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.

Monday, July 9, 2007

"The Talent" is born...

Read my profile for details.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

It was a good weekend

This is "Team Brad" after finishing LoToJa in 2006. That's my sister Robin and her husband Bruno.

Saturday was the Logan Joy Ride which was run on a hot, dry, dusty 5 mile circuit through the trees and meadows of Sherwood Hills. My group had a good turnout and I rode to a surprisingly strong third place finish behind Roger Gillespie and Mark Enders. My Grand Masters teammates Dwight Hibdon and Bill Dark finished 4th and 5th so MadDog Cycles was well represented. Next week is the Snowbird Mountain Bout which is no more than a lung and leg busting 20 minute climb starting at 8,000 feet followed by a hair raising 5 minute downhill that has some of the scariest double track on the ICUP circuit. Because of that, the turnout is usually low. I've won my group the last 4 years but may pass this year to get more miles in for the Leadville 100 in August. Of course, I may change my mind at the last minute. After all, that race is a great high intensity 3x20 interval workout.

Today I rode with Dwight from Hogle Zoo to Henefer. We worked the climbs pretty well and kept a steady pace for the 70 mile, 4+ hour ride. Dwight helped me with my high speed descending since I turn into a woosey when the speed-o-meter hits 40 mph. I hit 44 which brought a big smile, after I stopped! We got a 0700 start and beat the wind and heat. I'm glad for that because I was still tired when I got home and spent the afternoon watching Stage 1 of the Tour de France where Robbie McEwen came out of nowhere to win the sprint and the Wimbeldon Gentleman's Final where Roger Federer beat Rafael Nadal in 5 set nail biter to win his 5th straight Wimbeldon title. Both were incredibly exciting and a great way to recover from a hard ride.

Friday, July 6, 2007

It's Hot!

It's 8:00 am, 80 degrees and headed back up to 100 today! The weather man said we have not had rain in 27 days and the yards are showing the stress from being thirsty. Yesterdays ride, even after 7 PM, was hot and draining. I like the heat though and will look back at this post in January and dream about sweat glistening on my legs as I slip into my windproof tights and warm jacket!

This has been a good week of training, even in the heat. Saturday will be my last ICUP race for the 2007 season since I need to get more weekend miles in. Ed Chauner does a great job putting together one of the best, if not the best, mountain bike race series in the country. If you like to ride fast challenging trails, treat yourself and do one of these races.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

BC Bike Race

The starting point. Look at that water you desert rats.
Trees!!! Yah babeee...
And mud.

Bionic Dave and Momma Lynda, the hottest team on the planet. After stage one they were ripping it. After stage 4 they are still on top and putting serious hurt on the competition. I've ridden with these guys and they are seriously fast and strong. Uphill, downhill, broken collarbones, it doesn't matter, they'll rip your legs off! Way to go guys.

OK, now my juices are flowing. Is there anyone out there that wants to do the BC Bike Race, or the Trans Rockies with an over 50 guy? 80+, 100+, male duo, co-ed duo I'm good to go. I promise I'll train hard and we'll make a serious run. eMail me and let's get it going for 2008.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Back in the Saddle

I can't believe I made the whole week without riding, but I did. I got back at it on Sunday and put in a solid 2+ hours on the road and felt great. It's probably residual fitness from the 12 hour training, but, I'll take it. I'm going to follow the same plan I did last year when I was training for the E-100 100 mile solo as I prepare for the Leadville 100 on August 11th. I understand the 11,000 to 12,600 foot portion of the race is the real crux, so, I'd better get some altitude riding in. I need some high HR stuff so I'll hit a few XC races to satisfy that need. I hope my good Karma follows me to Colorado...


What was she complaining about? I was expecting more gore based on what I saw Friday. You Docs do some pretty nice work... BTW, she's not feeling too chipper today.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

One Tough Cookie

Friday evening my daughter attempted to demonstrate to the electric hedge trimmer how well conditioned and tough she is. Well, the trimmer won and we made an unexpected trip to the Insta Care Center for about a dozen stitches to two fingers! I say she is tough because she shed only 1 small tear from the time she laid the fingers open until the shot directly into the muscle. That's the one got her. Ouch!!! This was a life changing event for all of us because I was able to watch the stitching without getting light headed or the dreaded butt twitch! That is huge for me... Here's a podium shot of the victor. Notice the DANGER warning on the blade? Neither did we, until now. MOre pics in a few days when the bandages get changed. Lesson learned (besides the obvious one): wear gloves.