Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Adrenalin Weekend

I guess I could call this weekend a bit of an adrenalin weekend, or at least Sunday was. Sunday started out with a trip up to Demonstration Forest. It's a park frequented by mountain bikers (including the Santa Cruz and Specialized testers who have their main offices very close to here) that is just above Santa Cruz. I biked there last week and it was pretty wet, unfortunately this week was the same. This week the SawPit trail was in better condition then last week (0 slides/crashes) while Brail was very sketchy in places (3 slides/crashes). After my third complete loss of traction down a step muddy section, I looked back up the hill and had a huge smile on my face. The ground was very soft and good for practicing cornering on terrible terrain.

After I got back from the bike ride, myself and Alan headed out to Byron for our first sky dive with Bay Area Skydiving! Mel got me a tandem jump for Christmas (she has been raving about it to me for over a year now) so it was now time for me to take the plunge. The experience was a lot of fun. Flying up in a very crampt plane to 14,000 feet was quite strange! At a reasonable height I asked the guy I was jumping with if we will be jumping soon – he replied, nooooo, we are only at 4,000 feet! Ohhh!

The jump itself was cool – I actually felt quite safe – looking out over the edge seeing California below you – no feelings of vertigo, I was just looking forward to freefall! The first few seconds are interesting – a huge feeling of acceleration, then a really unusual feeling of the wind 'holding' you up. After about 15 seconds, the whole thing felt quite normal! After about a minute the parachute went out normally and the slow down was much more gentle then I expected. Flying the cute was a lot of fun! Swooping left and right and flaring! The landing was gentle and that was that. I'd say that anyone could go and do it! It's not a physical thing and it does not feel that dangerous when your up there. I know a lot of the biking stuff I do is a lot more sketchy

Anyway, that's been my weekend. I'm looking forward to getting back to Ireland on Friday!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


It's been a while since I last updated, so here it the 'highlights' from this last while.

Christmas was really nice this year. Mel came down to Monaghan with me for 4 days and we basically sat around, ate and watched movies (I got Mum and Dad a decent home theater system). We didn't even go out! I think that was the first time in about 7 years!

Two of my nephews, Alex and Jack

In a last minute decision I decided to fly with Mel to Germany for new years. We left on the 28th and returned on the 1st. Again, we had a very quiet time over there and enjoyed playing around in the snow.

Mel relaxing in a forest :)

Mel, her father and I built this iglou on New Years Eve

A picturesque German forest

Driving to Flansburg

Since then I've basically been working and biking. At the moment I'm in California on business for two weeks and enjoying the sunny days. (Although there are way to many rainy days this trip for my liking!)