Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I was right, it's spring.

When I left this morning at 7AM for my ride to work it was 56 degrees. I was actually warm riding to work and I've decided that is my new definition of spring. I don't care about flowers blooming or trees getting their leaves. When I can ride at 7AM and not freeze my ass off, it's spring.

Yesterday was a rest day for me. Now rest day for a true cyclist means that your body is tired from a few days of intense training/racing and you need a rest. For me it means that I rode my bike the last three days and now I'm behind on getting things done I need to do. A few days ago we purchased a large Blue Spruce to replace the evergreen in our front yard that blew down in a storm last fall. We wanted something decent sized but of course large trees come in large pots and require large holes. I live on the historic alluvial plain of Mill Creek so any time I need to dig a hole I'm in for a decent amount of work. Last night was no exception. The hole I needed to dig was 3 feet around by 3 feet deep. In that 3' x 3' section I dug up 3 boulders that were too heavy to lift and needed to be rolled out, about a dozen fist sized rocks and a large bucket full of smaller stones. So much for a rest day. In the middle of the project my neighbor Joel stopped by just to reaffirm his distaste for yard work. He was heading up to the Pipeline on his new Superfly to shake out some of the kinks before Saturdays race. I'm still a little mad a Gary Fisher for stealing my moniker for a bike. It's a cool bike and all, as was the original GF Superfly but it somehow cheapens the online screen name I've used for years ;-)

Monday, April 28, 2008

Spring has finally arrived.........hopefully

Did road intervals on Friday, Corner Canyon team group ride on Saturday and a pre-ride of 5-Mile OHV dust bowl Pass on Sunday. The 5 mile pass race is kinda funny. Everybody bitches about it but it always has the highest turnout of any race all season. I actually kinda like it. It has a little bit of everything except for long climbs and I'm OK with that. I rode it at a good pace on Sunday to see how my back would hold up and all was well. In the parking lot I did my pre ride stretch routine to an audience of 20 or so OHV'ers drinking beer. I'm sure they got a nice kick out of watching my tall skinny ass in spandex doing Yoga. Ran into Erika and chatted briefly before hitting the course. The only section where I felt even a slight twinge in my back was the last couple of steep, rocky, moon dusty climbs but they ended quick. I had the pleasure of following a couple Moto's down the wash. They passed me right before the wash entry and then rode at granny pace all the way down. Fun. Every year it seems like there are more and more OHV'ers around even as gas prices go up and up. How can anybody afford to drive a F-350 fifty miles to a trail head and then ride a 4-wheeler all day with $3.50 per gallon gas?

Sunday afternoon we got started on some yard projects and I had to mow the lawn for the first time this year. I'm very happy that the first thing we did after moving into this house last spring was tear out most of the yard. I took my neighbor over an hour to mow her yard yesterday but the 10' x 10' section of grass I have left takes me about five minutes to mow and edge.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Piping the Line

Hit the Mill Creek Pipeline last night just to see what was rideable and was in for a pleasant surprise. Rode from my house to rattlesnake and climbed rattlesnake, which was dry as a bone. Rode out to the viewpoint and turned around to head up the canyon. The trail was dry to church fork where I hit a short section of rideable snow but no mud. Church fork all the way to elbow fork was golden so I passed by elbow fork and started climbing the switchbacks. Finally at the very top of the switchbacks I hit a long section of snow that looked like it was going to continue for awhile so I turned around. Railed the switchbacks on the way down and cruised back to rattlesnake and home.
If you want to ride it while it's primo you better hit the trail soon. Before we know it the townies rolling in jean shorts and Huffies will be shuttling the trail and tearing up the switchbacks. The trail was FULL of runners, hikers and my favorite...... unleashed dogs! It was a great ride though and it was nice to finally be able to hit the backyard singletrack. This AM I saw that last nights storm had re-covered the trail in a bit of snow but tomorrows warming temps should make short work of that.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

SOC wilderness Proposal

Save Our Canyons is proposing to add almost 30,000 acres to the existing wilderness areas in the Wasatch Mountains east of SLC. Normally I support the efforts of SOC to limit the abuse of the Wasatch but in this case I think they have gone too far. One of the main thrusts of the wilderness proposal is to protect the Mill D basin from further development. Apparently a developer has bought a large tract of land in the basin and is pushing for development of some Aspen, Colorado type trophy homes in the area. Currently there are various restrictions in place in the canyon that limit further development but SOC is worried that these restrictions can be rolled back by the deep pockets of the developers. SOC believes the only way to ensure future protection of the Mill D basin is to designate it a Federal Wilderness Area. As Mill D basin is too small of an area to designate it as a separate wilderness area it would need to be an added on to an existing wilderness area. This is where the problems arise. To connect Mill D basin to the existing Mt Olympus wilderness area they would need to stretch it across the existing Mill D hiking/MTB trail thereby closing it to MTB's. I don't think protecting Mill D basin from a possible development threat is worth closing Mill D trail to MTB's.

Mill D is a longstanding and well-used bike route linking the middle of Big Cottonwood to the top of the Wasatch Crest Trail. It allows riders to make a loop ride of the Wasatch Crest, returning either via Dog Lake from Mill Creek, or descending directly from Desolation Lake. Without this loop option, a lot of riders are forced to shuttle: A car drives to the top of the canyon, then after the ride, another car drives to the top and two cars drive out. To exit Mill Creek (the only option if Mill D is closed), cyclists must dodge auto traffic riding out of Mill Creek or use another car to shuttle riders down that canyon. The result is more traffic and exhaust in BOTH canyons. Also since upper Mill Creek is only open to bikes on even days bike traffic that is normally spread out over both weekend days on Mill D would be compressed into one riding day in Mill Creek. This would result in even more trail congestion and hiker/biker conflicts. Closing the Mill D trail could also have a ripple effect of more bike restrictions in Mill Creek possibly ruining what is the best mid summer riding in the entire state. There are other plenty of other areas included in the wilderness proposal that I believe in protecting (such as keeping White Pine away from Dick Bass's grubby mitts) but as long as the proposal includes Mill D I, and I believe most other MTB'ers can't support it.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Stole this from UMB'er

Oh, you are wry cad of the Cylons! Inexplicably and ironically positioned as the Cylon clergyman, you actually have no real faith, and nothing but contempt for humanity (not to mention your somewhat erratic Cylon brethren). You take everything in stride, though, with a bemused demeanor and well-honed sense of humor, but what you really want is just to push the frakkin' button and get this business over with once and for all.

I'm not suprised

Break from the Cold

I took advantage of the short break in this years never ending winter to get some saddle time. Road bike Thursday, was out past my bedtime on shoreline friday night and had some friends show me around the Draper shoreline trail during the hurricane/dust storm on saturday. It was the first time I have ridden the Draper trail system and I was very impressed with the little bit that I saw. I was expecting it to be like shoreline behind the U only singletrack but it was much more similar to the lower Deer Valley trails up in PC. I can see myself spending a lot more time down there. Sundays return to winter was nice for a day of rest and getting some house projects done.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Mmmm. Dinner

Sometimes I even impress myself. Grilled Scallop Taco's with fresh baby greens and a spicy Parmesan Artichoke sauce.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Nalgene to phase out hard plastic bottles

Rhonda has been preaching to anybody who would listen over the last year or so about the "evils" of these bottles but nobody (including me) would listen. I wonder if there is any plan for the millions of them that are being used on a daily basis. I don't know if the damn things are recyclable.
*update* Rhonda called the Salt Lake County recycling hotline and #7 is recyclable in Salt Lake County. Apparently it's recyled into automotive parts.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Joining the ranks of the four eyed freaks.

Various members of my family have been harping on me for years to go to the eye doctor. Not because I was driving my car off the road or running into things but because "it's something you're supposed to do". Of course I'm a young red blooded American male (with blue leaning politics) so I often refuse to do things just because "it's something I'm supposed to do". Sometime in January my wallet and drivers license got stolen and I needed to go to the DMV to get a new one. After waiting in line for two hours I was finally allowed to approach the clerk. I filled out my paperwork, wrote my check and she asked me to look into the box to take the vision test. No sweat right? Wrong! I peered deeply into the magic vision box and saw a bunch of blurry blobs. I tried closing one eye to see if it made things better but they have a magic trick that makes everything go even blurrier if you only use eye. I panicked but took a couple of deep breaths to calm myself and thought quickly. I knew I needed to pass this thing or I was going to have to come back later and wait in that evil line again. I decided to make an educated guess about what letters the blurry blobs were and to talk quickly with my patented mumble to try to BS my way through the test. It worked! The clerk who probably made $8 an hour to deal with pissed off drunks begging for their license back didn't even pay attention to what I said and passed me. At that moment I decided maybe I did need to see an eye doctor. Fast Forward to April. I'm sitting at my desk at work staring at my PC and my right eyelid begins twitching uncontrollably. No matter what I do it wont stop for days. OK, now I really need to call the eye doctor. I can BS my way through a vision test but I can't deal with this twitching 24/7. To shorten an already too long story, I saw the Optometrist and sure enough I have an astigmatism in my right eye and need glasses. So if you see a really tall guy riding down the trail in Rec Specs take pity. Please don't laugh and make Jr high jokes about the geek on a bike and ask me where my jersey pocket protector is. Just smile and wave.

For Sly


Monday, April 14, 2008

Race pics

Me limping across the finish

Rhonda, Allison, Ruth, TC and Jennie

The "Tangerine Dreams"

Sunday, April 13, 2008

I almost didn't ride today

That would have been dumb.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Cholla Beatdown

Cholla wasn't a challenge, it was a beatdown. The pace from the start wasn't too bad and the group stayed together pretty well through the slickrock with me hanging out near the back. At the doubletrack things got strung out pretty well and that's where my race started going downhill fast. The high speed rocks and dips started working over my non warmed up back and by the hike a bike section my back was in spasm and I was spit out the back. Getting off the bike for the walk up the hill loosened things up and I stretched at the top for good measure. My back was ok for awhile and I was even able to pass a couple people on the climb but things fell apart again in the sandy wash near the end of the first lap and went severely downhill on the second lap. By the hike a bike my back was toast and I lost all power. For the last half of the lap I would ride for a little bit and coast for a little bit to stand and stretch my back. Thought I finished DFL at 7th until 15-20 mins later another straggler I didn't know about finished in my category. The lone bright spot of the day was that by finishing 7th I think I still earned a team point.

**Update**The final results are up. I finished 10th out of 11 so no team point for me.

My 29'er was nice in all the sandy sections but the hardtail didn't help my back situation at all. I raced the course two years ago and it was smooth and fast so the thought of bringing my full suspension Blur never even crossed my mind. The recent course changes made it the roughest course on the circuit IMHO. It would have been interesting to see if the suspension would have saved my back and allowed me to ride faster or not. I'll have to spend some time down at 5-mile before the next race doing some hot laps on both bikes to see which one is going to work better.

Rhonda had a pretty good race. She was off the front at the start, through the slickrock and doubletrack but was caught by Tasha and Dot on the road. The duked it out for awhile with Dot taking the lead after the hike-a-bike and Tasha and Rhonda close behind. Disaster struck past the midpoint of the course. Dot had a small lead followed by Tasha with Rhonda right on Tasha's wheel. Tasha lost it in a loose section and Rhonda had to bail off the trail to avoid a pile-up. She hit a rock, went over the bars and landed hard on her chest and shoulder. She had the wind knocked out of her and a good scare but nothing was broken. Tasha made sure she was OK and continued on. Rhonda chilled for awhile to catch her breath and assess the situation before limping in to the finish 4th.

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Cholla pre-ride from hell

Mile's of sand and loose, deep pea gravel. Descents all on doubletrack and most of the climbs on singletrack. Add in the 40 MPH winds and we had a great time on our pre-ride. Tomorrow could be ugly.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Memories of Cholla

My 2nd bike race ever was two years ago at the Cholla Challange. I literally did it off the couch. In '06 they incorporated the race into the Cactus Hugger cycling festival which Rhonda, my friend Christian and I participated in to learn more about the trails in the area. Christian and I both raced in the beginner men 30-39 category and they started all the beginner men's categories at once. Christian took off with the main group from the start and before I new it I was near the back. After about a mile or two of racing I was picking people off in large groups but never saw Christian. By about seven miles in I realized there was nobody else around. The area was pretty flat and I figured I should be able to see somebody somewhere but I didn't even see many tire tracks. I kept riding but let off the gas and looked around for course markers, other riders or anything to tell me I was still on the course. I was convinced I had taken a wrong turn but finally I saw Bart coming up on my tail as he lapped me. I followed him in to the finish. I looked around for Christian who should have finished ahead of me but it wasn't until a minute or so later that he rolled across the finish line. Now I was positive I had missed a turn and cut the course. I was looking around for a race official so I could confess my crime when Christian came up and complimented me on my pass.... I learned a lot in that race.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Bike fit with Dr Testa

Not much to report on my bike fit with Dr Testa today. I was originally scheduled last Tuesday but my 29'er wouldn't fit on his computrainer so I had to re-schedule for today and bring my road bike. He had me warm up for 15 mins and then he watched me pedal from a number of angles. He took some measurements and decided to move my saddle forward a few mm's and he also ordered a shim to correct for my shorter and slightly off angle right leg. No major changes though. It seems all of my research on bike fit had steered me correctly and I had fit myself quite well. The only other thing he mentioned was that based on my measurements I would probably be an excellent time trialist. The good news is that my road bike frame fits me just fine so I can quit thinking I "need" a custom frame. I also know for sure now that my back pain on the bike is caused by poor flexibility and lack of core strength which should soon be cured (and it already seems to have helped) by the Pilate's I am doing 3-4 times per week.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Lots of Dirt

It was a great weekend for riding dirt. Friday I got in 3.5 hrs on the shoreline after work. I ran into Bob at the Zoo trailhead and rode with him over to Dry Creek where he peeled off home for some Battlestar Galactica action. I am not fortunate enough to have Sci-Fi so I have to wait for the DVD's. Climbed up Dry Creek to City Creek and back and made it home just as it was getting dark. Saturday the weatherman called for rain so we blew off HON and slept in. Woke up to sunny skies (well done weatherman!). Planned to do a road ride in the afternoon but got caught up in a garage cleaning project that took most of the day instead. Had some friends come over that night to play Settlers of Catan which is my new favorite game. It's quick enough to finish in one sitting but there is still a ton of stratagy and tactics involved. I almost came away with the win twice but had to settle for a close 2nd. Sunday was another great afternoon on the shoreline. Rhonda and I got in 4.5 hours. Rode from home, to the zoo, up dry creek, down bobsled and back up and reversed it for the ride home. Ran in to Bob Plumb, Larry the AV guy, and of course Bob. It's realy nice doing easy rides on the shoreline this time of year. Currently it's the only game in town so you're bound to run into somebody you know. There were still some iffy spots on the trail when I rode it friday but by sunday they had all buffed out nicely and there was only a little bit of mud left. Of course it was snowing on my way to work this AM so all bets are off again.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Season Plan

Over the last couple weeks I have finalized my seasons race plan. As with any seasons plan this will be subject to change based on injuries etc. but I want to try to stick with this as close as possible. I am going to do at least six ICUP's. Cholla, 5-mile, DV, Solitude, S-bird and Evanston. I sent in my paperwork and race fees the other day so those are set in stone. I may do Draper as well but I'm not sure if I'll be able to make that one or not. I will do the Park City Perfect 10 on July 12th and it is probably the event I am looking forward to the most. I have never done a true endurance race and this one sounds nice and low key. They're going to move it to DV this year so the course should be sweet. Finally I am going to try to hit most if not all of the tuesday night at Solitude series. I had so much fun at those races last year and I can't wait for the snow to melt up there so they can fire them up again. I'm not a morning person so I feel like I never perform my best at the races that start in the AM. I also hate getting up at the buttcrack of dawn to get to the race on time. I love racing in the afternoon or early evening. By then I'm awake, fully fueled and ready to go.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


The Fossil Fools awards for 2008 have been announced. These are awarded to the idiots who are doing the most to aid and abed our addiction to fossil fuels all in the name of the mighty dollar. It was nice to see GW get a lifetime achievment award.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Happy 29th B-day TC

TC had her 29th Birthday party last night. It was up in PC and past my bedtime so I didn't go but Rhonda, Jennie and Dayna made the trip and had a blast. How Teresa gets away with being 29 and racing in the 35+ age group I'll never know. Maybe the same way Bob gets away with being 39 and racing in the 40+ :)