Friday, December 25, 2009

MERRY CHRISTMAS- From Channing Hall

Joey's first graders at Channing Hall sing "Silent Night" for you all.
video
MERRY CHRISTMAS

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

TRIPLE CAKE BIRTHDAY(S)

Joey turned 7 this weekend. Yes it took all weekend and three cakes.


Friday, he had the kids party and wanted a "wedding type" cake. So Dot obliged.
Saturday he wanted a stack of pancakes with a candle on it "like on TV"- Has anyone seen this on TV?Sunday, he shared his birthday with Cassidy and Whitney. Thanks for sharing you guys!

Then on Sunday night he cried to Dot in bed, "I cried all three days!" ...... He did . But it's all good-he's 7........

Saturday, December 5, 2009

I THOUGHT I'D BE BRAVE TODAY


and go ride outside. Nothing was going to stop me, even when the clouds started rolling in. Due to family scheduling I didn't get out until 2:30ish. I headed up CC thinking that it's been dry for a while and the trails would be clear. They were until I started climbing Ghost then it was ice. Then it was suddenly a blizzard. Then I realized it is damn cold going downhill in a blizzard. Then I got home and jumped into the hottub with the boys (no picture for a reason). Oh well, I tried.

Friday, December 4, 2009

THEY LIFT MY HEART THEN THEY CRUSH IT

WHO? The kids of course! Joey, this time.
He came home with the above drawing a few weeks ago when he was told to write a story in class. Translation: "I learned how to ride my bike with my dad holding me up" . How cool is that. I'm famous in first grade. He remembered and appreciated what I had done!
BUT THEN....
We presented this to him today for his birthday. You could just see it on his face...."It's just a bike" I even heard him say that later to his brother who was drooling all over it!

Dad's perspective is: That spooled brat!
Son's perspective is: Oh man I wanted a DS. That means I am going to have to race it. It's too hard to race. I'd rather play video games and eat candy.

The trials of rearing a child and being one.......

Monday, November 16, 2009

12 HOURS OF TEMECULA 2009- SERIES CHAMPS








Yes we are the 12 Hours of Temecula duo open series champions. What does that mean? Well we rode our butts off to and in all three of the SoCal 12 hour endurance races. That means on bikes and in the truck (I just got back so its fresh on my behind). We rode 42 laps total (most of any teams for the series)- finishing 2nd, 1st and 2nd respectively in the three races.












Carson and I made it down for the third time this year because its just a great escape and the weather is much better than here at this time of year. Which we realized when we got back to snow on the ground! It also is a fun series with great turnout and fun fast courses.










We headed out Thursday morning with idea of stopping in Vegas for a quick ride, but decided to stop in St George instead and rode Bear Claw Poppy. It was a bit dusty but really fast! If you haven't ridden it recently it seems to have expanded into a zillion options and turnoffs that meander in a red maze of rock and dirt but always takes you back to the main route. I'd recommended it to all levels of riders.
The picture is of the trailhead where we turn around to head back to the start near the race loop.



After the exhilarating ride we cleaned up and drove on to Primm just south of Vegas to lose a few bucks at blackjack and to spend the night. We rolled into Temecula the next morning, set up camp and went for a pre-ride.

I expected the course to be the same as last fall but was surprised that the course was changed. It did include combinations of the two prior courses we had done, so most of it wasn't too new. We still had the Dam Climb (And it is a Damn long hard climb!)
The above picture is Carson climbing the least steep part of the climb. It is deceiving because there are about 5 false summits before you make it the 1.5 miles to the top. Below is from the top looking back at the dam and lake.

Once you made it to the top the rest of the course was nearly all downhill with several quick steep "walls" that if you hit at full speed you could top with moderate effort. The "tunnel of love" is the funnest section that includes a long fast winding descent that goes on for a long time. There were a few changes that made the course seem shorter than last time but ultimately because of the time it took to do the Dam climb the laps ended up longer than previously.
THE RACE

Above is the paced start of the race. Carson is on the far Right. Our rule for the race starts is that if it entails a bike sprint then he goes but if it requires a run then I start. He got off well and I quickly got ready and anxiously waited for him to get back. To my dismay he returned third in our duo open category, but not by much. We were hoping for first or second, but it was early. I headed off and shortly saw the second place guy ahead. His name was Mark (sorry I forgot his last name) and he was racing for Racers here in Utah. We lost to a Racers team in the spring so I was concerned for a repeat of that. But by the time we got to the top of the Dam climb I had passed him and saw him no more on that lap.
As the times were posted several laps later we saw that the top three were within 20 minutes of each other which is pretty close for a 12 hour race. The worrisome thing was that Racers team was only 2 minutes back. Then as I waited for my third lap I saw, John (again- don't remember his last name), the other Racers racer come in ahead of Carson. I found out later that he was feeling sick and cramping pretty bad and got passed. Luckily I again was able to catch Mark on the climb and pass him. Carson's strength came back the rest of the race (thank goodness for me since he had to do the extra lap-13- and I wasn't keen on doing back to back laps) and that's what kept us ahead of third. Ultimately, we were able to widen the gap to about 11 minutes on them but were only able to close the gap to 1st place to 10 minutes by the 9 pm cutoff time. It was a very close clean race that could have easily changed with a minor mistake, injury or mechanical. But all 6 of us managed to avoid a mishap and it ended based upon our ability for the day- as it ideally should. I had a great time and felt great throughout the race. Each lap was extremely fun and even the Dam climb seemed easier than the last time I raced it.
I'll post times when they are available.





Saturday, November 7, 2009

Karate kids

It's a proud moment in a dad's life when his 9 year old boy's Kata form is better than his dad's. Or is it a sad day for dad? The boys kicked butt in their tournament today. Jonny nailed his form section with his master watching. I made the comment that his was better than mine. And our master didn't say anything. I'm going to practice right after I'm done with this blog.


Who put the marbles in the trail?! The trails in CC have been packed this week and great fun to ride. Then I hit this turn towards the bottom of Ghost! How smart is it to put gravel on a tight turn like that? I've been really impressed with how much the city has been doing to increase and improve the trails and can't complain too much. But this sure was a dumb move. I can only hope it is temporary and they are planning to use it as base material for a concrete banked turn.
One more race left for this year. Carson and I are heading down towards Temecula this thurs. We'll stop for some riding in Vegas then head over to the 12 hour race in CA.
That's it. Off to work on my forms.
Arantix II miles: 1811

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Fall Riding the Mistress etc.





















Just like everyone else seems to be blogging about fall riding, so must I. It's just too beautiful not to take a few pics. Yesterday, I hit Jamie's mistress, Silly Little Urban Trail (SLUT) etc........ If you have not been on Jamie's email list you have missed a great barrage of name suggestions. All deal with the fact that Jamie has been out of the house for some reason (he says it was trail work) but Whitney has caught on and dubbed the trail "the Mistress" and from there it went downhill. Here is a video Jamie made of the trail. I rode her yesterday and it was fun. It'll be better after of winter pack.








Today I went up Clark's and across up to the South Suncrest trail. I've only been on it once before. It's fun, although overgrown in several spots. It dumps you out near the downhill course at the top of SunCrest. Now that's a blast! Luckily there are some bypass "blue" lines that avoid some crazy jumps.
So does the sign mean free ride bikes only or that you can only ride one way?
Nice ramp? Where does it go?
The other side....

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

24 HOURS OF MOAB, 2009- PART II





So as I was saying until I fell asleep at the keyboard last night (I did a night shift the day before):



The last lap-5. Two of us had to do an extra 5th lap and the natural lineup called for it to be Carson and I. I was actually kind of looking forward to it. I REALLY felt good on the fourth lap at night so I was hoping to redeem my frustrating first two laps. There was no pressure since at that point we realized we had no hope of placing above 6th place, but I wanted to end on a good lap. And it turned out to be just that. It flowed, there were less riders to pass (or be passed by) and my legs were still not cramping! As a matter of fact my back was starting to get sore from the endo and standing up actually felt better. The legs took this pretty good and I was able to put in a reasonable time of 1:22.






Moab has become tradition. It is a way for the Mad Dog team to hang out and connect. There is more time for getting to know each other in a common setting that we are comfortable in. Then our character is tested by the course and respect is earned from the accomplished challenge we have set before us.




Special thanks for Keith for going through the brain damage of organizing and running the camp. And Abby (and by default the hubby-Scott) plus Marci the assistant for the great cook'in and nur'shm'nt she provided for everyone. And as usual my teammates; Carson the smug- garsh I'm just too fast and don't want anyone to know it, Keith the daddy, captain, husband and Oh by the way fast rider in his spare time, and Scott- Mr. nice to everyone, how can I help you, I'll race my heart out for the team.




ARANTIX II MILES 1645

Monday, October 12, 2009

24 HOURS OF MOAB, 2009






This race has become tradition. As many times as I've done this race I tend to take it for granted. But it really is "epic" as Laird Knight the race promoter put it. It has over 4000 bicycle enthusiasts from all over the world and ALL levels of riders collecting in the middle of a red desert to form a MTB oasis. This year the perfect weather gave me a chance to see the beauty in this place and REALIZE it's in my back yard! I must admit this is the first time I've done this race that the weather HAS been good enough to allow for this type of reflection. The first time I did the race in 2002 under team Quadra-sore-ass wrecks it was raining and freezing. Since then I've done 5 more with Mad Dog and endured hail, floods and wind storms.




2009 was looking like it was going to be perfect. I felt relaxed, comfortable and well rested (perhaps too well-rested). As usual I "volunteered" to do the Le-manz style 200 yard run around the poor pinon tree. I got off to a great start and found myself in probably the top 10 runners going around the tree. Not bad for an old fart I was thinking when I looked down and saw a baton on the ground. Instinctively I felt for mine on my right thigh where I carried it under my shorts. I couldn't feel it there! What luck I thought as I stopped to pick up the baton as 50 runners passed me. In the next instant I felt BEHIND my thigh and there was my baton. UHGG! What a stupid move. Anyway, I still ended up toward the front of the hoard of riders and really didn't have too much traffic to contend with as usually happens if you get caught in the middle of the 300+ racers fighting for a line.

I was feeling confident and taking aggressive lines down the rock drops and ledges when I got to the Nose Dive Hill bypass. There was a "helpful" guy there yelling at everybody to be careful since there were some jeepers at the bottom. So what do I do? I look over to see what he was talking about, ended up on the wrong line and drilled the front straight down. Even the larger 29'r wheel up front couldn't save me and I found my self rolling over the handle bars. It's funny the vivid stuff you remember thinking in that split second- only some of which I can repeat here. I remember thinking, "So how bad is this going to hurt? Is the race over right here? I hope the Arantix is going to be OK." Well I landed and had NO pain! I did the usual systems check and all systems were functioning. I jumped up and picked up the Arantix. I had held on to it so that it wouldn't slide and roll too far down. It only required a small straightening of the handle bar. Cool! I survived. The rest of the lap was a blur of relief for my life, anger, frustration at lost time, anger for being frustrated etc. I lost my concentration. Once it was done I had to admit my time of 1:14 was reasonable and I tried to shake it off in anticipation of redeeming myself on the next one. My duo pal Carson was next pulling in a screaming time, followed by Captain Keith who kicked some butt and then Scott (the team cook's main squeeze) finished off our 4 person rotation. And I was up again.


I headed out feeling strong until I started to hit the technical ledges and my chain dropped in between the cassette and spokes. As you all know (your lucky if you don't) that's a #$*ch to get out. I must have bent the derailleur hanger when I wrecked on the last lap. I finally got the chain out but had it happen two more times within a 5 minute period until I realized I just couldn't use the lower gears for the rest of the lap. I was frustrated. I put in a 1:20.


The next lap was going to be a night lap. I had our team wrench, Bryan, straighten the hanger and put the lights on. I've been wanting to take advantage of the hollow nature of the Arantix to "light" the Isotruss up so I got some glow sticks.


Night riding is really fun. I feel like I am in a different very focused world. The challenges are directly in front and nothing else really matters. The third lap in the past has been the toughest mentally and physically. It didn't let me down. This was a rough ride. I couldn't get into a rhythm. I pulled a 1:26 and went to sleep.

I went out for the fourth lap at 4 am. By now I new the lines and I got into a great rhythm. It was a very, clean satisfying lap done at 1:28. By now I had realized that I'd have to do another lap, but it would be in the daylight hours-and warmer.dddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddd...I'm falling asleep. I'll continue this tomorrow.

Good night Moab.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Fun times off the bike








While everyone was putting in training miles (Holleys, Carson, Keyes, Kendra) I was not. It was a good week, though.








Monday, I played hookey from my chores and headed off to go wakeboarding. I haven't been for about 3 years but it wasn't as hard as I thought. I did make it over the wake, which I haven't been able to do before. It was a good way to say goodbye to summer. Thanks Jory and Noelle!






Thursday for UEA we headed to the west desert to hunt for Geodes. Wow was that fun! The boys just kept digging and digging. Some of the time they even collected what they were supposed to. As you can see we came back with plenty of them. We camped for two nights. Hiking, 4- wheeling and exploring was included. I even got in a good two hour ride with the Arantix. The next day I went to head out for another ride but the front tire ripped and I had to abort. I made up for that by riding today with Carson here at Corner Canyon.


Now we have to get all those open! If anyone has kids this trip is a must do.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

TEAM VIZMEG - MOHICAN OHIO








I got in with the bike intact and things going well until I heard that my wrench support through Delta 7 sports had a family emergency with his daughter hospitalized and couldn't help. I definitely did not blame him but it did leave me without any tools. He did set up to have the ARANTIX put together at a local bike shop. But I had to do a whole 12 hour race to do with a leatherman and my parks tool. I recruited my sister, Jessika, to help but the whole family showed up to help run support. That turned out to be the funnest part of the race. As some of the solo riders that I was racing said. "Wow you have a whole army!". I started out pretty excited to take on the OHio boys and found myself second half way into the race. I ended up having the second fastest time. But as usual I paid for that by burning out. With the Vizmeg army I had really had good turn around times so by the third lap I was out front overall. But half way into the lap another 12 hour solo rider passed going pretty fast. I got in and with a quick turn around I was first again. Again, at about the same spot I was passed by the same guy. I figured my first place chance was over. The only hope I had was to keep having good turn around times and pray he didn't. By the 5th lap I was getting reports from the Team Vizmeg crew that he was hanging out at the pit areas longer and I was 7 minutes ahead of him.










By then I was dealing with some serious chain skipping. It felt like the back cassette was slipping anytime I tried to stand or put any force on it. It was wearing on me since with the ARANTIX I like to stand on the short ups. My butt was feeling the extra sitting requirements to spin. The course was pretty wearing as well since it was a lot of ups and downs without any recovery sections. There were a lot of trees and roots that required standing. It was a fun course overall with about 95% single track, and a bit of grassy fields. There was a mossy 5o yard section of "rock garden" that was a challenge. It would have been treacherous if it would have been wet, though.
By lap six I was feeling it but did not feel like I could let up. Around that time what really kept me going was the excitement shown by my family. As I would roll into the pit area, I literally had the biggest and loudest cheering section. Each time I came by the whole team was there to help me out. They consisted of Jessy, Toby (sis and bro), Heather (sis in law) and their kids Nik, Alek and Maya along with my Mom and Dad- whose 70th birthday prompted this visit. As night rolled around I figured the kids had a long day and that Heather and Toby would want to take them home soon, but Heather made me smile when she said "We'll stay as long as you are winning". I had to keep going.

After the 6th lap I got word that 2nd place was 9 minutes behind and he seemed to be taking longer in the pit areas. This bolstered my confidence but I knew it wasn't in the bag yet. My cassette was skipping even more making me walk up hills I still could have ridden. With all of the skipping I felt for sure that the chain would break. I even had to borrow a pump to pump up my shock.


Night came and I got the lights installed in record time with my team and I was off 30 minutes ahead of second. I was breathing easier but finally getting tired and was wondering if I could keep going without stopping to rest like my competition was. I was cramping but not too bad likely due to the Carborocket I was regularly drinking. On the good side my stomach was feeling good and Mom had given me a bite of wonderfully tasting BBQ'd pork before I headed out. I thought of that the rest of that 8th lap and couldn't wait to get some more.


Coming in on the 9th lap I was 42 minutes ahead and barring mechanicals I was finally starting to relax a little. I decided to nurse the bike and chain to avoid a breakdown and slowed down. This also helped me avoid a full rest stop. So I kept going. This was the lap I was hoping the competition would stop on so I wouldn't have to do another lap. It was around 10pm when I rolled in still with plenty of time to do another. I wasn't prepared mentally to do more than 8 laps since last year's winning # of laps was 6! Jessy and mom were there to feed me and report that 2nd place had gone out about 10 minutes before I came in. I had to do another lap but as long as I finished I would win. Well that was the longest lap of my life!


My legs were shot. They even gave up cramping! They just gave up. I was spinning so slow that at least 3 times I would hit a small root, come to an immediate stop and tip over before I could even clip out. I never really got hurt since I was going so slow but it still stung. I felt like It was my first MTB race. I got in at 11 minutes after midnight. Jessy who was the core to the team and gave up her study time to help me was there with Mom. It was really cool to have the extended family experience the crazy racing stuff that has consumed my last few years and maybe have a better appreciation of why I do it. This has been the most satisfying race I've had. The funny thing is, is that I don't even have an award or medal to remember this by. They ONLY handed out $100 in cash! (which normally I would have preferred- go figure).


HAPPY 70TH DAD!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Race Trip! Mohican OH


This ones a new one for me. A true air transportation only race. I have the challenge of trying to fit the gear for a 12 hour solo race into two bags, including the bike, but making it look like it is not a bike. Get it? I found out-too late- that Delta charges $175 each way to check a bike! That's a lot more than my airfare! So I have taken the challenge of putting my bike into two "normal" cases to see if I can get away with the usual -robbery- cost of checking bags; $40. I got it all in for a total of only 72 lbs. Its a good thing the Arantix is light.


The 24/12 Hours of Mohican is at Mohican "Wilderness" in Ohio. I think the use of the word wilderness is used loosely. But we'll see.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

12 HOURS OF SUNDANCE- 09




Saturday I paid the price for taking a "break" from training. Carson and I once again teamed up to take on Sundance's finest in a 12 hours race. As you can see we survived and Carson was even smiling!




This was Carson's day all the way. In an uncharacteristic move I took the first cold morning lap. This was because I new I had to be done early to get to work on time (yes. Crazy, but the only way I could do the race). I wasn't warmed up and hadn't been doing intervals for the last month so I really felt it in my lungs the first lap. I found myself dropped from the lead group to leas the middle group. But that's generally where I am at anyway. I came in at about 43 minutes. Carson took his turn and came in at a screaming 41 or so. That set the stage for the rest of the race. I never felt really bad and was actually relaxed and having fun but the legs just didn't have what I had expected of them. I continued to drop almost a minute per lap while Carson was rather consistant and at the most was only dropping 1/2 a minute per lap. Nevertheless we were against some stiff competition and were in a solid 4th place the whole time. I had a good time with the large Mad Dog crowd that showed up. This was a contrast to last year when I did it solo and felt lonely the whole time.

The hang out between laps.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY CARSON......




ARANTIX II Miles: 1350

























MIA


I've been missing the MTB action for the most part since Leadville. Though I've had a good time, It's nice to be back to be on the bike.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Cool of the Night


It's too hot to ride during the day. So I dug out my lights and hit the local trails at night. Interestingly, I saw more night riders the other day than during my mid day rides.


Has anyone riden ghost at night? It lives up to its name. eeeeerieeeee!

Monday, August 17, 2009

DAVE WEINS' HEALTH INITIATIVE

Last year's winner,Dave Weins, took second to Lance Armstrong, but I thought he gave a much better, meaningful talk. This part speaks to what I believe as a physician and athlete.



Spread the word and encourage your family and friends to get out there and challenge their bodies! For their sake.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

LANCE'S ACCEPTANCE SPEECH AT LT 100

Here is Lance's acceptance speech for first place at the Leadville Trail 100 MTB race that I took Sunday.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

GRANNY GEAR LEADVILLE 09






I RACED LANCE! How do you think I did? I was hoping I'd run into him and let him borrow "my" Arantix.... He didn't seem to need the help. As you can see, I did run into Dave Weins (the 44 yo that BEAT Lance last year) He was pretty cool but I didn't offer the ARANTIX. He was too tall for my medium.




THE "RACE" - IN A NUT SHELL


We lined up at 5:15 am to get a "good" position since there were 1400 entrants. The race started at 6:30. It was a long wait in 38 degree temp. I went to pee twice during that time (should have gone three times though). It was a decent start despite the huge numbers. I got a good position but had to keep a pretty good pace up the first wet cold climb to keep my position. I went out too hard as usual and I paid for it for the rest of the race. The decent down powerline trail was wet but fast. The was the most exhilarating part of the race. I passed a lot of people (that would pass me later). My gloves were soaked at the first aid station and I changed over to another pair from my drop bag but it took a lot of time with cold hands. I was passed by a hoard of riders and after I got on I was feeling pretty tired. By the time I started the 10 mile climb to Columbine mine I started cramping so I very frequently had to spin it out in granny gear. That was essentially the rest of the race. Granny spin, cramp anyway, get off hike, go again, wonder why I am doing this etc. I had a goal of 8 hr 30 min to push myself to a more realistic under 9 but would have ended up at 9:30 except 3 miles from the finish my SRAM quick link broke (4 the 2nd time this year! but no more) and because the replacement wouldn't fit I lost 31 minutes. I finished under 10 hrs in 9hrs 59 min and 59 sec. Good experience but this is just a kick your butt course between the weather, altitude and climbing.
CORRECTION; last blog I incorrectly wrote that Columbine was over 13000. Nope, it's ONLY 12300. Piece of cake. NOT!


KC kicked butt (mine too) doing the course in 7 hr 59 min for an overall 3rd place!

Chris came in just under 8 hours in 19th place against a stacked field of pros including Lance, Dave Weins, Tinker, Alex Grant etc.

Brad Mullen had a "fun" ride finishing a bit over 10 hrs.


I'll post more pics later since I'm having trouble posting them on the laptop.


The ARANTIX did awesome and drew huge attention and comments. I swear if I could have just 1 kcal of energy for each "wow" comment I might have beat Lance!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

LEADVILLE SHIVERS


So I talked to Brad M yesterday to prepare for the ride to the Leadville MTB 100- and he ruined my day. I hadn't looked at the weather forcast for Leadville yet and he updated me. It's NOT good. A big reason I wanted to do this race again was to get a chance to do it in good conditions. I've tried in previous blogs to describe how bad it was in 2000, but unless you've been there it's not possible. Suffice it to say I was shivering for 45 minutes after the race from hypothermia.
Well the forcast is for a low of 34 with thundershowers, but that does not reflect the temperature and weather at (over 13,000 ft) Columbine Mine. Which will be colder. Starting at 6 am in near freezing weather is not fun either. Sorry, I am usually not much of a weather complainer, but that last experience has scarred me for life.
Chric, KC, Brad and I are heading out today and despite my complaining I am pretty excited. The ARANTIX is cleaned and tuned. My legs feel pretty good. I can't wait to race against Lance!
Follow this link to see live webcasts of our misery.
I gotta go. Got's to pack some more warm weather stuff......

Monday, August 10, 2009

IN MEMORY OF......WOLVERINE RIDGE


This would have been the weekend for the 16th annual ICUP Wolverine ridge final except for the fact that this venue has been canceled. Dot and I really like this challenging course so we both did it from the cabin as a tribute to its running. The course was in great condition, more packed than usual and the weather was nice and cool. Too bad......
6 Days to Leadville...
ARANTIX II MILES: 1049

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

RANATAD 2009



Delta 7 Sports treated me right for this ride. They gave me a team outfit AND set me up with the Ascend. I was nervous trying out a bike for the first time for 165 miles but I figured what the heck (hell for those none Utah readers) I haven't been on MY road bike for a while either. I did spend a good while the day before setting it up to fit me as best possible. I got to Sundance and this year they made us park in the upper lot! All I could think of was that the hill was NOT going to be fun riding up to my car after 165 miles.
A few other docs from Mountain View showed up as well for the ride. It's nice to see we have some medical professionals that practice the healthy lifestyles that they should preach. From L to R: Dean Egbert (one of my partners), Ian MacMaster, Roman Takasaki.

We headed down the hill from Sundance with the temp about 58 F which was refreshing and woke me up fast. I got of to a fast start and as we headed through Benjamin I was actually wondering if I should pull back some so as not to be burned out. But you can't pass up a free pull so I held on. But by the time we hit Payson Canyon I was feeling good and I began the climb with just Heath and I. I don't know his last name but apparently he is a pro tri racer and he had some involvement in planning the Ascend at delta 7 sports. He's the one that pulled me for a huge part of last year's ride. Anyway, he took off and I began my grind up. At the Blackhawk water stop two riders (Greg & Rick) caught up with me and we worked together for the rest of the day to AF canyon. It was a relatively steady pace and my legs were feeling good.

Also, By the 6 hour mark which is the longest time the saddle this year for me I realized I really was pretty comfortable. I was concerned with a new bike that I would have some fatigue spots. But the Ascend was really comfortable. It was not jarring on the bumps and dips, was responsive on standing and climbs and stable on the fast descents! I LIKE it!

Once we reached the Alpine loop I was itching to open up on my own and headed off. Greg dropped back but was not too far off. I felt strong and the concern of only having a double rather than my bikes triple up front was not an issue. Later I found out the third guy in our group-Rick had become too dehydrated and was throwing up. He made it though. Pretty good for a 50 yo.

The biggest problem of the ride came 4 miles from the top where the road was closed for at least 15 minutes for resurfacing. I got all tight and stiff and the adrenalin rush of approaching the top disappeared. I creaked it up the rest of the way and finished in about 9:25 total time and about 8:28 ride time. This was about 20 minutes faster than last years and I felt pretty good. I took the shuttle up to the parking lot, though.

So after that I feel better about Leadville and know I can do that length. And nutrition was not much of an issue, either.

Rumor, I heard on the ride a rumor that Lance was trying to get some of the guys on his team to race at Leadville as well. Anyone else hear this?

Leadville here I come!

Thanks Delta 7 Sports for the bike! AWESOME!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

DOUBLE TAKE ISOTRUSS STYLE

I borrowed the Ascend for the RANATAD tomorrow. I figured it really isn't a race so I could try out a "new" bike for the day long ride. We'll see if my 'Arse will regret it. Last year the RANATAD was a blast. I hooked up with a couple of strong fast riders and blew through the 165 miles and 13000 feet of climbing in 9:30. That's my goal again but I'd be really surprised if it worked out. It all depends on if there is a strong front group. It can't be done alone at that pace. I tried the ASCEND a bit today and it seems less jarring than my Allez on the little bumps. Full report after tomorrow. The ARANTIX gets a rest.

CANYONS- ICUP FINAL RACE

The new Canyons course is my kind of course. Good steady climbing and quick descents with fair room to pass. I got off to a great start up the road climb and was feeling good. Even at the top I was not feeling too winded and by that time I had creeped to the front from my usual back of the pack start. By then, I had passed Fred Porter as well which should have given me a clue. But I was feeling good and besides I had been working on my endurance for Leadville and felt I should be able to keep up the pace. (forshadowing) I went into the first full lap climb strong as well and caught and passed Karl who beat me last race by one minute. The only other rider ahead of me that I could recall in our group was Sam. Then I hit the second full lap climb and noticed it wasn't as easy as the first time. I saw Fred in the distance behind me so I figured I'd better turn it up. But the legs said "Surprise! we're done!" I burned them out? How could that be?
Well, Fred caught me at the start of that climb and I just kept getting slower! Well maybe I could hang on.. NOPE! Karl came sneaking up as I was cresting the top of the climb and I knew he was a better downhiller than I so I let him go. Crap! I dropped from 2nd to 4th in the last 1/4 of the race.

What worries me is why? Am I out of shape and NOT ready for Leadville? Was the 2 1/2 lap pre-ride thurs too close to the race? Am I over trained (most doubtfull), Was it too hot? I don't know. Worst of all I am scheduled to ride the RANATAD ( Ride Around Nebo and Timpanogos in A Day-165 mile road ride) monday and am not sure where my legs are. More on that ride later.

Dot took first despite all of her usual angst about the race. I am going to ignore her anxiety from now on since it seems to be all ritual and never really what her races end up as. Maybe I need to have more anxiety....

Jonny was disappointed with his 5th place and Joey did his usual 13th or so and was complacent with it.

ARANTIX II MILES: 835

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

TOO MUCH FUN































I can't wait to get back to work so I can rest up! The fam and my visiting sister headed up to Jackson area last week for some camping and racing. But first we stopped in Lava Hot springs for a soak. Last year we found a great camp spot along Calf Creek about 15 miles south of Wilson. We headed there again this time to find a few toothless squatters on our spot who looked like they were camped permanent-like there with a bunch of gnarly dogs who looked almost as bad as the squatters. We moved down stream a bit and found a good spot, but still a bit on edge about our neighbors.










The pre-ride was fun and revealed a much cleaned up course which was even funner than usual. Race day was nice and cool and a ton better than the Solitude conditions. There were a fair number of new faces at the start which left me not sure where I might place despite the big boys Brad, Sam and Chris not racing. As usual I was near the end at the start and pretty amused at how much energy several of the racers were expending trying to pass up ahead but never really getting very far ahead after they did. It took all the way up until the road climb to start to spread the peleton out. That's when I made my move, cleaned the hill and found myself in what I believed was third. I was feeling alright and hoping to catch the other Karl that was in front of me. (I knew his name because several times in the parking lot before the race his wife would be yelling for him and I would respond or look up- embarrassing.)










Back to the race; I soon noted that the local Fitzgerald guy behind me was not dropping back and was actually gaining on me on the downhills. I could increase the gap on the climbs but then he'd be there again later. He was pushing me hard enough that I thought maybe I might catch Karl, but no such luck. I finished third 1 minute back from Karl and 5 minutes behind Bob! Just think that I once entertained the thought of beating that bad boy. Jonny had a good day as well and pulled a personal best of third. Dot finally had no mechanicals and came in second. Joey continued to move up in the 9 and under ranks to 11th.


The MD team did well with many podiums. Keith with Dot got first as well as Tim in the background.

We headed back to Hot SLC and I pre-rode the canyons for three hours the next day. Not reading the course directions led to the realization that the course is a lot harder backwards. I had to finally call the wife for directions- embarassing.









Since the sister was in town we had to do some fun stuff so Monday we hit Cowabunga Bay and then the Wendover bus that evening. Boy, the bus is the way to go! Just mixing with the "different" riders on the bus makes it worthwhile. But then they throw in the raffle and bingo! I bought 5 raffle tickets for my sis and she won $44! We were on a roll! Wendover was Wendover. We got back at 4 am that morning. Time for a rest!

ARANTIX II MILES: 785 miles, 80 hours.