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Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Not Quite Canadian Hospitality

Just a couch and a road ride.

That’s all my friend Munny was hoping for. After all, last summer for a whole week he put me up, fed me gourmet meals, and took me on some stunning, epic rides in his hometown in Whistler, Canada.

Munny flew down to California last week to get away from the deep snow and frostbite. He’s a full-time firefighter, but somehow finds time to train as a pro adventure racer. He was pining for some long, warm miles on the road bike, and a little time with American friends. And, I was on his list for the central coast wine country segment.

The problem was, my husband and I are in the middle of a home improvement project, in the painting stage to be precise. And for the first time since we’ve lived here, we were going to have to get a hotel room to spare our last remaining brain cells from the toxic fumes. The burnt crème custard walls looked great, but they reeked.

marla streb

Turned out there was just enough space for Munny in our hotel room on the squeaky little roll-out bed in the corner. He didn’t complain once, despite my husband’s violent punctuated bouts of snoring.

The next morning at a cafe, I broke Munny the news that not only would we NOT be riding road bikes, but he’d be borrowing my heavy free-ride bike to join me as I zipped up my favorite rocky trails on my super light race bike.

marla streb
Marla and Munny

“We’ll ride dirt today,” I announced. “The vineyards do make pretty road riding, but I’m kind of in the mood for some trails.”

He muttered something about low-intensity road miles and taking pictures of rolling fields of grapes, but nodded politely and sipped his coffee.

“That’s okay. It’s still California, eh?” he conceded.

Munny did a great job hammering up the climbs on my beefy free-ride bike, although his training schedule forbade it. I kept reminding him that even though he was lugging around those big downhill tires, the Maxxis stuff still has lower resistance tread patterns compared to other brands.

“You’d better clear the next loose climb!” I’d cajole him from behind. “ I always make this section! Of course I’m not supposed to try right now, in my condition.”

When we got back to my place, all I could find in our second-hand harvest gold refrigerator were two bagels: one fresh onion and one very stale blueberry. Without hesitation, he opted for the blueberry. I just shrugged and dropped the pair of dry, half-disc husks on his plate.

Crazy Canadian, I thought. I would have chosen the onion.


Anonymous said...

Hey, where'd you go? Ridge Trail? We rode it last Sunday and it was in awesome shape. I'm curious as to your "favorite rocky trails". :)

I live in Los Osos too and am friends with some folks who've gotten to ride with you (local Team Singletrax).


10:41 AM  
Anonymous said...

Ooooohhhhh, that pic "Munny" wasn't showing up yesterday when I looked. But that's definitely Ridge Trail. :)


9:48 AM  
Jake Lloyd Jones said...

Hi Marla,

Just a note to say thank you for existing!

If ever you are in Sydney during February we'd love you to come and ride with us. You can be whatever colour you like.

We'd love to put you on our list of "Celebrity Supporters" please write to me if that would be ok.

Warm regards

6:24 PM  
Mr Toad said...

Hi Marla,

I was talking to you and Mark at the IMBA Trail Buildng School at Specialized's headquarters in Morgan Hill. We were talking about mountain biking with toddlers and I mentioned that my wife and I have been mountain biking with our daughter for about 2.5 years now since she was 1. Here's the link.

Good luck with your venture in Costa Rica and parenthood. You and Mark will make excellent parents.


1:01 AM  
Silvia said...

"onions is all I eat"- bet no one can guess what Canadian skit that one's from.

5:03 PM  
Anonymous said...

"onions is all I eat"

I'll take that bet Sylvia!
It sounds like Kids in The Hall - the annoying little freak neigbour kid named Gavin, eh? .

Edith Prickley

5:09 PM  
Steve Simonds said...

Hey Marla,

Just another racer from Maine. If your ever in this neck of the woods, feel free to stop by....maybe we could get Adam Craig to come out and play?

Steve Simonds

4:30 PM  
Silvia said...

I wish we could get Adam Craig to ride. Not that I could keep up. But we tried to get him here at UMaine to talk. IT'd be cool to get Elke Brutsaert up here since she originally is from Orono/Old Town.

9:15 PM  
Silvia said...

Edith, you were right. I can't get enough of that show sometimes.

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