Reading the paper this morning I noticed that the county health department declared the air quality to be unhealthy. That must explain why I'm still coughing and hacking after riding through the smoke last night. I had managed to convince myself that we could ride on the Westside and rise above the remains of lodgepole wafting through the air and lodging in my lungs. Unfortunately for the collective health of the mountain biking community I wasn't the only one who's desire for some time in the saddle outweighed our desire for fresh air. Although I guess it could have been worse, we could have stayed home and had smoke blown up our asses at the Republican Debate.
For those who missed it. I have some a quick summary of the highlights. Perry is convinced that the fires and drought in Texas have nothing to do with anthropogenic climate change, but rather are secondary to not enough prayer. Bachmann agrees that the fires have nothing to do with global warming, but believes the fires are because the governor of the state is the antichrist. Romney agrees that global warming might be a factor, but doesn't want to anything about it because regulations might ban his favorite hair spray. The one thing all the candidates agreed upon was that Obama was black, not that there was anything wrong with that.
Whether or not the hour or two I lost in life expectancy was worth it, I guess I won't know until I'm on my death bed, assuming I make it long enough to make it to a death bed. Right now I just hope my throat stops burning and stop hacking.
Not having enough light for an after work push for the summit we did our usual short Ward Climb a quick warm up jaunt out to Sawtooth canyon and back before starting the climb with the goal of going as high as we could before we ran out of light. For most of that meant most of the way through the burn before the trail was block by a downed tree that would require a chainsaw bar bigger than we would to haul. Eric and Quentin had more ambition and soldiered on to the lookout below Raven Rock.
On the way down I could notice in the bushes turning red and the grasses golden. The dust from Warwick's tires was quite obvious straight ahead of me. All signs that fall is upon us. All we need is a nice rain to squelch the fires. At the top I had a slow start when I clipped a tree and managed to do a complete flip on the dismount before landing on my feet (visible in the first video).
The remainder of the descent as long as I stayed far enough back to avoid compounding the smoke inhalation with dust cloud.
One topic that did not come during the debate was the evolutionary roots of the female orgasm, primarily since most of the debaters don't consider evolution settled science along with climate change. After all no one believed Galileo for a long time either due to his imprisonment by the church hierarchy who were scared by threats of heresy to their dogma. Later on in the evening, Obama acknowledged that he was black, but was open to negotiation.
Rumors are that next week's ride will be at Lake Como for the Un-Como ride.