Thursday, December 25, 2008

ER ANGELS

A Christmas Thank You to my ER staff.....

MOUNTAIN VIEW ER HOLIDAY THANK YOU


Tis the season of expected Joy and Happiness

but this brings our ER the psychosocial mess

Yes, our thoughts must be askew

For we are the 24/7 crew



You heal those hurting on the inside and out

You offer compassion even when you want to shout



You reach out to our patients sick and in need

from holding their hands to helping them breathe



This is the season of personal sacrifice

Ignoring your own needs must suffice



In return, you are blessed with honor and respect

the priceless value of which we should all reflect



Whether you are a nurse, EMT or a clerk

You are my team of heavenly Angels at work

(thank you for working with this jerk)



For what you do every single day is the reason

I want to give you heart-felt thanks, this season



As a small token of my appreciation

In this time of economic depreciation



And in line with the rising of the Obamanomic day

In your name I will donate to the Provo United way



As he says; for our country’s health

we should spread the wealth.



With true gratitude, $500 I will donate

to put food on a hungry plate



May you have a very merry Christmas

and an ER New Year with less mess!



Karl Vizmeg MD

Monday, December 22, 2008

CROSS TRAINING (NOT CYCLO-CROSS)

So a great team Moab ride has gone to pot due to the weather. I was REALLY looking forward to a lot of riding this weekend in Moab with a big group from the team but the weather scattered us. Keith and Adam headed out snowshoeing, Chris, KC went down to ST George and Carson and I went up to the Uinta to the cabin. It was supposed to be KC, Chris and Tim up there as well but the weather stranded them before they left town. Yet we all ended up using planned time off to at least get some activity in.
Carson and I ended up doing about 2.5 hours of snowshoeing and and over 3 hours of powder snowmobiling. I think the snowmobiling gave us a better workout. Yes, it is hard to admit to this crowd of leg power junkies that a motorized sport can be considered a workout and that is what I thought before I tried off trail snowmobiling. But when you get onto over 3 feet of powder you end up using your whole body to balance and turn the machines with very little possibility of sitting down.
We return Saturday to a night shift for me, followed by going to "Work at Brighton Clinic" and snowboarding on Sunday with my boys. That's always a treat since I get to watch the boys have a ton of fun while I "work". Sunday we went for two runs, saw a patient, ate lunch, played in the snowbanks, went up for another couple runs, treated a broken wrist, went for another run and worked on a ski patroller with a fracture/dislocation of his shoulder. All in all an exhausting fun-packed weekend.

For some reason Sunday night I still felt I had to get some biking in so I hit the trainer to watch Hellboy II. I was toast! I couldn't get my heart rate higher than 133 when I usually average 160 for a 1.5 hour ride! Well, I hope that is cross-training at it's best else I am in trouble for Temecula in January.

video

Friday, December 12, 2008

What's CycloCross?

Racing on the skinnies.

Well I guess I found out what cyclocross was. I did my first cyclo cross race last Sat here in Draper. It's funny but I was really surprised how nervous I was the week before. I actually had a tough time before that setting the bike up. I didn't want to buy a new bike for a sport I had no idea if I would like so I figured I'd try setting up the ARANTIX with some skinnier and better rolling tires. Interestingly no one had skinny tires for a 26 inch wheel. There were some 29 inch tires since they are basicly 700's and I bought one for the front wheel. Then I realized I had some 26 inch 1.5 slicks from a long time ago and dug those out. I figured I was ready to go.

The race was at the Draper Equestrian center 1 mile from my house so I just rode there as a warm up. I entered 35+ B and showed up early to get an idea of what the course and race was about. I ran into Bob Saffal and Canyon Kris who gave me some pointers of what's going on.


I lined up dead last since I wasn't sure how the starts went. The first lap was nerve racking and I used it to get a feel for the course. Then I started to slowly get into the groove and started passing people. No one passed me until a pro girl came up from behind and beat me up pretty good as I tried to hang with her for a couple laps. It was Kathy Sherwin. She's one tough gal.
(WHAT'S UP WITH MAKING US RUN ON PURPOSE AND TRYING TO TRIP US WITH HORSE JUMPS?)

At first I had trouble trusting the skinnies and the slicks but got used to it fairly well by the end of the race. It was tough since it was an all out race without knowing ahead of time of how many laps. I just went around in circles until they told me to stop. It was the type of race that brings out all my weakness (mostly a lung burner and all out, all the time). It's definitely something I should do more of. Too bad it is the last one for the year.

I came in 11th out of 26, whatever that means. You can't compare time across categories or even the other racers since there is no time.

Well, next stop is Moab next weekend (19th). Hope the weather cooperates.


Total ARANTIX miles for 2008 (so far): 2075 and 240 hours.

Monday, November 17, 2008

12 HOURS OF TEMECULA, CA

TEMECULA 11/15/2008

CHRIS AND CARSON AT THE START OF THE 12 HOURS OF TEMECULA

This weekend Chris, KC, Carson and I headed down to Temecula, CA. We took the truck and camper and blew into town friday morning for a pre-ride of the course. It was really nice to be able to camp right at the race site. The race actually went right by our site.

The next day the start went well. Chris and Carson were lined up front. The race started with a 1 mile all out "parade" lap to spread out the 250 or so riders. Chris took the parade lap and was first (until he spun out on the grass- long story) and Carson was nearby. But perhaps this was a bit too fast. Keep reading. START AND FINISH OF THE RACE. THE LOWER RIGHT CORNER IS WHERE FINISHERS COME IN. THEY LOOP AROUND A TREE AND COME OUT THROUGH THE SAND BOG. I THINK CHRIS IS THE THIRD BLUE GUY ON THE ROAD (ON THE LEFT).

The two both came in for their first lap in the top 15 riders and things were looking good. I got on the course and passed one guy and managed not to be passed. The course was pretty nice and the weather was warm but not yet too hot. The first part of the course there is the "Dam" (just above the Vail Lake dam) climb. It is a steady but long climb up for about a mile. The nice thing is that the rest of the course is a combination of downhill, ridge riding and several short rolling uphills with a few scary sandy downhills. It was quite fun. I came in with a respectable time of about 49 minutes. KC went after Chris and she pulled off a 51 minute lap which was good for the $50 fastest girls lap! Way to go KC! Chris was Chris and was pulling down 45-47 minute laps. I can tell you right now they took first AND had the most laps OVER ALL the teams! Check out thier story.

Carson and I did about the same times on the 2nd laps and things looked REALLY good for a podium. Then came Carson's third lap it took him almost 9 minutes longer to come in and when he did he cramped up so bad in his quads as he dismounted that it seemed like an eternity before he could finish the last 10 feet of the lap. I knew that was trouble. The thing about racing a 2 person is that you really don't see the other guy to talk and see what's up. I had a bad feeling as I left for my lap. What he told me later was that his stomach seized up and was not absorbing fluids, he threw up and felt like passing out during that lap.

I got back in 55 minutes to him waiting to talk to me. He couldn't do another lap. So I took his water bottle and went for a consecutive lap. I was feeling good until then and wasn't too worried about an extra one here. But I sure was praying I wouln't need to do the rest of the race solo. Well Carson came through and headed out the next lap. He finished but he definitely was not feeling strong. He usually is the one who I struggle to keep up with. It was hard to tell where we were at against our competition but I had a feeling our edge was slipping. So on my fifth lap I pushed it hard but ended up hitting a new rock on the course and flatted! I lost 8-10 minutes at that point and was getting quite frustrated. Carson went for another one but he looked like Heck (as they say in UTah). At that point I figured we had two night laps to go before the end of the race. In our rotation Carson would have had to do the last lap. So I offered to do the next two. Knowing Carson, he must have felt REALLY ill to agree to let me finish off the race.

We ended up in 4 th place. Only 6 minutes off of 3rd!! If only I wouldn't have had the flat! I am also curious to see how far out second was since we would have had time for another lap without that flat. The official times have not yet been posted. Despite the frustrations it was a fun race and I'm hoping I can talk Chris, KC and Carson to sign up for the next one- Jan 24th, 2009.

Carson and I the next day near the end of the course.

The next day we headed towards home but ended up stopping in Las Vegas for a ride. We tried the Cottonwood Valley trail system near Blue Diamond. I was pretty sore but we still rode about 18 miles. It was a pretty nice trail system that would be good to come back to during the winter. DEAD HORSE POINT WITH LAS VEGAS IN THE BACKGROUND.

ME FINISHING ON "BLUE VELVET" TRAIL NEAR LAS VEGAS.

That night we camped at the St George ICUP race course and headed for another ride up the Zen trail. That was a spectacular but technical trail that wiped me out.

I want to thank KC, Chris and Carson for a great trip and being the greatest traveling companions! I hope we have many more such trips!Well that's it for the season (I think) and what a season it's been!

The ARANTIX has over 2025 miles on it. It NEEDS a drive train overhaul but the frame is still good to go!
I'll give a summary of the year shortly and we'll stay tuned to see what happens next year!



Saturday, November 8, 2008

Moab pics



Got a couple more pics from the 24 Hours of Moab. This is one of the coolest pictures of the ARANTIX. Carson makes it float!
Me....

Winters finally come to Utah ending ARANTIX rides outside. Spinning sucks! I'm winding up the last training push for Temecula which is in 7 days. I am looking forward to getting to warmer climates one more time before I give in to winter.

ARANTIX MILES SO FAR: 1902

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

TRAINING AGAIN

Well, I couldn't do it. After Moab I just was not satisfied and did not want the season to end. It seemed Carson felt the same way when I mentioned I wanted to do another race. He emailed me this site; http://www.12hrsoftemecula.com/12hrsoftemeculapage1.html. I am not ready to end the season. I feel I finally peaked at Wolverine Ridge and had a good recovery of two weeks hunting. I just didn't want to "WASTE" all that work I did for the whole year. So I've switched around my schedule, got permission from Dot and it looks like we are go to do the 12 hours of Temecula- "The ARANTIX duo"! I'm pretty excited about it and it looks like Lester and maybe Chris from Delta 7 sports might come. Hopefully Chris and KC will come as well. If nothing else it will hopefully be a nice 'sunny' ride in California.


So I am back to training. And the weather has been so good that its been great. I've ridden 5 of the last 7 days up corner canyon and as you can see from the pictures, the fall colors have been beautiful up there. Most of Ghost and Clark's is covered with a carpet of leaves making it somewhat slick but gorgous.
I've done the Clarks TT each time (at about 90% effort) and pulled out an 11:50 today. My best has been 10:59 in July but this is the closest since.
HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!
ARANTIX MILES LOGGED: 1890!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

24 HOURS OF MOAB

SUMMARY: GREAT TIME, GREAT FRIENDS, GREAT BIKE.

We literally BLEW into GrannyGear town on friday because that is when the wind started and never let up. Friday was a fun day of setting up, checking bikes and being part of a community of health minded people up for the challenges that the deserts of Moab would throw at them. Mad Dog race team hosted 6 teams and we had a cozy camp of over 50 people. We had excellent food from Abbie with the help of Mindy and Marcy and other awesome volunteers.

The next morning I received great news! Carson, Scott, Tim and I were going over the race order for our team. I somewhat jokingly noted to Tim that he was one of the few who beat me running at the first race of the year at the 24 hours of Old Pueblo and maybe he should do the 'Le mans' start. And to my surprise he graciously volunteered to go first. I think that was the first time I haven't run at this venue. It really made the start much more relaxing. Little did I know that I would pay for that at the end of the race.
True to form Tim was one of the first ten around the tree and out onto the course (thanks to the goggles he stole from Joey because it was so windy). That got me out nice and early and obviously into a very competitive crowd. I counted 8 riders that passed me that first lap. It really pushed me the whole time. Interestingly, The remainder of the laps, I had only a couple riders pass me. The 'behind-the-rocks' trail in Moab is really one of my least favorite. It has some crazy rock drops that really beat you up and have a serious "pucker" factor. So I did have a little trepidation of racing a hard tail since all my other races here were on a full suspension. And my first lap I have to admit was rough since I tried to ride it like I did every other time on the full suspensions. I realized I was sitting to much. Subsequently, the other laps I rode with a lot more standing and less saddle work which turned out great. I was able to climb better and faster and had a lot less pain on my back. The combination of sitting and standing prevented fatigue in any one area.
Ultimately, I feel this was one of the easiest races on my body. I did not cramp. I had no back pain, I had no serious crashes and the ARANTIX held up excellently. NO mechanicals! Why?
Maybe it was because I felt more relaxed, Maybe the bike? Hard to tell. But I had a really fun time.
We raced in the 4 man expert category and turned in 7th place out of about 35 expert teams. What I think is even more telling is that over all, we came in 16th out of 365 teams. I compared my times from last year and they were surprisingly very close taking into consideration the different race positions and what I believe was a slower sandier course this year.
STATS:
Rider: Karl Vizmeg Team: Mad Dog #1/TBD Class: Men's Expert Fastest lap: 1:14:32
Laps completed: 5Total
Elevation Gain: 6800 ft
Total Distance Travelled: 74.55 miles
Lap 1 : 1:14:32
Lap 2 : 1:18:03
Lap 3 : 1:28:30
Lap 4 : 1:29:57
Lap 5 : 1:23:29
TOTAL ARANTIX MILES TO DATE 1785!








Thursday, September 25, 2008

DIRT DEMO/ INTERBIKE

DIRT DEMO
How cool would it be to have all bikes and related products be in one place for you to try them out? Well that's what the Dirt Demo was all about. It was held at Bootleg Canyon (see my Sea Otter blog) and I had the 'chore' of riding "my" ARANTIX around all day. Unfortunately, I was still nursing my knee tendinitis which flared up. But it sure was a fun day on Tuesday. The picture above is of the Delta 7 sports booth.

INTERBIKE



After the Dirt Demo Tuesday night, we headed to set up the booth for Interbike. We worked until 9:30 and then finally headed for Dinner with the Delta 7 sports team. What made the long day worth it was the team. Everyone, was dedicated without complaints and continued to work until the job was done.





The next morning I picked up Carson and we sneaked out for a ride down south at the city of Blue Diamond. It was great desert riding until Carson had a flat and we had technical difficulties with getting it repaired. Carson had to hike out quite a distance while I went to get the truck to pick him up. The morning was frustrating, but we did find a great trail system that we WILL try again. We headed back to the convention to put in some work for the afternoon. It was a great experience representing the company and bike. It was pretty easy since I've had such a great experience with ARANTIX this year. Let's hope for another year!





BOOTLEG CANYON


I had to head home Thursday but without one most last "training" ride. Carson and I got up before dawn and headed back to Bootleg Canyon. We did the big loop called "Mother" around the whole ridge. We mad good time and found that we had time to do some more "playing" on the down hill circuit. This old man should really learn to stay away from the kids park, though. As can be seen in the picture above there are some great toys to play on in the park. Above, I am on the teeter totter which was great. But if you look in the background to the left there is another "small" appearing board drop. Well I took this drop at an off angle and endo'd off the side. I saw my life flash before me and at the last minute tucked and rolled with it landing on my head and shoulder. I am certain the tuck and roll saved me from being paralyzed and my helmet saved me from anymore brain damage. Check out the helmet below! By the way the ARANTIX was unfazed! I really need to act my age.......
I want to thank the Delta 7 Sports team for a great time and a great product. Thanks Lester, Tyler, Jay, Kris, Mitch, Carson, Dan and last but not least our token rose, Melanie!

ARANTIX MILES: 1725 and ANOTHER crash!

Friday, September 19, 2008

ASCEND!


HERE IT IS! The debue of the new Delta 7 Sports road bike, the ASCEND! The frame comes in at the industries lightest of 1.8 lbs and I bet from my experience with the ARANTIX, stronger than any carbon fiber made. The ride is smooth without jarring but quick and responsive. It will have its first appearance at Interbike (booth 215) next week. I'll post more pics and a component list from the show.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

BAD RIDE


What a bad ride I had today! This was the first day after the 12 hours solo Sat. and my legs weren't feeling too bad (so I thought). I also had to return the ARANTIX to the Delta 7 Sports team to "touch" up and pack up for the Interbike show next week.



So there I was today setting up my "old" (Specialized stumpjumper expert) bike which I have NOT ridden ALL year. So I pick it up to take off the rack and think "Wow this thing is heavy!" Next, I get on the bike and think wow this is nice and soft.... But then I start pedaling. Holly cow I felt like I was slogging through 3 inch deep mud! I've raced this bike for two years and felt it rode well and I was doing good, but today I could hardly get it to move. It didn't have a bounce but you could tell it just 'gave' when you pushed on the pedal. I couldn't believe the difference.



Granted, part of it probably was leg fatigue from the race Sat. But that was 5 days ago and I've been Hiking and going to Karate since then and felt the quads were OK. At that point I did realize I had some patellar tendonitis which I did not feel before I got on the bike.



So I headed up Corner Canyon feeling ALL wrong. I hurt, I was slow, AAAND I was just another Joe on a bike. I didn't have that special "Wow!" feel when I ride the ARANTIX. Yeah, I know that's pretty egocentric but I realized that I did get used to everyone giving me (the ARANTIX) a second look.



I got out for about an hour and I couldn't do it anymore and headed home.



I did ride through the burned out section from the fire we had earlier this month. It was pretty unreal how barren things looked

Sunday, September 14, 2008

12 HOURS OF SUNDANCE- SOLO




I have to say this race has been my greatest challenge on a bike yet. The pain, the boredom, the mind-numbness, the focus on nutrition, the loneliness, the exhilaration of passing, the dejection of being passed, and the pride of being the few that would even attempt this are just a few feelings I experienced. Sorry, No pictures. In the morning, setting up it was too dark, During the race I had other things on my mind and afterwards I was too exhausted and it was getting dark.




THE RACE (This might be a bit long, but so was the race)




Thanks to Carson who came up the night before to get a prime spot on the race route I was able to set up my table and cooler right on the course. It was 40 degrees F and dark. We started en mass at 7 am up the hill. It sure seemed like everyone took off really fast. Heck, we had the whole day ahead of us! I got in about where I wanted. Not in the front with the duo teams and not in the back with the recreational riders who might slow me up. I was pretty excited and my heart rate was at around 90% max. It was way too fast but I couldn't let up where I was at in line. It wasn't the usual race pace but close. Well I stayed around there for the next 6 laps! I new I was going to blow! But I figured it was all or none so I went for it. I did get stung by an angry nest of wasps (twice!) on my second lap. THAT WAS A SURPRISE! Several other riders also got stung until the stingers were all used up or the Sundance folks finally got around to spraying them. My low back was tight the first 6 laps but with a combination of putting pressure on the opposite leg of the pain more and standing up the back pain got better. I really think being able to lock out the ARANTIX helped immensely. I didn't feel any loss of power with bouncing etc. And every bit of energy saved was important on a ride like this.



Well by the 8th lap I was looking at my watch way too much and my HR wouldn't go up above 75%. All I could do was hope the other solo riders were slowing down also. That's also when I lost track of how many laps I had done. I was surprised how hard it was to keep count. During those laps I really only stopped 1-2 minutes to change out my water bottles. I think over all I did well with nutrition. I alternated Carborocket with Perpetuim each lap and felt like I was absorbing it fairly well. Towards the end I was getting tired of the taste and changed to water and electrolyte tabs with few powerbar lemon bursts. I took a 7-8 minute break around 2 pm and ate some grapes and sat down briefly. It felt good by I couldn't stay there and stiffen up so I headed out. It did take me a little while to warm up but then I was actually feeling better and faster.



It was difficult to gage where I was in the field of soloists and that was frustrating. I knew there was a of U of U racer that started with me and then took off early. No other soloists passed me for the first 8 laps that I could tell. I kept seeing the U racer at an intersection on the course and figured he was 10 minutes ahead of me. From feedback from the other Mad Dog racers I was somewhere in the top 10 after 5 laps.



On my third to last lap Brad Mullen started out for his last lap and rode with me. That seemed to have awakened me. The boredom let up and I started feeling my second wind! I actually was having fun again! Kind of. Well after that lap I figured I only had one lap left and I'd stop before the cut off time of 6:30 pm. But wouldn't you know it as I was heading out for that lap I saw BEHIND ME the U of U guy! I couldn't believe it! He had to have taken a really long break giving me a chance to catch up! That was my strategy all along; since I figured I couldn't out race the youngsters in the field I would keep going and not take breaks. And at that point it seemed like it would work! Well I took off determined that he wouldn't catch me. I was worried since he must have gotten a lot of rest that he would be fast. But I was still feeling good after Brad's boost from the last lap. I new I had the U guy when I saw him at the intersection 10 minutes behind me! Our positions had switched in just one lap! But then I realized that I was going to get in in time before the 6:30 cut off and have to do another lap! OUCH!!!



Well that last lap was REEEAAALLLYYY painful! I had blown my wad the last two laps not expecting to have to do this additional one. But at least I knew it was the last one for sure this time. I pulled in to half the racers already gone and the other cleaning up but I knew I had finished the whole 12 hour race with less than 20 minutes off my bike! What a feeling of accomplishment!




I ended up taking 5th over all the soloists! That included youngsters and pros! I was a bit dismayed that the organizers did not have a 40+ masters category as they had advertised. I'll be interested to see the age distributions once they post the results.



Unofficially I did 13 (CORRECTION AS OF 9-17: OFFICIAL # OF LAPS WAS 15 AT 9 MIILES A PEICE FR AN ESTIMATED 135 MILES!) laps for a total of 117 miles! My hands were raw,my legs tired and mind a bit numb but overall I felt pretty good.




The ARANTIX was flawless. NO mechanicals and I have to say for a hardtail it did not beat me up!




We are at 1603 miles of pure dirt, rock and grit on the ARANTIX!




NEXT STOP: OUTDOOR DEMO IN BOULDER CITY NV AND INTER-BIKE IN LAS VEGAS!
Dot and Jonny at Wolverine race.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

THE RACE FOR EVERYONE


Our race team hosted the second annual RACE FOR EVERYONE this Saturday. What a fun time! The race is designed to be relaxed and beginner friendly. We want to get as many new racers involved as we can. There is even a first-timer category! All the proceeds go to the nonprofit Kids on the Move. Its a great program serving Utah County by helping disabled preschool kids and their families during the most challenging early years. They help set up a silent auction at the race as well. There are great deals on all kinds of stuff. We haven't been able to leave the last two years without spending a couple hundred bucks for stuff worth much more than that. Anyway on to the race.


There were 6 experts racing (including Chris Holley who is pro but we didn't have a pro category). The neat thing was that Bob Saffell showed up! I was excited to get another chance at him this year considering he was only 40 sec ahead of me at Wolverine. It was at least a good motivator since I was planning on taking it easy for this race. We took off and I was in last place again. I just can't go out that fast at the start. My heart rate will not stand for it. The course was fun as usual but a bit more dusty and rutted than in the ICUP race. It was the same course as the ICUP so I was interested to compare times from earlier in the year. I passed Racer early in the first lap and had the head group in my sights for the first half of the lap. I got around to the road climb to finish the first lap and saw Bob ahead! Wow that was pretty exciting! I put on some more speed on the climb and closed the gap a bit. Then some of my team mates who weren't racing started cheering for me and Bob noticed. He took off and I never saw him again. Nevertheless, The rest of the race I got a boost by continuing to hope I could see him again.

but then, I cramped up with the last half of the road climb left on the third and last lap. I actually had to turn and coast down a bit to loosen my quads before I could finish. Racer caught me and and KC was finished just a minute behind (on a single speed!). She has gotten way stronger! The Arantix held up well again. I pumped up the front shock a bit which was a mistake since it was pretty rough on the downhills. Riding Diamond Fork canyon last week I thought it was a bit too squishy. Well my time was 1o minutes slower than for the ICUP race. Yuk! So to punish myself, after loading up the family, I decided to ride the ARANTIX home over the Alpine loop and across Hogs Hollow. (I really was planning on doing it anyway) So total ride time was 4.5 hours for 50+ miles. I've got to put in a couple more long rides before I do the 12 hours of Sundance-solo.


TESTAMENT to CARBOROCKET!

I began taking Carborocket for the races earlier in the year when I was cramping every race. Since then I really had no problems. Then I ran out last week and didn't get a chance to get a hold of Brad for more. So I raced without it Saturday and look what happened! Supercramps! Well I just put in my order for more. I've learned my lesson. OH and talking to Brad today I found out that he is even improving his product more by putting in Calcium and Magnesium! Can't wait to try it.


ARANTIX miles to date: 1350!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

WOLVERINE RIDGE- "RIDE LIKE A SCARED RABBIT!"

Finally, on the final ICUP race it all came together!
(WARNING: this is a bit long since I'm so excited about the finish so if you want, fast forward to the last paragraph)

I was a bit nervous at the start since I wasn't sure I was fully recovered from the RANATAD but I was optimistic since it was a course I had pre-ridden several times and knew well. We started off pretty slow, surprisingly, but I took my usual place towards the end of the pack. I kept thinking, however, that something was wrong since I wasn't out of breath as usual. I inched up to 4th behind Darren but on the first short climb he was going way too slow and I passed him there. So Fred Porter was next in second and right ahead of me. Well, I thought if I stay with him I am way ahead of my usual spot in the races this year. By the time we got the Lilly lake road crossing about 20 minutes into the race I was bored and antsy. I kept telling myself to take it easy since I usually have burned out in the second laps and would likely do it again. NOPE. I couldn't do it. I had to pass him. Part of the reason I rationed for passing him was in fairness to him he hadn't raced this course before so I was hopefull he might be more tentative on the downhills which is where he usually kicks my butt. So I passed him and was feeling pretty excited being in second. So much so that I looked down at my HR monitor and I was tachin away at 174! I couldn't sustain that for another 1.5 hours! I made myself calm down and try to relax. It started to work and by then we hit the long road climb and I had to bring the HR back above 170 for the climb.

Well this is where the ARANTIX gave me the edge. I locked her out and started to climb. I was cruising in my middle ring and middle cassette. I passed several racers in the categories ahead of us like they were standing still! I crested the road and slowed to catch my breath for the powder climb. I hate this part more than any other in the whole race series! I was surprised how much farther I got than usual before I had to touch down and walk a few feet before completing it. As I reached the top I looked back and saw no sign of Fred. Cool! I head across the Wolverine ridge trail and down to the Lilly Lake turnoff. I was really nervous about burning out so I kept trying to take breaks but then got nervous Fred would catch up on the down hills so I took off again. So I kept playing this scared rabbit game in my head since I did not see the #1 guy ahead and did not see the #3 guy behind.

I was into the second lap and heading up the road climb again when I looked back and THERE WAS FRED 200 YARDS BEHIND! Yikes! If I didn't squeel outloud I sure did inside. I took off and gave it my all. No more slowing for rests, no more watching my HR monitor, at that point it was all or nothing. Well, the rest of the climb went well and I didn't see him again until we hit the last 3 miles or so when I got to the top of Bear Claw. I kind of slowed there on purpose to make sure the other racers were turning also. For some reason I had it in my head that last year we had done 2 1/2 laps and maybe heard it wrong at the start of the race that we were doing only 2. Lack of oxygen to the brain seems to do that towards the end of these races. We were about 2 hours in. Well they made the turn and I new I only had a few mostly downhill miles left. I figured he was only about 20 seconds behind me. I was SCARED! I new the course and gave it all I had! No more holding back and no more looking back I told myself. Well I didn't hold back but I have to admit I looked back plenty of times. I never did see him again.

I came in feeling strong in 2:20. 40 seconds ahead of Fred and 40 seconds behind Bob Saffell. I've never been even remotely that close to Bob and do wonder if I wasn't so worried about Fred whether I might have at least pushed Bob some at the front. Well I never expected 4th that race, let alone 2nd! I was stoked! I beat my time from last year by 8 minutes where I had taken 3rd then. FINALLY!

Here's some more of the great weekend:

Dot raced in her first Sport race. She came in 4th! And that's despite a crash and flat tire. It was a good finish leaving her feeling like she was close but wanting to prove she could do better. She still had enough points in 35+ to take first overall.


Keith had a rough spill and sprained his AC joint which dropped him to 12th and he missed 3rd overall by 3 points. OUCH! Talk about having salt rubbed into his wounds. Sorry, about that Keith. You earned better than that. As you can see he wasn't a happy camper at the awards banquet. Although, he did win some awesome fireworks (which my boys coveted all night) for the best spill of the race. (I'm not sure what Jared's problem was.)

Several members of the team stayed at the cabin friday night before the race and more came for showers afterwards. We had a great time there with them team!
We came back to the cabin for the night before heading home and the boys were let loose in the newly formed puddles. They say that was the best part of the weekend. Jonny took 4th missing out by a few seconds for third! Joey rode great ending 4th from last in a very tough 9 and under class.
ARANTIX MILES TO DATE 1300 AND GOING STRONG! WOW, What a climbing machine!



Monday, August 4, 2008

RANATAD KICKS BUTT!- mine

Wow what ride! I was surprised how many people showed up on a Monday to do a silly little ride (70 riders) that didn't even have winner. We headed off down to Provo canyon from Sundance at a chilly 7 am start. But it got hot in no time. We headed down University Ave across the interstate and down the west side through Benjamin into Payson. The whole group was pretty much together (and embarrassingly causing some traffic concerns due to the large Peleton) until we started climbing Payson Canyon for the beginning of the Nebo loop. Many times I train up the canyon after work so I was really itchy to go at that pace but we were only about 1 hour into the ride and I had to keep telling my self to conserve my strength. It sure was good we did Nebo first, though. It just kept going and going with tons of false summits. We would hit a good down hill expecting it to be the descent back to Nephi, but then we would start another climb. This happened at least 5 times. Well by the time we did make it down I found myself with the front group of riders. I have never done a ride of this distance so I was kind of nervous thinking that maybe I was pushing it too hard. We were only 1/3 of the way done. But I was feeling good. Plus I felt I had to get back in pretty good time since I had to get home so Dot could go to a dinner meeting.
The long flat, 100 F ride back through the valley was not what I was looking forward too in mid-day so I headed out with the front group. I figured I'd go all out here to get it overwith and then deal with the Alpine Loop climb once I got there. Well I got hooked up with this monster biker at the front who set a narly pace. We started with about 8 in the group and quickly riders would drop off not able to keep up. And this is despite him pulling for at least half the total time! So by the time we were clearing Benjamin there was "the monster" (Heath) myself and one of his buddies. I held on. Me and the other guy pulled for maybe 25% of the time and "the monster" did the rest. We got to the last feed station at the bottom of Alpine alone and way ahead of the rest of the pack. We had time to drink and eat and still noone else showed up. We separated at the climb and I was alone. This was the part I figured I would deal with when it came up. And boy was I hurting! I was 7 hours in and had to climb the whole Alpine Loop. Well so far the whole ride I resisted dropping into my lowest chain ring but half way up the climb I cried "uncle" and dropped down for a couple of the steepest miles. The nice thing about the Alpine climb is that at the top once your are past Timpenoke campground the incline eases. That raised my spirits and speed and I actually had fun the rest of the way up. It was also refreshingly cooler up there. I was tempted to lay down at the top and enjoy how cool it was up there. But I was expected at home.
I ended up finishing 165 miles, 11000 feet of climbing up two mountain ranges in 9 hours and 25 minutes. I got back third! I know it wasn't a race but we all started at the same time and I am sure everyone wanted to finish as soon as possible. I got some drinks, washed off, packed my bike up taking about 20 minutes to do so and no one else had yet showed. I wonder how far back they really were. What a good day! And I don't even feel exhausted, plus I got to eat whatever I wanted for dinner!

Sorry, ARANTIX, I did this without you but next big first will be the 12 hours of Sundance-solo.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

WOLVERINE RE-RIDE






Friday we had to get out of the heat here, so we headed to the cabin. And since I was there I had to ride Wolverine again. I did the whole race amount of 2 big laps and a short lap. Plus I rode from the cabin for a total of 35 miles in 3.5 hours. The course is quite dusty and sandy but it has REALLY been cleaned up of rocks. The narly Deadman trail downhill is clean but it still didn't keep me from dumping it there. I was so excited on my second time around I got going pretty fast and just started bouncing. The bouncing was taking me over the edge, so I over corrected and layed it down on top of me. I felt this burning on my left calf! For a minute I couldn't figure out what it was. Was it the exhaust system? Oh the ARANTIX doesn't have a motor. I finally looked down and saw the disc rotor laying on my leg! It had gotten so hot on the downhill that the burn caused blisters on my leg. I do have a pretty cool half rotor tatoo on my leg though.

Over all it is definitely a rough course on a hard tail. I even softened the front shock some after the first lap since it was beating me up so bad. Now I do have to say the new lockout system was handy. I finally mounted the remote lock out on the Reba shocks last week and it has been really nice locking it out for climbs. I was running my front shocks a bit tight for the climbs but now I felt comfortable softening them for the downhills since I could lock them for the climbing. It was nice to lock it out on the 1/2 mile climb up the gravel road yesterday.
I am doing the RANATAD (ride around nebo and timpanagos in a day) monday sans the ARANTIX. It's 165 miles and 12000 feet of climbing. It shall be interesting. I hope I recover by the race Saturday. I am using this to train for the 12 hours of Sundance- solo. (I mean with the ARANTIX).
Over 1200 miles on the ARANTIX and going strong! THE LOCKOUT...

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

JACKSON HOLE WYOMING








What a great long weekend with the boys! Since Dot was at a sorority reunion in PA and I had to take the time off to watch the boys, we decided to go "camping". We left Wednesday to camp with our "toyhauler" at Lava Hotsprings. The boys had a great time on the water slides. The next day we set off towards Jackson and found a great spot to pull over about 20 miles from the race site. Thanks to Google Earth we scouted open camping areas as near to Teton Village as I could find. The place we ended up was exactly how it appeared on the internet. It was perfect! We had a fish laden stream, open land with noone else around. It was as close as we were going to find even if we went to a "real" campground.





BOYS IN THE MUD ON THE FALL CREEK RIVER BANK.


Thursday we dropped the trailer and went up to pre-ride. Thanks to Shandy, Kendra's daughter I left the boys with her after their "pre-ride" and Kendra and I headed off to try the course. Unfortunately, Ed had just gotten there and the course wasn't marked. I got us lost about 2/3 of the course in. Oh well it was a good little ride to loosen the legs. We spent all day Friday fishing and camping. It was just Dad and the boys and I think it will be the most memorable day with them that I will have for a long time.

THE RACE

I wasn't feeling too bad pre-race but I new the fast guys in the group were going to show. And they didn't let me down. All the top guys showed except Darren C. They took off fast and I quickly was shunned to 4th where I stayed the rest of the race. It is a fun but challenging course with lots of single track and rocks to make it quite technical. There aren't any real sustained climbs so there is plenty of recovery time. I usually do better on the longer sustained climbs. I continued to plug along limited mainly by my lack of technical skills rather than my legs or lungs which has been my usual whining pattern. I did manage to get close to Fred Porter, but as at Solitude once he saw me sneaking up he took off and I didn't have it to catch him. I did spill on the last lap mainly because I was trying to push it on the downhills for more practice. The worst part was how dirty I got in the deep dusty powder on my sweaty body.
NOTE: This year my time was 5 minutes faster than last year's (this includes a time correction for a slight course change) when I got first. I guess I have to work harder towards the challenge.
ARANTIX TOTAL MILES 1121!

Lester, the Delta7sports rep showed up to support us (center no helmet) and Tim H and Joey


Monday, July 21, 2008

CRAZY WEEK RECAP

WOW! I've had an eventful bike related week (recap from most recent to last Sunday):



MONDAY JULY 21- RIDING WITH THE SEA TO SEA





I got to ride along with the Sea to Sea tour today. We set off from the Jordanelle SP at 7 am. The tour's destination was Duchesne of which I rode with them to the top of Duschesne ridge and then back to the Jordanelle. It was a great 75 mile 1/2 supported ride in cool overcast conditions. I rode with my uncle John who is quite a tough rider at 65.









SUNDAY JULY 20th - FEEDING THE SEA TO SEA



Between Rita (Dot's mom) and our family we supplied 15 watermelon, 300 pieces of chicken, 24 feet of subs, and 0ver 15 salads to feed over 150 Sea to Sea riders and support staff. It was a pleasure and great time! Brad and Tasha ( thanks so much!) supplied 2 cases of beer and I added 2 more thinking that a christian group like that would not have too many drinkers and that would be enough. WRONG! They acted like a bunch of crazed partiers looking for more. Even my Uncle John surprised me by having one. They just haven't had the chance to down a few cold ones during the hot trek through Idaho and Utah. I couldn't blame them and felt bad I shorted them. I did take the ARANTIX with me and despite their sore behinds there was quite a bit of interest in demo it.
What a great group and cause! They have raised over $ 1.8 million so far on the trip to fight poverty! What a great way to use a bike!




















SATURDAY JULY 19th- SNOWBIRD RACE




Snowbird had a much better turnout than last year when only 3 of us were in the 40 + Expert category. ALL the fast guys showed up including Chris Bingham who seems invincible. But I guess when you relate the group to me any guys showing up are the fast guys. I raced about the same time as last year when I took first. So what position was that this year? LAST! What the heck! Dot got first as did many of the MadDog riders that showed. Jonny placed the best so far in 4th place in the 9 and under category. I was especially proud of him since it was a REALLY tough course and he wanted to quit after the first lap. Joey did a pre-ride and it was just way too technical. He was willing to go for it, though, but I realized he would be pushing 90% of the course. Not a good way to keep your youngest interested in the sport.





SATURDAY NIGHT AT BRYAN'S WAREHOUSE



OH'M GOSH! We were invited to Heather Gilbert's graduation from fellowship and divorce proceedings and it was being held at "Bryan's Warehouse" which I thought was maybe some underground club the way she made it sound on the invite. Well this place was way underground! It was Brian's "house" which was really a warehouse! It was every biking college guys dream pad! It had everything from a game room and dance floor to at least 12 different bikes. It even had two side by side stationary bikes on rollers set up to the computer so that you could race each other! Unfortunately, it was too dark in there for pictures since words are really too limited to describe this place. Perhaps it is good there were no pictures possible since there were many "collected" items in his warehouse.






















WEDNESDAY JULY 16TH- BLACKHAWK MUD FEST



Carson and I headed up Payson Canyon to try the Blackhawk loop Wednesday evening after work. Well I think the only place in the whole state that it rained was up there. (Did anyone else experience any rain this month?) We hit the overgrown, horse plowed, cow manure laced trail with great anticipation since it was a premier ride last year. Well once the rain hit it, it made the above characterizations 10 times worse! We got done and I have never seen the type of slime our two ARANTIX bikes were covered with. It was fragrant slimy and green! And the inadvertent taste on the water bottle spout was out of this world!

BRAD'S 40th- SUNDAY JULY 13TH
And finally last but not least we were invited to Brad's 40th Birthday. MY IDOL! He proved that 40 is not the end (at least for him) by clinching OVERALL first place in the PC Perfect 10 hour race! Congrats Brad and keep going! I aspire to reach your level by 43. We can all dream can't we?