Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Story- Pay It Forward

Here is a followup on the cabin troubles.

I mentioned how my mirror was broken on my truck by someone. Well after I scraped off the windshield I found this card on it.I thought this was a weird place to advertise in the middle of the Uintas. Then I turned it over:

I contacted Mark yesterday and he gave me his story. He had broken and wrecked two snowmobiles that day and was pulling out of the lot when his truck slid sideways and hit my mirror. And I thought I had a bad day! Well he insisted he would pay for it and I said I would do the labor and put it on. But being a power retractable mirror it was over $500! I told him I would pay it forward someday.

What better day to do that than on Christmas! I got $500 cash out of the bank today and went to work. I gave the cash to the nurses as a gift to all of them. I instructed them to use it however they wanted but they had to have it spent by the end of the day. They considered using it for some of the staff that were struggling and gave $100 to a single mom CNA. They alsot gave $20 to a 12 year old boy who was in the ER for a sick younger sister for half the day. He was very patiently helping translate for his mother. After he got the cash from the nurses he said that was the best Christmas ever! The rest of the money is being spent right now by the next shift. I'll be interested in hearing what they've done with it.

This made working on Christmas actually fun for us all. I sure made up for all the poop patients we had today- over half had diarrhea! Yuk! Lot's of sick kids too. You know they had to be sick to leave the new presents on Christmas.Who knows this may have to become a tradition. Thanks Mark!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

If It Wasn't One Thing Then It Was Another

Yes. I messed up! Let's get that out first. But it certainly was fun trying to fix my mistake with friends! This might be long but it should be worth it. (it was for us:)

Carson, Scott and I headed up to the cabin to "check it out" and to do some snowmobile cross-training. Up in the Uintas in the winter we have to snowmobile into the cabin about 2.5 miles. With all the snow we've been getting- it was DEEP! The adventure started with it taking over an hour of getting up to the cabin with the snowmobiles. It's good to have friends that do as you tell them- and extra. We were in some deep stuff and there was a section that I told Carson he would have to "gun" it- and he did-more than I expected. He jumped over 20 feet and buried the sled! Finally, between dodging downed trees and getting Unstuck we were wet, frozen and spent by the time we got up there. We were ready for some heat. I went to turn on the furnace and nothing happened. I went outside to check on the Propane tank with a bad feeling in my gut. The 500 gallon tank was empty! Why? Well I guess I had left the heat on 3 months ago when I was last there! If it was anyone else up there with me we'd have turned right around and headed home. But no, the guys were ready to rough it. We got the fireplace going and huddled around trying to dry off and get warm. Well we at least had water which I had just turned on.

Once warm, I went to the fridge to get dinner ready, opened the door and a wall of water came gushing at me! I had forgotten to put the water filter back in after winterizing the cabin last time. Do you know how cold your hands get cleaning up a flood in a frozen cabin? &*%$#! COLD! Yes, we were off to a great start, but it didn't end there.

I had to figure out a way to get heat to the cabin for our families New Year trip next week. Dot was NOT going to be happy and I was dead meat! We brainstormed some great ideas cuddled together by the fire. I knew I was up there with some good friends when many of the ideas were LIE, LIE, LIE! And they were willing to vouch for me! In the end I told them I would find a way to get more propane up there to heat a whole cabin covered in over 3 feet of snow. There was doubt in their eyes. Thank God Dot didn't call that evening to check on us! The plan was not yet fully implemented.

We all slept in front of the fireplace (details will not be divulged) taking turns stoking the fire (except for Scott- somehow he slept through it all) and awoke ready for a mission. I called my dealer- Propane dealer that is. Unfortunately, his wife answered and I had to admit to her I had a guy problem and she got her husband. Us men concocted a plan to drag up 4 170 lb tanks of propane; in 2.5 miles, up a big *ss hill in 3-4 feet of snow. The guys were ready for the challenge! I went into town to pick up the tanks and Carson and Scott cut all the downed trees, packed the trail and even did the dishes! I love you guys!

So what else could go wrong? Well I got to the truck and someone had broken my R side mirror! And the truck was stuck! I managed to get out, find the promissory note from the guy who broke the mirror, got the tank, and my buddies were waiting in the parking lot to help me get the tanks in. AND they were still smiling! We installed the tanks surprisingly without TOO much difficulty and the heat was ON!

We even had time to hit the powder! For over an hour we plowed through tons of powder, got stuck, dug out and did it again! I think that finally put them over the edge and they weren't smiling anymore once we got back. We were exhausted, but, yet, no words of complaint were emitted.

We headed home, hit a rainstorm, and rush hour traffic, but that was nothing compared to the challenges we had overcome without one whine. That was a good 24 hours with the guys.

Monday, November 29, 2010

When Did I Turn Into a Redneck?

So the Sunday before Thanksgiving I was "mind'in my own bidness" (This is what the beat up patients in Cleveland used to start their stories with) going through Parawon and hit some black ice towing my snowmobile trailer, hit the median, skidded for a mile or two- sideways- and flipped the trailer. That's the short version. Anyway, surprisingly the damage was limited and I decided to try and patch up the truck myself instead of dealing with the insurance.

So there I was the other day in my "toyshop" with the truck jacked up, my tools all around me in the middle of the night with the country music blaring and I saw the Miller High life beer I had bought to give to the Sheep herder during the Elk hunt (that's another story). And I was happy as can be! Then it hit me! I was a REDNECK!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Giving Blood- a Poem

I'm not much of a poetry kind of guy but this one got my attention and kept it.

Giving by Carol Lynn Pearson

I love giving blood.
Sometimes I walk in
Off the Street
When no one has even asked
And roll up my sleeve

I love lying on the table
Watching my blood flow
Through the scarlet tube
To fill the little bag
That bears no Address

I love the mystery
Of its destination.
It runs as easily
To child or woman or man
Black or white
Californian or Asian
Methodist , Mormon
Muslim or Jew.

Rain does too.
Rivers do.
I think God does.
We Do Not.

Our suspicious egos clot
On the journey from "Us" to "Them"

So I give blood
To practice Flowing
Never knowing
where it's Going
And Glad.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Got it!


It's hard to explain what it entailed, what it means,or why I did it but its satisfying.... for now.

Friday, November 5, 2010


Have you ever noticed life is a lot like biking (did Forest Gump say something like that?)?

Sometimes we are forced to choose between the easy way or seemingly harder paths. But how often have you taken the harder way to find it was much more rewarding?
Or sometimes none of the choices are easy.

What's this picture remind you of?
The Thinker on a bike.

Can you tell I had a good ride Thursday?.........


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Yucky riding weather has arrived. It's time to think about heading down to St George for some ride time. Well, if and when you go, I've got a place for you to stay. 1 and 2 BR condos are available in the Sports Village Resort which is less than 1/2 mile from the race course, Zen trail, Bear Claw Poppy and more! And for next month all my readers can get 20% off. Check it out here!

If you've got 3 minutes check out the home made video of the resort. You'll notice the "Sunny" St George video- is cloudy. Go figure that of the only 5 days or so of clouds per year, the time I went down to do it was cloudy. Think it'll go viral? :)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


"The team" after my fifth and last lap- Carson, Keith, Ty and I

I am sure most of us usually feel like we are juggling several things in our lives at once and most of the time we just get it done and keep juggling. Well since the 24 hours of Moab I've felt like those things were starting to fall down on top of me. PLUS I got one of the nastiest colds I've had in a long time since the race. No I am really not trying to complain, but just wanted to provide an excuse for getting this report out 10 days late. I'm sure you've all gone on with other things by now.

The short of it was that we got 4th in the Men's Veteran (35+) category. We were 5 minutes out of 3rd and just 10 minutes ahead of 5th.
The long is that it was one of the fastest and funnest 24 Hours of Moab I've done! This I believe is my 7th race down there. The weather was perfect and the course was one of the fastest. We had both new and old faces in camp and supported nearly 50 people. The Billings family managed to feed the whole lot of us with the best tasting food yet.
Abby (left) the Awesome Chef!

The awesome assistants!

Except for the start of sore throat and cold, I felt great, had my lines down on the technical stuff and had my fastest times ever. AND this was the first year I didn't run the Laman's start. Our newbie, Ty did just great using my strategy and his Tri experience to get a good position out front. I was happy with my first lap of 1:13 but even happier with my 5th lap at 1:15!

Look at those Maddoggers run!

And last but not least, Scott the best supporting Chef, husband, team assistant and dad ever!

All in all again this was the best way to torture one self- with great weather, food and friends!

I just thought this was a cool picture- not really burning down the camp

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Shouldn't of changed the tires!

Two weeks after I change my tires I lose control and crash into a tree. Coincidence? Do you have more baking power without the nubs- like with a worn out tire- or with a new one?

Anyway, Carson and I were doing a night ride and were flying DOWN Canyon Hollow (still near the top) on our "last" descent when while I was minding my own Bidness a tree jumped out at me! So you have to picture that I had both my garmin 705 on the front and my AY UP lights just in front of that. Lots of expensive gear on top, but how often do you really hit something head on- Really? Well in my 20 foot skid while my slow mind was trying to decide whether to lay it down or just keep hoping that if I opened my eyes wide enough and kept staring at the tree I'd stop in time or it would disappear I did the later by default. I heard a bunch of stomach turning crunching and snapping with a bunch of dollar signs flying everywhere realizing there would be lots of gizmos to replace but surprisingly not even thinking of bodily harm. OH, I forgot to mention that I had a set of AY UP lights on my helmet which was also heading for the tree. I finally came to a stop, my lights on the bike were out, I did a systems check on the body and I was breathing and then I turned my undamaged helmet light on, on my broken helmet and surveyed the scene. As you can see there was enough of a hit that the brake lever snapped off and the light and the Garmin were gone. I found the light hanging by the cord off the front. Carson thankfully didn't run me over and was there to help. He plugged the light in and it was working. Meanwhile I unclipped from the Arantix and found the garmin on the ground intact and working! This was the same Garmin that I had just had replaced last week when I broke the last one- ON A NIGHT RIDE then too! Wow so I actually escaped that pretty well with only needing to replace the brake and maybe the shifter. The casing is broke but it works- so far. Anyone with a grip shifter for sale?

Yeah, Yeah, I know that was kind of long for something I could have just said, "I crashed" but I know anyone that has had a "good" crash can attest that there is a lot of stuff that flashes in your mind at that OH Shit! moment. It's all good when we can ride or walk away and tell about it.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Super Stans

Holes, Holes, Holes is what I had in my tire all year. And you know what? It wasn't a problem! The next day after every ride I would see these wet spots in my rear tire. There were at least twenty at a time. If you know these Maxxis LUST Larsen TT's (don't ask me what the LUST stands for) you know these are worn pretty thin. I've had the same tube ALL year starting last fall! You'd think with all those holes I'd be pumping it up every day. Nope- maybe once a month. So what's going on? Well as many of the converts know IT'S STANS notubes. This stuff is incredible! Normally with tubes I'd have had to change the inner tube at least a dozen times with all those annoying little holes. I haven't had a flat all year! The Stan's just plugs the holes. I've really only added stans twice since the initial set up. You'd think it would seep itself dry in a matter of months. I finally changed it last week before the 12 hours, figuring Carson wouldn't appreciate it if I did have a flat because I was running such thin tires. It still had a good amount of juice in it when I opened it up. Bottom line: Why would ANYONE use inner tubes?

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Last year Carson and I did at least 4 12 hour races, but this was our first one for this year, and it showed. We both crashed several times like we didn't even know how to ride, we were both ready to give up after lap 9, but we persevered and finished. Here's our reward...sitting.

It seemed like a smaller turnout over all for the race but the Mad Dog showing was strong, so it seemed like our own little 12 hour race.

Here's my account (from what I remember).
I headed out the second lap after Carson came storming in from the first lap. All was good for the first 6 minutes until up Archies there was a nasty stump and root section that in the past you could get enough speed to roll over, but this time the stump and roots were bigger and the pits deeper so that as I jumped/partly went around the stump I landed in the pit before the roots and endo'd. Not much damage done except a few scratches but I was dirty! It sucks getting dirty the first 6 minutes of a twelve hour race! There were no showers to clean up and the dirt was just gong to get ground in and fester. I really didn't lose too much time though and came in in about 44 minutes. Thats 1 minute slower than last year for the first lap. It was the same course and pretty much the same conditions so it was a good comparison and probably what I would have expected considering the late start to this season. But, unfortunately, Sundance does not have all the laps posted from last year for comparison since I feel I finished stronger this year than last. Keep reading.

The second lap was going GREAT! Things were flowing and I had a good rhythm going. I finished the climb strong and then was heading down when I hit a soft spot in the trees and went down. It was a soft fall in a bunch of dusty peat (now I was REALLY dirty) but something hit my left calf on the way down and as I got up and shook off the dust I was really hurting. It hurt more going down hill, especially when I would hit those nasty braking ruts before the turns. It hurt so bad I had to scream a few times. I got down wondering if I could go out again. I figured I'd try another lap and see, but I was limping around pretty bad on camp. I couldn't find my Alleve so I headed out. The climbing was good and I did well there but again once I hit the descents I was screaming with pain as my calf shook on the bumps and drops. Several times I had to look around in embarassement to make sure noone heard me. Luckily the course was spread out enough that no one was around. So that made me think of the riddle of the falling tree in the forest and I wondered if Karl screams in the woods and no one is around to hear it does it matter? Anyway, by the time I was down I was ready to quit. I heard Carson was not having the best laps either so I kind of proposed considering quiting after the next laps. He didn't argue that. I finally dug up some Celebrex (no it is non-narcotic) and going into lap 4 started OK and then I started feeling stronger. My quads were not sore for the climb and then I hit the descent with trepidation but only felt half the pain from the lap before! It was a good ride! By the end I was NOT going to quite and only hoped Carson didn't have his heart set on stopping. He went out with a look of resignation but he went. It's really hard to quit when only one of the duo is ready to do so. So he suffered on, but I left out some Celebrex for his next lap. The next three laps I felt great for. The calf pain was there but very tolerable (although the size of my calf kept getting bigger each lap from swelling) and my legs felt really strong without any evidence of cramping. Much of that I am sure was do to the CarboRocket I was almost exclusively drinking each lap. I was very consistant each of those laps at 47 minutes. So overall, it turned out to be a good race for me.

We were chasing Kevin and Keith the whole time and were within 6-15 minutes most of the time but just couldn't close the gap and finished behind them in 2nd for the 40+ duo old farts.

Next stop Moab!

ADDENDUM: 09-19-2010: Steve Washburn sent me the times for last year. So if I compare thos times with my Garmin times this year I actually rode faster by about 45 sec per lap and my fastest time was 1 sec longer this year! Go figure. I've got to digest this info to see what's up. I'll wait for the "official" times to come out to see if there is a discrepency in timing as well. Here are the times for seven laps:

LAP 2009 2010
1 44:08:00 44:15:00
2 44:18:00 44:09:00
3 45:23:00 44:14:00
4 46:19:00 47:00:00
5 47:01:00 47:45:00
6 49:12:00 47:03:00
7 51:02:00 48:02:00

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Monster in the Canyon

There's a hungry, mysterious monster in Corner Canyon. It figured it had to be huge for it was leaving some really wide rolling tracks around and eating up the terrain like nothing. It seemed almost every month or so I saw evidence of this monster's trail. And coincidently, the tracks it left were awesome for biking!
I finally "ran" into it the other day. Luckily it was sleeping. Then as I silently slid away I found the monster's slaves trying to hide its tracks.
The tracks are hidden, but the damage is done- some great new rides have resulted!
I can't wait for it's cousin to finish boring under Suncrest to connect the monster trails!
Don't you wish you had a trail monster in your neck of the woods? Come and check out the new CC monster trails!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Mt Ogden 50k

So I finally got off my duff and did another race. The Mt Ogden (Snowbasin resort) 50k was just what the doctor ordered. It was longer than most ICUP races but not by much. It was something different and the sponsorship and bike industry representation made it feel like a huge established race. You wouldn't know that it was only its second year running.

Carson, Adam and I headed up dark and early at 4:45 am and met up with Bruce, Chris, KC and Kevin. The later three were there to tackle the 100k. I had it in my mind that the 50k was a big number and a long distance race but when you figure it in miles it was only 30 miles. I went into it thinking 'slow start' and take it easy to save energy but half way into it I realized that it really wasn't THAT long. But it was definitely long enough for me. I got a good start with the pack and was feeling strong way into the first lap (25k x 2). But it had rained pretty hard last night so we started to hit some really sticky mud. It literally stopped my rear tire from rotating. Others had similar problems but not all. So I lost about 10 spots trying to clean out the Arantix. The worse part was that the chain soon after got dried up and shifting and chain suck would haunt me the rest of the race. But that was the only downside. The course was fun and by the second lap it was packed and I was still feeling good. I had one cramping episode which I spun out and had fun the second lap. By the finish I was spent but that was the goal. I came in a few minutes behind the other Maddoggers but felt it was respectable considering it was my "off" year.

The cool thing was KC took 1st and Chris took 2nd in pro and Carson took third over all in the "amateur" which was all but pro. Good job all.

Chris coming across the finish line in 2nd. Look at that time- 5:11:43!
KC just finishing the 100K in 1st place pro division!
Carson collecting his goods.
Me, enjoying the day.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Mad Dog Community Ride Corner Canyon

The team's community guided ride this week will be lead by Carson and I at Corner Canyon at 5:45p tomorrow. We will be leading groups at all levels so if you have friends or neighbors interested in checking it out invite them.
Here's a map of the trails.

I hope to see you there.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

MIA- Maui In Action

Alas, I've missed the last ICUP race of the season. Not exactly what I planned on for the end of the season but the family comes first and this something they HAD to do. I suppose they really didn't drag me kicking and screaming. I did get some road riding in which made the trip. Has anyone ridden around West Maui before? It has some incredible ups and downs and so many turns that it almost felt like MTB riding. I did inquire about some real MTB rides but was told it was all private. About the most they would do at the shop was point in the general direction. I'll try it next time (if there is one).

Sunday, August 1, 2010

MIA- Missing In Alaska

Not much biking stuff to write about since my last race. I've been expanding my horizons. And Wow! You should see the horizons in Alaska! Just got back yesterday morning. I had aspirations of making it to the Snowbasin race. I even had my bike ready in the car at the airport. But alas, the plane got in too late and I had 100 lbs of frozen Salmon thawing in the car. Bummer.
Sorry about the blood. Bleeding them supposedly makes them stay fresher. There was not much mountain biking in Alaska with rain nearly everyday for the last month, but I found a couple trail systems to try for next time. We only saw about 20 min of sunshine while we were there and highs were in the upper 50's! All was made right by the good fish'n.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Solitude State Championship

Since my return to racing this year, this race was the one I worked the most, hurt the most but did the worst. I just couldn't recover during the first long climb no matter how much I slowed down. It took until after the final brutal road climb to get my HR down. I felt a huge difference when I compared how I felt and was riding in the same areas last year. I just don't have the endurance and power in the legs like I had. By the third lap my legs AND lungs had it and I hit the wall. There was carnage out there, though. Bob, Sam and Fred in our category had significant mechanicals. I guess I should feel fortunate.

After the race I had to do some Mad Dog Insurance plan work. I hope he liked the embroidery.

The team had a mini BBQ party afterward. Thanks, Jesse, for the brats. They hit the spot!

Even the mother in law showed up. She started hitting on the harry sleestack thing. It couldn't have been 'cause of the cash in his hand.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


I wanted to see how long it would take to do all the CC trails with minimal overlap.

Here's the results.

It does start at home so take off 2 miles. I TT's Clark's (11:36), climbed Jacob's, down North Ghost back up Canyon Hollow across Brock's to Rush then did the stairs and back down. It took just under 2 hours and about 16 miles.

This is just staying IN CC. Next I will do the trails excluding CC and when I get really ambitious will do ALL of them.

Pre-ride Solitude tomorrow coming up.

Monday, July 5, 2010


YES, I was desperate on Kelleys Island in OH this weekend and in a moment of weakness I broke down and cheated on my Arantix. How could I pass up this old girl for the weekend? The ripped and lumpy jell seat was icing on my butt. I rode her all weekend but in the end I was glad to get back and see my little web frame.

We did have a great time with in impromptu reunion of Vizmeg's. There were about 50 of us. It's easy to forget that there's a good many of us in OHio when you are the lone ones in UT.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


Have you met friends that you haven't known all your life but bond with immediately and appreciate what they are about right off the bat? Well here's a family we've enjoyed knowing and expect we'll keep in touch with. But alas they are expanding their horizons, and moving OUT OF STATE (OH MY!) on what I expect to be a great adventure. We had a fun little gathering to send them off today. Keyes, we wish you all a safe and fortune filled journey! And we expect you back often and permanently when you are more "cultured" and "educated" about the real world out there! Fare Thee Well.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Taming the Tetons for the LAST time

Carson and I blew in yesterday for the "TAMING THE TETONS" ICUP race today. Little did we know this was going to be the last one. We heard rumors the resort was going to focus on downhill biking more. It's too bad, this was a fun getaway for our family in the years past and without the race incentive it seems less likely that we would come up this far.

Not much exciting news about the race. I started out in 6th (I think) and stayed there. I was knocking on Tim White's door after the second lap but didn't have it in me to catch him. I just need to keep working on getting back the conditioning for this year. It was a fun course with perfect race weather. Here's my stats if anyone is really interested.
We crashed with the Holley's last night at the Hostel which was an experience. There were actually 6 of us in one hot room with thin walls. I slept well after it cooled off and the partying Asian yelling group quieted down.

ARANTIX II MILES: 550 for 2010

Thursday, June 17, 2010


The make up race at Deer Valley looked pretty gloomy just before the start. It was cold and rainy. Not much of a chance for a warm up which was badly needed to be able to attach Little Stix. I started off my usual crazy speed, burned my lungs out and took nearly the whole first lap to recover. Old habits die hard. But in a way it made sense this time since we were only doing two laps due to lack of daylight. The second lap was much better, even up Little stix. I missed out on 7th place by just a couple of seconds. I got caught on the last long down hill towards the finish behind another category racer and didn't push to pass. By the time I did and noticed that I was catching up with my category racer we were near the finish, he new I was coming on and I couldn't finish it. Over all it was a good race, poor finish. I really only once thought about my shoulder on rough downhill section.

MOST IMPROVED MAD DOG RACER AWARDI have to highlight Kevin Moffit in this blog. IF there was an award for most improved racer it would be given to him. It seems just last year he started in beginner, quickly moved to sport and was winning. This year he jumped to Expert and has jumped to firsts right off the bat. Now that's acceleration! Not bad for an old guy (49) who hasn't raced before. He has done something right through this miserable winter. His genes must not be bad, either, which he passed on to Joseph (18) who just also won the expert 19-29 category. GOOD JOB Moffits! RESPECT..

ARANTIX II miles: 470