Monday, May 2, 2011

Spring Training

Good Morning Matt. Get on your bike!

As you get older it is harder to have heroes, but it is sort of necessary.
-Ernest Hemmingway

In October 1995
Goran Kropp loaded up his bike with 108 kilograms of gear in the town of Jonkoping Sweden and began pedaling east. Seven months and 8000 miles later, he arrived at the Everest base camp in Nepal and proceeded to solo Chomolungma without the use of bottled oxygen or Sherpa support. He then pack up his kit on the bike and pedaled home. Frontdoor Adventures wasn't my idea.
In 2001 I attended a slideshow by Goran that detailed the epic and promoted his book Ultimate High: My Everest Odyssey. For two hours I sat and listened to a man poke fun at his beer belly and humbly downplay the mental and physical fortitude required to successfully pull off such an adventure. Don't take yourself too seriously was one of the resounding messages I walked away with.
I waited in line to have a poster autographed after the show. Goran greeted me with a hearty handshake and bousterous smile.

"What shall I write Matt?" he asked.

I hadn't really thought about it to much and spat out, "Train hard!"

"Perfect", he retorted and scribbled the message over a self-portrait of himself atop the highest mountain in the world . "Train hard", he bellowed and gave me friendly slap on the back.

That poster still hangs above the bench in my man space. Every morning when I go to the shed to get my bike, I am greeted by Goran's chipped-toothed smile and frozen beard. I am reminded that to accomplish great things, consistent small effort must be put forth.

On September 20, 2002 Goran Kropp died from injuries sustained in a rock climbing accident in Vantage, Washington. A memorial etched in the rock where Goran died reads, With a thumb up "Kropp on Top" Goran lives!
Goran Kropp is one of my heroes.

I have some plans of my own that involve a bicycle and the mountains, and although they may not be as grand as Goran's adventures, they embrace his spirit and get me out training on a beautiful spring day.

Livin' the Dream


Url, doing what he was built to do.

The one thing that keeps Seattle from being a world class city is transportation. It is getting better, as indicated by projects like the link light rail at the UW Campus. They can't happen soon enough.

Hydration is key to any successful athletic endeavor. Never pass up an opportunity to drink potable water...or beer.

Just in case you didn't get the memo, cars kind of suck and gas is pretty f'ing expensive.

Uphill with gear ;-)

Mt. Olympus by bike, what a crazy idea.

Long Ski Socks by Teko. A really versatile and durable piece of clothing. Pull 'em up when your legs are cold!

Overkill for the day hike at Sqauk Mountain, but the La Sportiva's need broken in for bigger objectives.

Squak Mountain State Park was donated by the Bullitt Family of Seattle for the greater benefit of the environment and community. The best any of us could leave behind is an environmental legacy.

A nice change of pace.

Rainier and May Valley from the West Summit of Squak Peak.
In July of 2008 Randall Nordfors biked from Lacy to Paradise, climbed Mount Rainier and biked home in under 20 hours. The man is an animal. I wonder how long it would take if you carried your own gear and stopped for a couple beers along the way?

New friends Gary, Sally and Chloe guided me from the microwave tower summit of Squak Mountain to some good views from the West Summit.

55 isn't old for a tree.

Nature's Sponge. The great Douglas Fir Tree.

Art is alive and thriving in Seattle...

even in the ditches.

Lots of rain and a little sunshine makes things pretty here in the evergreen state.

The second best institute of higher learning in the State of Washington.

Recovery meal by Flyers Brewery in Oak Harbor , WA.

I picked up a hot dinner date on a bike near Roosevelt.

Recovery Meal by Will Fernandez! Thanks Will!
Beast and Wild Asparagus from Idaho.

1 comment:

  1. Great post and an inspiring adventure! The view from Squak is awesome.