Friday, May 29, 2009

Christmas in May

Rhonda and I don't really buy each other presents for Christmas. I'm a thrifty dude and I can't stand spending anywhere near full price for anything so when x-mas rolls around and everything is expensive I don't buy. What I do instead is have an idea in my head of things I want to buy for Rhonda and when I find a deal I jump on it. I've been in the market for a new roadie for her for awhile and when I found a barely used Cannondale Carbon Synapse on ebay for less then half price I jumped on it. She's back from Florida and tearing up the tarmac on it right now.

Merry Christmas sweetie!

She's a little spoiled I know but she works hard and deserves it.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Full Throttle #1

I was geeked when I found out in the beginning of May that the Full Throttle Weekly Race series was on this year and had added 3 more races and a new venue. It's by far my favorite race series every season. Cheap entry fee's, sweet swag, cool courses, great people, cash purses and it's well run. It's also nice that the races are quick and painful and you don't waste an entire day racing.

Headed up with Ken last night and arrived early enough for a course recon. Sweet course, middle ring singletrack climbs and a tight twisty downhill which was challenging to maintain speed on for someone of my stature. I new the pace would be frenzied from the start up the dirt road and I wasn't feeling particularly fast so I lined up near the back with Kris. The plan was to suck a couple wheels up the dirt road into the headwind to warm up and do my passing on the singletrack. Not the wisest of race strategies I know but anything goes in a mid-week series and it sounded like fun at the time. Jay sounded the start and off we went... well most of us. The Clyde in front of me gave a mighty heave of a pedal stroke and a loud POP sounded! His drivetrain detonated, he fell over and the guys ahead of me rode off into the sunset (literally). I snuck around Hoss and unsuccessfully tried to solo across no-mans land to catch on to the main group. I got around a couple of dudes who fell off the back on the road and passed Mark N (he who races not so often) after he blew-up on the singletrack. I caught up to Bob on the first downhill and thought he might have popped since he's an older gent and just raced on Monday. I was about to commence some serious heckling till I saw the blood pouring down his leg. Yikes! The climb wasn't long enough and the downhill was too twisty for me to catch anybody else except for some of the expert girls and I finished somewhere mid-pack. Not a great result but not bad considering Mark A only grabbed 4th and he's pretty dang fast. Fun race and I can't wait till next week.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Tour de Lower Park City

The season of big rides is upon us. Yesterday Lucy joined Rhonda and I for this jem:

5:45 saddle time and just over 52 miles, 99% singletrack. Glenwild, Flying Dog, various Round Valley trails, Prospector loop and back. It's unfair to the rest of the world that this stuff is a 20 minute drive away. I was planning to take today off but Ken wanted to ride so who was I to turn him down:

Lower DV is ready to go. Deer Crest, Spin Cycle, Snow top, Solamare etc all in mint condition.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

SC Blur? 29er

Santa Cruz is coming out with a full suspention carbon fiber VPP 29er that will be ready by Interbike. While it's not (yet?) being called a Blur 29 I'm guessing that's what it will basically be. I'd like to say I'm going to start pinching pennies so I can replace my current Blur as soon as this bike comes out but I can almost guarantee the frame alone is going to cost $2500+.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

New Ride

2009 Toyota Prius. It's our first new car in 11 years. We've been wanting to replace our Honda Prelude for awhile now and my tree hugging disposition would not allow me to buy anything other than a hybrid. My cheap side however would not allow me to pay full price+ for a new car. Finally Toyota decided to offer deep discounts on the Prius for the first time ever. With gas prices down and the 2010's being released at the end of the month we were able to get the car for a few hundred over invoice with 0% financing. Now we're loving life at 50MPG!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Sherpa-bak

J-dub is fast. Blazingly fast actually. There is a video floating around the interweb of her working over a cat 1 roadie girl in the final sprint of a cross race last year. Impressive stuff. Last year J-dub didn't have a very successfull MTB season. She was on a loaner hardtail with a blown fork which was a huge handicap at the races. This year she has a new Anthem X and is getting very familiar with the MTB podium. As fast as J-dub is she can't quite break into the top three and I think I know why.

Exhibit A

The Sherpa-bak

Here she is waving bye-bye to the top three unencumbered girls

Holy crap that camel-bak is huge! It looks to be about the size of my week long trek backpack and it's gotta have it's own gravitational field. Now Jennie is way too tuff and would never admit that she is being handicapped by the large orangutan clinging to her back on bike races so I'm starting the free Jennie fund drive. You can donate to me via paypal and 100% of your donation will go to buying J-dub a nice small race worthy camel-bak.

P.S. Don't tell her about the fund drive. I think she just finally forgave me for the impromptu adventure I took her on last year and I don't want her mad at me again.

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Battered Bastard of Soldier Hollow

My muscles were cold, and I was tired and hungry at the start of the Hammerfest. Right from the start the sandbag Nazi's in the front started lobbing Howitzer rounds back at me and I was huddling in my foxhole begging for mercy. I was officially shelled. My ride quickly turned from a race into a hard training ride so it was still a productive day. The guy who won had lap times that would have put him in the top 10 out of 25 experts. If it's really that much fun beating up on slow dudes than go for it but it seems like such a waste of time to me. That's it for me in the Icup for awhile. I'll get plenty of racing over the next couple months in the Full Throttle series and I'll spend my Saturdays doing long training rides in prep for Laramie.

Rhonda had a great race. We've both been busy and haven't been riding a lot but Rhonda has been especially pressed for time lately so she went in with really low expectations. She felt great at the start and found herself riding not too far behind Alison on the big climb. Alison is fast and Rhonda knew that if she could keep her in sight she would have a good race. Heading out on the second lap she starting gaining on Alison and before Rhonda knew it she was right on Alison's wheel. She made the pass expecting Alison to get back around her before the finish but she held her off all the way through for her best finish ever in sport finishing sixth out of fourteen women. Well done!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Moab re-gains it's Mojo

Moab, the so called "mecca" of mountain biking lost that title a long time ago in my opinion. Fruita came on the scene in the 90's with way more trails most of which were singletrack and more interesting. Even St. George had passed Moab in my book again due to more singletrack and just as importantly better winter weather. After this weekend I'm happy to report Moab is back!

Drucy invited us, Triple H and Vremington (minus "ington" who was busy riding in circles) to hang with them for the weekend. Drucy are famous for being well informed tour guides of the Moab area so we were excited to go. Friday we met up at the Sovereign trailhead to explore some of the newly laid trail and newly improved old trail. Sovereign has always been one of our absolute favorite trails and it is now even better. The addition of the Salt Wash singletrack plus all the connectors allows you to form a nearly endless series of loops and really adds a lot to the old out and back trail. After nearly 20 miles and a full afternoon of shredding 1-track our low beer light was on so we packed it in and headed to the Moab Brewery where Drucy have the magic key fob that allows you to walk out the door with $6 growlers.

Saturday we decided to explore the newly legal Upper Porcupine Singletrack (UPS). If any of us had even the slightest clue as to the treat we were in for we wouldn't have been able to sleep Friday night. We parked our trucks at the Porcupine rim trailhead and spun out the mellow climb up Sand Flats road to the Kokopelli trail. Pedaled a mile up the Kokopelli to the junction with UPS and the real fun began. Just after the start of the trail Triple H fell victim to an endo on a particularly sketchy slickrock drop and had to head back to the car. She was OK but just a little too rattled to go on. We continued on for what might have been the best ride of our lives. The trail was indescribably amazing. Tight singletrack, amazing views and technical moves that pushed our limits just enough at every turn. The highlight was the long descent down the slickrock cliff face. I was on point and had just finished a bit of fast flowy singletrack through some pines when I was spit out at a high rate of speed on a steep slickrock cliff face. The trail markers are pointing me straight towards the edge and I'm moving way too fast to stop. Just before the edge the trail takes a hard left and I am dropped into a small sand trap and then back down another Slickrock face. Another drop into sand, a short up onto another slickrock ridge with a 6' gully on the left and some scrub trees to the right. Halfway down the steep ridge is a moderate left turn that drops you down to the dirt and back onto normal trail. After hero riding everything else the speed I carried into this section finally got the best of me and into the trees I went. Couple scrapes, no biggie. As I'm climbing out of the tree Drew and Alison ride by and I hear Rhonda behind me yelling "where am I going!" right before her and Lucy pop over the little up and ride by me. It was at this point that the best trail ever discussion began and it was a unanimous decision that we were on it. Much, much more of the same all the way down to the Porcupine rim and two days later I'm still sure it was the best trail I've ever ridden.....Period. Lucy, Alison and Rhonda were all amazing on this ride. They were fearless and were shredding trail like no girls I have ever seen. Drew and I kept trying to get ahead so we could stop and take pictures but every time we stopped there they were right behind us. They were blasting up and over steep slickrock boulders, rolling 3-4' drops and cleaning tech moves that would have made me cry just a few years ago. It was truly an honor to have ridden with them that day.

On the way out of town we hit Klondike Bluffs, Baby Steps and then Rays Tavern to cap off the best Moab trip ever.

Moab Photo Post

Rhonda doing a big up (and I'm a bad photographer)


Look at that smile!

Drew on Sovereign

Believe it or not, this is still Moab

Drew's 29'er climbs anything

Lucy dropping a rock on UPS

Alison on Porcupine Rim

Monday, May 4, 2009

3-mile mud pass

I took it in the shorts on my pre-reg and skipped it. Probably wise because I don't have the intensity of this guy.
Way to get after it Drew!