Monday, December 31, 2007

Rugged Mountain Chick

I married a RMC (Rugged Mountain Chick).

Some guys love it when their wife gets all dolled up for a night out on the town. But I really love it when my wife throws on a pack, puts her hair in a pony tail, and heads into the mountains. I took this pic of Rachelle during a recent ski tour up Little Cottonwood Canyon.
Rachelle has some lungs and legs and can really motor up the mountain. We were able to catch several groups on the climb. I was so proud.

We skied some deep, light powder and had an entire valley to ourselves.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

My Favorite Pics from 07

As the year comes to a close, I thought I would post a few pics from some of my favorite rides of the 2007 season.

I like this picture of Dug taken minutes before the ICUP Draper Race. Dug is on a rigid single speed that weighs about 30 lbs while wearing green knickers, a Fat Cyclist jersey, and nursing a 44oz Diet Coke. I would have loved to see the faces of the riders he passed who had gears and a full lycra team kit.
Could this pic be any cooler?

This was also at the Draper race. It was the debut of the orange Fat Cyclist jersey and the debut of my new Niner Air 9.

Here is a pic of Dug's bike after finishing the Deseret Rampage race in St. George. This was the first race of the season. Just days before the race, Dug converted his wheels to tubeless. It didn't work out well for him. After several flats, Dug had had enough and finished the last lap on just his rim. As he carried his bike accross the finish line, it looked just like this. We all got a good laugh but were impressed that he finished the race and even beat some of the guys in the single speed class despite the mechanicals.

Here is a pic of one of many night rides we did this year. Thursday night rides were especially great because after the ride we would all meet at the Village Inn for a midnight breakfast.

About 50 of us at Kenny's annual RAWROD (Ride Around White Rim in One Day). 108 miles around the White Rim trail near Moab in one day. This year, I rode my single speed and about died. Can you find Waldo in this pic?

My first trip to Fruita, CO. with eleven of my friends. Two days of new rides with great weather. We hooked up with some locals who showed us the good stuff. I'll be back in 2008.

Rachelle and me at the finish of the Leadville 100 race. I was completely cooked after finishing in 9:30. In Dug's recap of the race, he claimed that I was so tired I didn't even recognize my wife at the finish. I was so glad to see Rachelle and grateful she came out to watch and crew.

Justin, Joey, Sam, and me at the start line of the Lotoja race. We finished 2nd, 3rd, 4th & 5th in our start group. 206 miles with 3 big climbs in the first 100 miles.
I hope 2008 will be as good.


During the winter I stop thinking about cycling for a bit and spend as much time as I can in the backcountry. It's great cross training and a lot like mountain biking. Usually a hard effort to get to the top followed by a short but very very good downhill.

I was able to get a couple of days in over the Holiday break and got lucky with some really good snow conditions.

I saw the avalanche report this morning which mentioned that the 2nd fatality by avalanche this season (in Utah) occured on Christmas Day. This time it was a snowmobile accident.

Conditions are still a bit sketchy on the good lines and it's bold to attempt to ski these but some people can't help themselves. Maybe we need more signs like this at the more popular trailheads. This was taken by a local photographer at the top of 9,990 peak at the Canyons ski resort. It seems more people die at 9,990 every year than any other location. It's crazy so many people with no knowledge of the snow conditions or who lack the right gear ignore these signs and go anyway.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Grizzly Gulch

Dug took this pic of me and Sam at one of the high ridge lines above Grizzly Gulch in Little Cottonwood Canyon on Saturday morning. The avalanch danger was on the high side so we decided to play it safe and ski a more mellow shot in Grizzly.

The group had a few equipment delays in the parking lot, so I ended up getting a head start and breaking trail the entire way. With a good amount of fresh snow, it was a nice workout for me. I had some time to hang out at the top of the climb and watch the ski patrol from Solitude set off some charges in the Honeycomb Canyon cliff area. I've always thought doing the early morning ski patrol thing would be a fun job. Maybe after I retire from my real job I can get a job doing that.

After days like today, I start to forget about my rollers or spin classes. I would much rather spend my workout outside in the mountains.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Sit-Ups in Lycra....Not a Good Look

Do you know what's worse than a fat gut? A skinny guy with a soft stomach. I don't want to be a skinny guy with a soft gut. Cycling may give you toned arms and strong legs but it does nothing for your core. At least, it's done nothing for my core. Not even the single speed seems to help. So last night, after my session on the rollers. I decided to add a few reps of sit-ups.

Have you ever done sit-ups while wearing lycra shorts and no shirt? It's not a good look. Not a good luck for anyone. Don't do it. It's worth removing your cycling shorts and putting on some regular shorts before starting your sit-ups.

There, I said it. I feel much better now.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Time to Start Getting Serious

Anyone recognize this route? Yep, it's the Leadville 100 profile.

The registration for the 2008 Leadville 100 is now open. I'll be submitting my registration and check this week. Just looking at this map, I get very excited and sick to my stomach at all once.

I've been replaying last years race over and over again in my head. Trying to figure out how I can shave 30 minutes off my time. It was, by far, the hardest race I've ever done but also the most enjoyable. Now that I have one Leadville behind me, I'll be able to plan better. I really had no idea how bad the climbs were going to be, or how the elevation was going to affect me. I wasn't sure what foods I would be craving at the feed zones, or how to pace the flats. So many unknowns last year.

The core group was there last year with a few exceptions. Hopefully this year, we can all get in.

I can't wait.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

First Time on Rollers

I tried something new today on my bike. I've been wanting to mix up my training this winter and find something I could do at my house instead of the gym or outside in the cold. I've been toying with the idea of getting a trainer or rollers this season.

The cool thing about belonging to the "Core Group" is word gets out. Both Brad K and Elden had an extra set of rollers they were willing to donate to my winter training program. I have the coolest friends ever!

Since Brad gave his rollers to Dug to give to me on the exact same day that Elden sent me an IM asking if I wanted to use/have his old set, I told Dug to keep Brads and I went to go pick up my new toy from Elden.

After a 3 minute visual tutorial of Elden riding on them and a brief discussion of "things that should never be attempted on rollers", I was good to go. I drove home, found a nice spot in my unfinished basement (right next to a wall to help me mount and dismount) and gave it a go. I was so anxious to try them, that I slipped off my jeans and shoes and threw a leg over my bike in just my underwear and socks and started to pedal. It became obvious within a few seconds that lack of focus while on the rollers could result in serious carnage. It was also obvious that attempting to ride rollers for the first time in just socks was not a great idea.

I only had a few minutes to mess around. My wife had big shopping plans and I was in charge of my 2 year old daughter. Turns out, this probably saved me from breaking my leg.

When I got back home later in the day, I decided to give the rollers a full trial run (this time with shorts and shoes on).

I was a little nervous and fully expected to crash at least once. Which is exactly why I asked Rachelle to come down with the camera. If I was going down, I wanted to have it on film.

I ride a lot and like to think I have some bike skills but riding on rollers felt a lot like riding on ice. A totally new sensation. I liked it. I like it for several reasons. I think this will help me stay interested while riding inside. I think it help me with my balance, pedal stroke, and fine tune my group riding skills.

Once I got going and shifted into a harder gear, I felt much more stable and it was no big deal. But I am still leaving plenty of room in front of the rollers just in case I come off and hit the basement floor in my big ring.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Just how cold was it this morning?

A couple of days ago, I got the call from Ben Walker. I always like when I see his name on the caller ID. It means he is planning a "Dawn Patrol" in the backcountry. Ben manages the design team at Black Diamond and is an amazing skier, climber and all around nice guy. He is always busting out the prototype gear and keeping us in the loop on what is coming out next season. This morning, he had a pair of "MegaWatt" skis that were as wide as my driveway. Huge!

We decided that Friday would be the best day to get out because of the chance of snow on Thur evening. Sure enough, Thur late afternoon, the snow started falling. The mountains only picked up about 5" but it was the good stuff. Very light and dry.

I met Ben, Dug and about 5 other BD guys at 5:30am at the base of LCC. By 6:00am, we were climbing up Flagstaff. It was cold. So cold, I left my camera in the car. I didn't want to take my gloves off for pics. So cold that I managed to bust the top buckle (the most important buckle) on my boots. I'm pretty sure it was frozen and I tried to ratchet it down and it just broke in half. Not good since those Scarpa boots are too soft anyway and these in particular have been abused for a few seasons. I knew that meant the downhill was going to be sketchy.

The climb was actually a nice pace. I expected blood to come out of my ears since we were with the BD guys. I think all the cycling has really helped me start the winter in good form.

I only had time to drop the South side. Too much going on at work these days to try and get more laps in. I bailed early but the rest of the group did some stuff on the North facing shots.

The snow was actually pretty good on the South facing stuff, especially at the mid elevation protected stuff.

It was nice to get out finally and mix it up. Way better than the spin classes.

Sorry no good pics but like I said. It was too cold for that.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A long winter

It's going to be a long winter. I got bummed out today during spin class. I had to listen to Janet Jackson and Britney Spears while pretending to race Lance Armstrong. Seriously. The good news is I was able to catch Lance, drop him, and beat him at the sprint finish. My heart rate hit the mid to high 180's for the first time in a while. Probably due to the added excitement of beating Lance.

There is one male spin instructor (also named Lance) who teaches one day a week. I figured I'd give his class a try this morning. Bad move.

Whitney- Are you out there? Come back and teach. Please. I'm begging.

Monday, December 10, 2007

What I should have done...

I got up at 5am this morning and hung out with the soccer moms in the 5:30am spin class. It was a great workout and not a bad way to start the day but what I really wanted to be doing was this:

I found this on the Avalanche Report this morning. This is a route (Days) that Dug and I ski usually a couple times per week . This year, the snow pack is a bit crazy on the North facing good aspects which is probably why I have stayed away from the backcoutry so far this year. Although, the ski bug has finally hit and I am ready to hang up the spin shoes this week and get out into the mountains.

I'll be sure to post pics if I get out.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Big Plans

I have big plans for 2008:

1) I want to use my commute more for training. The Alpine Loop is about as good a ride as any and Suncrest (south side) isn't half bad either.

2) I want to do more races. Utah has so many fast riders and the races always get a good turn out. It's the perfect way to gage my fitness every couple of weeks. During the Spring, Summer, Fall there is usually a cool road race or mtb race going on just about every weekend.

3) I need to get much faster (or at least fast enough for a sub-9 time at Leadville). The only way to do this is to get smarter with my training. With my family and job as first priorities, every ride is precious. Time to use my time on the bike more efficiently.

I've watched several of my friends use a coach and have noticed that they seem to train smarter and post much faster times than I could ever pull off on my own.

Is 2008 the year of the coach for me? Maybe. It's an investment and will require I break down and buy a trainer or rollers but I'm at the point where I need something or someone to help me get to the next level.

Time to start selling junk on craigs list to come up with the money.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Days Like Today, I Like my Job.

It's been a good week here at work:
1) We just completed a new addition to our buildings which includes 3 new showers (great for the morning commute or lunch rides)

2) The 2008 Cycling Team gear was approved complete with vests, arm warmers, socks and bottles. Next year, maybe we can swing a bike sponsorship?

3) Lance Armstrong was announced as a keynote speaker for our Summit event in March

I may have sold my soul or at least my freedom to work where I do, but it's a pretty cool place to be.

We decided to go green this year...literally, check out the bib shorts. Nice.