Monday, June 29, 2009


Whoa! Out of state races, work and remodeling doesn't leave much room for blogging.
Here's a recap of our Southern California 12 hour race last weekend (Rim Nordic). Carson, Chris & KC, and I headed to Big Bear Lake to crash at a friend's (thanks Fausto and Rose!) cabin which was conveniently close to the race site. We pre-rode a couple of laps Friday and found the course to be very race friendly. There was some fun rolling single track followed by a couple steep but short climbs which dropped us out onto a gradual but long road climb. That was about 1/3 into the course and the rest was essentially all fun downhill! At the top there were some tight, dusty and rutted switchbacks, but other than that the course was on the easy side by Utah standards. So we were surprised to hear the prerace commentary indicating that the course was "quite technical". It looked like we were in for a FUN day! Carson and I were racing Duo open and Chris and KC were racing Duo Coed.

It was a good thing they were in a different category since they beat us. They beat us by about 30 minutes for the day. Incredible! They also were the 3rd fastest team (out of 200 teams) and that included the 3 and 4 man teams!

Carson took the lead lap since I used the strategic excuse of being older, slower and fatter since I figured we'd be only doing 13 laps and he'd have to do the extra and last night lap. What a smart wimp I thought I was. He took off KC and I hung at the pit wondering how quick the laps were. Well we didn't have to wait too long. Chris came in first setting the fastest mens lap for the day and by golly Carson came in third! With that kind of head start I took off REALLY excited to hold the lead and within a mile of the first lap I crashed. The sand was looser than the day before on the pre-ride which caught me off guard. Boy did that deflate that initial effort of mine! I was scratched, dirty and pissed but after the first lap which went well thereafter I had no further mishaps. Carson had a brief soft tire issue on his 3rd lap but otherwise we had a great race. I have to point out how great the ARANTIX II was. It was completely bomb proof AND during the road climb I locked the fork out and just sailed past racers. I realized pretty early on that we had the race in the bag unless we did something majorly foolish. Hell, we were going so fast we ended up having enough time for a 14th lap! There went my strategy. I had to do the last lap and it was the night lap! It was well worth it though. We had lapped the 2nd place team by this time. We ended up 5th over all including the 3 and 4 person teams.

So here is the question that I've been mauling over ever since. How did we so handily defeat the Cali boys when there is a greater population draw and they have a longer season to train, but when I race in little old Utah I'm a struggling middle of the pack kind of guy? Any enlightenment on the issue would be appreciated.

Sunday, we headed back to Gooseberry Mesa for some real 'technical' riding where KC set a blistering (she said easy) pace for a couple of fun hours. I think that was as fun as the 12 hours the day before.

Doc Geek (Me, Carson)
14 total laps
11:43:07 Total time
0:48:49 Carson (with extra one mile 'shakeout' lap)
0:46:43 Me
0:46:10 Carson
0:47:40 Me etc...
Chet's Strawberries & Cream (second place)

Sunday, June 14, 2009


This was the best part of the race- Riding with Joey.

I started off well up the climb and towards the end of the first lap I was still with the front group! What? At that point I was thinking that I probably went out too hard so I slowed it up a bit but was still feeling strong on the second climb at the start of the second lap. I still had Rich in my sights but was not able to close the gap up the climb. The second lap was when the trouble started. I was heading down the back side down the tight single track when something in the grass caught my pedal and sent me off the bike after about 40 feet of trying to hang on like a bronco buster. I lost a couple spots there while trying to get my chain back on. That took the wind out of my sails for a while. I got back into it on the third lap and gained back a spot but then my chain came off the front two more times (The wreck must have thrown off the derailer alignment). I was frustrated and tired of passing people that I already passed before. I guess I kind of gave up the effort. I came out of it scratched up but in one piece and licking my wounds in 8th place. It was a race I really wasn't too focused on having done some longer rides this week to get ready for the 12 hours of Nordic Rim next Saturday. Carson got a strong 6th so I hope he can pull me at the 12 hour.

Lined up and raring dto go. Joey did all three tough laps! Jonny took a tough 4th again.

Dot pulled out a second! But as you could tell from her hair, she had to really work for it. Jen seemed to have faired better in third :)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Double Trail Work Week

Interesting that Brad beat me to the self flagalation of not doing trail work in the past (by one hour). So yes, I've been riding these wonderful Utah trails for years and finally decided to volunteer to work on some. It must be a sign of maturity. Right? Anyway, I now have done two in one week! Last blog I mentioned the Corner Canyon flagging now nicely covered by Brad. And then yesterday I met up with my family and some Mad Dog team members at Sundance for 4 hours of trail work.

Joey was very helpful trimming trail weeds but sometime got overzealous and was blazing his own trail. I was pretty proud of both the boys (and Dot). They really worked the whole 4 hours without whining, getting hurt or hurting anyone else!

So at one point we came along a large rock in the trail; so instead of trying to move it we decided to make it into a jump. Naturally I had to go back with the ARANTIX II and give it a try. It's not too bad but has a pretty flat landing. We may have to revise it next time a bit.

Here's Dave being extra safe and displaying his team colors while working on the trail.

It was good to give back but I'd still rather be riding.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Mother Biker and her bikelings

I love watching the family riding in front of me. It congers up images of the mother goose and her ducklings that I've seen around several times this spring.

We had a family biking afternoon which I've been trying to promote more for the boys. So we shuttled us up Corner Canyon road to the BST parking area. It's funny how much easier it is to get there with a vehicle. We took them South along the BST and back down the fireroad to the bottom of CC. They then rode to the Library (Brains and Brawn program) while I rode back up to pick up the truck. I was disappointed when the boys didn't want to do the loop once more. They wanted to stay at the Library longer. I'll have to work on those priorities this summer.

Before the family ride I TT'd Clark's and got a new personal best of 10:47. I think it was the new ARANTIX II that made the difference.

ARANTIX II miles: 135

Thursday, June 4, 2009


I headed up Clark's and TT'd it at 11:03 (4 sec slower than last year) and kept going over the top to Lambert Park.

There I was treated with the most spectacular field of Poppy's along "Poppy" trail (Huh, I wonder how they came up with that name?).

Lamberts is a very fun maze of trails I keep vowing to do more often. So anyone interested in Corner Canyon to Lamberts this Sunday noonish give me a holler.

I found the Alpine trail system and headed south and ended up at the mouth of AF canyon. Cool! Single track all the way! Then I realized I had to ride back too! It was all good though.

That evening I met up with Jamie P, BK and John? for some bush whacking and trail marking of the new bike only DH in Corner Canyon. More to come on that.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


This race was full of lessons. I started near the back as has been habit for me. Lesson one- maybe it's not the place to start in all races. I got stuck in a long line along Archies and kept seeing the lead pack get further away.

Starting slower did give me a chance to not blow out on the first lap and I thought I was holding my own or even gaining on some of the middle pack. Todd and Rich were just in front of me for most of the first lap climb but I lost where they were for the down hill. I was pleasantly surprised to see them again going up the road to begin the second lap but did not have enough gas to catch them. I thought I even saw a glimpse of Jack D which ment I was not TOO far off the front pack. Lesson 2- It's good to keep an eye on where your competition is.

Lesson 3- Don't get lulled to sloppiness. As I was finishing the climb along Archies I found myself alone in that section and lost my concentration and took a turn too wide and slide off the edge. It was enough to take the gas out of me for a good half lap and I lost my tool pack (easily $50 value). Lesson 4- Secure your shit better!

That's also where Fred P and another rider passed me and took another notch out of my drive.

Lesson 5- Don't give up. I kept going and repassed one of them on the down hill. Then I hit the road again and wouldn't you know it there was Fred! I think this was his first race of the year and likely was not in last years form. But better yet there was Rich C up ahead of him! And I was closing the gap! I finally passed him at the top of the road. He was on my tail the rest of the race which was pretty fun. Passing him had given me a new jump start and I was feeling pretty strong.

Lesson 6- Don't underestimate your oponent. I felt I had control of that whole lap just ahead of Rich but not really holding him up. My strategy was to ride strong but not make any mistakes on the downhill. Since I had caught him on the road climb I felt I could easily stay ahead of him to the finish. I hit the road locked the front shock, stood up and headed up. I then turned around to see where he was. He wasn't as far back as I expected. Crap I was going to have to work for this. We got around the turn to where we could see the finish. I turned and saw him closing the gap! It was time to stand and pound it!

Lesson 7- Practice sprinting more. Out of all my races I had never had to have a sprint finish! But here it was and I began to pound it. My legs were burning! My lungs didn't seem to work! I was 4 feet from the finish and I could see his front tires come up to my handle bar and then I saw it move up and up and up just past my front tire! He wanted it more than I. He beat me by a foot. As we pulled up he made the comment that that was a lot of work for 7th and 8th. It sure was but that was one of the funnest races I've had!

Over all my time was about a minute faster than last years when I got fifth and the leader (Chris Bingham both years) was 5 minutes away rather than the 6 minutes last year.

The Arantix II felt good. There was less chatter of components and the cornering was much tighter.

Dot took a respectable 5th again.

Jonny took 4th.

Joey took 15th.

ARANTIX II miles: 80