Thursday, January 31, 2008

io, Altitude Simulation Training

I’m pleased to introduce my new sponsor, io, “Live better from the inside out.” io is a New Zealand based company which manufactures an altitude simulation device that does not require living or sleeping in a tent, like previous altitude technologies. Instead, this technology requires just 1 hour a day, and no tent. All I have to do is slip on a mask, sit in a chair and let the machine take me up to 18,000 feet and back down to sea level. The adaptive protocol is a little more specific than that, but you get the idea. I’ll be going higher than I’ve ever been before without leaving good ole SLC!

Here’s a clip from their website: “io altitude simulation is the replicated breathing of high altitude air. The result – boosted energy levels and sporting performance, finding relief from various health conditions or simply enhancing well being.”

This technology will hopefully make getting to the 12,600 feet turn around at Leadville more pleasant and get me back to the finish in the top 10, assuming I make it through the lottery.

My plan is to start the initial 3 week program on February 4th so I’ll be posting my progress, protocols and feelings here over the next 3 weeks. After that, it will be boost sessions every 6-8 weeks for the rest of the year.

In the meantime, check out the io link under Sponsors and the Altitude Training link in the Good Links area to get a more in depth look at what this is all about.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Moab Weekend

I spent the last weekend in Moab with 5 of my Mad Dog teammates riding the snow, ice, sand and slickrock, and it was great. The temp ranged from 35-50F on Saturday and 33-39F on Sunday, which wasn't that bad. Of course, any day in Moab is a day worth living, no matter what the conditions. And as an added benefit, there was so much moisture in the sand that it was firm and very ridable and the few patches of snow were no big deal, and sweat was never an issue.

This was my first real chance to check out the Rig SS, and I was not disappointed. As a matter of fact, I was blown away by how much fun it was, and how it worked the crap out of my legs. I rode about 4:15 (tss 327) Saturday on both the Soverign and Amassa Back trails with a 32x20 setup and when it was all over, I was toast - burnt toast! Early in the day, when I was fresh, I was seeing a heart rate in the 160's and up to 175, but later in the day, 20 minutes into the Amassa Back, I was pushing my guts out and could only hit 159, briefly! The SS drained my mojo and left a shell of a man in it's wake. Lucky for me, Chris Holley rode the SS on Sunday and let me ride his 1x9 29er. Thanks Chris, that saved my trip and life.

I learned a few things this weekend.

One, I love my SS.

Two, I'm switching to a 29er for my race bike. I did two front wheel stands that would have flipped me over on my Element, but rolled out of them on the Rig. I was able to go up and down drops on Posion Spider that I walked last year. And, I was impressed with how it smooths out the trail, and I was on a hardtail with 35 psi in the tires. A dual 29er, tubeless would be the bomb for an endurance bike! I also decided SRAM XO grip shifters are a must have. They don't ghost shift and half shifting is not an option. Way cool - bye-bye XTR.

And three, riding with Chris & KC, Carson, Scott and Karl is more fun than should be legally permissible. Thanks for another great weekend in the desert.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Winter Wonderland?

Will it ever end? While Chris and KC were enjoying a pleasant, sunny, warm ride at Brad Keyes' Gooseberry Mesa resort this past weekend, the rest of us were home battling the snow and ice. When I'm complaining about the July heat remind me to look back at these pictures.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Camp Lynda Recap

This was at the 25 mile mark on day one looking south back toward St. George. I bagged it here and turned around cuz the last 3-4 mile/1,000 foot climb would have put me in the grave. The trail up to this point was a perfect combination of hard packed and soft sand, sandstone, sharp ledges, fire roads, cow pies and rocks.

Since I was dumb and took a few pictures, I was always playing catch up. That's not real smart when you're the slowest one on the trail. This is what Barrell Roll looks like from the back of the pack. Ya gotta ride this one when ya hit the George. What a treat.

Lynda said "it's a wee bit of a climb, it is. You may want to take off you coat and hat!" Scott's sure tend to understate things - just a wee bit mama. This is the start of Blakes Loop that climbed about 2,500 feet in 10 miles. I was last-ass-over-the pass, how surprising, and glad to survive. The climb was all fire road with just a couple of steep sections. When I arrived at the top by the high tension, humming power lines it was super windy and cold, and I was glad the climbing was done. This was real hard for a January ride, but I'm thrilled I did it.

Where's Waldo? Can you find the red bike in this photo?

The dislocated, severely cut finger is under the Kleenex. That sucker was bleeding bad. Ouch!

Watch out - Dead man riding! The glow above my helment is from the spaceship that followed me up the Blakes Loop climb. Really, I saw it!
I came down from the mountain top with Brad Newbie and Bob Saffel. Brad's a St. George boy who knew the route down. If it weren't for him, I'd still be up there. No wait, the spaceship would have helped me down. Really, I saw it!

Final numbers for day 1 and 2:
Miles - 101.9
Climbing - 9,760 feet
Time - 10:26
tss - 706
Calories - 8,006

Thanks again Lynda and Dave for making this a remarkable and memorable weekend. Count me in for next year.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Camp Lynda, Day 2

ANATOMY OF AN EPIC - wheel stopping mud, 30+ mph wind, wind chill below freezing, 5,500+ feet of climbing, 51+ miles, 5.5+ hours, 10 mile continuous unrelenting climb, super fast descent, technical and swooping single track, indescribable views, fun people with incredible skills and no Roadie attitudes. Camp Lynda, Day 2. More to follow when I recover...

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Camp Lynda, Day 1

I survived the 1st day of binge training, Lynda Wallenfels style. What a great ride. The ride was modified a little due to mud and snow at high elevation so we did an out-and-back. Total ride time was 4 hours 50 minutes, 3535 feet of climbing and 50 miles. The single track was narrow, well packed in most areas, deep sand in others and sometimes it was lined with cactus and lava rock. I made it through without any flats but one guy got 8, that's right 8 flats! We had two bad accidents with one guy dislocating a finger and cutting it down to the bone and another guy went over the bars and ran the end of the bars into his ribs - ouch. We have the usual minor falls and scrapes, but everyone survived. The weather was a little on the cool side most of the day and started out at 39 when we departed at 0915 and the high got up to 60. We finished off the day at Bajio for a Mexican feast and the usual bragging session. What a great was to end a great day.

Thanks for a eventful 1st day Lynda. You're a great hostess and have started a cool event that will only get bigger. We started with 22 hardcores and will probably have 21 toe the line tomorrow. So far I'm feeling good-to-go and ready for another challenge. I hope I feel that way when I get up. If I can survive day 2, that will be a big deal for me. Here's a few pictures from todays event.

The peleton on Bluff Street.

The first climb up the power line trail.

Which way do we go!!!

The Legend himself, Dave Harris.

Chris Holley and Bart Gillspie checking out the ledge.

Adam topping off his Camelback at the 20 mile mark.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Camp Lynda

It's off to St. George and the First Annual Camp Lynda binge training weekend. Time to leave the cold and snow behind and head for the sunny south and 50 degree temps. Just what the doctor ordered.