Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Skate Ski Weekend

I'm really glad we decided to take up skate skiing this year. I think it might be the perfect off-season sport. You get a nice low intensity total body workout that is perfect for building base and strengthening underutilized muscles. Also, unlike running, snowshoeing and classic xc skiing, skate skiing is challenging which keeps my interest level up so I keep at it.

We hit Mountain Dell for 12K on Saturday and then Sunday we decided to try some of the free trails up in Park City. We skated the loop around Willow Creek Park a couple times and also did an out and back to Redstone. The Park City trails get a lot of hiking and dog traffic so they're not quite as buff as the Mountain Dell trails but they're flatter which makes it easier to work on technique.

Haven't had a chance to do any Alpine skiing yet. The backcountry has been way too dangerous for my tastes this year and I haven't really felt the urge to drop $50+ to ride the lifts yet. Maybe the snow will settle in by this weekend so I can sneak out for a tour.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Where did the weekend go?

I think that was the shortest weekend I've ever experienced. One minute I'm driving home in the blizzard Friday night and next thing I know I'm trying to drag my butt out of bed Monday morning.

Saturday we went to a free skate ski clinic put on by TUNA. I've never been on skate skis before and I was glad I did the clinic. It seemed like a real simple concept and I've skated a bit before on both alpine and classic xc skis but I still learned a lot about form and technique at the clinic that will help make my workouts more effective.

Saturday night we and almost everybody else in Northern Utah went to TC's holiday party. Damn that girl has a lot of friends and it was a packed house. At one point smoke started billowing in the kitchen while Once Bitten, Twice Shy played on the TV. I started throwing elbows looking for an exit but it was only Troy burning a pizza in the oven.

Sunday I did a bit of work on my mudroom project and also headed up Millcreek for some more skating. Millcreek isn't so good for skating. Too many snowshoers, hikers and off leash dogs chew up the trail and get in the way so between that and the steady climb it's hard to get a rhythm going.

Last night was Drew's 40th surprise birthday party at Fiddlers Elbow. Excellent company and beer make for a great party and 40 couldn't have happened to a nicer guy. Here's to 40 more Drew!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Ed give's these things to anybody

This has got to be worth 10 watts easy, right? I'm holding out for Fox to officially retire the "00".

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Siesta Key

The pause before the drop on Sheikra
A week in Florida was good for the soul. We had a nice condo on the white sand beach of Siesta Key just outside of Sarasota. Not much happened and that was the plan. We chilled on the beach, rode the roller coasters in Bush Gardens a couple days and ate a ton of killer seafood including the most marvelous fish and sweet potato chips at the brewpub in Sarasota. The coasters at Bush Gardens are the bomb. The Montu which they say is one of the country's top ten coasters is fun in that traditional roller coaster way but I think the real draw is the Sheikra. The Sheikra is by far the scariest (and therefore most fun) roller coaster I have ever been on. It's a completely open coaster, no top, sides or bottom so you basically sit on a small seat bolted to the chassis. You start by being pulled up a 200 foot hill, make a 180 degree turn and then stop, enjoying the view. The coaster eases forward to just before the "drop" and stops again, building anticipation. Then there is the false start where you are moved over the edge and stopped for what feels like forever hanging straight down 200+ feet in the air and kept from falling only by your harness. The drop, especially from the front car is terrifying. A 200 ft 70+ MPH free fall straight down with nothing in front of you. Awesome! You then do a couple loops, another 140 ft 90 degree drop into a tunnel and to the finish which in the offseason of early December means you immediately can turn around and hop back on a few minutes later. Rhonda says the Top Thrill Dragster in Cedar Point in scarier but since she was so scared on the Shiekra she couldnt open her eyes on the drop I'm not so sure.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Excellent trainer movie

Watched The Fast and The Furious while riding nowhere last night. It was an excellent trainer movie. Lots of fast paced on the road action and not a lot of dialogue you need to follow. I also learned an important lesson from the movie. "It's not how you stand by your bike, it's how you race your bike". Thank you Ja Rule.

Leaving tomorrow for a week of sun and sand in Florida. It's not Hawaii but it's cheap.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Lonely Roads

Hit the tarmac for a post work ride yesterday and noticed something very interesting. Before Thanksgiving on this same ride at the same time of day I would see at least 20 other riders no matter the weather. Yesterday the only other people I saw were Bart and his dad (pretty sure it was him) riding together. It got me thinking that either everybody takes December off or maybe everybody else is smarter than me and is riding indoors. I'm leaning towards the latter since it was cold and the first 20 minutes of my ride were wasted warming up. Finally accepting the fact that winter is here is hard but I'm adapting. When I got home I set up my road bike in the basement for trainer use and put slicks on my cross bike. Being ready for either option should eliminate the set-up time for both road and trainer rides and will hopefully keep me motivated.

Monday, December 1, 2008

St. George



and Slickrock
Nothing beats a trip to Southwest Utah in the winter. Great trails and perfect weather are almost always guaranteed.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Probable Last PC MTB ride of the season

Saturday we got out for what will probably be our last ride in the Park City area for the season. We parked at Jeremy ranch and hit the 24-7, Flying Dog, Glenwild, and the new DH trail loop. All the trails were in near perfect condition with the exception of the backside of Flying Dog which was a sloppy mess. The ground was pretty frozen and there was some rideable snow in sections but other sections had about 1" of freshly thawed soup on top of frozen ground that was not the least bit fun. We walked the deeper mud sections to save the trail but we still got plenty muddy. The frontside of Flying Dog was buff and fast. It would have been smarter to just do an out and back on the frontside but my loop loving self never even thought of going that route until we finished. The new DH trail is short but fun. No drops but lots of fast bermed corners and whoops. A ton of people were out on the trails but it was mostly addicts such as myself so the traffic flow was exceptionally good. A nasty storm is supposed to move in for the weekend and I'm sure winter will be right on it's heels but it sure was nice to hit alpine singletrack in late November.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Promo for Peter Jacksons new movie District 9

Become a learning pioneer!
Maths From Outer Space wants to redefine what it means to be human! Our scientists have found a way to enhance the spatial and logic capabilities of the human body. By synthesizing earth-based proteins with DNA from our other-worldly friends, the MFOS program will enhance your natural physical and mental capabilities. In other words, we've found a way to make you smarter! Would you like to see if you are qualified to take part in this exciting endeavor?

(my 8-10 score didn't make the cut but it did hurt my brain)

Monday, November 17, 2008

I think Rico might be a sadist......

In that good pain makes you stronger way. With 5 minutes to start time yesterday I decided to take a bathroom break and missed a key piece of information regarding the line up. I rode over to the area where the C's started and watched TC's dogs wrestle for a bit until I heard a loud whoosh behind me as the the B field rode by. Crap, missed the start. Put in an all out max sprint to catch on to the back of the women's field and got around them to get to the back of the men's field by the first run up the grassy knoll. Passed a few people in time for the 2nd run up the knoll. Down the field, around the power pole, through the chicane and back to the start. One very fun lap down. I was riding well and working my way slowly through the field by lap 4 but after the 8th run up I started getting tired. Checked the lap counter on my way through the start area and it said 4 laps to go. Uh Oh, I was pretty tired already and only half done. Late in the 6th lap my back started to get tight and it was all I could do to not hemorrhage too many positions. By the last lap the run up's were walk ups and all I could think of was my Mexi Coke waiting at the finish. Man that course was hard! I think it was the 16 runs up the grassy knoll that did me in or maybe it was the grassy backstretch where it felt like the harder you pushed the easier it was. It was a wicked fun course with a bit of everything including a sandtrap, tons of short burst ups and pedal downs and well timed 180 deg corners to keep you on your toes without losing too much speed. Well done Rico! As usual I cleaned up in the raffle winning a brand new Bell Sweep R helmet for Rhonda. Unless something changes it was a very way to end my race season and I'm excited to start thinking of next year.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

I'm not very good at cross.....

But who cares, it's so damn fun! Arrived at Wheeler nice and early which worked out well because after riding for 5 minutes I realized I didn't bring enough clothes. Ran home to grab tights and warmer gloves, got in a warm up lap and lined up with 65 other souls in my category. No, this wasn't a race in the northwest, Utah CX is just that big now. Started out around 20th or so, passed a few people, got passed by a few people, pulled about 8 people down the road sections each of the first two laps and finished mid-pack. Compared to others I seem to be faster on the straights and road sections and much slower in the twisty stuff. Strange since I'm a MTB guy but I waste a lot of time dodging trees with my large frame in the narrow singletrack. I bet I would be faster on my MTB, even with the paved and road sections but the point is to get faster and gain skills not to try to beat 10 more people in a C race. The Wheeler course set up was sweet, many props to Matt and Joe for building such awesome courses week after week.

I kept my front wheel tubeless but went with a Stans'd tube in the rear at about 60lbs. Just got sick of the rear tire burping. My back was hurting by the last lap but both tires held air and rear traction didn't seem to suffer too much.

Rhonda started out slow (she hasn't been on the bike much lately either) but built up to normal speed by the last couple laps. Sucked a few wheels (she's learning), held off Melissa and passed TC at the very end for 14th out of 30 starters (the women's fields are getting huge as well).

Tomorrow we're hitting Cutthroat cross which will be our final race of the season. Time to start thinking about next season..... Desert Rampage is less than four months away!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Double X weekend

Wheeler tomorrow, Cutthroat Sunday and then we have to throw in the towel for the rest of the season. We'll be out of town for the last two races and I can't get to Ogden in time for the AM scrub races next weekend. Home improvement projects have temporarily taken over my free time so I've only ridden once in the last two weeks. That means I should be peaking tomorrow right?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Road Tubeless Review

After a full summer of riding Stan's road tubeless system I'm pretty impressed. Rough and chipsealed roads feel almost as smooth as fresh blacktop and the tires are very grippy while cornering. I used to be a 6-7 flats a year type of guy and had to run 120lbs to avoid pinch flats but with this setup flats of any kind have been non-existent. Railroad tracks, huge potholes, no worries. I originally has these setup on a normal rim with spoke holes and I had some trouble sealing the spoke holes with the yellow tape but since I switched over to Ksyriums mid summer the setup had been bullet proof. They lose almost no air between rides. I would recommend this setup for anybody but if you have Ksyriums or a similar sealed rim it can't be beat.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Why Lance is still cool.

29'er hard tail and hairy legs.
(also note the soon to be available Stan's ZTR Race 29er wheelset)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The Elixer of the Gods

This ferocious lion guards my Mexi-Coke 24-7

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Obama skis victory lap

Yesterday at "the bird".

Monday, November 3, 2008

Two starts, no finishes

Saturday Rhonda felt like sleeping in so I headed to RMR by myself. I almost called her after doing a warmup lap to have her run my MTB over, I just had this feeling that I might need it but I decided not to bother her. One lap in I hit a bad part of the last downhill whoop-de-doo, launched off the lip and landed dead on my rear wheel. Burp, tubeless tire blown, wheel way out of true, no backup anything, race over.

Repaired my bike and headed to Wheeler Sunday AM. First lap tried to make a wide pass on a corner into a cement pad. Caught the edge of the pad square on my read wheel. Burp, lost about half my pressure (in all fairness had I been tubed it would have been a pinch flat). I rode three more laps on real low pressure but finally with 2 laps to go the bead buckled on a sharp corner and I lost most of the rest of my air. For some reason I never even considered stopping in the pit the 5-6 times I went past it to top off the tire until Ken mentioned it to me after I withdrew. I guess I just don't yet have the fix your bike in the middle of the race mindset. Next step will be to try a Stans'd tube in the rear and see how that goes. Cross is fun but this is getting frustrating.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Emigration Cougar Crossing

No, I don't mean the 45 year old blonds with fake boobs that I hear are quite common up there. Last night I made a pathetic attempt at doing some intervals up Emigration when I heard a rustling in the bushes off to the left. I looked over and a saw cougar come flying out of the bushes sprinting in my direction. I froze and the cougar continued running across the road about 5-10 feet in front of me and dove into the woods. I'll never know if it was actually coming at me or just happened to be cruising by (I'm guessing the latter since on my bike I'd look pretty large to a cougar). It's the only one I've ever seen in the wild and it was quite the experience.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Weekend in Fruita

Mr and Mrs Kidney Stone were nice enough to join us for a weekend of fun and sun in Fruita. We left Friday morning and hit the Kokopelli Loops area that afternoon. Kris and Jolene had never been to Fruita so for an overview of what Kokopelli had to offer we did a big loop of Mary's, Lions, Mack Ridge and Moore Fun. I hadn't ridden Moore Fun in over 7 years and I remembered it being a difficult trail but not the pain in the ass that it is. It's pretty much set up on both the climb and the decent as a "MTB trials" type of trail and since I'm an XC weenie the trials, especially on the climb, ended up being a lot of hike-a-bike. The rest of the trails we rode that day were sweet and you can read all about them on my trip report from May.

On Saturday we had a blast riding the buff singletrack over in the bookcliffs. We started with the classic loop of Prime Cut, Joe's Ridge and Kessell Run which is quite possibly the most fun per mile MTB loop in the world. Next we looped Prime Cut, Chutes and Ladders, Edge Connector and Vegetarian. Then we finished with a repeat of Prime Cut, Joe's Ridge, back up to the very top of Kessell Run and finally back to the car. The first time I rode Kessell years ago I liked it but it was never near the top of my list trail wise. Now I'm starting to really love that trail. The more you ride it and get to know it the better it flows and once you get the no brakes flow of that trail it's like MTB nirvana. My only regret of the day was skipping Zippity. As I get older the pucker factor on that trail gets to be less fun and more fright but it's still a classic and I maybe shouldn't have talked us out of riding it. We finished the day with awesome food and beverage during happy hour at the Rockslide Brewery in Grand Junction.

Last time we were in Fruita we didn't have so much fun riding the Tabeguache area but I've heard so many good things about the trails there we had to try again. Armed with the Fruita guidebook on loan from Kendra we saddled up. We climbed the Tabeguache trail up to Little Park road where to save time we took pavement up to the top of The Ribbon. Rode the Ribbon down and climbed back up the connector trail to the top of The Gunny trail which we followed back to the car. This ride was much better than the ride we did in the spring but was still not great. The rideable parts of the trail were really fun but there are so many short (and not so short) portages that we got a bit frustrated. A lot of the portages could have been avoided with switchbacks or other trail alterations which also would make the trails more sustainable. The trails closer to the trailhead seem to be better than some of the trails further out so maybe we'll stick with those the next time we go. It's still a fun area but it's just not quite living up to expectations.

All in all it was a sweet trip with great riding and excellent company. It's always fun to get out of town and burn desert singletrack but I'm looking forward to some mud, sweat and tears this weekend at the CX doubleheader.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Fruita Picture Post

Overlooking the Colorado from Lions Loop
Joe's Ridge

Kessel Run

Kessel Run (we almost made it in less than 12 parsecs)

Top of The Ribbon

Climbing out of the end of the Ribbon trail

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I left my frozen toes in Millcreek

Yesterday I finished getting my Blur back in rideable condition for the Fruita trip this weekend and decided to take a quick shakedown spin in Millcreek. It was pretty cold at my house but as soon as I entered the canyon it was bone chilling. I lasted about 45 mins on the pipeline before I lost all feeling in my toes and bailed. Rides like that actually make the trainer in the basement look enticing.

New Breckenridge MTB Stage Race

Sounds interesting.

It's kinda crazy that I already need to start making plans for next season.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Emigration TT

Since I missed the CX fun on Saturday I felt like putting in a good long max effort last night. After work I rode over to Emigration for a little solo time trial. 32:25 with an average HR of 164. Not really all that fast I know but I thought it was decent enough for a hairy legged MTB'er. I big ringed past a shorn roadie with a hello and a wave on the steeper section near the end which he took affront to. He grabbed my wheel and sprinted past me near the end. These little cheeseball competitions that always happen on the road are funny. You just don't see that on the trail.

We went and saw Body Worlds with the parents on Sunday. It was pretty cool but I was a little disappointed. I thought the information level on the displays was little too basic. I know the exibit is geared towards the layperson but some more detailed info would have been nice as well. Also a lot of the displays were cool but you see so much more detail on an MRI scan that they were a bit of a letdown for me. I would highly recommend it for the public but it just didn't do to much for me personally.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Warm Weather Riding

Finally got back to some shorts and a jersey weather for last nights road ride. Had a really nice ride up Emigration, one of those rides where the stars aligned perfectly. Temps were great, I felt kinda fast and the surrounding traffic was amazingly polite. As I approached the four way stop at the corner of Wasatch and 13th there was a Lexus who had already stopped and had the right of way by far. I prepared to stop but the driver of the Lexus was nice enough to just wave me through. Then as I was stopped waiting for traffic so I could turn left on Crestview a truck stopped behind me. Once traffic cleared I turned left and he turned left behind me. Instead of doing what most other drivers do in this situation, gunning it to get around me only to have to stop 100 yards down the road at Sunnyside he eased up and let me stay in front. This gave me a nice unimpeded right turn on to Sunnyside and up Emigration. Maybe people are finally learning to respect cyclists more. Nah, who am I kidding, I'm sure I was just lucky enough to come across two very nice people on the same ride.

Speaking of bad drivers Rhonda got rear-ended the other day by some redneck in a 78 GMC pickup. She was fine but our little Tacoma tore the hell out of his supersized piece of fine American engineering. The Tacoma had a slightly bent bumper and some mild damage to the tailgate and left rear quarter while his POS needed to be duck taped and bungee corded just to get home. Miraculously he did have insurance and since he was cited his insurance is going to pay to fix our truck.

My parental units are in town for the weekend and Rhonda nixed any idea of me running up to Ogden for the race this weekend. It's probably going to be the only time Rico allows us to have nice weather for a cross race and it's too bad I'll miss out. I'm sure dry courses aren't as fun as muddy ones but I'd like to race one just just for giggles.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Heber CX

On Saturday we arrived at the Heber Fairgrounds at around 8am to cold temps but a dry course. After registering I headed out for a hot lap of the course and the sky opened up dumping a couple inches of snow on the ground in about 15 mins. It stopped snowing right before the start of our race but the melting snow left the course nice and muddy. I had my trainer set up with a nice view of the start line so my plan was to keep spinning till the last minute and then run over to the start with warm legs. They called for people to start lining up and everybody moved to the start area while I kept spinning. I headed over to the start area just as they were doing the call-ups. I lined up in the very back and being new to cross I figured it wouldn't be a big deal to get around the people in front of me pretty quick. BAD IDEA. Jon sounded the start and the front of the group rode away while I sat in the back waiting for everybody to get moving. By the time I was able to get moving the leader was already making the first left turn almost 100 yards ahead. Once we finally got moving I tried to get around some people on the dirt track but I was blocked in without any gaps. The pack came to a complete stop at the first barrier section and as I'm walking over the barriers I see the leaders descending the run-up. I finally found some room on the grass leading to the run up and passed a bunch of people pushing and walking the run up but as I re-mounted I looked over and saw the lead group entering the stables almost half a lap ahead already. Once past the run-up I had plenty of room to operate but the damage was done. As I entered the stables I heard the Gardie announcing the leaders finishing their first lap and from then on every time I hit the stables I would hear the leaders coming through finishing laps. So the good news is I was on the lead groups pace once I cleared the traffic jam on the first lap.

In the results they have me finishing 30th but they also have Jorge finishing 21st and I passed him early in the second lap so who knows where I really finished. I think they're having trouble keeping track of the record number of racers each week because they had the women's B results messed up for both races as well.

All things considered it was still really fun and I can't wait to race again. The course was sweet with a lot of fun variety. I do hope they can start getting the results straightened out

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Heber Rodeo Cross Picture post.

Shoulder time

Rhonda, TC and Shanna running up
Why are you smiling?
Ken showing good form
Bob's trying to catch up to his bike.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Vote by mail

I rode Big Mountain Sunday, recovery ride Mon and intervals up Emigration yesterday. The shoulder held up pretty well so it's all systems go for cross in the cold, snow and horsecrap on Saturday. I still don't have a lot of power while standing on the pedals and pulling but I can work around that.

We got our vote by mail forms delivered yesterday. I tell you vote by mail is the only way to go. Instead of waiting in the line at a polling station and then having to try to remember who you want to vote for in the obscure school district races or whether to vote yea or nae on those 5 constitutional amendments you get to mark the dots at your leisure. Until vote by mail I always felt a little guilty voting. I was a marginally informed voter but if I didn't know anything about a candidate I would just check the box of the guy who had the donkey next to his name. Now that I have plenty of time to look over the ballot I can use the magic of google to read all about the candidates and make an informed decision. Good for us, bad for the deep pocketed politicians.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Draper CX Race

Friday night I rode the cross bike over to Tanner Park just to try things out to see how my shoulder might hold up. The results weren't good. I couldn't stand and pedal and steering in the rough stuff was pretty sloppy due to lingering weakness in my shoulder. I bagged the race but after much internal debate Rhonda decided to do it. We woke up in the morning to a cold downpour. Yup cross season is here. Loaded everything up and got to the Equestrian Center early enough to get a spot under the eaves of the concession stand to set up the trainer. Rhonda had a good warm up and lined up at the start with a huge field of 45 men's C racers, 16 women's B's and 4 masters men. I heard there were almost 300 racers total. I guess Utah Cross has arrived. Rhonda rode well, stayed upright the entire time, wore through half her brake pads in the wonderfully sloppy conditions and finished 10th. She was hoping for better but it was a tough field including expert MTB'ers and really fast roadies. It was only her 2nd cx race and her first in sloppy conditions so there is plenty of room for improvement. The course was sweet with a lot of flowy singletrack, a slick downhill off camber muddy section, a short pavement hillclimb and a sloppy run-up right in front of the crowd. Rhonda had a blast and is now hooked on cross. It's funny how it took a cold, wet, muddy day to get her excited about the sport.

After the rain quit Sunday afternoon I hit Big Mountain on the road bike. My shoulder was feeling much better and I would say it's about 80% healthy. I don't think I'll be 100% by next Saturday but I'm sure I'll be strong enough to race. The long term forecast is calling for a chance of rain so maybe we'll have another classic race.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

UTCX #1 Draper Womens B Pics

TC showing off the goods to the large mens "C" field

Allison was passing the men for an early lead

Rhonda and TC battling on the run-up
Melissa on the bridge

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Perfect CX weather this weekend


Friday Night: Showers likely, mainly after midnight. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 58. Chance of precipitation is 70%.

Saturday: Showers likely. Cloudy, with a high near 63. Chance of precipitation is 70%.

Mounted up a Maxxis Mimo up front in preperation for wet sandy race. Now I just have to decide if I should risk my shoulder this week or give it another week to heal.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Weekend Update

Thursday night I ate it pretty bad at Dr. X's Sugarhouse clinic. I was descending a fast grassy slope chatting with J Dub and next thing I know I'm landing full on my left shoulder. I was barely able to limp home riding one handed and immediately hit the ice and vitamin I. Friday California Bob was in town and we had plans to ride Super Crest. Not wanting to bag out on plans made months in advance I sacked up and did the ride. It hurt like hell at times and I walked a couple sections that I would have needed both arms to clean but this time of the year you can't let a minor thing like a sprained shoulder keep you away from that ride. Saturday we spent most of the day at a BBQ relaxing and Sunday I planted 150 bulbs in the front yard one handed. Over the weekend my shoulder seemed to be healing pretty fast but over the last couple of days the healing has plateaued. I cant lift much with that arm and carrying a bike is out of the question so on the official injury report for Draper's CX race I'm listing myself as questionable. We'll see how the rest of the week goes.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Wind Cave and Dirty Bikes

The day after Moosecross we hiked to the Wind Cave northwest of Victor. It was a pretty cool hike and the fall colors were spectacular but the 1800 feet of climbing over 2.6 miles worked over my non hiking legs.

Last night I embarked upon a long overdue project. Bike Cleaning. It took me over two hours and I couldn't decide what was worse. The fact that we own eight bikes or the fact that I'm so lazy that they were all long overdue for a cleaning.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Grand Teton Brewery Octoberfest

This is truly what is at the end of a rainbow. A Leprechaun tossing a keg

Rhonda likes her beer dark, bitter and plentiful. I'm glad her taste in men isn't similar.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Moose Cross

We woke up Saturday morning in our B&B to the pitter patter of rain on the roof. All through breakfast it poured buckets on and off and I started getting excited for a mudfest of the ages. After breakfast we got our gear together and headed the five miles down the road to the venue arriving to mostly clear blue skies. No more rain but at least the course will still be wet right? Wrong! It rained all morning five miles up the road but the course had only received light sprinkles. We headed out on our warmup laps to very un-crosslike conditions. Very dry and very dusty.

Rhonda's group raced first. She hung with the leaders through most of the first lap but gradually fell back as her lack of saddle time due to a myriad of injuries over the last six weeks caught up with her. She finished 7th out of 15 or so but two of the girls who beat her moved up and did the A race later finishing in the top 10.

For my race I got a call up to the line. The race organizers must have sensed the cross demon lurking within me and wanted me up front where I belong (It also might have been that the call-ups were based on time of registration but I'll go with the former idea). My cross demon decided to stay hidden till another day and I was quickly but in my place near the back. I rectified that during the first run up where the mad skills that Kathy and Ali taught me burst out and I loped (I'm too tall to call what I do running) past 5-6 people. I passed a few more people on the 2nd barrier section and settled in with a small group in the middle of the field. The rest of the race was basically me gaining a ton of time on the straights and getting killed by the MTB'ers on the tight corner sections. By the end of the race the corners were so loose that I was buried to my spokes at times and had no traction while the guys on fat tires just floated through. I finished 10th out of 20+ which I felt pretty OK with for my first cross race. I was clean through the barriers and kept my intensity up the whole time. I raced pretty well but got killed in the multiple 180 deg corners. I'm thinking the 30c tires that came on my bike aren't going to be meaty enough for some courses so I'll probably look into an upgrade to some 35's.

Cyclocross is wicked fun. In MTB races I often have trouble maintaining intensity and focus because I usually spend most of the race by myself. Everybody in my category is either five minutes ahead of me or 5 minutes behind me and there are so many people on the course I have no idea who's who. In cross there is always somebody near by and they're always direct competitors. You always feel like you're battling (even if it is for 10th place). Also you don't have to worry so much about saving energy for the next climb. You just pin it and go. The only negative to that is that it hurts like hell all I wanted to do was finish the race but as soon as I was done all I could think about was my next race.

MooseCross Pictures