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


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.


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.