Tuesday, June 30, 2009

All you can eat single track buffet

Holy s#%t, I have never ridden so many good trails! Its unreal. If its not hand-built flowy its perfectly designed tech. And we have 4 more days to go...

Pretty much your ultimate mtb trip- get up, eat, ride on a guided course of the best local trails all day, come in and re-load for the next day. I imagine I'll be ready for the end in a couple more days but for now I am stoked!

Our luck looked to be turning yesterday but we ended up getting lost and losing about 10 minutes. We rode hard through traffic and looked to be salvaging when Bart's chain broke- a first in something like 15 or 20 years for him I guess. A quick fix and we still finished OK.

Today we had another decent ride and have been able to ride smooth and fast in the single track. Killer dinner tonight at a little Lebanese place. Home made buffalo meatball kebabs, hummus, pita, baba ganoosh and potatoes. Chocolate cake for desert.

Forgot the camera so I can't load the pics of the sunset I got from out beachfront campsite in Parksville last night.

4:30 am wake up call tomorrow for 2 ferries and 2 bus rides and an 11 am start. Lovely.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Day 1

Not sure if I'll be able to post after each stage but I'd like to.

Day 1 completed today- nothing to write home about for team A&B G but we salvaged an ok placing. Hopefully we'll be moving up a little in the next 6 days. Not exactly sure where we ended up but I think we lost a little under 10 minutes to the leaders. It just wasn't our day but we've got plenty of time.

Of note:

-Ripping trails that must have taken a ton of work to complete. Drops, techy stuff, bridges, you name it we rode it. Ripping tech downhills. You know its going to be gnarly when they end the riders meeting by saying "Pucker up, and get ready!"

-Great race weather- sunny, cool, slight breeze. In the woods you wouldn't even know the sun is out, crazy.

-The whole crew is here (minus JB and Tinker)and its a great scene around the compound.

- I crashed hard on the last dh and was worried that I had broken my elbow but I think its just badly bruised and has been improving.

- Tenting it tonight through Friday and it looks like we are heading in to some beautiful country. Camping right on the water, scenic ferry transfers in the morning, oh, and lots of singletrack too.

OK, gotta head back and make dinner on time. Not sure what the internet situation will be on the island but I'll try to post if possible...

Friday, June 26, 2009

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Oh Canada

Big push behind the wheel and we are in North Vancouver a day early. Yesterday we rolled out of SLC a little late but made it to Jamin's dad's place in eastern Washington by midnight local time and he had a dinner of grilled salmon, salad, beer. etc. all ready for us. We politely stuffed it down on top of our Q'doba burritos and passed out. Today we picked Bart up in Seattle and hightailed it for BC. We got held up at the boarder a bit and just walked over to a cool Vietnamese restaurant. Here are some random pics. Time for a shower and bed...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Where to begin?

Lots of craziness lately...

On top of it being busy season for work, we got new bikes. Big thanks to Matt and Cannondale! This thing is a looker

(new bike is a large- fits me tons better than my old one!)

and professional fits by Tom Coleman from Wobble-Naught. Without giving away his secrets, he measured every bone in my body (well just the important ones for cycling), confirmed that I am indeed long legged, raised my saddle 3/4 inch, moved it back, moved my cleats, and helped me with my pedal stroke. He had taken video of us riding and showed me signs that my seat was too low and helped identify . Very cool, I think its going to make a huge difference in the long run, and I can already tell a difference.

Saturday was Mona Vie convention- chaos of Fri trying to get ready then highlights on Sat. included almost getting torched by some pyro on stage, throwing footballs to the crowd and seeing me on the Emv althete video chugging a can and then thrusting it at the camera like a soda commercial!

BBQ @ Bart's followed a long day at the Salt Palace. Sunday was a team photo shoot and a short ride on Shoreline to break in the new bike, and somehow yesterday I found time to show Jeremiah, Bryan and Ben Crest trail. Rob and Mitch came too.

Still some snow to hike through here and there but it was awesome to rip Big Water with no people.

Oh, and Friday I rode Millcreek on the road bike in the early am and decided to time it. I started a new TT site because I like that climb and all the other TT's around are too far from my house. I like it because its long and you have to be careful to gauge your effort so you don't blow up too early. I also find its good for me to do a long effort like that because it makes you recover while on the gas which is what you need to do in a race. Its not like there is a time out in a race for resting after hard efforts.

I worked through some bum legs early and came around up above Elbow Fork and was able to stay seated and spin my 39x25 up all the steep climbs. I am sure my time will easily fall to anyone who rides a road bike with consistency and hopefully myself next time.

Off to BC tomorrow! Can't wait, I'll hopefully have some semi-consistent updates...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

City Creek Trail Ruined

I am all for trail work and maintenance, but not when it means the wooseifying of our mountain bike trails...

Go ride City Creek trail- all the fun semi-techy rocky stuff from the I Street jumps down is a smooth freeway now. That was the best part of the trail! You could ride a recumbant down the thing with no problem.

RIP the left line of the Spine on Crest, Millcreek Pipeline and now City Creek. There are others I am sure but these stick out.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Tour de Colorado

Phew, back at home after a week in Colorado. Here's a recap.

Steamboat- less than 24 hours there, good food and a bike ride with Han. Also got to meet her new puppy Humphrey.

Sales Meeting- ahhh sales meeting. 11 hours of straight meetings on Monday, in to awards night at a Mexican place with free (and much needed) Margaritas.

Tuesday our evening BBQ got canceled due to rain so they rented out the Velodrome for us. It is the steepest track in the country and one of the shortest. We had rental track bikes and a little instruction. At first it looked too steep and I didn't want to do it but it actually wasn't bad and ended up being a blast. I rode a little with a group and then thought that was it so I had dinner- a brat with mustard and onions, some ribs, potato salad and a brown ale. Right upon finishing they announced we were going to have pursuit races... (burp... whaaa?) I held my own and kept the food down (barely) to take the $20 dollar preem. Nothing like sprinting after a nice heavy meal.

-The meeting got out Wed. afternoon and I stayed with Alders and Katie (thanks guys) in Boulder for a couple nights- I have never spent much time there but its really nice. Really bike friendly- you can ride all over town on bike path or in bike lanes. If it just had a little better access to mtb trails and snow sports it would be ideal. We hit the weekly drunken cruiser ride (500 people strong) and a local hippie brew pub.

- We raced the Sand Creek National in Co. Springs. The short track went OK- I moved up the whole time and ended up 14th. Alders crushed for 9th. It didn't hurt as much as usual which was surprising since I have been preparing more for the longer stuff and haven't done one in a year. It was a good opener and cleaned out some of the lingering chest cold that I have had since the Mohican.

XC: Hmmm, well that was a pretty frustrating race. I didn't have huge expectations coming out of a sales meeting and having a cold the week before. Sleep was lacking at the meeting but I felt pretty good in the short track so I thought I might be able to ride well in the XC. I got a decent 3rd row call up and things were looking up.

Then we did the strangest start procedure I have ever seen- "nuetral" roll out, 100 guys through a gate that was too narrow and blocked things up (already lost my spot) then down a road a ways in to a 180 degree turn to start going the opposite was up the road- with no divider or anything! Guys at the middle got screwed, some at the back scored good spots and when they stopped us (huh?) my 3rd row spot had gone to 6th row facing sideways in a sea of overlapped wheels. Then they gave us the "official" start. Bizzaro as my dad would say.

I was climbing well on the first lap and sprinted around people every chance I got. The dh allowed for about zero passing and we got blocked up in a huge train and lost a lot of time. I drilled it up the climb on the 2nd lap and made it in to 19th but paid for the effort later on and slipped back to 22. In retrospect I just didn't drink enough- every spot that allowed for drinking was also a passing zone...

All in all it was pretty frustrating but 10 mins off the win isn't bad, especially when you lose at least two minutes on the 1st lap in traffic...

Wow, long post with no pics and now I am out of time! Weeeeeeak, sorry.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Sales Meeting

Yeehaa! Nothing more exciting than a sales meeting.

The schedule is packed for this one- meetings go from 7:45 to 5:45 the next few days with dinner at 6:00. No time for lunch rides either. That doesn't leave much time for riding... its going to have to be early if its going to happen. I'm hoping to commute over from where I am staying in Boulder but need to work out logistics of getting back at night.

Today was the opening ceremonies if you will. Appetizers, speeches, and they hired a dance team to do a hip hop fashion show. Then we ate dinner outside in the cold wind. I guess there was a tornado warning here earlier today. It snowed on my way over from Steamboat. This morning Hannah and I beat the rain (barely) and got in a quick mtb ride.

And now product, product and more product...

Monday, June 1, 2009

Mohican Digested

Well, not really- I still haven't stopped eating since the race...

It had been four years since I last tried a 100 mile mountain bike race and I was a little nervous about how it would turn out. The other ones I have done (Brian Head Epic and E-100) left me so sick to my stomach at the end that I could barely ride and couldn't eat or drink. I think I laid on the ground for at least two hours after the E-100 feeling so sick. I remember thinking "this sucks" and deciding to focus on shorter events. How soon we forget- I guess it took a few years but I was back on the line for my 4th 100 on Saturday in Loudonville, Ohio.

Random musings...

- Overall it was an awesome trip/experience. The race course was brutally hard but really cool and we rode some amazing single track through some beautiful country. Parts went through rural Amish country and we saw a horse & buggy.

- I can't believe how hard we rode for 7 hours. I didn't think that was possible!

- Great company in a little a-frame cabin with Bryan, Tinker, Jeremiah, Bart and Matt.

- Alders and I made Velonews! Claim to fame right here!!

- Jeremiah won and we put 4 riders in the top 10!

- Bart, Bryan and I were with a group of 8 chasing the 6 leaders about 1 minute behind after 25 miles when we followed a veteran Mohican racer off course and lost 10 minutes. That was unbelievably frustrating for a while. I was feeling good and we were in a really good position. Two lessons here:
1) Even if you are following someone who you think knows where they are going you still need to look for course markings
2) It would have been worth the extra little effort in the first 10 minutes to join the lead group. The pace wasn't too high or anything, we just chose to be conservative, maybe a little too much so.

- We worked really hard on the road to get back and when Bart, Harlan Price and I caught back up to Chris Eatough I was stoked. When I bonked 5 miles later on a 10 mile flat canal path and lost contact with our group I was not stoked.

- Due to my past stomach problems I had decided to try to do the race with sports drink, gels and Gu Chomps rather than bowls of pasta, sandwiches, etc like I had done before. This seemed like a general consensus as the right strategy. This might work for some but I bonked hard at mile 60. I was seeing little Elvis on the side of the trail.. I ate some Little Debbie's Swiss Rolls and animal crackers at Aid station 4 and those lit me on fire! Oh well, now I know I need some solid food out there.

- I was pleased with my race overall. Two setbacks in 100 miles ain't too bad. I guess it wouldn't be a 100 miler if you didn't take a wrong turn and bonk at least once. I felt good after and was eating right away and walking around.

- I woke up with a bit of a sore throat on Friday and it was still with me on Sat. Nothing like destroying yourself while fighting a cold... I guess its that kind of stuff that makes us stronger overall. Yesterday I felt like ass but today I feel a little better. I for sure have a little cold though.

- I'm stoked to do another 100. That was fun!