Monday, December 31, 2007

Fun Website

For those of you out there that need a quick picker-upper, check out this site. Click on the Demotivators (By name) tab in the upper left corner and enjoy. It's hilarious and will bring a smile to your face. You can order posters from a long list of titles like "Burnout", "Defeat", "Fear", "Failure" and others that will lift your spirits get you out of the duldrums. Here's a couple...

Blame: The secret to success is knowing who to blame for your failures.

Challenges: I expected times like this - but I never thought they'd be so bad, so long, and so frequent.

I've added a "Despair" link to my Good Links section on the right, for future reference should you forget. And remember, the days are getting longer and the first ICUP race is only 60 days away.

Speed Skating

This cold and snowy weather is giving me cabin fever and a bad attitude. I've been taking it out on the snow shovel, but that's getting old. I need relief! For a change of pace I went to the Olympic Speed Skating Oval this past weekend and watched a little of the National Speed Skating Championships. Wow, are those guys fast! And the ice is smooth as glass - seriously. I couldn't believe it. That looks kind of fun.

I hope the weather in St. George breaks soon. Camp Lynda is calling and I'm listening.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Another White Ride

Sunday I rode my single speed in the day light and had just as much fun as last week. Simplicity is nice and so is riding in the hard packed snow. I fell off a few times this ride since several areas weren't hard packed yet, but it was still fun. It reminds me of being a kid again.

This is the road leading to the gate at the top of Red Butte Canyon road.

Snow on the BB had no effect on shifting! It's nice to ride and look at the scenery without the noise of a geared bike. Quite is good...

And it's so nice having my daughter home from Weber State University. Some things never change, and I'm glad they don't. It's really a blast having her home and it reminds me of what is most important in my life. I love you Boogie.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Single Speed Night Ride

I rode my Rig 29er SS for the first time tonight on the Shoreline Trail, in the snow, with my Princeton Tech SB 2 helment light. Wow, what a fun ride. I have to do that more often. There's something special about riding at night. And, it beats the hell out of riding in the basment. It was pretty cold, 26 F, so overheating was not a problem, even though I didn't wear a lot of clothes. And traffic wasn't a problem either.

Regarding the Rig, what amazed me most was how well my tires hooked up, even on the short uphill sections. I never once spun out, even when I stood up. Maybe there is something to the G2 Geometry, or maybe it was the new rubber. I did notice the hardtail and how there isn't a lot of wasted energy when I pushed on the pedals. I wasn't able to test it's downhill character so I can't comment on if it tracks as well and quick as a 26. I'll try that out on a dry trail, in the daylight. I'm really excited to get into this SS thing and see if I can handle it. Standing on the climbs hasn't been my thing, but I can see that that has to change. Ain't no way I can pedal seated. And I'm riding a 20T cog! A 17T or 18T like the big boys and girl (KC) rides seems totally out of the question. Adam says his legs are bigger, so maybe I can put some meat on my sticks. Wouldn't that be sweet. More meat means fewer wrinkles!!! Sign me up.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Winter Wonderland

The second snow storm in a week hit Saturday morning and left 8-10 inches of wet, heavy snow. Shoveling is good for the core, but bad for the back. Guess I won't be riding the streets this weekend.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Thanksgiving Weekend

Last week the temp was in the high 60's when I rode the Flying Dog Trial in Park City with Chris Holley.

Today, the temp was in the upper 30's on the Mormon Trail. Burrrrr.....

What a difference a week makes! Winter is here - time to head south.

It's been a good holiday week with my family coming in from Texas and Michigan. My brother Wille brought his son Little Willie who is a senior in High School and already a world traveler. At 6 foot and 140 pounds, he's a perfect size for a climber. Hopefully we can convince him to get on the saddle and go for it. My sister Robin and her husband Bruno brought my mom with the from Texas and left the bad weather behind. It's always good seeing Robin because she is such a strong person and is just plain nice, like Jane. Maybe that's why I get along with her so well. I think my mom had a good time, but she's getting old and can't communicate very well. Hopefully she'll come back next year and we can repeat the good times again. The only downer was BYU beat Utah 17-10. Damn.....

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Fall in the Wastch

The weather the past week has just been nothing short of spectacular. We've enjoyed sunny days, clear sky's, no wind and temps in the 60's. You just can't ask for anything better. Sorry to sound politically incorrect, but, I'm digging this global warming stuff! The forecast for the next 7 days is more of the same. Ya Babeeee....

My MadDog buddies headed south to St. George this weekend and I stayed behind and rode the Wasatch. Saturday I rode Glen Wilde and Flying Dog with Kevin Nelson and Bob Dawson. I did the Single Speed thing and stayed in my 32x23 all day. I was suprised that I made it, and how much fun it was. I like the idea of not worrying about shifting! The descent off Flying Dog was just that. We flew down that thing! Swooping turns, nice little jumps and pump stretches that made the descent one to the best I've done in a long time. If time wasn't a factor I would have climbed up again just to come down it! We had a fantastic 2 hours and could not wipe the smiles off our collective faces. It was just perfect! We weren't the only ones taking advantage of the weather as the trail was packed with hikers, dogs and riders of all ages. It's so cool seeing folks getting off the couch and enjoying our great mountain trails.

Today Kevin and I hit the Shoreline Trail and rode from my house to City Creek Canyon. Weatherwise, it was a duplicate of yesterday and the riding was just as much fun. Again the trail was loaded with riders of all abilities, and disabilities. As I was talking to a father and son at the top of City Creek I noticed the teenager had a carbon fiber arm. It was a solid unit with no elbow or wrist joint and hollow in the center. It had a 3/4 pipe hook on the end that clamped on the handlebar and strapped on to his shoulder. I didn't ask about the circumstances that lead to him aquiring this high tech arm, but the kid was clearly enjoying himself and his disadvantage was not a factor to him. His dad was smiling too just being with his son. After I took their picture together standing behind their bikes, Kevin and I headed back home appreciating our good health and the wonderful place we live.

I can't wait for next weekend...

Monday, October 15, 2007

24 Hours of Moab

I'll put the pictures first so you can look at them and not have to read my ramblings that follow. Sorry it's so long. If you want to read the official Granny Gear race report, click here.

Staging for the start.

The glorious run. Who needs a mask! That's me on the right, pacing myself.

The exchange tent and bike staging area.

This place is a real circus. These guys came in 3rd in their division.

Stuart was greeted by Granny Gear as he completes our last lap.

Top of the Podium.
The "Old Dogs, New Tricks" Amigos.
Bill, Stuart, Dwight and me.
Camp Element.

Flashback to 2006! No thanks...

2007 was nice and dry.

The race is done and it was a success. Our Grand Masters Team had great chemistry and mojo as well as excellent support from Mad Dog Cycles all of which combined to give us a 59th place overall out of 388 teams and the catergory win for the second year in a row. We each completed 4 laps and finished with 16 total. I want to thank our team captain Bill Dark as well Dwight Hibdon and our Mile High secret, Stuart Edgerly for a fun weekend and many good memories. I also want to give props to Stuart's wife Anna for her support, good coffee and positive attitude. Thanks Anna.

The conditions this year were excellent with a dry, sandy course, clear skys both day and night, and little wind. It got down to 40 by my thermometer in camp, but I'm sure it was colder in pockets on course. The course was rough and has eroded over the last few years due to extensive 4x use and last years monsoon. Many of the drops are bigger and followed by sandy, rocky landings that increase the level of technicality on an already demanding course. This course is not for the faint of heart, especially at night. I did 4 laps and only fell twice, so I was quite happy. I had no gear issues so there is no excuse for my times being what they were. Maybe a lack of specific training and father time have something to do with that. I'll work on both of those issues and get back to you later.

I volunteered for the first lap which was the LeMans run around a tree 150 yards from the bike staging rack. My best running days are 25 years behind me and was evidenced by the fact I was pretty near the back of the pack when the 300 yards were completed! Embarassing. I made up for it when we hit the dirt road and passed a good 50+ riders before we hit the single track. That was a joke as riders were scatters 10 wide all over the trail walking their bikes due to the conjestion. I probably ran another 300+ yards before I could get back on my bike, only to have to get off again and run another 100 yards. That's the penalty for being a slow-ass runner. The rest of the first lap was uneventful and was filled with following riders that took me over lines I had not considered before, some of which were good and others questionable. I rode the "Ledge" on all 4 laps and that was big for me because I've never gone over it at night - too chicken! I also rode the slab at the start of the single track on 2 of my 4 laps - that too is a first.

My second lap was much better as the conjestion had faded and I was rushing to beat the sunset. I rode with my helment light, just in case, but did not need it as there were still a few rays of light remaining. I finished with the 3rd fastest lap for our team.

The 3rd lap was a disaster. I started out forgetting where I left my bike and took forever to find it. I guess that was my senior moment for the race. At least there was another guy with me that also "lost" his ride! As I said, my night vision is not what it used to be and I rode tenatively. That kind of riding leads to no-no's, which I had a few. I crashed on the sandy "S" turn downhill and on an uphill rocky section that I usually breeze right up. Too slow so down you go! At least I didn't get hurt abd finished the lap only 3 minutes behind schedule.

My last circuit was the sunrise lap, and it was special. By now we were about 35 minutes behind our expected time so my lap was half dark and half light. What a pleasant surprise because I expected to ride that lap in the dark. I started slow and finished strong as the sun rose over the LaSalles to the east. It was partly cloudy so the sunrise was less than spectacular, but, the rising sun lifted my spirits and made me happy to be where I was. That was a much better mental place then where I was at 1:00 am.

Bill and Stuart finished their 4th laps without incident and we did well. We beat one of the 3 Masters teams and beat all of the girl teams. That feels good to not get chicked in a big event like this. We were 59th and the Expert Women winner was 60th. Yeah babe, take that! I hope we can stay ahead of them next year.

As I finish writting this I am fighting a sense of depression and I don't know what! The season is done and rest and recovery are in order. I don't want to stop because I'm afraid I won't be able to start up again, so, I'll keep pushing on. In a few weeks all will be back to normal and routine will set in. I have a 2008 Gary Fisher 29er Rig SS coming in so I can look forward to just playing around until training begins.

Next year will be better than this year and I'm excited to see what it brings. I'm even more excited to see my racing buddies again and build on the lasting memories I cherish. Thank you to all that have helped me and have a nice winter.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

A Weekend to Remember

Chris and KC Holley went with me to Moab this past weekend for what proved to be an epic trip. It started with a traffic jam in Salt Lake that put me about an hour behind schedule, a huge downpour in Spanish Fork that left us soaking wet and made the drive through the Canyon to Price a nailbiting experience, and then it only got better.

At about 10:00 p.m. we were 15 miles north of Green River when suddenly we heard a loud bang. Chris and I looked each other perplexed when KC informed us that the back window on my seven month old Honda Element head just exploded! What? No way! I look back and sure enough the window was in a million pieces and falling into the car were KC was sitting. We pulled off the highway, took a few pictures, push the remaining glass to the ground with a water bottle, laughed a little bit and headed to Green River rehashing what a just taken place. Our speed slowed significantly on the remaining drive because we are afraid our gear would fall out the back on to the highway if we got going too fast.

When we arrived in Green River we decided maybe we'd had enough for the day and we'd crash in a cheap motel. To make a long story short, we checked in and I went to the room and I opened the door only to find that it was latched from the inside. My next surprise was heard a man and woman's voice coming out of the dark room stating that it was occupied. Through the crack in the door I reconfirmed with them that they were in room 19, as I was supposed to be. They said it was their room. I went back to the front desk and the confused clerk gave me a key to room 18 which she was certain was vacant. This time I knocked before using the key and found that room was also occupied! Chris and I decided that maybe it wasn't a good idea to stay here so we went and asked for a refund, which was granted. As we were leaving I mentioned to the clerk maybe someone kept a key and decided to have a free night on the motel. To our surprise again, she said somebody probably got in the room through the rear window, that happens every now and again!!! Chris and I looked at each other like "did you just hear what I heard?" and at that point we headed off to Moab.

What we failed to realize before we started this trip was this was the Tour of Moab weekend and every room in town was booked. We tried Sand Flats Campground, but that was full so we drove to Ken's Lake where we found a spot at 1:30 a.m.

Saturday morning we went to the hardware store and found a piece of plastic and taped it on to the back window and were kept out of harms way for the rest of the trip. We ended up riding the Sovereign Trail that afternoon and had a great time. Riding with Chris and KC always pushes me to my limits and I can feel the improvement by the minute. We got back to the car around 4:30 p.m. and headed over to the 24 hour course where we were going to ride one day and one night lap before heading back to Ken's Lake. 10 minutes into the first lap I knew I was in trouble. I couldn't keep up with those two and I had no gas in the tank. Every ledge look like a mountain in each drop look like a canyon as I timidly pedaled through the technical parts of the course. Enough was enough and I took a shortcut back to the start/finish line while Chris and KC completed the lap. After a little bit of discussion we decided to forgo the night lap and head back to camp.

Ken's Lake Area

Sunday was another day of just plain fun riding with no problems other than Chris popping a tire. We rode Amassa Back in the morning and met up with Fred of the Moab Rim Ride fame and quite a few other riders that were enjoying the dry trail, cool temperatures and clear sky. He was definitely a ride to remember, for all the good reasons. This on the way out of town we decided to take one quick lap around the Monitor and Merrimack Loop which topped off a very good weekend of riding.

Now it's time to rest my shoulder and forearms, which were pushed beyond their limits, and hopefully recover the for next Saturday's 24 hour race. I'll be racing on a four man relay team called "Old Dogs, New Tricks". The race starts next Saturday at noon and you can follow our progress by clicking HERE.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Logan to Jackson

Logan to Jackson is done and I'm happy. I set a goal of 10:30 and finished in 10:18:31 which was 42 minutes faster than last year. Thank you Lynda. I ended 219 overall which was much better than 390 from in 2006. My climbing was better as I came in 12th on the KOM TT and felt much better on the climbs overall, but I can improve a lot more. The weather was perfect except for the 10-20+ mph wind that we faced from half way down Salt Creek Pass to the finish!!! I bet 70% of the time we were facing a straight-on headwind or quartering headwind from the west. That was mentally very tough and the big topic of discussion afterward. Not fun after 102+ miles on the legs with 102 more to go.

What was even tougher than the wind was Terry Patterson, an 18 time LoToJa finisher from Idaho, wanted to pick up the pace to make the finish more exciting. There were 4 in the group and 3 of us said let's just take it easy, our tanks are empty. It was not to be. As the competitive juices got reignited one last time, we had a go at it. Terry put the hammer down with 1K to go and I jumped on his wheel. I stayed there until the 200 meter sign, pulled the trigger and edged him by a wheel at the line! That was really exciting even though I almost passed out when I stopped. I'm gald Terry coaxed us into the sprint because it was a fun way to finish, especially since I won. That's 2 wins in 2 spints (Leadville was the other one). Maybe I ought to be a wheel-sucking roadie...

Other than a sore right ankle, I have no idea why, and a sore butt, I feel great and ready to ride again. Hopefully I'll be in the desert soon with Chris and KC Holley honing my desert riding skills for the 24 Hours of Moab in October. I always learn something new when I ride with them so I have fun things to look forward too.

Lastly, I've got to say that this was probably the most fun and best race ever because my wife and daughter were my support crew. They were always cheerful and well organized, and, it was just great seeing them along side the road and at the feed zones. And, to my surprise, Markie said she wants to do it again next year! How can I say no? Now I have to train again, for HER future. See, it's not just about me ;-)

Well, it's getting late so I'm out for now. I'll post some pics in a few days.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

4 Days to LoToJa

The big day is almost here and I think I'm ready. I started a two week taper right after the Wolf Creek Pass ride last week and did my last interval sessions yesterday afternoon. Luckily I finished my ride before the monster storm hit. My legs feel a little bit heavy so I'm going to concentrate on massage and stretching the next few days. I'll do a couple of short, easy zone 1 rides to keep my legs fresh and will finish my fueling prep and be good to go.

Hail, yes!

My race day plan is to ride with Tom Uriona, a veteran Logan to Jackson racer, and hopefully be able to hang with him on the climbs. Since we are both stronger in the last half of the race, if we are together at Alpine we should have a strong ride to the finish in Jackson. That's the plan at least. Many things can change during the course of 10 plus hours on the road so there always has to be a plan B. At this point, I don't know what plan B is, so, plan A had better work! It's looking like the weather is going to be cooperative with comfortable temperatures and sunny skies. One thing you can count on from me is that I'll be prepared for snow, cold temps and rain, no matter what the weather forecast says! No more hypothermia for me. Been there, done that. No sir, not me...

My one regret for this years race is none of my Mad Dog teammates will be there. I have some good memories from 2005 with those guys and will carry them with me this year. Maybe next year guys?

And, although I won't have my sister Robin and her husband Bruno assisting my wife Jane this year like they did last year, my daughter MarKay will be in the support vehicle keeping her mother in stitches. Markie's a really good photographer so I should have some nice pics to post after the race.

If you're interested in the results after the race, click here.

Monday, August 27, 2007

LoToJa Prep is Done

Saturday I rode with seven roadies that ride on the Barbacoa road team, and they are strong! For the record, Ed Chauner of ICUP fame and a Specialized sponsored rider was one of them, so you know what I mean. Another one is Dan Moser who has done the Everest Challenge on numerous occasions. Most of these guys have been riding together for 15 years and their teamwork showed it. We had a couple of pace lines that looked better than the TdF boys! It was so smooth and fun that I couldn't wipe the grin off my face. I hope to ride with at least one of the guys (Tom Uriona) during the race and keep to mojo flowing.

We started at 0700 and rode from Jeremy Ranch over Wolf Creek Pass to Hanna and back. Total mileage was little over 123, 9,958 feet of climbing and about 7:20 in the saddle. I was last-ass-over-the-pass on all but 1 climb but hung in their on the flats and rolling sections. Most of the climbing was in the 8-10% range with some 12% on both sides of WCP. That's tougher than LoToJa so I think this was a good final training ride for me. I did get a few pre-cramps when I stood up to climb on several occasions, but otherwise I faired very well. My fueling was adequate but I could have used a little more water and a few more Endurolytes. Ed's thermometer showed a temp range of 38 to 102 degrees F.

The next 11 days will be devoted to recovery, stretching, core work and light intervals. I might get in a 2-3 hour easy spin on the weekend, but nothing serious or too strenuous. I'm feeling better rested and more fit than in '06 so this should be a good year for me. I have no illuions of winnng my category, Masters 55+, or even placing 3rd like last year, but, I do hope to finish in the top 10 and around 10:30.

Stay tuned for more...

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Bicycling Mag Leadville Article

Bicycling Magazine has a good article on the race that unfolding well in front of me at Leadville. By the time I finished, those guys were well into nap/beer time. Next year I'll kick their asses...

Here's an excerpt; "Floyd has been sticking mostly to the road to build his endurance and get in the maximum number of miles, but he did recently ride the Leadville racecourse with Kloser, a Colorado extreme-scene and adventure racing legend. He said the course was harder than he expected and likened it to a 150-mile mountain stage of the Tour de France because of the super-steep nature of some of the climbs."This is not the kind of race you just show up for and ride," he said. "Unless you are in really good shape, and even if you are, you are going to suffer on that course.""

Saturday, August 18, 2007

The "Race for Everyone"

Today was the 1st Annual "Race for Everyone" held at Sundance Ski Resort for the benefit of Kids on the Move. Karl Vizmeg and Mad Dog Cycles Race Team Manager Keith Payne put a huge amount of time and effort into putting on this event, and it showed. This race will become one racers and regular joes will want to add to their calendar in the future. Due to heavy rain and the Snowbird Hill Climb, this years attendance was lighter than expected. Those that were in attendance had a very good time and enjoyed perfect tacky track conditions and an enthusiastic crowd. The little ones rode a tight, 2 lap slalom course around the chair lift that resulted in smiles and high fives from most of the racers. These little guys and gals are fast and looked like they were focused on taking home the gold. Based on what I saw, the future of USA mountain biking is in good hands. Race on little ones...

After the rain stopped we were treated to a beautiful view of Mt. Timp.

Even the big kids like Subaru/Gary Fisher pro racer Chris Holley got in to the mix on his single speed and cut some tight turns.

Thanks again to Karl, Keith and all the Mad Dog guys and gals that came out to make this a memorable event.

Training for LoToJa starts again tomorrow with a 2-3 hour road ride. I've only ridden about 3 hours this week and I'm getting antsy to pick up the distance and pace.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Leadville Belt Buckle

This is what all the suffering is about. The coveted Leadville 100 Finishers belt buckle. Under 12 hours and it yours. And the one they give the division winners is bigger than one the cowboy's walk around with.

VeloNews has a short recap of the race.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

JESUS LIVES, at 12,600 feet!

That says it all.

It's Sunday night and I'm back home in good ole Salt Lake City. Aside from seeing my wife Jane and daughter MarKay again, I'd rather be in Leadville. That is one nice town with a lot of really good people. I hope I'm lucky enough to get in the race next year.

Back to Jesus, he lives and I saw him during the last 2 miles of the hike up to the Columbine Mine which topped out at 12,600 feet and 52 miles into the race. I'm not kidding but that's the closest I've ever come to passing out and just giving up in a race. The Man had the door open and said come on in, you idiot! I said, thanks for the invite but I’m not quite ready - I've got a belt buckle to pick up later this afternoon. Then maybe we can talk. When he saw me in the aid station with the oxygen cannula in my nose and the wonderful nurses assisting me, the Man knew it was too late. I'm just not ready.

Before I ramble on any further, a few stats for my racing buddies. Then you can stop reading and not get bored with other all the other BS.

Drive time to Leadville from Salt Lake City, 8:30, 440 miles, Return 7:45
Race distance 104.1 miles
Ascent 11,120 feet
Average speed 10.8 mph
Finish time 10:02:55 (winning time 6:58)
Actual ride/hike time 9:37
Average heart rate 77% of max (high was 88%)
I passed 87 people in the last 24 miles
Temperature range 38° to 93°
Average temp 71°
4 nature stops, 8 chain drops
1 come to Jesus meeting

One question I always deal with is "could I have gone faster?" On that day, having never ridden the course, probably not. I do think though that with a few changes in my training and my approach to the race, and better pit stop management, I can do better. Do I think I can break nine hours? Honestly and realistically, no. But that won't keep me from trying.

Back to the race. It's amazing how well the race was supported, both on the course and in the town itslef. Everybody was happy to see us and extremely polite. As fara as the race goes, it is totally possible to do this race without a pit crew just by using the well-stocked aid stations the provide. Rob Westermann helped me at the Twin Lakes 1 aid station, and after that I was on my own. No problem at all. Although I only ate real food at the Columbine Mine station, which I thought was going to be my last supper, one could lose countless minutes looking at all the food options at the 3 pit stops. I almost felt like I was at a Sunday brunch. And the people were so helpful when you came to the aid station. They would hold your bike, fill your water bottle and bring your bag and food to you. Wow, how's that for service. And they had a smile on her face. They were so nice and so positive I felt like I was leading the race. The Leadville support people are like having family in your corner, they were so uplifting. By far, this is the best supported race I've ever attended. And the energy level was off the charts. Everywhere you looked there were people lining the course cheering, clapping, waving flags, ringing bells, and just have a good time. How could you not love it!

As far as the course goes, it's a mixed bag. There are flat roads, undulating roads, gravel fire roads, very little, if any, single track, long steady grade climbs and steep unrideable roads/trails. I talked to the guy that finished in 18th place and he was able to ride most of the course except for the Powerline Trail and one other steep section before the Powerline aid station on the way back to the finish. That's impressive! On the way back I saw one small girl that was ahead of me by several minutes ride about one third of the Powerline Trail, which everybody else was walking, and she totally blew up. I think she finished about 40-45 minutes behind me and she lost all that time in the last 20 miles. Warning to future racers, do not attempt to ride the PL. You may live to regret it.

Ellen and Jody on the Power Line Trail

Ellen and me at the bottom of Power Line, the day before the race.

Before I go I have to thank Rob Westermann and Ellen Guthrie for their great company and hospitality. Rob wasn't able to race due to an injury so he provided great support and encouragement. Next year it's his turn and Ellen will be in the pit. That's bad news though because he's moving to my age group next year. It's already difficult getting on the podium, now I have to contend with HIM! The good news though is he'll be a very serious contender for the top age group spot and that will be real cool. I also want to congratulate Jody Anderson on her excellent race and pushing through some big time knee pain. Most people would have quit but she kept on pushing. Way to go Jody. We were fortunate that all three of us finished the race and took home the silver belt buckle and came away with no lasting injuries, other than the normal aches and pains associated with such masochistic behavior.

Ellen and Jody styling before the pre-race meeting.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Leadville 100 a Success

I finished this bear of a race in 10:02 and in the top 25 out of 127 in my age group. I really wanted to finish under 10 hours, but, given how I wanted to quit during the 2 mile hike-a-bike to the 12,600 foot summit, and the thought at that time that just finishing in the 12 hour limit my be difficult, I can live with that.

Floyd Landis raced and came in 2nd less than 2 minutes behind the winner. He passed me coming down the fire road from the 12,600 aid station at 10:22 am and finished over 3 hours faster than me. So, I finally got to race a Tour de France winner and got toasted by 3 hours in just 100 miles! How’s that for humble pie.

This race had long stretches of undulating asphalt and dirt roads and incredibly steep single track climbs that looked from a distance, like a death march. Most people don’t push their 25# bikes uphill very quickly and when they top out, usually their eyes are rolling in their sockets! One of the silver linings I’m taking away from today is I passed 84 riders during the final 24 miles, but, I ended up in the medical tent for my effort. They gave me oxygen and cold sponges to lower my high body temperature and soup to replace the salt imbalance that was causing me to tremble and act a little incoherent. I must say that the support for this race was absolutely incredible. From the day before the race to the volunteers on course and in the transition areas, it was absolutely 1st class service. Hands down, by far the best race ever.

I’ve got to drive to downtown and hook up to their WiFi and get this published so that’s it for now. I’m ready for a good night sleep…

Monday, August 6, 2007

A Family Affair

Astra and Alex.

Another great weekend has passed and life is good. My sister Robin and her husband Bruno came to Utah from Texas to celebrate my nieces 16th birthday. Astra was surprised to see a new bright yellow VW bug in the garage Thursday when she was summoned home by Jamie, my sister. Astra was all smiles from ear to ear and couldn't wait to "take er for a spin!" I'm not supposed to say anything, but, when she backed out of the driveway she was surprised at how hard it was to steer. Well, she had the stereo on so loud she didn't realize the car was not on. Mom came to her rescue, turned on the key and off she went, red face and all!

Robin the tourista.

Jamie just loves the creativity of the Artisit...

Jane, Bruno and yours truly.

Jane and I spent the the weekend in Park City with my two sisters and their kiddies and did the traditional Arts Festival routine. You know, food, drink, looking at interesting people, food... We did the Apline Slide and that new chair ride and topped the weekend off with a chair lift ride up the Town Lift. That was very relaxing, but slow. It doesn't run at ski lift speed so it felt like I could have run up the hill faster. For the weekend the weather was very cooperative with overcast skys and moderate temperatures. Actually it was perfect, the best I've seen it in years. It was fun being with my sisters and just hanging out. The only sad part was my daughter was not with us because she was tending kids in Layton. We all missed her smiling face and quick wit.

Saturday was the last ICUP race held at Evanston Wyoming. My good friend and competetor Bob Dawson won the 50+ Open points title for 2007 by a mere 3 points over Mark Enders. Ed Chauner said it was
the tightest points race for the top three positions ever (only a 10 point spread!). I finished somewhere around 7th or 8th, a few hundred points back. Those guys are good and luckily I'm moving up in category and won't have to face them much anymore. Now I just have to worry about Bill Dark, Dwight Hibdon and Jim Westenskow. Those are 3 fast dudes!

This coming Saturday is the Leadville 100. I'm getting stoked and feel good. I rode for 3 hours on Sunday and had a very strong ride on the Rail Trail. I did a couple of 20 minute intervals and played around on Lost Prospector a little before heading back to the condo. My legs are feeling like they have recovered from the E-100 12 hour race and now I'm working on my head. Dawson said to go for 9 hours so I need to
rearrange my brain cells around what that will take. What the hell, I'm not getting any younger and nobody knows who I am anyway, so I'm going to go for it. I've got the 9 hour split time for my stem so now I just need to go out and "git er done". This time next week I'll either be praising or cursing Dawson!

That's it for now.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

It was a Good Weekend

I finished my last weekend of training before Leadville with a nice 73 mile solo road effort in the mountains. There's a great loop from the East Canyon General Store over to Henefer through Echo to Coalville to Wanship via the Old Lincoln Highway back along the West Hoytsville Road to Hobson Lane which comes out on the south end of Coalville. Then it's a back track to EC with a great rhymthic 25+ minute climb from Henefer to the Morgan County line. I took a few side jaunts to get the time up to 4 hours. One was to the EC dam and the other was along the main road in Henefer north to the freeway entrance and back. One of the big reasons this is such a good Sunday ride is because there is nobody on the road! Seriously. In the 1st hour I was passed by 2 motoercycles, that's all. Everyone in Henefer and Coalville is in church most of the morning and then they go visit in the early afternoon so I get the roads all to myself. I am most thankful to the town folk for giving me unfettered access to their fine roads. I took a pic with my phone but haven't figured out how to download it to the computer. I hope to have the pic something soon.

As happy as I am about the weekend, I am also sad. The Tour de France ended today and I am lost. I just love watching that race and don't know what I'm going to do next week. I am afraid of the withdrawls! What if I start crying while conducting an interview? Or, if out of the blue, I start talking with a British accent? This could be bad, real bad... At least my sister and brother-in-law will be in from Texas later this week so, that may soften the blow and get me through it.

In spite of the unexpected and unprecedented controversy this years race offered, the TdF is still the most incredible event in the world - bar none. I am so in awe of the dedication, focus and committment these guys have to achieve what seems to be the impossible. Both from an indiviudal and team stanpoint. At least it was that way for Discovery and Rabobank. Three weeks and over 2K miles, in weather ranging from snow and rain to strong wind and over 100 degrees is beyond my comprehension. And to think that if you are alergic to bee stings and you have to get one of those shots that keeps you from dying, the organizers will DQ you from the race! If you are wearing the Yellow Jersey when the bee decides to make you face look like a Cabbage Patch doll, you gotta make a decision real quick. Do I want to live, or, do I want to roll the dice and hope I live and keep the Yellow Jersey? Hummm, that's a tough one... About all these guys can take for pain is aspirin! These guys fall off their bikes at 35+ mph and, for the most part, get up and race again tomorrow. No pain killers, nothing! Compare that to the soccer butterflies who fall down in pain if someone gets within a foot of them and, they get carted off on a stretcher. Wimps!

I am encourage for the TdF and the future of cycling. Hopefully the cheats are getting the message and the new guard will do a better job at policing their own. As either Phil or Paul pointed out, both Vino and Ras are in their 30's and may be the last of the old guard racers who had no problem with doping. If the road cycling powers can put their collective egos aside and focus as one, the time is ripe for effective and purposeful change, and, with a peleton of willing participants backing them. Wouldn't it be wonderful to watch the race next year and not have worry if the Yellow Jersey wearer will show up for the next stage. Change is going to happen and it's going to be good.

Viva la Tour!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Back on Track

What a difference the weather makes. The temps have finally fallen below the 100 degree level, the smoke is gone and the sky is weeping enough to knock the dust down and lift my spirits. Life is good again and I'm re-energized.

I've had a good training week by placing more emphasis on quality and rest. My good buddy Nordic Dave counseled me this past week and reminded me that my fitness is good because of the strong base I built over the winter and now is not the time to add mega-miles. Rest is more important than miles and hours. So, with that sage advice in hand, I have lifted the guilt monkey off my back and will focus on rest and positive thoughts during the final 2 weeks leading to Leadville on August 11th.

With my new-found guilt free attitude in hand, Kevin Nelson and I went on a 4 hour MTB ride today in the Park City area, and had a blast. We did a fun loop that had a lot of variety with plenty of time to chat. The loop included part of Lost Prospector, Round Valley and Somewhere Elks, Glen Wilde and back to Round Valley. Kevin's a great riding partner that I have enjoyed many, many hours racing, training and traveling with over the past 3 years. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that someday he'll feel sorry for me and partner with me on a multi-day stage race. That's a good reason for me to stay fit. One day out of the blue he'll call and say he's ready, so, I have to be prepared. I'll rationalized my training obsession any way I can ;-)

That's it for today. Tomorrow is my last long ride on the road. I've pared it down to 4-5 hours instead of the scheduled 7, per Dr. Nordic Dave.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Too Hot to Move

The heat will just not let up. I went to Coalville yesterday for a road ride and it was good until about noon, then it got hot! Today I rode the Wasatch Crest Trail which is between 8500-9500 feet looking for some relief, and it was hot there too. On top of the heat is the eye stinging smoke. It's back and seems to be worse than before. All of this is zapping my energy to the point riding is difficult. So, I guess I'll just rest and hope my fitness will carry me through Leadville in one identifiable piece! We'll see, won't we. I love being a guenie pig.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Computer Crash

Well, just as things are starting to look up, my external hard drive with all my pictures crashes. Fortunately, I think I have them backed up off site with a company called Mozy. I'll get the new drive this weekend and fire it up and hopefully all will be well when I download from Mozy. At least that's the plan. Stay tuned.

My recovery from the 12 hour race is coming along nicely. I've decided to stop racing on the weekends and cut back on the intensity during the week. I'll rely on the fitness I have been working on the last year and concentrate of rest and recovery. If Leadville goes well, then that strategy is a good one. Stay tuned for the outcome on that one too.

This weekend is the E-100 50 mile solo in Park City. I have a couple friends that will be toeing the line and wish them good health and good speed.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Dog Days of Summer

I rode with Adam yesterday and experienced the worst day of the year on my bike. We pushed our bikes up some hot (111 degrees F), steep-ass, rocky, loose dirt, horse hoof chopped up dry trail, then we pulled our bikes down some steep, loose, rocky trail that thankfully passed by a beautiful waterfall and ended in the parking lot where all this nonsense began. Hike 10 minutes, ride 30 seconds, hike 10 minutes, ride 45 seconds! You get the idea - do that for about 2 hours. Can you say Bull S---! After about 3 hours we both decided we'd had enough so we headed to Jamba Juice for a nice cold smoothie. My planned 6+ hour day was thankfully & mercifully cut short, and I was still alive.

Adam pushing up the hill...

Adam relaxing on the downhill ride/hike!

I don't know, it must be the dog days of summer that have drained my energy and challenged my typically positive spirit. It's so hot and dry I don't want to move off the couch! Thank God for the Tour de France. I have Leadville in 4 weeks, but the way I feel now I won't even be able to drive there, let alone ride 100 miles at 12,600 feet!

I'm heading out the door for an early morning spin with Dwight Hibdon & Kevin Nelson for what is scheduled to be an easy road ride. I'll write more later and add some pics.

The easy spin was just that. How refreshing!!! We stayed in the small ring and talked for 3 hours. Now that's fun riding. Kevin sucker punched me on the hill sprint behind the Capitol, otherwise we were very docile and honorable all morning.

Kevin pulled and all-time 1st today. No, it wasn't some spectacular riding feat, it was, well, it was Kevin! He punctures his front tire and puts in a new tube. Unbeknownst to him, it has a faulty valve and all the CO2 rushed out. He then puts in a second tube that has too short a stem that barely sticks through the rim, so he can't inflate the tube. Then he then puts in a 3rd tube and snaps the stem in half! Seriously, he snaps the metal stem completely in half. Now we are out of tubes and only 20 minutes into the ride and Kevin's tire is still flat. Fortunately, Dwight had a temporary quick patch he put on the original tube and that held for the next 2.5 uneventful hours.

All in all it was a great Sunday ride with two good friends. Thanks guys and GIRJ...

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Wildfires & Smoke

Check out the water splash! It took Kevin about 20 times just to get 1 shot, but it was a good one. Don't quit your day job Kev.

This pic was taken at the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon looking towards downtown Salt Lake City. Really! The city is there somewhere...

This is looking down canyon from Snowbird towards the valley.

The smoke from the fires in Milford and Idaho finally have the valley looking like it does during a January inversion. It's been windy and hot with little relief in sight. Unfortunately, the wind has not cleared things out. Some rain would be nice.

I may have to pass on Saturday's race if this keeps up.