Monday, June 30, 2008

Respect

A true story....
This morning, I was driving into work, coming down the north side ot Suncrest. I had my Gary Fisher in the back of my truck. I got clocked going 58 MPH in a 40 zone (If you're going to speed, enjoy it). The cop pulled me over and asked for my documents. He had a partner with him. A young guy. Must have been a trainee or something. After several minutes of waiting while the ridiculous lights kept flashing (Why do they do that?), the partner/trainee guy walked up to my window and said "We are going to give you a warning today....You've got a mountain bike with one gear in the back of your truck. That single speed is bad ass".

And that was it. He turned and walked away. I can only guess that the younger cop was a cyclist.

Nice.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

The "6"

My Team Twin Six Goodies arrived over the weekend. The "Masher" jersey is the best looking jersey I've seen. I can't wait to get it dirty tomorrow.
http://www.twinsix.com/team/bios_rs.htm

Twin Six


Friday, June 27, 2008

Stairs

The more I ride, the lazier I get. I don't like to stand much. When I walk into a room, I'd rather find a chair and sit. And I hate stairs. Have you ever noticed that no matter how in shape you think you are, climbing a set of stairs leaves you winded?

I get up at 5:30am all year long and climb mountains on my bike or skis. Yet when I need to climb a set of stairs, I am usually a somewhat breathless for a few seconds.

Could it be the maple bars that causes this?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Lacking Something

Leadville is less than 2 months away and if I'm going to get a sub 9 this year, I need something extra. Something to give me the mojo to shave 30 minutes off my time. I just don't know what it is. A tattoo? Facial hair? A bald guy pony tail? Paint my face like a skeleton?

Or maybe it's my bike. Maybe I need to throw a rigid fork on it. Or ride my single speed. I've got to do something different than last year. Just not sure what it is I'm lacking.

If Leadville were a 20 mile race, I'd be set. But it's not. it's 100 miles. I've only ridden 100 miles once so far this year. Most of my rides have been pre-work or lunch rides. 1.5 - 2 hours average.

Not good.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Saving Money

With gas prices north of $4.00 per gallon, I've decided to commute by bike at least two days a week. There is a group of 5 of us at work who meet every Tues and Thur in Draper and ride in.

Tuesday, we meet at the Chevron at the bottom of Suncrest (Draper side), climb up the north side and then work our way through Alpine and into Orem. It's about a 22 mile commute (one way) with one big climb.
Thursday, we meet at the top of Suncrest and ride in via the Alpine Loop (about 40 miles one way with one bigger climb).

Yesterday, as the email thread started up about today's commute in, I threw out some trash talk. Something like the last one up the Suncrest climb buys donuts (I love a good maple bar).

Shortly after I showered and settled in at work, this box of donuts appeared on my desk. It even had a maple bar in there. Nice.


I'm saving money on gas and food as long as I am not the last one up the climb. It's going to be a good day.

Friday, June 20, 2008

You know you want one...

You've seen them out there. The guys who spend most of their time out of the saddle, mashing the pedals, pushing that one gear and those big wheels up the climbs. Many ride fully rigid while others (like me) like some squish to their ride. If you spend any time riding dirt, no doubt you've been passed by someone with one gear.

The single speed 29er brings you back to the basics. Simple, quiet, fast, and painful.

We've come up with a jersey dedicated to honor the single speed 29er set up. Weather you ride with gears, small wheels, or a SS 29er, you can appreciate it.
go ahead...click on it

Details on how to get one are coming soon. But for now, send us your thoughts on the design. There will be a limited number of these on the initial run, so start saving your pennies if you want one.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Recovery Food

550 calories of sweet sweetness.

clicky make biggy



After today's early morning ride up the Alpine Loop and then into work, a few of us borrowed a car from a friend at the office and hit the local McDonalds for some post ride recovery food.

It was here that Jon introduced me to the Sausage, Egg & Cheese McGriddle.

How they get the syrup in the muffin is beyond me. Probably best that I don't know but there is syrup in that muffin top.

Combine it with the killer McDonalds Diet Coke mix and it's a slice of heaven.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Clarks TT Update

As of June 18th....
  1. 9:49 - Todd Neumarker - June 17, 2008
  2. 10:02 - Brad Keyes - June 17, 2008
  3. 10:23 - Jamie Pogue - June 16, 2008
  4. 10:38 - Brad Pilling - May 20, 2008
  5. 10:57 - Rick Sunderlage - May 19, 2008
  6. 11:11 - Steve Hales - June 15, 2008
  7. 11:12 - Joe Gardner - June 11, 2008
  8. 11:29 - Jon James - June 10, 2008
  9. 11:38 - Karl Vizmeg - June 10, 2008
  10. 11:59 - Scott Wetzel - May 30, 2008
  11. 12:00 - Aaron Smith - May 17, 2008
  12. 13:41 - Eric Riessen - June 11, 2008
  13. 14:08 - Mark Nielson - May 8, 2008
  14. 14:17 - Jason Gardner - June 12, 2008
  15. 14:38 - Eric Gaoiran aka "Sleepy" - May 16, 2008
  16. 15:50 - Kris Nosack - May 6, 2008

2008 RESULTS - WOMEN

  1. 12:58 - Whitney Pogue - June 10, 2008
  2. 16:10 - Tasha Keyes - June 8, 2008

I've never heard of or ridden with Todd N. but I'd like to.  Anyone faster than Brad K is probably a Pro?  Has anyone raced against him before?  I'm not trying to call him out but geez that is fast.

Watch for updates here:
http://clarkstt.blogspot.com/2008/05/official-time-trial.html

I keep waiting for Bart G. to post a time.  

Monday, June 16, 2008

Testing My New Cycling Toy

I'm a minimalist when it comes to cycling. No GPS, no heart rate monitor, no bike computer. And I only wear gloves when its cold outside. But I've always wanted something small and easy to pack on my rides to take pics or video. So many weird and funny things happen on rides but rarely get captured on film.

My wife and kids bought me a Flip Video for Fathers Day. The perfect gift for a cyclist. It's tiny. About as big as my Blackberry Pearl. It can record up to an hour of video with a 4 hour charge.

This morning, I tried it out on a test ride up AF Canyon with Dug, Elden and Karl. I was hoping to see the bearded woman or the moose that almost killed Dug. Nothing exciting happended on today's ride but I was prepared in case it did.

Check out the video clip of Fatty climbing up AF. The background is amazing. One of the best road rides around.

video

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Leadville Training

Part 1
My Leadville training last year lacked some of the intense efforts only race pace can offer. As much as I hate the pre-race jitters and the painful effort during a race, I'm forcing myself to do more of them this year.

Last night was the Sundance race and the weather was finally dry and cool. Perfect for riding.

The local scene is stacked with some very fast riders. And it seems like the same core people are always there.

I raced the Rig with the Expert "B" group. Along with Brad, Aaron, Cori, Adam and many others. Jon raced Sport and dominated (time to move up Jon).

Actually I'm not sure if Brad even raced. He was at the start line but that was the last time I saw him. He was out of sight within seconds. I think he may have taken 1st and probably beat several of the "A" group riders. He is on fire this year.

That paved road is a brutal way to start a race. Everyone knows that it's really hard to pass once on the single track so most everyone redlines it on that steep road at the start to get a good position. It can cook your legs before the climbing even starts.

I snuck in just behind another SS rider as we hit the dirt and quickly setteled into a good hard pace for lap 1. We caught a few other riders and managed to make the pass on the tight course. The entire first lap I was looking over my shoulder waiting for Aaron or Adam to catch. I would catch a glimpse of Aarons yellow Paragon during some of the switchbacks. I knew he would be faster on the donwhill so I tried to maintain as much of a gap on the climb as possible.

About half way down lap 1, Aaron was one rider behind me and closing. As we hit the paved road again and stated the 2nd lap, I tried to gas it but didn't have much in the tank. About half way up the 2nd lap, I found my second wind and was able to pick up the pace and not get caught.

Aaron made up significant time on the downhill and was only 50 yards back (see him in this pic chasing). If the course had been 1/4 mile longer I would have been caught. I think I came in mid pack but need to see the final results when they are posted.


(Thanks Kanyon Kris for taking the photo)

Part 2
I woke up this morning and met Dave B (from work) at the top of Suncrest for an early morning commute via the Alpine Loop. My legs were sore from last night and the AF canyon climb didn't help them feel any better.

Coming down past Sundance in the shade was brutal. Very cold. I thought Dave was going to lose a finger or two. He didn't have the right gloves.

Just over 2 hours of riding with one nasty climb and I still have to ride home.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Wed Night Racing

Tomorrow is Wednesday which means it's the weekly Sundance/Soldier Hollow race.  It also means that its going to rain tomorrow.  I'm sure of it.  

I'll pack my stuff as usual but am not getting my hopes up.  


Saturday, June 7, 2008

Deer Valley ICUP Race Report

*Special thanks to Jamie P. for not racing today.

I woke up at 6:30am, looked out the window and saw the snow line was down to around 8000 ft, and I could tell it had rained during the night. It was wet but at least it was cold. In the back of my mind, I had doubts the race would still happen.

I slammed down a protein shake and a packet of oatmeal and loaded up the truck. A quick stop at the Chevron for a 44oz Diet Coke and I was off. Worst case, it would be a nice drive up the canyon with some good pre-race music on the XM and a Diet Coke in my hand.

As I pulled into Deer Valley, it didn't look good. Everything was very wet and you could still see snow on the course. I saw Adam L. at the registration. He was undecided about racing and was going to wait 45 min to see how things looked before dropping the $38 race fees. I didn't blame him. After thinking about it, Adam decided against racing but hung around to watch.

I made my way to the registration line and slapped down the money and asked for a winning number. That never gets a laugh with the race volunteers. Overused I guess. Due to the weather, they had decided to shorten the distance. Instead of 2 laps, SS would do 1.5 laps (or so I thought).

At the start line, I found myself next to Jon Gallagher in the Single Speed class. There were 7 or 8 in our group. One guy (Spike) had on the craziest leg warmers I had ever seen. Zebra stripes with bright colors. Very loud. I assumed he was fast enough to pull those off but that didn't stop Jon from giving him a hard time. Every few minutes Jon would look at him and wait for eye contact and then say "Dude, now that's a statement". This went on several times. I could tell that Spike was getting annoyed but it was funny. (Check out Spike's leg warmers....Seriously?)

As it got close to the SS start, the race director, for some reason, decided that he would let the SS riders decide how many laps we wanted to do. The adjusted distance of 1.5 or the scheduled 2 laps (no other group had this option). I had already set my mind to the 1.5 laps and had mixed feelings about going longer. With all the testosterone at the start line, I knew we would "decide" to do 2 laps. Sure enough, as we all looked at each other, everyone held up 2 fingers. Well then, there it was. 2 laps.


The course starts with a steep climb up a jeep road. I was able to stay in front with Jon and Spike but was about 50 yards behind them. The climb was brutal and even with a 20 cog on the back, I was hurting. I saw Adam L. about 1/3 of the way up the climb (he had hiked up to watch) and wanted to get off and hand him my bike. Suddenly, his decision to not race seemed like a great idea.


Despite all the snow/rain, the course was in great shape. Wet but not muddy (expect for a few sections). The single track downhill sections were amazing. I didn't get to pre-ride the course and had no idea what was coming. I didn't know how long the climbs were, or how technical the downhill was. That voice in my head started talking to me. Telling me to stop and that this was stupid. I came close to pulling the plug but hung in there. Towards the end of the 1st lap, I started feeling good and knew I was in 3rd or 4th place but was starting to regret doing that jeep road climb again.

As I got to the base of the nasty climb, I put my head down and only allowed myself to see 5 ft in front of my wheel. I knew if I looked up, I would start to cry and probably get off my bike. (Just look at my face in this pic...yeah, I'm pretty much redlined)




The climb is steep but not too long. Without gears, it really hurts. It was over soon enough and I knew I had put enough distance between the other SS riders to keep my position as long as I didn't have a mechanical.

I started to catch some of the Expert riders who started before us, specifically, Chad. He was having some shifting issues but was riding strong. I rode with him for a bit and tried to sell him on the SS thing. I noticed Spike had pulled over and was looking at his chain or wheel. It gave me a big boost to know I now had a chance to podium.

Before too long, we were done with the climbs and just had the sweet downhill left. The dirt was perfect. Damp enough to rail through the turns and keep the speed up.

As I came through the finish, I was in 3rd place. Things would have been different if Jamie showed up but I'll take it.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Too Many Options

Tomorrow there is a lot going on if you are a cyclist:
1) Draper Days Road Race
2) Draper Days MTB Race
3) Deer Valley ICUP MTB Race
4) Long group ride up AF/Cascade with some of the core team
5) Frank/Crank/Dry MTB loop in the UC.

I can't decided. Leadville is only 2 months away. I really need some long rides but I want some redemption from the mid pack finish during the Draper race.

Too many options. I'm all flustered.

I think this video captures the race scene in a cool way. Check out the kid playing air guitar at the 3:35 mark. Kind of makes me want to go to Deer Valley tomorrow.
http://kenwoodracingink.blogspot.com/2008/05/wfbh-may-22-2008.html

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Fancy Glasses

I wear disposable contact lenses.  I'm blind without them.  Contact lenses have gotten better but when it comes to cycling, I still suffer.  On fast downhill sections I get nervous about losing a contact lens.  On night rides, my eyes sometimes give me grief.  And when it's really windy and dusty outside, I almost always manage to get particles in my eyes. 

I have a pair of really old glasses that I wear at night or on road trips.  They must be 10 years old.  My 2 year old daughter, Sage, loves my glasses.  I hide them from her but she searches for them, finds them, and drags them around the house with her.   Needless to say, they are pretty much destroyed.  I decided it was time to finally get a new pair of glasses.  And since I only really wear them at night or when I drive long distances, I didn't really care about style.  I wanted function.  Something I could wear while cycling if needed.

I found these glasses on the Smith site.  They are cycling frames with prescription lenses.  Check them out:
REACTOR (RX) - Sunglasses

I placed my order and within a week they arrived.  I have a pin head so they look like shop glasses on me but I still plan to wear them with pride.  These glasses and my shaved legs and I'll get all the respect I need from the local bike shops (Especially if I refuse to smile as in this pic)



Tuesday, June 3, 2008

No Respect for Bikers

The company I work for recently rolled out a new policy stating that anyone who purchased a fuel friendly automobile (hybrid) would qualify for a $2,000 check for doing their part to fight global warming. Submit the bill of sale for the new auto, get a check for $2,000 in your next pay check.
When I saw the email go out from HR, buying a new hybrid car didn't even cross my mind. Instead, I immediately starting thinking of what kind of bike I could get for $2,000. A SS road bike? A fixie? or sell my current road bike & use the $2k to get something really really nice.
I was confident that if I could prove that I am actually commuting via bike the 20 miles each way a couple days per week, I would have no problem getting my fair share of the cash.
I got my rejection email from HR this morning saying that "cycling" does not qualify for the bonus.
Lame. Some day people will catch on. Cycling to work should be the first thing that qualifies for such a bonus.

Monday, June 2, 2008

The Sprint

Many years ago, Dug introduced me to road biking. One of the first things Dug showed me was the sprint finish. If you've ridden w/ Dug or any of his friends up AF Canyon, you know what I'm talking about. For those of you who haven't, let me explain....

There is a guard station at the bottom of the AF Canyon entrance. That is the sprint finish line. Any time we climb AF, it is understood that there will be a sprint on the downhill. No need to talk about it. It's just the way it is. It's the way that canyon was meant to be ridden. And the guard station is the perfect finish line. Usually there are several cars and one or two park rangers in the shack so there is always an audience. Someone who could, if needed, resolve any dispute as to who won the sprint.

The sprint is an art. Go too early and you will burn up. Go too late and you lose the line. Everyone usually takes turns pulling on the downhill and there is usually conversation among the group. But at right about the Timp Cave parking lot, the ride turns serious. That's when people start looking around. Watching the shadows on the road. Listening for any gear changes.

This morning, before work, Dug, Elden, and I climbed up AF to Pine Hollow. Elden was on his SS road bike. As we climbed, I mentioned to Elden that just because he was on his SS, the sprint was still on. When you have too many bikes, you run the risk of bringing the wrong bike on the ride. Elden was not to be a contender in today's sprint (but it still counts on his record). This morning would be the first sprint of the year for me. And Dug, the defending champ ,was on the ride. I couldn't wait.

After reaching Pine Hollow, we took in the view and chated for a few minutes and then it was business time (no, not that kind of business....the other kind).

We stayed together all the way past the cave parking lot. I couldn't believe Elden was still with us. No gears and he was right there. I started to think he might have a shot at the sprint. Dug and I took a few pulls at the front and we got within mile marker 9. The guard station was close. I looked back and noticed a car coming down the canyon. I decided to put the hammer down before the car interfered with the sprint. Dug was right on my wheel, I let up a little and he came around. After a few seconds, I tried to slingshot past him and went for it.

I managed to put a little gap between us but not enought to lose him. He was on my wheel and the guard station was in sight. Head down and mashing my pedals, I almost went off the road. It would come down to the final 10 feet and dug half wheeled me for the win.

I think the sprint takes more effort than the entire climb up AF. We would pay for it as we climbed back up Suncrest.

Good morning despite starting off the 2008 season one down to Dug.