I honestly never thought I would live to see that happen. I believe in miracles, big and small. This one just happened to be huge.