Thursday, August 28, 2008

The end of an evil oppressor

Finally an end to the evil overlord known as summer. I like summer as much as anybody....for about a month, than I get sick of the constant sunny and 95 deg weather. Too hot. Hopefully fall will stick around until the end of December, then I'll allow winter (and many weekends spent in St George) for January and February followed closely by a spring including March, April, May and June. That sounds about right. Make it so Number One.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The King of Ping

Picked up this bad boy off of Craigslist last night.

$75 out the door including two brand new in the package $20 paddles and new balls. I won the first Hypio cup three sets to none and I'm gunning for the Chinese in 2012. Now I just need to figure out how to safely take it apart so I can get it downstairs.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The worst Mexican food ever.

Don't ever go to La Puente. Man that place sucked. The 20th east and 33rd south location is near our house and it always seems busy so we decided to give it a try. When you arrive you are lead to a table where your chips are already laid out. Ours were cold yet greasy, probably fried up earlier in the morning, no where near fresh. You are then given a squeeze bottle full of hot sauce they call salsa? Rhonda ordered a chicken Burrito. Beans and rice are $2.50 extra a piece so she got beans as well. Inside her chicken burrito......just chicken and a tiny bit of cheese, nothing else. No onions, veggies or sauce of any kind. Just shredded chicken wrapped in a slimy tortilla. I ordered a combo platter of a taco, a burrito and an enchilada. You don't get to choose what is in these things and again for the $9 cost it doesn't include beans and rice. Instead of chicken, beef or pork the taco and burrito are filled with an odd colored slime that has a few beans in it and a bit of mystery meat. Yum.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Riding AF

Hooked up with some friends on Sunday for a tour of the AF canyon trails. I've ridden down there by myself a couple times in the last eight or so years and was never overly impressed so a guided tour was in order. We started at Timpanooke campground and climbed up to the Summit. Dropped down South Fork, climbed back up to the Ridge Trail, took Ridge Trail back to the Summit and then Horse Flats to Pine Hollow to the road and back up the road to the cars. The trails are fun but pale in comparision to Park City. It was very dusty to the point where I felt like I needed a snorkle at times. A lot of the climbs were loose and rocky from abuse by moto's and horses and some of the singletrack sections were kinda sunk into the ground trenches which are a pain with 180mm cranks. It was still really fun for a change of pace and the views of Timp and the valleys below were spectacular and far superior to the scenery in Park City. If the trails were anywhere but in Utah they would be amazing but compared to Park City's world class singletrack the trails I rode were just a fun change of pace. The bad news from the ride was that Rhonda re-aggrivated her hamstring injury from a couple weeks before. To make sure it heals properly before CX season she needs to take a couple weeks off with only easy spinning allowed. It's probably for the best as she's kinda burned out on riding in the dust and heat of summer anyway.

My TofU moment (AKA rollin' with the pros)

Saturday morning I decided to enjoy the amazingly cool temps by doing a longer ride on the CX bike from my house down to Corner Canyon. The idea of a Clarks TT while I was in the area even crossed my mind. It took about an hour or so to ride down to the equestrian center where I hopped on the trail. The lower trails were pretty loose and sandy and combination of narrow tires and tough gearing had me pretty well blown by the time I made it to Clark's. I blew off the idea of a TT and just continued the climb up Clark's. It hurt......bad. The lowest gear on my CX bike is a 39-27 so my skinny ass basically had to stand the whole way up just to keep the pedals turning. The bike handled real well and I never had any problems with traction even pushing the big (for me) gear. I got to the top, spun around a bit to catch my breath and headed back down Clark's. Not wanting to fight the sand back to the equestrian center I jumped off the trails at the cul-de-sac near the base of Clark's and got on the road. My bottles were empty so I took Highland towards the equestrian center for a refill. As I neared the 13th east intersection a couple of girls were there holding a "Slow" sign pointing down 13th. I figured they were working for the tour so I just ignored them. The started yelling "turn left, turn left". As I passed by I told them I wasn't in the race but thanks for the compliment. I refilled and started heading home on what happened to be the exact route of the tour. The road wasn't closed so I figured what the heck. There were a few spectators along 13th and they cheered as I rode by thinking to myself "hey this is kinda cool". I got passed by a solo Bissel guy and a few other racers riding solo. Made the turn onto Wasatch where I finally got passed by a larger group of 10 or so racers including Will Frishkorn. They were moving pretty slow for pros (later I learned they missed the time cut) so I briefly thought about catching on but decided that probably wouldn't be kosher. There were more crowds on the big hill by the park heading north on Wasatch and they all loudly cheered me on including one guy who realized I wasn't in the race and yelled out "Go Rev" ( I was wearing my team kit). I was hoping to see a crazy guy in a speedo with extra bottles to dump over my head but I guess I'll have to wait till I poach a Grand Tour for that.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Toyota A-BAT concept truck

I would buy one of these in a second (even if the production model was as ugly as the concept). Ever since the Prius came out I have been lusting after a hybrid pickup to replace our gas guzzling Tacoma. I would love replace the Tacoma with a more economical small SUV such as an Element or a Rav4 but the problem is that I'm a do-it-yourselfer and I'm always in need of a pickup to haul building materials or landscaping supplies. The A-BAT, with a 4 cyl gas/electric hybrid powertrain would probably get an acceptable 30-35 MPG, could haul anything I would need it to, wouldn't kill us on gas as a daily driver and with the 4wd would also be the ultimate car camping MTB/ski trip vehicle. Man I hope this goes into production.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

New toy

I put my new toy through it's paces on the pipeline trail last night. The skinny tires rode surprisingly well on the trail although I didn't want to push my luck so I walked the Church Fork downhill. Now I just need to find a convenient park with some trails to practice my mounts and dismounts and I also need to do some high intensity training to get ready for the crazy speed of cx racing. Season starts in 6 weeks!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Chatty Cathy

Is there anything more annoying at 8AM then the Chatty Cathy? You know the person. You're tired, your AM coffee has yet to kick in and the first person you run into at work is always the Chatty Cathy. They want to tell you what they had for dinner last night and what color their kids first crap was this morning. Really, do they actually think I care? Perhaps the worst Chatty Cathy's are customers or patients, depending on your line of work. My scheduler is an angel and she tries her hardest to not give me a patient at 8am but sometimes it's unavoidable. This 8 AM patient is almost always a Chatty Cathy. Chatty co-workers can be carefully avoided but you're stuck with chatty patients. What makes chatty patients even worse is that you have to be polite and respond to them no matter how ridiculous the things are they want to chat about. I think my favorite was the old lady who's son was Gordon B's body guard for 15 years. After an hour of her telling me how awesome her son was she proceeded to criticize at me for not helping her sit up the proper way. "My son was President Hinkley's body guard for 15 years and he showed me the proper way to help a person sit up. That wasn't it!"

Monday, August 11, 2008

ICUP Finale

Evanston was rough. The pace started out pretty mellow and I hung behind the lead group for the first few miles without really working that hard. The group was broken up by the first downhill and the categories behind started catching me on the next climb but I was feeling OK and just kept going my pace. Greg Myers and the sport 35-39 chase group caught me on the road and I latched on. This was the group I was waiting for and I was hoping to use as a pace group for the rest of the race. I refueled on the road and drank as much as possible before the Big Nasty powder climb. I was halfway up the climb and had passed a bunch of people who were walking when disaster struck. I started hearing a loud clicking from my rear brake. I pumped the lever a few times and it just got worse. I pulled over to the side and saw one of my pads was sitting at funny angle with the metal corner dragging on the rotor. I took my rear wheel off and spent some quality time trying to figure out how to put my brakes back together. The clip was pretty jacked up but I bent it back into some semblance of working order. I have no idea how much time I lost but it wasn't a quick fix. I started off again and hit the long downhill. Things were flowing real well till the first rocky section where my pedal/cleat problem reared its ugly head from tuesdays Solitude race. My left foot blew out of the pedal and I nutted myself on the top tube. After Solitude I had thought it was a pedal issue so I swapped pedals with my other bike but I later learned that unlike normal SPD's, Crank Bros cleats are disposable and need to be replaced somewhat frequently. Even taking it easy on the rest of the downhills I blew out of my pedals a few more times. I thought about DNF'ing but my bike was still basically rideable so I tried to work the climbs and chill on the downhill. Finished near the back but not in the back.

Rhonda plugged through her longest XC race ever for her third straight 6th place finish. The long preride from the night before was probably a mistake but since we've never ridden the course before not pre-riding the course would probably also have been a mistake.

The awards party was long, cold and wet but the beer was good and the pizza plentiful. Congrats to UMB for winning the team trophy. They showed up in big numbers to every race and as I've learned from the Solitude Tuesday night series showing up is more than half the battle. Revolution was able to retain the most important title of the series though. Erika Powers won the Best Female Legs contest last year with her killer Quads. This year Rhonda literally jumped into the competion and made it into the finals with her presentation skills. It came down to Rhonda and Erika in the finals. Erika's legs were superior but Rhonda was able to sneak out the win (and the $50) with an impromptu cheerleading leg kick which wooed the judges and kept the title for Revolution.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Fall is close

Today was the first day I realized that fall is nearly here. There was a cool, moist breeze blowing from the north when I woke up and the sun had not yet risen when I started my commute. I love the fall. I like sleeping in, fixing a nice breakfast and not worrying about the heat when I don't hit the trail till noon. I love cool rainy evenings, weekend trips to Fruita and new adventures. This year it will be some cyclocross, 12 hours of Sundance and maybe 24hrs of Moab. Fall is good.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Solitude Finale

The grand finale of the Solitude Tuesday night series was last night. Where has the summer gone? It seems like just a few weeks ago the series started and I was in wonder at how the sport class had grown from an average of 7-8 riders last year to close to 30 this year. I decided to try some different things last night just to see how they went. I did a long easy warmup by climbing the road and riding the course down and I also took it a little easy from the start and gradually ramp up my intensity. I had some pedal issues at the start and along with my slow speed quickly found myself near the back of the 20+ rider field. Got around a few people on the climb but was still near the back. By the top of the climb I had caught up to Jim and Janelle but decided to chill behind them for a bit of recovery before I hit the road. Once I hit the road I felt better than I ever had at that point and turned on the burners blowing by Mark and about ten other riders. I picked up Ken and we took turns pulling across the top but I let him scoot by to kill the DH. I lost some time to Ken (who is an excellent DH'er) but caught him midway through the 2nd climb. I hung on his wheel thinking I could make the pass on the road but he must have held a bit in reserve as well because I couldn't get by before the 2nd DH. I finished a few ticks faster then last week but nothing spectacular. The main difference was I felt like I could easily have held the same pace of about a 23-24 minute lap time for another lap while normally I'm pretty tired by the finish. I held on to my 5th place overall in the series and was treated to $100 cash for my efforts. I wasn't the 5th fastest rider in my class but I was one of the most motivated and in a points series showing up is half the battle.

Rhonda ended a strong campaign with a 2nd place overall finish and collected $300. We decided to re-invest our winnings in cycling by buying a couple seven race packages for the cyclocross series this fall. CX looks like great fun and at the very least it will help me work on my top end performance and bike handling skills.

Just in time for CX

A smokin deal on some Sidi Dominator 5's. $135 at sierra trading post plus new customers get 10% off. They also have the Genius road shoe if that's how you roll.