Tuesday, July 28, 2009


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.

Monday, July 20, 2009


The fam and I showed up "early" for the boys race and I had to put on my arm warmers, it was so cold. But by the time my race started it was close to 40 degrees warmer! It made for a long 2.5 hours. The boys worked hard and had fun racing, finishing 4th and 15th. They're getting there.

Dot was apparently way in 2nd when her chain dropped against the rear wheel where she lost a couple minutes and a position. Jen came in behind her in 4th.

I was not planning to do too well since I had a good 5 hour ride up AF canyon wednesday and my legs were still feeling it. I was just hoping to not have a mechanical, since the last three years of this course I had troubles. I headed out last again in a field of 10 (I think). Again I was satisfied to be last figuring I'd have time to catch up. It did take me a while to begin closing in on the group which worried me, but "luckily" it was a long race. I was also frustrated by me cleats. I had just put new ones on but kept popping out of them. I must of come out over 20 times during the race which was pretty frustrating. I saw Fred and Brad off the trail with mechanicals which is a bad way to move up in position. I finally caught Tim on the second lap but did not bother to pass since he was much faster on the downhill which was coming up. This time I managed to keep in sight of him unlike the first lap where he blew me away. I never liked the downhill at Solitude; it just beats me up. after passing Tim I realized I was in third place! I started day dreaming about a podium finish when I saw Fred approaching pretty fast. He had managed to fix his flat and catch up to me. Incredible! I had flashing aspirations of fighting him off but I had to be realistic and let him pass. Oh well at least I was poised to get lucky #4 which was a chance at the swag table. I did not bring enough water and was feeling it the last lap. The down hill was killing me. My upper body isn't very weak but by the last lap my arms and hands were wore out. I finished 4th in a field that had dwindled to 5!

I rehydrated and ate, did awards and then the plan was to do some "leadville" training with Chris and KC. I must say my legs were not very happy about this prospect. But Chris and KC have a great way of pushing me to my limits. We headed up the canyon to do the Crest trail. I cleaned puke hill which I am surprised at considering the 3 hours leg. I remember that climb killing me when we first moved to SLC in '96. We dropped down Mill D and I rode home from there. That was a 6 hour day including the toughest ICUP race of the year! Not too bad. I may actually be getting ready for Leadville.

Chris and KC overlooking Desolation Lake. I think this is one of the most beautiful scenes in the state.

Onward to Jackson. We are heading out Wed with the toyhauler to get some family camping in before the race. Looking forward to it.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Here it is! The "cleanest internal combustion vehicle in the world"! I felt the urge to be "alternative" and try out a Natural Gas Vehicle. No! I am NOT a tree hugger environmentalist socialist bicycle commuting nervoso who thinks the world will end if I didn't buy this car! I do my share of exploitation of the Earth's resources and succumb to the nihilistic realization that human nature will prevent meaningful action to change the course we are on. Enough of the editorializing. There are many reasons I did buy the GX and if you sit down with me for a beer I'll tell you. In the end, it came down to the GX or a Porche. It was all about the image.
So the first thing I had to try was to fuel the darn thing. I had to read the brochure showing where the 20 in-state Natural Gas fuel stations were to find the nearest one. Then the fuel station was self serve and deserted without anyone there for asistance. In a way I was glad no one was around considering how stupid I felt not knowing how to fuel my car. Luckily there were step by step pictures showing how to do it which was pretty annoying since I don't like reading directions. But what the pictures did not show was how to pay for the darn stuff. ON the pump would have been too intuitive. It ended up being on the other side of the lot. So after about 10 minutes I got the thing going. It was pretty nerve racking with all kinds of gurgling, pinging and hissing noises coming from the pump and hose. Finally the reward came!

$3.81 for more than half a tank! Now that's what I'm talking about!

Now I just got to figure out how to get the Arantix on that thing. Any suggestions on best roof racks?

Sunday, July 12, 2009


As I was seeing the MVA at 6 am Saturday morning, I was thinking maybe I shouldn't race- It'd be crazy! But by the time I got home, changed and had my coffee I was feeling better. I had a pleasant ride up with Scott B and family and arrived to to see Dot drop her chain on the last climb to the finish, thereby, missing 3rd by a few seconds. Even so, not bad. Jonny got his best finish coming in second. HAPPY, HAPPY BOY!

I had no great expectations and was satisfied starting last. But I quickly took my mid-pack place after the first long climb and settled into a pretty good rhythm. The new section of the course was not too bad and cut out a lot of the sustained climb from the old route. I consciously made myself control my effort the first two laps so as not to burn out, but then I saw Bob S. ahead of me and I got too excited and picked up my effort. I really couldn't gain ground however, and by the fourth lap he started to pull ahead and I lost him. The fourth lap I was actually feeling pretty strong but even so I knew I was slowing down relative to Bob. I finished in fourth which is better than expected AND the key was I still felt good after the race. Maybe If I pushed harder the first two laps I could have closed closer to third. Naah, probably just a dream. But, I felt good enough to ride the Arantix home which was a good warm down.


Today the whole family went up to cool off at Solitude and since we were there decided to pre-ride the course. Dot went out for a couple laps while I pre-rode the 9 and under loop with the boys. Joey cleaned the climbs for the first time on the 9 and under course! Afterwards the boys went fishing. There wasn't much action but they seemed to be having fun. We had lunch up there then I pre-rode. The new section is good (even better than Snowbird's new section) and the rest of the course has been cleaned up nicely as well.

It was a good family-bike weekend.

Saturday, July 4, 2009


The week's been busy but some events were note-worthy.
The nurses weren't too impressed with the abrasions I had after the Rim Nordic race so they took it upon themselves to make me some "protective" gear. They'll do anything to entertain themselves after midnight.

Kendra took us on a family ride Friday to Lambert Park. The trails were just right for our little speedsters. Joey was working so hard to keep up with the Jonny and Mandy and his little grunts of effort were precious (I guess you had to be there and be the daddy to appreciate that comment). He's the only one I know who wrecks more than I do. I guess the nut doesn't fall far from the tree. By the way, that's Royce in the background- not a picture crasher.
Our fearless leaders.Ahhhh! The bounties of a wet spring.....


I rode up to Snowbird Thursday. Under 2 hours from home including up the Quarry trail. I do believe I had first tracks on the new trail since the construction guys were still "working" on it. Here's a recap:

ABOVE- Know the place? We get to miss Dick Bass Highway! This was the only section not yet finished when I was there.
The trail is quite scenic and rolls nicely (esp once it gets packed down). It is not as steep but definitely longer.

They've even got it paved for us! As you can see in the distance this heads out to the lift at the top where ED put in the switch back to slow us down on the downhill.

There is also a new old single track section about 1/2 mile long that takes you back along a service road to Mid Gad lift and then back up the usual finish. I like the changes except you'd think the dirt down hill could be bypassed!