Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Solitude #6 was last night. I really don't understand racing at all. Last night my legs were tired from the big rides this weekend. My start was pure crap, I got blown to near the back of a 22 rider field before the singletrack even started. On the first switchback I had to CX it through the pileup of knuckleheads who never seem to learn they need to save just a little bit for that first section. Oh, and I'm not very good at CX'ing it. Soon after that I got caught behind another slow mover and went lethargic just spinning along. Chris caught up to me a little later and was smart enough to ask the guy to let us pass. I don't know why I do that but I'm content to spin behind people for way too long. Chris and I got by and I was fully recovered from chilling behind the slow guy so I got out of the saddle and Andy Schleck'd it for the next little bit up the mountain till I got stuck behind somebody else. By this point I was rollin' so I asked him for a pass pretty quick and as he eased over I got around in the weeds. Soon after I got around Janelle and then Jody and some other dudes in my class. Hit the road, Big Ringed it across and caught Ken but I was blown and couldn't hold him off heading into the DH. I sucked ass on the the DH and he gapped me but I kept him in sight hoping to bridge back up on the climb. My legs were AWOL on the second climb. I would come close to catching back on to Ken but then I would screw up a section and lose him. I finally caught back on through the steep switchbacks on the ski run but then screwed up the short steep pitch and lost him again. Caught him again at the road and poured it on to get a big enough gap to hold him on the DH. Didn't even need the gap because I shredded the DH Sly Style. I ended up 6th out of 22 with my best time ever.

That's where the clueless part comes in. I had a horrible start and it wasn't until 1/3 of the way up the first climb that I woke up. Then I had a crappy 1st Dh and a stinker 2nd climb yet I still had my best time ever. Last week my legs felt great the whole time and I rode pretty well yet was a minute slower. What gives?

Monday, July 28, 2008

The once mythical Super Crest

I wasn't able to attend the Jackson race with my blushing bride this weekend so I hooked up with Mark, Kris and Matt to do my favorite high alpine loop, what I call Super Crest. Kris and Mark took cool pictures and wrote up some nice reports so check their blogs for the details. The main thing I took away from the ride was a kind of awe at what the human body can accomplish with just a little bit of practice. Two years ago when I first heard of doing this loop I almost didn't believe that somebody could actually do it. To my pure weekend warrior self "super crest" seemed almost mythical. I started getting serious about cycling that summer and by the middle of last summer I decided to try super crest. It was hard, took all day and I was toast at the end of the ride but I finished it and felt pretty darn good about myself. Riding super crest on Saturday was a piece of cake. We rode a pure recreational pace and it still took less than 5 hours. At the end of ride I felt great and I realized I could probably turn around and to the whole thing again if I wanted, all I needed was a bottle refill.

Sunday morning I was reminded again what a little saddle time does for you. I decided to ride Big Mountain via Emigration. As of last Tuesday I had raced five times in a fourteen day period and I was feeling like I was in a bit of a mid-season funk, some leg snap was gone. I wanted to do a three hour road ride at an endurance pace (HR sub 153) and avoid any hard efforts. As I was cruising up Emigration canyon at my easy pace I was passing people left and right who were obliviously working quite a bit harder than me. I must admit it felt pretty good. I was able to keep the pace easy up Big Mountain (it still hurt though) turned around a the top and headed home. I'm recording my stats here for posterity not because I feel like they're anything spectacular. 43 miles in 3:10 with an average HR of 144 and a crapload of climbing.

Rhonda killed it up in Jackson. The course was very technical and without a lot of long drawn out climbs which suits her quite nicely. Almost everybody was either bleeding or covered in dirt from crashing by the end (I hear Steve H's mud mask was especially sweet) but Rhonda finished the race unscathed. She finished 6th out of ten finishers (11 starters) and was less then six minutes out of first in an almost two hour long race. Well done!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

No rain for Solitude

Flooding and landslides in Taylorsville yesterday yet not a drop of rain made it's way over to my house or up to Siltitude. The race was pretty much the same as always last night. My legs felt great but I was too lazy to clean and lube my bike after riding in the rain on Sunday so I had a few shifting issues causing me to screw up certain sections of the course. My time was good but not great and I beat the guys I usually battle with but the four guys who finished ahead of me are just too fast. They're gone from the start. I moved up to 4th in the GC and the organizers are talking about maybe paying 4-5 deep in the bigger categories so all hope is not lost to make a little cash out of the deal.

Check out Bonti's new 29er carbon wheelset due out in '09. 1570 grams (almost 200g lighter than crossmax 29) , tubeless ready and a 3 year warranty makes this a bad ass wheelset. With the white spokes they're made to match the G.F. Superfly's paint scheme so I know what is going to be on top of every Superfly owners x-mas list this year.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Loving the rain

Sunday afternoon we got together with the Steve, Drew and Lucy for a Millcreek and over the top ride to escape the heat. The ants down in Draper decided to declare war on Steve's bike bag (they seemed partial to a Mojo bar) which he didn't realize until he got to our house. When we opened the back of his Explorer to unload his bike bag we saw they had taken over the entire back of the truck and were planning their next offensive against the crumbs in his back seat. We retaliated by squishing, brushing and crushing and luckily didn't have to resort to WMD's. The war was over 15 minutes later and we headed up the canyon. The upper Millcreek trails were in the worst shape I have ever seen them, really loose and dusty. Still excellent trails but boy they needed rain. They sky was overcast and looking hopeful but the weather only called for a 30% chance of rain. We rode over the top and down to the Mid-Mountain junction where we ran into Shannifer putting in the hours in preparation for the Trans Rockies in a few weeks. As we were talking with them the sky got really dark and we heard some nearby thunder. We pressed on down Mid-mountain and got to Red Pine lodge just as the sky opened up. Wonderful rain! Temperatures instantly dropped 10-15 degrees and it dumped for 15 minutes or so while we enjoyed the storm from the shelter of the lodge. The rain passed quickly as mountain showers do and we headed back to Millcreek. What a difference a little bit of rain made. Big Water trail went from a dusty mess to buff in less than an hour and even better the rain scared away the hikers so we had the trail almost totally to ourselves. I love the rain.

Monday, July 21, 2008


Most of my friends were smart and skipped it. Bob doesn't count, he's an addict. 12 men on the start, 7 finished. Everybody except me sprints balls to the wall for the 100 yards to the singletrack including a couple of fellas in way over their heads. First dude in over his head tips over on the first singletrack corner and is blown, he's fallen and can't get up. I ask him if he needs medivac. He's OK but too blown to move so I walk over him. Catch up to the 2nd guy a little later. He tips over on a little climb and doesn't move. I don't even ask, just bushwack it around him. Come around a corner, over the bridge and onto the steep part of Dick Ass highway. Hikers in the middle of the trail with a little kid. They go deer in the headlights, I get off my bike again and go around. The straw that broke this camels back was the retarded descent. It was even crappier than when I pre-rode it. My race is pretty well shot anyway so I'm chillin' on the descent and am going to work the climbs for the exercise. Cruising around one of the corners and some asshat tries to come inside me going way too fast. He washes out right next to me and pushes me into the woods. Fug it, I'm done. Ride back to the feedzone, toss in my tag and roll. What a waste of time.

Friday, July 18, 2008

PCP10 Post "urbanized"

Here is a repost of the PCP10 for the non-whitebreads who might read this courtesy of Gizoogle.

ThePark City Perfect 10 on Saturday was tha absolute bizzle bike rizzle I have ever participated in. The course was awesome, tha weatha was perfect n so was tha atmosphere ta help you tap dat ass. The course was jizzust over 6 miles, 99% singletrack wit over 900 ft of climb'n . I thought i told ya, nigga I'm a soldier. It was a very technical course from tha streets of tha L-B-C. The cliznimb consisted of multiple loose rocky switchbacks n most of tha descent was on tha Deer Valley downhill MTB trails. This was mah first endurance event n I didn't know what ta expect so I started conservatively yaba daba dizzle. I slow jogged tha lemans stizzay n rizzy tha fizzirst climb wit Rhonda, jizzle tak'n th'n eazy n scop'n tha scene n shit. Nature called at tha top of tha C-L-to-tha-izzimb so I pulled over n let Rhonda finish tha lap witout me straight from long beach nigga. I hopped biznack on n gots ta tha bottom finish'n mah first lap in around 50 mins straight trippin' at a very conservative pizzy fo shizzle. For tha N-to-tha-izzext few laps I picked up tha pace n averaged around 40-45 mins of rid'n time per lap wit around 5-15 mins of D-to-tha-izzown time between each lap ta refuel, stretch n takes care of business. At tha halfway point, around noon, I decided ta revise mah goal upward fizzy 10 laps ta 11 laps which would put me at around 70 miles wit 10,000 ft of doggy stylin' . I thought i told ya, nigga I'm a soldier. Funky Ass even numba. Start'n mah 7th lap mah legs still had plenty of S-N-to-tha-izzap n I was feel'n great. As I heezeeed out of tha pit area I noticed mah rear tire was a shawty squishy so I topped it off doggy stylin' I had burped it a bit on tha last hairball DH. `bout 2-3 miles up tha climb it gots squishy again n I recognized mah real problem dogg. I had been lazy n hadn't topped off mah Stans fluid since May with my forty-fo' mag. I had a smiznall puncture in mah tire but no sealant ta seal it . Im a bad boy wit a lotta hos. I had one CO2 wit me so I decided ta play it safe n thrizzow a tube in. Nizzle tha top of tha clizzay I hit a rizzy jizzay right n P-to-tha-izzinch flatted mah tube , ya feel me?. Lovely. I kizzy Rhonda was somewhere behind me wit poser tube n a piznump so I picked a funky ass rock ta sit on n waited fo` her. She was a shawty pusha behind than I thought so I ended up perpetratin' 40 mins or so. I grabbed her tube n pump n gots ta wizzle . I started yo shit and i'll end yo' shit. It tizzy me awhile ta realize it but her tube also had a hizzy in it. `bout this tizzle I decided tha race gods were conspir'n against me n mah race was done. I hiked cross country across some ski runs n carried mah bike bizzy ta tha stag'n area. I gots bizzay around 4pm n could hizzy knocked out a couple quick laps before tha finish but mah motivizzles level was nill by this time so I thrizzay in tha towel.

Rhonda tag teamed tha event wit Lyna . Subscribe nigga, get yo issue.. They iced it, hammer'n out 13 laps n over 80 miles in just over 10 hours n I bet they could have dizzy mizzy had tizzle not expired . Drop it like its hot.

The event was excellent, even wit mah problems it was tha funnest race I have ever dizzle n I wizzle do it again fo' rizeal. A big thanks ta C-to-tha-izzarl frizzom tha S-H-to-tha-izzop fo` mackin' away all tha problems that happen when you abuse a bizzy fo` 10 hours. Also a big thanks ta BobnShannonfo` tha physical n mental support throughout tha event.

Snowbird Pre-ride

I pre-rode the Snowbird race course the other night but I figure I won't go into the gory details. It's the same piece of crap it always is and everybody knows it. The astute reader may question why I'm racing this crappy course since I'm only kinda serious about racing. The answer is simple really...... it sounded like a good idea at the time. Back in March I pre-registered for all the ICUP's I planned on doing. I'm frugal by nature and this saved me $8 per race versus signing up on race day so it seemed like a no brainer. When I was looking at the schedule I choose races that either I loved, were close to home, didn't start at the buttcrack of dawn or courses I might do well at. Snowbird is close to my home, it has the latest start time of any race in the series and since very few people actually race it I'll probably do well by default. Three out of four positives overrode the fact that the course sucks and so I signed up. Unfourtunatly remembering a course sucks in March isn't quite the same as actually riding the course. That course sucks so bad the one negative outweighs the three positives by far. Oh well, as Team Saffle always says "doing courses that suck makes you faster". To which I always add the caveat, "as long as you don't fall on the downhill, dislocate your shoulder and never have the courage to go fast again".

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Solitude #4

I was a little concerned doing Solitude so soon after the PCP10 on Saturday but since I'm sitting in 4th place in the GC and the race is wicked fun I figured I'd HTFU and do it. Things got ugly quick. My leadout man for the sprint to the singletrack was absent and without a slingshot into the singletrack I got dropped. Actually what really happened was my legs were a little more fatigued than I thought and I just couldn't turn the cranks fast enough. I did a quick head count and estimated I was running in 12th place. I was real close to bailing out but I figured top 10 got points towards the GC so if two guys ahead crashed out or had mechanics I could still scrape together a few points. I know it sounds aweful but I'm a very emotionless thinker when I race. One guy went down on the first switchback and was slow to get going again ( I did make sure he was OK) so I got around him thinking to myself "one down one to go". Only one more unfortunate happening and I was in the points! Karma soon caught up to me when I realized my front wheel skewer was loose and my wheel was flopping all over. I stopped to tighten it and pressed on. Soon after that I saw a dude up ahead wearing the USPS Maillot Jaune. Only a roadie (or Lance) would wear that to a MTB race so I knew it was only a matter of time before he ran into problems. Sure enough he didn't have the handling skills necessary to navigate the steep loose climb across the ski run and had to walk. I rolled by him into 10th place feeling pretty good about my luck. I caught a couple other people on the road and by this time I was actually feeling kinda fast again. They both passed me on the DH and I was back to feeling slow. I caught them on the climb and felt fast again. On the second trip on the road across the top I lapped a girl and passed Denmark (he is much faster then me and raced expert but struggled last night) and by using them as a buffer held off the other dudes on the DH. I didn't ride fast but I did ride clean for a sub 53 minute time which is one of my faster times. I think I ended up in 9th or 10th place. It always pays to finish.

Monday, July 14, 2008

A Perfect 10

The Park City Perfect 10 on Saturday was the absolute best bike race I have ever participated in. The course was awesome, the weather was perfect and so was the atmosphere. The course was just over 6 miles, 99% singletrack with over 900 ft of climbing. It was a very technical course. The climb consisted of multiple loose rocky switchbacks and most of the descent was on the Deer Valley downhill MTB trails. This was my first endurance event and I didn't know what to expect so I started conservatively. I slow jogged the lemans start and rode the first climb with Rhonda, just taking things easy and scoping the scene. Nature called at the top of the climb so I pulled over and let Rhonda finish the lap without me. I hopped back on and got to the bottom finishing my first lap in around 50 mins riding at a very conservative pace. For the next few laps I picked up the pace and averaged around 40-45 mins of riding time per lap with around 5-15 mins of down time between each lap to refuel, stretch and take care of business. At the halfway point, around noon, I decided to revise my goal upward from 10 laps to 11 laps which would put me at around 70 miles with 10,000 ft of climbing. Nice even numbers. Starting my 7th lap my legs still had plenty of snap and I was feeling great. As I headed out of the pit area I noticed my rear tire was a little squishy so I topped it off figuring I had burped it a bit on the last hairball DH. About 2-3 miles up the climb it got squishy again and I recognized my real problem. I had been lazy and hadn't topped off my Stans fluid since May. I had a small puncture in my tire but no sealant to seal it. I had one CO2 with me so I decided to play it safe and throw a tube in. Near the top of the climb I hit a rock just right and pinch flatted my tube. Lovely. I knew Rhonda was somewhere behind me with another tube and a pump so I picked a nice rock to sit on and waited for her. She was a little farther behind than I thought so I ended up waiting 40 mins or so. I grabbed her tube and pump and got to work. It took me awhile to realize it but her tube also had a hole in it. About this time I decided the race gods were conspiring against me and my race was done. I hiked cross country across some ski runs and carried my bike back to the staging area. I got back around 4pm and could have knocked out a couple quick laps before the finish but my motivation level was nill by this time so I threw in the towel.

Rhonda tag teamed the event with Lyna. They killed it, hammering out 13 laps and over 80 miles in just over 10 hours and I bet they could have done more had time not expired.

The event was excellent, even with my problems it was the funnest race I have ever done and I will do it again. A big thanks to Carl from the shop for wrenching away all the problems that happen when you abuse a bike for 10 hours. Also a big thanks to Bob and Shannon for the physical and mental support throughout the event.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Not enough time on my hands

My prep going into to the PCPC10 has been less than optimal.
  • Sunday night: Flying home from Michigan my flight was delayed and I didn't get to bed till 1AM.
  • Monday night: Had to work late, got a quick ride in, ate a late dinner and got to bed late.
  • Tues night: Wired from the Solitude race, got to bed late.
  • Wed night: Had to work really late, was exhausted when I got home but got caught up watching a stupid show about the messiest home in America and barely got to bed on time.
  • Last Night: Snuck in a quick little ride and then had to clean and do a few minor repairs on my bike. Did laundry, made dinner and started getting things together for Saturday. Got to bed late.
  • Tonight: Will have to work a little late and then need to drive all the way to PC for registration. I also need to hit the grocery store and finish packing. I bet I'll get to bed late again.

The good news is a cold front is moving in today so temps for the race tomorrow should be perfect. A high of 81 in PC should make race temps in the mid 70's. It's going to be bloody cold (mid 40's) for the 7AM start but I'll warm up quick. I'm not real sure what to expect for the race but I'm setting a goal of averaging one lap per hour for a total of ten laps. 70 miles in ten hours sounds pretty reasonable especially since I'll be able to dig into my cooler for a fresh bottle every lap.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Solitude: Take III

Last week at the Solitude Tuesday night smackdown I decided to jump on the bandwagon and hit warp 5 out of the gate. It worked out pretty well. Sprinting from the gate eliminated the hassle of passing 10 people on the singletrack climb. I was actually able to run in 4th place for most of the race until a few people passed and gaped me on the second climb. I ended up with a personal best time and felt pretty good about my chances of breaking the 50 minute barrier sometime this year. Last night I had low expectations going in due to my long layoff and unfortunately I met my expectations. I felt OK on the opening sprint. Well, lets be realistic. I felt like crap and I hate sprinting from the gun. Why, oh why must everybody sprint like that at the start? Once we hit the singletrack I started running into problems. The heavy traffic from the ICUP race and the complete lack of any rain over the last month conspired to make the trail a loose dusty mess. Short little climbs I would normally attack out of the saddle were too loose and I lost traction and spun out. My favorite lines through the rock gardens were obliterated and the downhill became a fight for survival. Last week I didn't have to dismount once. This week I can remember seven times I had to hop off and push up a short pitch or remount after losing it in a rock garden. My favorite was washing out on the service road across the top as I was trying to figure out how a Canyon guy passed me like I was standing still. I was big ringing it for crying out loud! Where did that guy come from? The race wasn't a total loss. My time was only a minute or so slower than last week which is pretty good considering all the problems I had. Man that course needs some rain sometime soon.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

6 days off

Hopped on my bike last night after six days off for the family vacay. I rode the lower half of Pipeline from my house with a couple hard efforts to try to shake out the funk. Everything went very slow. Climbing up the road my cadence was slow and I almost had to drop down to granny on the road climb up to Rattlesnake. Riding down the trail my timing was off and I blew wide on almost every corner, in slow motion of course. Tonights race could be interesting. I'm expecting a pretty poor result but doing the race should get everything flowing again so I'll be set for the PCP10 on saturday.

Monday, July 7, 2008

4th with The Fam

Independence day weekend spent with the family in Michigan was excellent. Five days of relaxing, going to the beach and eating my mom's excellent cooking has left me fat and happy. I also got to spend some quality time with my niece, Danielle. She is the cutest and smartest three year old on the planet hands down. She can do a brand new 25 piece puzzle in 5 minutes flat and says things like "Uncle Andy, would you like to join us for lunch?". Seriously, she's more well spoken at three than I am at thirty three.

Thursday, July 3, 2008


We've escaped from the heat and are hanging out in Michigan with the fam for a long weekend. Cool temps, home cooking and lazy days are calling my name.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

I'm a Chicago song

My friend Steve who has been dominating his category in the ICUP this year has also been training for the Brian Head Epic this fall. The other day he sent me this email which I have posted without his permission to fulfill my own dubious blogging schemes.

"Hey Andy, I got my 7 hours in yesterday since you inspired me with your big ride. Heather and I spent 90 minutes at Trailside park riding the stunts and trails with our girls. Then they drove home and I rode from there to the mouth of Big Cottonwood canyon where I had left my car via mid-mountain, crest, and mill-d trails. 5.5 hours, 5300+ feet of climbing and one sore butt!"

Check that out! Little old me is an inspiration to a rider with actual skills. I was pretty proud of myself until I deciphered the actual meaning of his email. Once I translated it here is what he really meant to say.

"Hey Andy you pitiful excuse for a cyclist. Since you were able to drag your slow pathetic ass over the trails for 60 miles last Saturday I decided I needed to put you back in your place by showing you how a real man rides a bike. After working my mad trials skills for 90 minutes at the skills park I laid down some real watts and rode Mid Mountain, Crest and Mill D back into the valley. It was a wimpy little ride with only 5300+ ft of climbing in just over 5 hours. Basically a recovery ride. See ya eating my dust at the Tuesday Solitude Race"

Not so Chicago like any more am I?