Sunday, August 24, 2008


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.


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


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


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


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...