John couldn't find his shoes. Josh told him that any old shoes would be good enough but that he probably wanted laces. Since John wore almost exclusively, Vans slip-on's, this narrowed it down to his Adidas Sambas or his church shoes... he couldn't find either. Almost all the rest of his packing was finished. He looked at the clock, it read 3:53am. John knew that Josh would be waking him sometime in the next 3 hours regardless of when he went to sleep. He thought about finding his shoes when he woke, but figured he'd better do it now. After a few more minutes he found one under the couch... then another under the air hockey table. Ahh, sleep.
John's alarm sounded loudly at 7:01am, he quickly hit the snooze button. Nine minutes later, before the alarm could sound a second time Josh came in to make sure John was awake... he half heartedly pretended like he was. John jumped in the shower. They loaded the car and were on the road for Moab by 8am.
John was going to go mountain biking. It would be the first time since he helped his dad put together his Huffy when he was eleven. Back then his off-road skills consisted mostly of jumping off or up a curb. During the 4 hour trip from Salt Lake to Moab, John and Josh covered many topics, and really had some winning conversation. Not till the very end of the trip did John ask, "So what are the tricks to mountain biking? Are their some tips you can give me?" Josh replied, "Yes." John looked at him wanting... "Could you elaborate?" he exclaimed. Josh did explain about balance, how you always want your body strait up and down, so if your bike is going down hill you want to lean back, even back behind your seat. If you are going uphill you want to lean forward, sometimes even to where your chest is resting on the handle bars. Josh also mentioned that you sometimes need to "just let go", he explained that when going down hill the rougher the terrain the faster you should take it, that this would minimize the chances of crashing. He conceded the contradictory sound of this technique but assured John he would understand.
They arrived at a mountain bike trail called "Slickrock". Josh said it was the most famous trail in the world. John figured that meant it was for everyone. As they unloaded their bike John asked, "So, do you actually use your helmet?" The look on Joshes face was answer enough, but he still responded with a "yes." John spent the next 12 minutes just figuring out how to put his helmet on, while Josh got their bikes all ready. Then they took off towards the trail head.
As they arrived John watched as Josh sped up over this little gravel pathway to hit a 3 foot rock wall... that he actually tried to ride up. John, didn't even bother, he thought If this is what I have to look forward to maybe I shouldn't be doing this. Josh noticed the hesitation and reassured him that it would be fine. They headed off. They call this place "Slickrock" because there is no dirt, just hills and hills of solid rock, more comparable to cement. Up and down they went hill after hill. John kept falling off his bike on the up hill climbs because he tried to stand up for added power this would just pop his front wheel up and the bike would fall sideways. John, rode his breaks down hill after hill at some ridiculously steep declines... there was a moment of sheer terror the first time he leaned back so that his butt was behind the seat - which meant the seat was right in front of his family jewels. All of the possible scenarios that could have ended any hope of having future offspring went through Johns mind. He cried out to Josh to make sure he was doing it right because it felt so very wrong. Josh was way ahead though and couldn't hear. After successfully making it up and down about 20 hills, John started to "get his bike legs" as Josh put it. He was more comfortable with his bike and his trail he really started to have fun... except for every 12 minutes or so when they would have to stop because Johns fat flabby body could go no further. The sheer energy needed to do this sport coupled with the fact that John only had three hours of sleep the night before was taking its toll. The ambiance was beautiful, and there were many great sites and landscapes. There were moments when John could see 4x4 jeeps and trucks traversing trails below him. He marveled that he was higher then they were, and he did it on a bike with no motor. Truth is though John was so out of shape he spent a lot of the trip looking at the ground as he pushed his bike over difficult spots.
They had ridden about 10 miles, and were on the way back, now going down slopes they had climbed earlier... On one such slope, that was so steep they decided to walk up it instead of biking. John panicked a little he held down on his brakes and the bike started to skid. At the bottom of this slope, before it flattened out was a 2 foot drop, that bikers were just expected to ride over. Josh who always led the way, had only moments before ridden over the same spot. John whether lazy, tired, or just a little flustered held onto the breaks the whole way through. The front tire dropped slowly of the little 2 foot cliff, and instead of riding through, the momentum just flipped the whole bike and its passenger over the front tired. John cried out and tried to lunge off, but his hands just went out and he watched as the rock speed towards his face. In that moment John thought, "I have a helmet!" He dipped his head forward and though his hands skid across the rock in an attempt to catch himself, he bounced squarely on top of his helmet, and, had the bike not landed on him immediately after, may have gone unscathed. Josh watched John as he writhed in pain. John said "I can't believe I used my helmet!" He picked himself up, and the headed back to the parking lot.
The last two miles were horrible for John. His body would not continue. The fatigue of no sleep and the fatigue of an 11 mile bike ride was more than he could handle... Josh patiently stayed close, but near then end just headed off while John trudged the rest of the way.
They spent the rest of their time in Moab with other friends who had come down. They played games and stayed up late talking, John still had had no sleep at 2am when the fun and festivities were over. They slept for about 6 hours, and then went to the Monticello Temple early, and did one more small bike ride after. They loaded up the car and headed for Logan.
Why Logan? Well, a few weeks ago Josh informed John that "MxPx" one of Johns top three favorite bands of all time was going to be in Logan. Josh loved MxPx too, so they had to go. They drove mostly strait to the venue and got read to rock! MxPx is a harder punk rock band which had they're hey day in the late nineties. The music was loud and the moshing was hard. John jumped, danced, and sang to the music like he always had, but about halfway through the concert something happened that had never happened before... John started to suffocate, almost hyperventilate. He just could not breath, and started to get light headed and see stars. Like a wuss he had to leave the mosh pit and catch his breath. One of the best concerts John's ever been to and his body will not do what he wants it too. He puffed and wheezed off to the side and wondered if perhaps the whole weekend of combined over-exertion just got to him. Or if it was his age catching up to him... He quickly thought of 20 year old John, and determined that even he would have had trouble with this weekends activities. The final song came on and as they sang "...i wanna get into the crowd, i wanna hear it played real loud..." John hurled himself back into the action. His tired body had just enough energy in it to get a good couple of elbows in the back, a few more tablespoons of other peoples sweat on him, and the strength to raise his arms and yell "YEAAAH!!!" with the rest of the crowd.