All of the above and I don't even need a plane ticket. Tonight after work we leave for St George. Rhonda is just going down for the race this weekend and catching a ride back home on Sunday with Bob. I get to stay for a whole week of punishment in the saddle and come back next Sunday. I am going to try to ride all 10 days (long most days but with a couple short recovery rides mixed in) so wish my legs and saddle contact area luck! I've got the Ipod full and the weather looks to be cooperative so It should be epic.
This is a crazy and sweet ToC story (with photographic evidence). Found in the Slowtwitch forums thanks to California Bob.
I had a late start yesterday due to a meeting, but I was riding full speed to Sierra road to watch the riders suffer up the 15% grade. As I got close, I noticed the helis headed toward the start of the climb: they were moving fast. I ended up at the base and saw a few stragglers head up the hill. I changed direction and rode down Piedmont to see the riders negotiate the sharp corner from Calavares (steep hill) to Piedmont. Waiting around at the corner I noticed that it was going to be an interesting turn because a stop sign with an elevated curb separated both lanes. I watched Levi and the chase group slowly round the corner and rocket toward downtown. Next I decided to ride down Piedmont on the sidewalk (not very many people were on this section). The next group of about 6 riders were overtaking me so I decided to ride a little faster abreast of them (yes, I’m that guy). They fly by and I start up a slight rise in the road. I hear “Red Jersey, Red Jersey.” I’m wearing a vanilla Pearl red jersey. “Red Jersey.” I’m thinking, WTF, I’m on the sidewalk because there is a race on the road, does the race “police” want me to walk? I peddle faster. “Red Jersey” I kick it up a notch, I’m amazed that a race volunteer can run that fast. Finally, “Red Jersey” is shouted very close to me. I stop feeling like I’m going to be busted for a crime. I look around and it is a CSC rider. “I need your rear wheel”. 5 seconds elapse were I’m trying to think about the fact that I’m riding my road bike and not my newer Cervelo and my road bike has a 9-speed cassette. My response, “Ok, but it may not fit”—not the technical response that I wanted. “It’s better than this” He lifts up his Zipp 404 that is trashed. Ok, I take the rear wheel off my bike and I’m not quite sure if I’m supposed to pop it in or he is going to do it. He puts it in, but the chain isn’t lined up on the cassette… I go down and line it up to pop the wheel in and he moves me aside to tighten the QR. He says- “This had to be the slowest wheel change ever” Me-“uh, sorry”. “Do you want a boost?” “Yeah”. I finally get my act together and launch him forward with a good full run in my cycling shoes (I’m glad I’ve got Crank Bros cleats). “Come to the finish, Team CSC, We will hook you up.” I then realized that I never even looked at his face and I don’t know who is on the CSC roster this year. I’m standing around and now it is sinking in… What am I supposed to do now? I’m about 8-10 miles to the finish. I talk to several people on the side of the road and some of them thought that I was in the race and he was my team mate—nice. One of them offers me a ride downtown and I take it. It turns out that this guy is now retired from working 35 years in the same company that I work for. The day is getting more bizarre. It takes awhile to make it downtown with the road closures and by the time I arrive at the finish, Levi is on the podium. I go around to where the team cars are located, but CSC is nowhere to be found. I talk to a mechanic from Colorado with Mavic race support (he tells me- “your a hero”) and he gives me the hotel that they are staying at. I head home by riding light rail. I call the hotel and bounce around a few rooms until I get ahold of Kim Andersen. After I tell my story, (yeah, I’m that guy) I tell him that I won’t be able to make any more stages… He says, “I don’t know what we can do.” “Can’t you mail me my wheel back; can you write down my address?” “No… that wouln’t work to well… I’m not great with writing english….” Hmmm... “What rider was it?” “Bobby…. Yeah, you should talk to him… here’s his room number.” I call and leave a message with my phone number. Half an hour goes by and my phone rings… I’m on the phone with Bobby Julich. He explains that he was turning onto Piedmont and he forgot about the traffic island and slammed into it. He continued riding for 1.5 miles when he saw me. “There was no way that I was going to let you get away without me taking your wheel.” I give him my address and comment that he could throw some zipps in with box… He laughs and says that he will try and put “something in there from the team.”
The greatest thing in cycling since the invention of full suspention has just had it's price dropped. The iPod shuffle is now only $49. The thing holds a gig of music, is the size of the tip of your thumb and only weighs an ounce. Apple need to send me a small cut of the profits for this plug.
Yesterday we decided to hit up the new (to us) Zen trail in Green Valley. We parked at the base of BCP, rode up BCP, down Barrel and picked up the doubletrack climb to Zen. I'm not sure how long that trail has been around and been a secret but it won't be secret much longer. Zen is EPIC, no BS. The closest trail I can think of for comparison is Moore Fun in Fruita but even that doesn't do Zen justice. The views are spectacular and the trail is crazy technical XC fun. It's a mix of slickrock, broken slickrock, 2-3 foot ledge drops (all rollable) and some dirt. Pretty much everything you could ask for in a desert ride. It might not be quite as fun as the Goose but it's in downtown St. George, not out in middle of BFE. If you combine Zen with some of the other Green Valley trails such as BCP and Barrel and you have a pretty epic ride. Sorry I din't take more pics but the trail was just too much fun.
This long weekend of riding (75-85 miles total) was amazing and Rhonda has really rounded into form. She was ripping the DH on the Carbon Rush like no tomorrow. She flipped the bird to the middle finger of death on BCP as she smoked it and even passed me once when I took a bigger line halfway down the trail. Lance may have said "it's not about the bike" but he's a roadie where differences in bikes are less apparent. In MTB the bike makes a big difference and I think Cannondale nailed it with the Rush as a perfect do everything bike.
Headed out this AM with a plan to try to link up Bearclaw Poppy, Stucki, Barrel Roll, and maybe Zen. Started at the base of Bearclaw Poppy and climbed up to Stucki Spring. Ran into Shannifer on the way up. From Stucki we tried to follow the ATV trails to link up with the Barrel Roll trailhead. This is where the lost part comes in. We took a few wrong turns but eventually got to a road that looked like it headed over to Barrel Roll. The only problem was the road was blocked by a couple of rednecks parked and shooting pistols. Just another day in Green Valley except for these rednecks were shooting fast and hitting nothing. I felt discretion was the better part of valor so we took a hard right and followed the trail of shotgun shells through the wash at the bottom of valley and headed over to the racecourse. Played around a bit on the racecourse and Barrel trail (different trail from Barrel roll) and blasted down Bearclaw Poppy back to the car. Another great day with amazing weather. Gotta love riding in short sleeves and shorts in February!
It took 2 hours to get through Provo last night which royally sucked but we perceviered and made it to St George by 11PM last night. Woke up this AM, fixed my rear shock issue from the last trip and headed out to Hurricane rim. I realized we were in trouble when I arrived at the trailhead and there were no cars. My desire to ride overrode my brain and we headed up the doubletrack climb at the start of the trail. A few hundred yards into the singletrack at the top the mud started and kept getting worse. I know better than to not check trail conditions before riding but I slacked off this time. After hitting the mud my conscience won out and we bagged the ride to head for drier trails. Church Rocks/Prospector was on the way so we hit that instead. Did a loop around Church Rocks and took Prospector out to Leeds and back. Couldn't of asked for a better day, nice temps and not a cloud in the sky. Today on the trail I was thinking how lucky we are to have cycling. It's crazy fun and is great for both your mental and physical health. What more can you ask for? Tried out a Double Cappacino Cliff Shot. It tasted like crap but about 5 mins after I ate it the caffiene and sugar kicked in. Well worth the crappy taste I must say. The high point of the ride came soon after taking the Cliff Shot. I was flogging the dog down Prospector, Too Much came on the Ipod and the trail was flowing just right. Gotta love it. Now its beer and pizza time.
The following is stolen from the steepandcheap.com daily dose but it is so true I had to post it.
Valentine's Day annually marks the triumph of Hallmark's marketing team over America. Let's be honest, the holiday's only good for florists and gift card writers. If you just started dating a girl, Valentine's Day forces you into an awkward romantic setting where you're supposed to behave a certain way even if you aren't ready. It's almost just as bad later in relationships. People (women) have high expectations for the night, and the holiday never quite seems up to spec. And if you actually plan a crazy romantic night like something out of a movie I wouldn't like watching, then you know the bar will be raised even higher next year. It's even worse for single people since it's just a sad reminder that the only thing keeping the other side of the bed warm is a dog they care about way, way too much.
Been geeked all week watching a weather report calling for 40's and sunny all weekend. Woke up this morning to overcast and 40's. Keep peeking out the window waiting for the sun but it never came so at 1:oo I headed out on the road bike. Planned to do a nice easy effort ride over Suncrest and back but by the time I got to Sandy I realized it wasn't happening. My toes were numb and the minor cold I've been fighting told me to bag it. Booked home and hopped in the bubble tub for a nice hot core temperature raising soak. Got two hours ride time in so all was not lost.
Stopped by Revolution last night and had Melissa order up some wheels for my 29er build. Hope Pro II hubs laced to Stans Arches. Not too heavy and strong enough to carry my 6'7" 190lb butt through a race course. Should be ready in time for spring training in Dixie at the end of the month.
It was by my wife no less. I was getting ready for bed last night minding my own business when my wife came in the room. "What are you doing, it's only 8:30, what are you 80?" she said. I explained to her that I had a busy week at work and needed to get up early in the morning. She wasn't buying what I was selling.
Rhonda and I decided to take advantage of the combo of nice weather and massive amounts of snow during the week to head up to Solitude on saturday. We got a bit of a late start an arrived a little after 10AM to find the lot attendant waving people off because of a full parking lot. My secret parking lot behind the condo's in the 2nd entrance was also full so we parked on the road and hiked in. The lift lines were suprisingly short for the lack of available parking but the snow was a bit of a disappointment. Hooked up with Ian, poked around a bit in Honeycomb and found some decent stashes but nothing spectacular. Left around 3:30 and saw that people had parked along the road from about 1/2 mile before the first entrance straight through to about 1/4 mile past the 2nd entrance. Crazy. Next year I think we'll just have to bite the bullet and get some preseason deals to ski the DV with TC and the rich and famous.
Hosted a small Superbowl part sunday night with Slider Nick et al. About 2 hours before kickoff I got a wild hair in my ass and decided I was tired of the small leak in the garage roof. I climbed up on the roof to shovel off some of the built up snow and ended up with a huge project involving 8" thick slabs of ice under 12" of heavy packed snow. Scooped it all off as guests arrived and with a little help from Donovan finished just in time for kickoff. Man what a great game. I knew that the Giants had a shot with their great pass rush but I didn't think their secondary could keep it together in the 2nd half like they did.