Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Skate Ski Weekend

I'm really glad we decided to take up skate skiing this year. I think it might be the perfect off-season sport. You get a nice low intensity total body workout that is perfect for building base and strengthening underutilized muscles. Also, unlike running, snowshoeing and classic xc skiing, skate skiing is challenging which keeps my interest level up so I keep at it.

We hit Mountain Dell for 12K on Saturday and then Sunday we decided to try some of the free trails up in Park City. We skated the loop around Willow Creek Park a couple times and also did an out and back to Redstone. The Park City trails get a lot of hiking and dog traffic so they're not quite as buff as the Mountain Dell trails but they're flatter which makes it easier to work on technique.

Haven't had a chance to do any Alpine skiing yet. The backcountry has been way too dangerous for my tastes this year and I haven't really felt the urge to drop $50+ to ride the lifts yet. Maybe the snow will settle in by this weekend so I can sneak out for a tour.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Where did the weekend go?

I think that was the shortest weekend I've ever experienced. One minute I'm driving home in the blizzard Friday night and next thing I know I'm trying to drag my butt out of bed Monday morning.

Saturday we went to a free skate ski clinic put on by TUNA. I've never been on skate skis before and I was glad I did the clinic. It seemed like a real simple concept and I've skated a bit before on both alpine and classic xc skis but I still learned a lot about form and technique at the clinic that will help make my workouts more effective.

Saturday night we and almost everybody else in Northern Utah went to TC's holiday party. Damn that girl has a lot of friends and it was a packed house. At one point smoke started billowing in the kitchen while Once Bitten, Twice Shy played on the TV. I started throwing elbows looking for an exit but it was only Troy burning a pizza in the oven.

Sunday I did a bit of work on my mudroom project and also headed up Millcreek for some more skating. Millcreek isn't so good for skating. Too many snowshoers, hikers and off leash dogs chew up the trail and get in the way so between that and the steady climb it's hard to get a rhythm going.

Last night was Drew's 40th surprise birthday party at Fiddlers Elbow. Excellent company and beer make for a great party and 40 couldn't have happened to a nicer guy. Here's to 40 more Drew!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Ed give's these things to anybody

This has got to be worth 10 watts easy, right? I'm holding out for Fox to officially retire the "00".

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Siesta Key

The pause before the drop on Sheikra
A week in Florida was good for the soul. We had a nice condo on the white sand beach of Siesta Key just outside of Sarasota. Not much happened and that was the plan. We chilled on the beach, rode the roller coasters in Bush Gardens a couple days and ate a ton of killer seafood including the most marvelous fish and sweet potato chips at the brewpub in Sarasota. The coasters at Bush Gardens are the bomb. The Montu which they say is one of the country's top ten coasters is fun in that traditional roller coaster way but I think the real draw is the Sheikra. The Sheikra is by far the scariest (and therefore most fun) roller coaster I have ever been on. It's a completely open coaster, no top, sides or bottom so you basically sit on a small seat bolted to the chassis. You start by being pulled up a 200 foot hill, make a 180 degree turn and then stop, enjoying the view. The coaster eases forward to just before the "drop" and stops again, building anticipation. Then there is the false start where you are moved over the edge and stopped for what feels like forever hanging straight down 200+ feet in the air and kept from falling only by your harness. The drop, especially from the front car is terrifying. A 200 ft 70+ MPH free fall straight down with nothing in front of you. Awesome! You then do a couple loops, another 140 ft 90 degree drop into a tunnel and to the finish which in the offseason of early December means you immediately can turn around and hop back on a few minutes later. Rhonda says the Top Thrill Dragster in Cedar Point in scarier but since she was so scared on the Shiekra she couldnt open her eyes on the drop I'm not so sure.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Excellent trainer movie

Watched The Fast and The Furious while riding nowhere last night. It was an excellent trainer movie. Lots of fast paced on the road action and not a lot of dialogue you need to follow. I also learned an important lesson from the movie. "It's not how you stand by your bike, it's how you race your bike". Thank you Ja Rule.

Leaving tomorrow for a week of sun and sand in Florida. It's not Hawaii but it's cheap.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Lonely Roads

Hit the tarmac for a post work ride yesterday and noticed something very interesting. Before Thanksgiving on this same ride at the same time of day I would see at least 20 other riders no matter the weather. Yesterday the only other people I saw were Bart and his dad (pretty sure it was him) riding together. It got me thinking that either everybody takes December off or maybe everybody else is smarter than me and is riding indoors. I'm leaning towards the latter since it was cold and the first 20 minutes of my ride were wasted warming up. Finally accepting the fact that winter is here is hard but I'm adapting. When I got home I set up my road bike in the basement for trainer use and put slicks on my cross bike. Being ready for either option should eliminate the set-up time for both road and trainer rides and will hopefully keep me motivated.

Monday, December 1, 2008

St. George



and Slickrock
Nothing beats a trip to Southwest Utah in the winter. Great trails and perfect weather are almost always guaranteed.