Thursday, April 30, 2009


5-mile pass is always my favorite race of the year. Not my favorite course but my favorite race. It always has the biggest turnout, there's plenty of room to pass and the DH's aren't too hairball. It works out well for me because normal people can do OK. 130 lb climber on a $8000 carbon full suspension bike with carbon rims? No advantage. No big hills to climb and good luck with those flimsy wheels when you hit a rock big ringing down the wash on the backside. Interval king who rides hard and fast for an hour a day 4 days a week? We'll see how you feel 18 miles in. Normal 180 lb dude on a $2,000 29er HT who likes to ride a lot but hates intervals because they ruin the absolute pleasure of just getting out on your bike (on nice weather days only)? For one race out of the season this guy can feel kinda fast.

Unfortunately for the fair weather racer this is the forecast for the weekend:


Now I do a little cross on the side and had a good time at the crappy weather cross races this year but that was in the fall. After a long, hot, dry summer a little rain and mud is a good thing. After a long cold winter racing in the rain and mud sucks.

Friday, April 24, 2009

1000 mile spring

I rolled past 1000 miles of riding this spring on the Bonneville Shoreline Freeway trail last night. 567 miles (37 hours) on the road and 444 miles (47 hours) on the MTB. Adding in the 26 hours I did on the trainer since December and that's the best winter/early spring I've ever had. I felt fantastic on the White Rim last Saturday and I think the early season miles had a lot to do with that. Hopefully the weather cooperates and I can have a great spring season and come on strong in the late summer endurance races. It's too bad there aren't any nearby endurance races before August though. I guess I'll just have to settle for getting shelled in a couple ICUP's.

Monday, April 20, 2009

White Rim in a day

White Rim in a day has always been on the "bucket list" and this was the year I was confident enough in my fitness that I knew I could finish it without any support. Ken and Steve both had this on their lists as well so they joined me. Steve and I drove down Friday afternoon and set up camp at Mineral Bottom. The adventure part of the trip started early when I realized I forgot the regulator for my camp stove and we were forced to use the skills we've learned watching the Discovery Channel to cook our spaghetti and meatballs over an open fire. Ken rolled in around 11pm and we had a peaceful night under the stars. We woke up at around 7am and packed up all our stuff. We knew the road out of Canyonlands was going to be closed at 8pm for construction so we wanted to be able to get moving as soon as we finished the ride.

The ride was funny. The trail was harder than I thought but actually doing the ride was easier then I thought. For some reason I thought the White Rim road was just a fairly mellow rolling dirt road with spectacular scenery. The truth is that the road is really a jeep road. Not crazy rough like Porcupine or Amasa but rough enough I wouldn't want to drive it in anything that wasn't pretty off-road capable. We started out a pretty mellow pace and I kept falling a little behind as I gawked at the scenery. About 40 miles in I started getting in a bit of a funk. I wasn't tired but I was getting kinda tired of being on the bike and was thinking man this is going to take forever. After about mile 50 I knew I needed to mix things up a little bit so on a long, smooth, mellow climb I shifted into the 44-11 and put on some speed. Instantly I felt a million times better. I was getting some flow in the rough sections and felt like I was finally starting to make some progress. I stopped and waited a bit for Ken and Steve at the White Crack turn off. Ken was wondering if I had done some EPO and was threatening to report me to the Sandbag Potentate. I just told him the longer and the faster I rode the better I felt. From that point to Hardscrabble hill it was more of the same, I'd ride with them for a bit but then my butt would start to hurt and I would start sinking into a funk so I had to pick up the pace and blaze trail for awhile.

About 90 miles in when we reached the Green River I made my only bad decision of the entire ride. Up until that point I had been religious about consuming 20oz of water and 300 calories per hour. I knew Hardscabble hill was coming up so I slowed down on my nutrition and hydration so I could tackle it without a bunch of stuff slopping around in my stomach. At the top of the hill I had a bit of energy drink but by that time I was sick of it and it wasn't tasting that great. I made the decision to push through the last 10 miles without feeding and just wait and enjoy real food at the truck. Bad move. By this time all of my stored glycogen was gone and I was running on my fat burning and the carbs I was taking in. My fat burning engine couldn't keep up with demand and there were no carbs coming in so on that last section I finally started to run out of steam. The last five miles were not fun as all I could think about was the cold water at the car.

We finished the 103 miles in right around 8.5 hours of saddle time. I consumed around 170 oz of my personal endurance formula energy drink, two flasks (about 10-12 shots) of hammer gel, one small cookie and maybe 10 oz of pure water for around 3000 calories. Right on target other than the lapse of judgement over the last 10 miles.

We finished at a little after 7pm and knew we had to bust ass to get out before the road closed. We got out to the highway by 7:45 and started heading to town for dinner. At 7:50 we hit the road closed barrier. The wonderful people had shut down the road early. We moved on to our backup plan of taking Long Canyon down to Potash road and back to Moab. The park ranger had told Steve that Long Canyon was dirt road with a short sketchy section but not too bad. It's actually a hairy jeep road that required 4wd-low in a couple sections made even more fun by the fact that it was dark. We survived the canyon unscathed and headed to Moab to grub down on some Mexican. The original plan was to camp out near Sovereign trail that night but it was so late by the time we finished dinner we just grabbed a motel and crashed. Woke up on Sunday well recovered and did a quick loop on the Sovereign trail on the way out of town.

White Rim Picture Post

Write up to follow

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Enjoyed it while I could

I'm not sure what's going on in this picture and I was afraid to ask.

We had two days of nice weather before another onset of four days of crap and we made the best of it. Easter Sunday we linked up with Drucy, Wedge and his buddy Christopher for a Suncrest assault. We had a nice warmup from our house down to Draper. The boys got a head start up the hill while I waited at the Chevron for Rhonda to catch up. She was felling good so I left her and bridged up to Lucy. Caught a short draft from Lucy and then put on a bit of speed to catch back on to the menfolk before the start of the steep stuff. Wedge pulled away from us on the first part of the climb but Drew and I caught back on at the first false flat. Wedge pulled away again on the big right hand curve climb. Once past the Suncrest sign at the bottom of the last steep section I popped it into the big ring and poured on the speed to at least try to give Wedge a workout. I passed him but his mad watts quickly answered my pathetic attempt to test him and he smoked me up the last hill. I almost died on the decent. My bike got this weird shimmy in the crosswind and it got worse as I tried to slow down. I finally got the bike stopped and checked my wheel skewers. Everything was tight and the bike was fine the rest of the way but it was a scary moment. Saw soon to be expert racer Ken at the bottom. He had been off skiing with his dad in the am and popped out for a quick ride. He's pushing back the inevitable for another race but the shame will begin if he wins at 5-mile and becomes the teams first ever official sandbagger.

Last night Rhonda and I busted the MTB's out of the hibernation they had been in since early March and hit the BST. Our house to dry creek and back at a nice easy pace for two hours and 20 miles. It was sooooo nice to be back on dirt. I'm really tired of cold windy road rides.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Kitchen done.

Early in the project (there used to be a door into the garage to the right of the fridge opening)
Finished result

I took advantage of tired legs and the threat of rain to put the finishing touches on our kitchen extension project today. We're very happy with the results. It made the kitchen feel quite a bit bigger and most importantly both of us can now be in the kitchen without getting in each others way.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Spring Smoke

Thigh deep on the upside of the skin track

Riding your bike to go skiing is too hardcore for me

Saturday was insane. Bottomless light fluffy pow unlike I've ever seen in April. Rhonda had an AM shindig and most people I knew were racing bikes in one form or another so I flew solo. I started around 10am and toured Mill D for four hours until the temps started to rise and the snow got heavy. Everybody I ran into marveled at the crazy snow. The bad news is that the 12 feet of fresh in the last couple weeks will probably make for another shortened MTB season as we wait till July for the high elevation trails to melt out.
Sunday the sun came out and it warmed up nicely so Rhonda and I did a mellow 4 hr Suncrest road ride. Suprisingly enough there were not a lot of people out especially since it was the first nice day in almost two weeks.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Vo2 Max test

Just for giggles Rhonda and I signed up for a VO2 max test up at the U. It went pretty much as expected. My absolute VO2 max is 3.9 l/min which is a rockin pro racer type of number. Of course the VO2 max number relative to my body weight (which is actually the number that means something) is a whopping 49.5 ml/kg/min adjusted for elevation. That number is in the 85th percentile for the average couch potato american but it's pathetic compared to competitive cyclists. Elite cyclists average 60+ ml/kg/min and trained amature cyclists are in the 50-60 range. My Ventilatory Threshold is at 74% of my VO2 max.

Rhonda's numbers were better. Her relative VO2 max was 43.4. She's above the 90th percentile for the average female. Elite female cyclists are usually 55+ and trained cyclists are 40-55. Rhonda is relatively untrained and could potentially raise that number by 10-15%. Her Ventilatory Threshold is at 65% of VO2 max and with training she could get that number up to 80%+.