Friday, November 30, 2007

Breaking the Rules

The rules clearly state that the host of the ride should be at the front, or near the front, or at least not at the back. That rule was not followed on today's ride.

Yesterday, I threw out the idea of a lunch ride down here in Orem. That made me the host of the ride. It was great to see Brad, Tony, Adam and Kenny (yes Kenny, the one with the recent hip surgery) all come down and meet for a Frank to Dry loop. Dug is too important now for rides and wasn't able to make it. Or maybe he knew better. Kenny, Brad, Adam, and Tony are all "fast guys".

The stuff up north has snow on it. Pretty much the nearest option for a ride is Utah County. Which is probably why Tony, Brad and Adam all deciced to make the 30 min drive down.

The ride started out with just the 4 of us and just as we got to the gate where the pavement turns to dirt, Kenny rolled up in his F"n"J and caught us.

This is Kenny's backyard, so he lead the pack. The pace was fast. Kenny, Tony, and Brad were all on SS which didn't help the pace any. I quickly moved to the back of the group and tried to settle in but was hurting. I'd like to blame it on the fact that I have a cold but the fact is, I ride with a cold all the time. I just didn't have it today.

Just as I was about the blow up, Brad got a flat.....Nice.

After a quick change, we were rolling again. The trails were dry and the temps were cool but not cold. It was fun to ride with people again. I've been used to riding solo the past couple of weeks.

Adam and Kenny
We rolled into the parking lot just as the rain/snow started to fall. We timed this ride to perfection. Good times. I can't end the season feeling like the slow guy of the group. I demand a re-match.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Open Invitation

The forecast for tomorrow calls for 45 and partly sunny with a potential storm on tap for Saturday. This means no riding this weekend.

The trails down here in Orem are dry and in great shape. I think it's time that the core group tried the Frank to Dry loop. So here's the plan...

Tomorrow- Fri 11/30

Where: Omniture Parking Lot

When: 11:45am depature

What: Frank to Dry

Who: Anyone

Ride time is about 1:20. It starts out with a wicked jeep road climb and then connects to a nice steep single track climb and then some fast tight single track back down to the parking lot.

Who's with me?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


I wouldn't call myself a "weight weenie" but I would say that I am aware of my weight. I think this is probably true for any cyclist. My awareness consists of a few simple things. For example:
1) I weigh myself every morning under the same conditions
2) When I go out to eat, I quickly scan the restaurant to get an idea of how many overweight people eat there and make a note of it. (I get bummed out if the ratio is out of wack and try not to go back to that place).

And that is about it.

I know people who "cleanse" their bodies every now and then to try and drop lbs. Basically, it means they fast for a week and only drink some magic juice and maybe eat a waffer once a day. I could never do this. I like my food too much.

But yesterday, I had a great idea. I decided I would try my own cleanse. Which, for me, meant I would skip lunch and go on a 1 hour 20 minute mtb ride. and then not eat again until dinner.

Seemed like a good idea.

The ride part was great. I quickly settled into a nice pace with my ipod and did the Frank to Dry loop down here in Orem. Temps were in the mid 40's and the sun was out. Conditions were perfect. I got back to the parking lot at work, changed back into my work clothes (which by the way, took about 15 min because some family decided to have a picnic about 5 feet from my front bumper. Seriosuly, I had 2 kids staring right at me the entire time I was trying to change. I spent about 5 min sitting there in my front seat with just my cycling shorts and a t-shirt on waiting for my window of opportunity to do the pant exchange) and then waltzed back into the office.

About 30 minutes later, I was STARVING. I couldn't stand it. I ended up buying a pack of Pop-Tarts from the vending machine and eating those. Still, not too bad. A small snack instead of lunch. I was still on plan.

At about 5:15, I called Rachelle to let her know I was coming home hungry and wanted to know if she was cooking dinner. She promised a massive plate of pasta and chicken. I coudn't wait.....literally. I made another stop by the vending machine and grabbed a bag of chips for the 25 min commute home.

When I got home, I scarfed down the plate of food and immediately went searching for something sweet to eat. 4 cookies later and a handful of Rolo's, I was still in grazing mode.

I must have eaten about 15 Rolo's, massive amounts of Wheat Thins, and 3 rolls left over from Thanksgiving.

My point is this- It doesn't pay to starve yourself. It had a reverse affect for me. I'm pretty sure I ate 3x my normal qty's last night all because I decided to skip lunch and ride instead.

So today, I made sure to eat a bean burrito and 2 tacos for lunch.

Monday, November 26, 2007

A Matter of Time...

It's funny. I spend an average of 3 days per week (sometimes more) outside in the mountains. That comes out to about 156 days per year or 42% of the year- outside in the mountains. Most of it in the eary mornings or evenings. In the Spring, Summer, and Fall, I am on my mountain bike or road bike. In the Winter, I am in the backcountry skiing.
I see a lot of deer, the occasional moose, some foxes and coyote but I have NEVER seen a mountain lion. I've seen a lot of fresh cougar tracks but never the actual cougar.

My daughter Tatum just got back from a trip to Arizona with Rachelle. She brought me back a postcard of a mountain lion. On the back of the card it says thinks like "Mountain Lions are one of the only types of cats that are active during the day" or "Mountain Lions can be found where there are a lot of deer"... These are comforting thoughts for someone who tends to ride mostly solo during all hours of the day and usually where there are a lot of deer.

It has to be only a matter of time before I have my encounter. I wonder...will I be by myself? Will it be on a night ride? Will it be while I am stopped, eating the left over pot roast I have packed in my jersey pocket?

I know it will happen some day. And to tell you the truth, in the back of my mind, I am kind of excited for it. A cougar is the one animal I would really like to see in the wild. Just not when I am alone.

Friday, November 23, 2007

My "Climb" Playlist

I'm always looking for some new songs to add to my "Climb" playlist. It's funny how a song can sound different when played through an ipod during a nasty climb. The pain cave can make just about any song sound good. For example, if you look at my current playlist, the first 10 songs are from totally random and different artists. They are all great songs to climb to and have one thing in common. They help me get to the top faster. (In case you are wondering, my Paula Abdul collection is for races)

Til I Collapse -Eminem
Slow Ride - Beastie Boys
Waiting Room - Fugazi
The Card Cheat- The Clash
OPP- Naughty by Nature
The Zephyr Song- Red Hot Chil Peppers
Read my Mind- The Killers
Mr. Brownstone- Guns N Roses
99 Red Ballons- Goldfinger (a great cover)
Toxicity- System of a Down

Go ahead and download these songs to your playlist. Let me know if your time improves.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Pre-Thanksgiving Ride

Normally during the week of Thanksgiving, I'm trying to decide what route to ski. I can't believe how dry it is this year. Today is Nov 21 and it's cold but the trails are still in great shape.

I snuck out of work for a lunch ride and tried to burn a few calories before the big feast tomorrow . Check out the trails:

I saw a few light snow flurries in the air but the sun was out and on the climb, I was working up a pretty good sweat.

From my office, there is a good 15 min of straight up jeep road climbing before I hit the single track. I found myself looking at my top tube most of the jeep road section. It has some great words of motivation plastered on it:

I couldn't ask for a better location for my office. We are right smack at the base of the trails in Provo Canyon. I can be on dirt in a few minutes from my office and from my house, I can access an ever growing network of killer single track. How cool is that?

Saturday, November 17, 2007


I've been traveling the past 2 weeks and have not been able to ride much at all. (By the way, it really sucks to be in the airport and see an email thread from the group arranging times and routes for a ride). And with travel comes poor eating patterns. Now that I am finally home, Rachelle is out of town for 4 days so I have been sitting around the house with the kids. Not exactly a great schedule for riding. I'm pretty sure I've been eating every 10 minutes for the past 10 days. Which means I'm up 10 lbs from my prime riding weight. In fact, as I write this, I have managed to polish off a half sleeve of cookies.

Before Rachelle left on her trip, she had arranged for a babysitter to come over on Sat for a couple of hours so I could get a ride in (Rachelle rules). The problem is, Sage has been sick and has been super grumpy. Almost as grumpy as me. You see, if 3 days go by and I have not gotten a ride in, I am not a very fun person to be around. I've been looking forward to Sat morning all week. Finally a chance to get back on my home turf for some mountain biking.

I knew that if the weather continued to stay mild and dry that I would eventually have to take a crack at the time trial up Clarks and this Sat seemed like my last shot at doing this before the snow comes. I also knew that based on the past 2 weeks, I was not going to be in good form to try for a PR.

After 5 hours of sleep (most of it interupted with Sage crying and wanting to be held), the morning came. Maddie was coming over at 8:15 am and I was going to have 2 hours to ride.

Sage had different plans. She woke up as the devil and there was no way I was going to let Maddie be the outlet of her rath. I sent Dug a text to tell him I was not able to ride and to let Maddie know it was off.

I tried to blow off the fact that my ride had just been sabatoged. Instead, I spent most of the day playing with Seth and holding Sage. At about 2pm, I could tell Sage was wasted. I managed to get her and Seth to take a nap and sent Dug another text saying that if Maddie was still up for babysitting that I was willing to pay her a good rate for being such a short notice.

By 3:15, I was riding. I dropped down Clarks and without any warm up, turned around and started the climb. As I rolled off the bridge I hit start on my watch and went for it. My lungs felt like they were full of battery acid. I was hurting and was only 2 minutes into the climb. I knew it was going to be a painful effort. I passed 4 other riders and 2 stray dogs and rolled through the 2nd sign at 11:28. Not a great time but based on the circumstances, I couldn't be mad. Afterall, I was finally out on the bike again.

I'm hoping I have one more chance to improve my time before the trail closes this winter. Based on the forecast, I don't think it's going to happen.

By the way, Brad K. posted a 10:30 up Clarks on Saturday. Do you realize how fast that is? Do you?

Monday, November 12, 2007

Time Trial - Clarks

I've been hearing a lot of talk out there about who can post the fastest time up Clarks. The 11:28 time was replaced by 11:16, then 11:15 and now I am hearing that Jamie and Brad P have broken the 11 minute mark and are posting times like 10:50ish? Is this true?

I get that pre-race pit in my stomach just thinking about this but I think it's time we had an all out time trial competition up Clarks to see where the core group ranks.

After all, it's the local climb. Most of us ride this 3+ times a week and know every corner and exactly where it kicks up in grade. It's about time we determine who the Alpha male is around these parts.

Here is my prediction for the top 3:
Brad P.
Brad K.
(what is it with the name Brad? I'm seriously considering changing my name to Brad S. It should shave at least 30 seconds off my time).

Maybe we could attract some of the Utah County contenders like Kenny Jones and the Brothers Gibson?

Until then, I'll be busy designing a belt buckle for anyone who can break the 10 min mark.

Post your time as a comment.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

My Locker

I've mentioned this before but I typically leave all my cycling gear in my truck. I like the idea that I can ride at any time if the opportunity presents itself and the timing is right with my work schedule.
The problem is, my truck has started to look and smell like a science experiment. Everything from a soggy helmet (still wet from last night's night ride), damp mountain bikes shoes, to my cycling vest hanging over the passenger seat. But the real source of the odor seems to be from my gloves. I admit my gloves don't make it into the wash as often as they should but who remembers to wash their gloves every week? I have a post ride routine which includes stuffing my gloves, lever, CO2, and glasses back into the side pocket of my bag. This means I only wash my gloves when I remember to which is like 4 times a year at best.

It's weird that I feel comfortable wearing these gloves but if anyone ever needed to borrow a pair, I'd be way too embarrassed to lend them out. They have salt rings and dried snot on the fingers and only fit my hands. If anyone else tried to put these on, they would crack and fall apart. It's the closest analogy i can think of to Cinderalla's glass slipper.

Monday, November 5, 2007

The Lunch Ride

I work for a very intense software company in Utah county. The kind of company that expects you to be in the office early and stay late. Not a great situation for a cyclist who likes to ride 4-5 days a week.

So when we moved our clocks back an hour over the weekend, it messed with my post work ride schedule. The mornings are way too cold for lycra and the late afternoons are too dark. My only options are lunch rides or night rides.

About a year ago, I had a great idea. I decided to pitch to the Marketing and HR teams here at work that it was about time we had a Corp cycling team. When I say team, I mean cycling group (Team just sounds better). So I had Seth help me design a kit with our company logos plastered all over the jersey and bib shorts. I managed to get about 30 people here at work commit to training and riding the MS-150 this year as a company charity event. Anyone who signed up for the MS-150 ride got a free jersey and shorts compliments of the CEO.

To my surprise, we had several Directors, Sr. VP's, the President of World Wide Sales, the CFO, and many high level Engineers sign up. riding during the work week was now acceptable because I could call it training for the MS-150 ride.

Now when I sneak out for that long lunch ride at work, I try and wear the company kit so I am viewed as a good Corp. citizen trying to respresent my company in the community. It's a brillant plan and, so far, has worked out great.

Today was perfect. mid 60's, sunny and dry. The trails down here in Provo are in great shape.
I am so much more effective at work if I'm able to get a ride in. I come back happy, my mind is clear and I don't feel like I have to sneak out of work eary to get a ride in.

Thursday, November 1, 2007


This morning as I was putting on my shoes, heading out the door for work, I realized something. I have no style. It's not that I don't know what's hip or what jeans go with what shirt, it's just that I don't care nor want to spend the money to stay current.

Every now and then Rachelle will pick up a shirt or some jeans for me (if it's on "sale") but I never ask her to and she usually only does it when she notices I am wearing the same thing over and over again.

I've had the same 2 pairs of shoes for the past 2 years. They still have years of life in them (after all, i spend 8 hours a day in a cube at work). I really could use a new more updated pair of shoes but I don't want them. Why? I'll tell you why.

If I had $100 to spend, I'd much rather spend it on cycling gear. In fact, I can tell you 10 things off the top of my head that I could totally justify buying and all 10 of those things could be purchased at my local bike shop.

Elden ( had a great idea a couple of years ago and published a christmas list for a cyclist. I swear, I'm the easiest person to shop for. I'd be happy with a stocking full of 29" tubes and air cartridges (and some new socks).

If I owned a bike shop, i would offer a direct deposit program where cyclists could take a percentage of their monthly income and have a store account. How cool would that be? It would be the ultimate bike slush fund. And if money ever got a little tight, I could cash in for some food. Power bars and a cold glass of cytomax for lunch....Mnnnnm.

1st Annual DNA Halloween Night Ride

After fueling up on Halloween candy all day, we met at the EQ in Draper for a Halloween night ride. Tony was in full Halloween spirit and showed up wearing a tutu and wings. We spent the next 5 minutes arguring who got to ride behind him on the ride.

Tony set the pace up Clarks (i ended up behind him and had to tell him every 5 minutes if his wings were straight). It's not always easy to follow a SS up a climb. Especially when Jamie is behind me buzzing my wheel.

After we got the top, we went down Ghost and stayed right which eventually connects into some new single track (The Draper trail guys rock), and then over to the jeep road.

About half way up the jeep road, someone decided to make a move (not me) and all of a sudden, I found myself with Tony, Jamie, and Justin racing to the top. Even with gears, I couldn't catch Jamie but managed to keep him in sight.

We went back down Ghost but this time we stayed left and ended with a new section of trail that connects to the old race course.

2000 ft of climbing, 11 miles, 1.5 hours and a lot of cool single track.

The Group (from left to right):

Sam- Somewhat new to mountain biking but you wouldn't know it. We all fear Sam for next year. He has the cycling bug, has a nice new Niner Air 9 ,and has a hard core winter training plan in place which includes cyclo-cross. We expect him to dominate in 2008.

Rick (me)- Wishing I had a diet coke in this picture.

Joey- Nicest guy in the World, master mechanic, most stylish of the group, the guy with all the hook ups and mad bike skills.

Jamie- Alpha male, sick fast on a rigid SS, also a master mechanic, is the pimp of bikes and can get you anything you need. Just hint that you are thinking of a new bike and you will get an email with 50 links to bike sites you never knew existed complete with pros and cons of every option available.

Tony- Climbs like a mountain goat, lives off bagels & peanut butter, always up for a ride, likes to dress up like a fairy, and is the cleanest member of the group.

Adam- Never loses his fitness or cycling legs, can do it all- climb, clear moves, and downhill.

Seth- The guy behind DNA who makes us look good. Can drop you hard on a road bike, is the Utah champion in his category for cyclo-cross, has a uterus (or doesn't like to be cold).

Justin- (not pictured)- He took a different route home after the ride. We hope he made it back home. The dude is super strong and can suffer through any type of pain. Goes downhill like it aint no thing.

I think we may have started a tradition with this ride. Next year, I hope we can get the rest of the group out.

Check out the post ride chill in Joe's hot tub: