Saturday, September 29, 2007

Bonus Ride

Last night the weather man said we would wake up to 2-4" of snow on the ground. I figured a ride on Saturday was out of the question.

About 7:30am the kids wake me up. I lay in bed and don't hear any rain/snow. Just a lot of wind. I start to think maybe a ride is possible before the snow hits. I get up, make breakfast for the kids (which was basically a donut run down to the local Suncrest market). As I come out of the market, I can see a lot of dark clouds rolling in from the north. It's really cold, really windy, and really dark.

At about 8:00am, I still don't see any rain. I check on Rachelle to see if she is up yet. She is. I tell her "what if I tried to get a quick ride in....just drop down Clarks and back up?" She's all for it and decides to take the kids to the gym. Perfect, I now have 2 hours to get as much riding in as I can before the rain hits. It takes me 15 seconds to throw my gear on, top off the tires, and grab a water bottle and roll out.

This is the first ride of the season that requires leg warmers, a long sleeve jersey and a vest.

I drop Clarks and regret not having my camera. The trail is covered in bright yellow leaves and is in perfect shape. The temp is cold but I know a climb will warm me up. Towards the bottom of Clarks, I see two other riders on their way up....These are my carrots.

I continue down to the bridge, turn around and start the climb. About half way up, I catch the first carrot. One more left. At the top of Clarks, I don't see the other rider. I decide to head up towards Jacob's since the rain hasn't hit yet. On the first grunt, I see the other rider. It takes me another 10 min before I catch him but eventually I catch and pass.

Jacob's (the downhill) is in the best shape of the season. It always puts a huge smile on my face.

As I climb back home, the storm is pretty much here. I get sprinkled on just as I hit the pavement.

What started out as a no ride day, turned into a bonus ride.

Friday, September 28, 2007

My backyard

I started thinking about how lucky I am to live and work where I do. Check this out...

Home Court-
Hard to believe this trail is within 30 seconds of my garage door. Instead of naming it "Clark's" they should have named it "Sweet Sweetness"...It's that good.

About 2 years ago, the good folks who manage the Draper trails decided to do it right and put in miles and miles of cool single track. This is just one of many new trails. It seems like every time I get out, Isee new single track being cut. I have no problem paying my taxes when I see it put to good use (like adding more mtb trails).

I can now ride from my Mother-in-Law's house, to my house, to my Bro-in-Law's house, to my other Bro-in-Law's house to my twin brothers house almost exclusivley on single track dirt.

I work in Orem at the base of Provo Canyon. In the late Spring, Summer, and early fall, I can ride Suncrest to the Alpine Loop into work on my road bike. The commute takes just over 2 hours.

Yesterday, while at work, I decided I needed to blow off some end of QTR steam and jumped on my mountain bike at 3:30, rode 2 minutes to the BST trail head and rode some nice single track dirt for about 1.5 hours. There is a network of trails that is really good. One especially- Frank (or is it Franks?). Named after Frank's bike shop in Provo. This trail was created by Dug and his friends back when they worked at Novell. Starts in Orem, climbs up above the Provo race course, and cuts over the mountain into to Dry Canyon. It's a nice loop that has some steep sections and fast downhill. I rolled back into the parking lot about 5:15pm, thew on my work clothes and made a "walk through" into the office. Nobody even knew I was gone. I just spent the last 2 hours on my bike and finished the day getting caught up on some emails and then off to my son's soccer game.

There is no better place to live work in the World.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


I did my 3rd Lotoja this year. Got lucky with a 7:10am start time. The weather was perfect and the race went mechanicals. Rachelle was crewing for me and did a great job loading me up with soup, turkey, PB&J sandwiches, and diet coke. We both wore the Fat Cyclist "Pink Jersey". I took a little heat for wearing pink but no big deal. Finishing time was 10:34 which laneded me in 2nd place for my start group and on the podium. Sam, Joe, and Justin took 3rd, 4th and 5th place. DNA did well for our start group. The DNA relay team took 2nd overall. 206 miles is a long time to be on the bike. Glad this one is over. I think I'll take a break from Lotoja for a few years. Focus more on mountain biking next year.

I get the buckle...

I got my first Leadville 100 buckle for finishing under 12 hours. My final time was 9:30. 30 min shy of the sub 9 goal. That is by far the hardest mtb race i've done to date. It's good to have the first one down. Now I know what to expect next year (assuming I get in). The climbs were brutal. Long, steep and at elevation. We topped out at 12,600ft and I could feel myself getting light headed.

Rachelle did a great job keeping me going at the feed zones. I couldn't stomach much real food but a little bit of soup and some fresh water kept me going. It will be a while before I eat another shot blok. It was fun to have her there and be a part of the race.

It was cool to see Floyd Landis and Chris Carmichael there. Landis is the real deal. I wondered how a pro road cyclist would match up with some of the pro mtb racers and local hard core riders but he pulled off an impressive 2nd place win and beat the previous course record.

I remember during the race telling my wife "please don't let me sign up for this again next year". It's amazing what a good night sleep and some real food will do. As I checked out of my hotel the next morning, I ended up reserving a room for next year....