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.

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:

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


I had a late night last night working (or watching people work) on my cross bike. It's a true Frankenbike with donated parts from Sam, Joe, Jamie, and Tony.

Halloween eve, working in Jamies shop/garage with the rain and lightening outside, I couldn't help but think this bike is going to be something special.

I stopped by Sam's to pick up a bar, then straight to Joey's house/shop to add a wheel set, bottom bracket, derailer, cranks. And then over to Jamie's to add a casette and rear wheel, front derailer, brake parts, tires, a chain, seat clamp, spacers, etc.. Then Tony showed up with a headset and chocolate cake.

These good friends have helped me put together an almost complete cross bike. I have offifically offered this bike to anyone who wants to try a cyclo-cross race. It shall be the community bike.

I'm still searching for a front brake, shifters, and a seat post. I expect to have this machine up and running by next weekend.

Take a look at Jamie working his magic:


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Shorter Days and up 5 lbs

I haven't been getting out as much during the day so I've turned to night rides. Last night, Tony and I rode for 1.5 hours in Draper. I felt slow. Maybe because Tony was on his 20 lb SS and is in fine form. Or maybe because I'm up 5 lbs and have been eating like a pig the past couple of weeks. Either way, it was a reality check for me. Tony was interested in carrying on a conversation. I was happy to let him talk while I looked around for air. I was like a fish out of water. It's funny how quickly you can lose your fitness. It seems like it takes months to get into form but it can all go away in a week.

I'm itching to get my cross bike built up and get at least one cross race in before the season is over. I'm sure this will be a painful experience. One hour of all out racing. Call me crazy but sometimes I miss the pain of racing (you've seen "Swingers", right?..."You mean you miss the pain?").

Also, Rachelle and I have added a new member to our family of bikes. She is the proud new owner of a Giant Anthem 1. We took this out for a demo ride on Saturday. She looked so good on the bike, we had to get it. Here is a stock photo:

Friday, October 26, 2007

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Fall Moab 2007 (In St. George)

Every year in early November, a bunch of us get together for "Fall Moab". Fall Moab is like a National Holiday. It's a big deal and it's always on the calendar. There is a core group that has been doing this for years but every year the group varies a bit. The riders range from pro racers to twinkie eaters (and I mean actual twinkies. Just ask Tom). The group is usually: Dug, Brad K., Elden, Rick M, Kenny, Bob, Tom, Rich, Chucky, Racer, Dan, Gary, Cory, Paul, and me.

It's a big deal. In fact, every year, there is a theme which includes a poster (compliments of Kenny Jones at Kenny's One Hour Photo).

These posters make their way on to the windows of every car in the caravan and can usually be seen in Racer's shop and eventually on some restaurant windows in Moab. Here is a sample of Fall Moab 05:

(click on it to enlarge)

This year, Fall Moab is being held in St. George (but will still be called Fall Moab). The original plan was to stay in Brad K.'s yurt right on Gooseberry Mesa. Brad purchased the last piece of land for sale on Gooseberry and is in the process of putting in several yurts which he plans to rent out. Seriously, check out his site:

Due to some permit delay's the yurts are not ready but we still plan to camp on Brad's property and ride Gooseberry as part of the trip.

You can bet that there will stories of spectacular crashes, riders cleaning insane moves, big drops (especially for guys on rigid single speeds), good food, and plenty of "homo" jokes.

Good times.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


This time of the year is always hard for me. The weather is changing and is unpredictable. It's usually too wet, dark and cold to bike but too early to ski. I tend to get very grumpy and despressed. October usually means early mornings spent in a spin class listening to crappy music.

In years past, I've looked forward to backcountry skiing and have used that as good cross training.

but something is different this year. I'm still in bike mode and am not yet ready to hang up the bikes for the season.

I've been trying to plan out my winter training schedule. Something that can keep me in good form during the winter. Jamie and Brad have both used a software package from that can outline a winter training schedule based on the amount of time you have to train and your race goals. Maybe I'll try that.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Fuita, CO

Road Trip:
Thursday afternoon Tony, Jamie and I left town to go down to Fruita, CO for a long weekend of mountain biking. We would meet up with the rest of the group, Steve, Adam, Sam, Trent, Brad P., Ryan, Keith, Jon, and Jeff later that night.
We were so excited about the trip that we forgot to watch the gas gage in Jamie's 4 Runner and realized about 40 miles out of Fruita that the gas light was on and had probably been on for a while. Not knowing if there were any towns with a gas station before Fruita, we tried to keep our minds off the situation by playing "name that tune" on Tony's ipod. It turns out, Jamie pretty much knows every song ever produced. (For future reference, Loma, CO has one gas station which is like 50 miles off the highway and doesn't stay open past 9pm. )

After 4.5 hours on the road and one tank of gas, we rolled into town (literally). We stayed in Grand Junction and were fortunate enough to have a hotel w/ a gas station right in the parking lot. This would be important for the pre-ride diet coke runs since the Holiday Inn is a Pepsi joint. I like the fact that several of the guys are addicted to diet coke as much as I am. Brad, a pro-mtb racer, drinks the sweet nectar too. It doesn't seem to slow Brad down. So it's official for me....I have no plans to stop drinking it.

One morning I stopped into the gas station to buy a few Salted Nut Rolls and a Pay Day bar (these are great for riding cuz they don't melt and taste good even when 5 years old. Just ask Brad). The heavy set lady behind the counter who must have been like 60 years old, began to tell me about the advantages of the protein bar version of Pay Day and all the specs about how many grams of protein, total calories etc...I knew were in for a good weekend. Even the gas station lady seemed like she got out on the bike every now and then.

The Group:

Day 1:

We kicked it off with a ride on Mary's Loop and several of the surrounding loops. With the Alpha male established and the rest of the pecking order in line, we were off. Some of the terrain was technical and the trails were full of big rocks and drops. I'm pretty sure I shaved at least a few grams off my rims and pedals from hitting so many rocks. I was amazed that we only had 1 flat the entire ride. Steve managed to blow his rear tire (tubeless) off the rim which sounded like a shot gun. My ears are still ringing. Maybe it's time to tell Steve he can run 35 PSI instead of 50. Ironic that the one guy in the group who refuses to ride w/ a spare tube or CO2 cartridge, would be the only guy who flated the entire trip. It's a good thing Steve is such a nice guy.

The best pizza in the world (or at least in Fruita) is at the Hot Tomato. They sell pizza by the slice and it's damn good. So good, in fact, we ate there both days for lunch.

After lunch, we visited the local shop - Over the Edge Sports, and fixed Steve's tire. Fruita seems slow to accept the tubeless-Stans movement and gave us a little push back about getting the shop floor dirty. The guys at the shop gave us directions to the next trail head and we set out for a short ride before dark. Fruita is big on fractions. The street signs often read "17 1/2 road" or "18 3/4 road". It gave me a headache doing the math to try and find 18th street.

About 30 min into the ride, we met up with 2 locals, Andy and Noah. They were total opposites. Andy was on a rigid SS, with a Mary bar, and BMX pedals. He had tattoos everywhere, wore cut off church pants, a full button down shirt, and vans high-top skate shoes. Noah, was on a 36 lb downhill bike with a backpack. An odd couple but they showed us the goods. We followed them down Zippity which was fast single track with some exposed sections and a roller coaster type ending which consited of a tight left hand turn which dropped down a steep, loose, rutted section. It only lasted a few seconds but it was a cool sensation full of adrenaline. The ride was so good that we forgot to stop for pictures.

After the ride, the two locals offered to take us out to Rabbit Valley the next morning. It would end up costing us $50 in beer as payment but well worth it.

Day 2:
We met Andy and Noah at 10am in town and followed them out to Rabbit Valley. This ride had it all, some rock moves, sand, fast single track, and a section of whoop dee doos that had endo potential. Sam managed to do an uphill endo and sheed first blood of the trip. I'm amazed at how well Sam has picked up mountain biking. Coming from a road bike and a soccer background, he obviously has the legs and lungs for mountain biking but the technical skills usually take years of riding to develop. Sam is a natural. We rode for a couple of hours and showed the locals how to clean a few technical moves. Jamie pulled off the move of the trip when he cleared a steep rock section that the locals didn't even bother to try (The same move that caused Keith to brake this thumb). And he did it on a single speed. (Does that mean Jamie gets to name that move?).

Me, Steve, Jamie, Tony (Noah and Jon in the background)

After lunch again at the Hot Tomato, we broke up into groups. Some called it a day and caught a flick in town, Me, Tony, Trent, Jon and Jeff, went back out to Zippity to ride it in the day light. While Jamie, Brad and Ryan took off to ride "The Edge". With a storm threatening, we weren't sure we would see Jamie, Brad and Ryan again and immediatley decided who would get Jamie's bike when he died. The Edge is a 3-7 hour ride (3 is the fastest time according to the guide book) w/ some exposed areas, a downclimb down a waterfall, and several washes that, according to the locals, have caused people to ditch their bikes and hike out during storms. I knew the pace was going to be ridiculous trying to keep up with those 3 on the Edge ride. It was after 3pm, a storm was rolling in and Brad and Jamie seemed motivated to sneak this ride in before they lost their window of opportunity. I was sure we were going to need to send Search & Rescue out to find them.

I was happy to end the day on Zippity. It is like nothing we have here in Utah and I wanted to ride it one more time (at a slower pace). I grabbed my ipod and settled into a nice pace and just enjoyed the ride.

Jon, Trent, Me

Later that night, as the group went to eat, we got the call from Jamie that they had made it back to the car. At first I was glad I wasn't with them, but something about the epic journey made me a little bummed I missed it. Stories of hurricane head winds, hail, big exposure, amazing views, something about an extra climb, two broken chains, and a race up a long jeep road climb. It sounded like a suffer fest but with some great rewards.

I have a feeling the core group will make it back to Fruita soon.

Monday, October 15, 2007

My Better Half

Top 5 Reasons Why I Like This Pic:

1) She's hot and she's my wife.

2) Check out the bike, it's a retro hardtail with minimal travel in the front fork. That's just cool.

3) You probably can't tell but it's raining. I like that Rachelle will ride in the rain.

4) I like the fact that Rachelle can pull off the "Fat Cyclist" socks. Not many girls would wear something that says "Fat Cyclist". I like it.

5) She has that post ride look. The look that makes all the stress and problems go away. Even if it's just for a few minutes.

Friday, October 12, 2007

The Morning After

For the past several weeks, we've settled into a habit of a Thursday night ride followed by breakfast at the Village Inn. It's become a part of my routine. Something I look forward to as much as the weekend.

Last night the group was small (Jamie, Tony, Brad K., and me). We rode up Clarks, down Ghost Falls, caught a new section of trail over to the jeep road, back up and down Ghost again and then finished it off with pancakes, eggs, and hashbrowns.

It's been years since Brad has done a night ride so it was fun to have him along. He will be racing the 24 hours of Moab this weekend as part of a 4 person single speed / rigid team and probably wanted to get a quick night ride in to fine tune his skills before the big race. I'm just glad he kept the pace slow and didn't encourage Jamie to go all out. The pace was fast but good.

The morning after is always a bit rough. My recovery plan usually includes a couple of Diet Cokes. However yesterday, the Red Bull girls visited the Omniture offices and handed out samples of Red Bull. I should be flying high by 10am after I polish these off....

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Pre-Ride Meal

Yesterday I didn't think I was going to get out for a ride. I forgot my shorts and I had meetings scheduled at work until 5pm. In order to ride, I would have to drive home (35 min commute)to get shorts and negotiate the hall pass for a ride. By that time, It would probably be too dark to ride.

To my surprise, at 5:10pm my wife calls and tells me that Seth was with a friend until 8pm ish, and Tatum was at a b-day party that got over around 6:45pm. She asked if I wanted to get a ride in before I came home and that she would home about 7:00pm ish (Rachelle rules!!)

I immediatley left work, got home at 5:45, changed, and was ready to roll by 5:46. I had no idea what time it would get dark but the sun seemed to have at least another hour of light. I was starving and hadn't eaten anything for dinnner yet. I opened the pantry door and grabbed a handful or Oreos

As I dropped down Clarks, I began to think about my eating habits. Asking myself the question. "If I ate better foods and cut out the junk and Diet Coke, would I be a faster rider?" I mean here I was having Oreo's for dinner. Not to mention that my favorite pre-ride meal is a 44oz Diet Coke and a sleeve of donuts from the gas station. This can't be good.
Maybe I should try to eat a little better and see if I could improve my riding. But on the other hand, it sure is nice to be able to eat whatever I want and not worry too much about gaining weight.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Almost Everything

During the week, I usually leave all my cycling gear in the back of my truck. Too many times, I've received that email at 3pm on a Tuesday from the core group proposing a time and route for a ride only to realize I didn't have my bike or gear with me.

It's just nice to know that if the opportunity for a ride comes up, I am prepared to leave work at the drop of a hat and meet up with the group.

Sometimes I'll get multiple emails during the day. Yesterday, for example, I had the option to ride on the road with Elden, singlespeed with Dug and Dan, or Night ride with Tony and the DNA group.

Since the singlespeed ride was my idea, I of course elected for that option. I met Dug and Dan at 4:45 in Draper and rode up from the Draper pool to the tunnel, up the tunnel to the flight park trail head, stayed left up the new section of trail that comes within a mile of Suncrest, back down, out to the flight park, and back to the car. It was only about an hour ride (I needed to be at Tatum's soccer game by 6:15), but sometimes an hour is all that is needed to take my mind off the stress and pressures of work.

This morning as I pulled into work, I realized that I had my bike, shoes, helmet, gloves, pump, gear bag, jersey, but NO SHORTS!!!

Have you ever been tempted to drop $60 on a pair of shorts from the local shop (Racer's Cycle Service) just so you could get a ride in?

Monday, October 8, 2007

Coming Soon

I bought this on ebay over the weekend. It's a 2003 (never before used) Redline Team Scandium frame w/ aluminum fork. I'm going to build it up as a 1X9 with some used parts and try and get a few cross races in this season.

Rachelle is being a good sport about it since I really didn't mean to purchase this and gave her absolutley no warning that I had placed a bid. I need to get on the ball and find her a sweet (or as my brother-in-law says "cherry") mountain bike.

If you have any used cyclocross parts, please send my way.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Another Diet Coke Please

I got home at 2am last night after a night ride at Mueller Park in Bountiful. with 4.5 hours of sleep last night, I'm feeling it. I've already polished off two diet cokes and it's only 10am.

I've never ridden Mueller before and am kicking myself for finding out about it this late in the season. I'm actually a little bit annoyed that my "friends" have never showed me this gem of a ride until now.

The group: Jamie, Tony, Joe, Sam, Justin, Jon L., Keith, and I.

We met at Mueller at about 9:45 and rode the 14 mile out and back of pure single track. The whole ride was in the woods with tight single track (did I mention that it was all single track yet?). It was one of the best rides of the year for me. At times, it was so tight, that I had to move my hands in an inch or so on my bar to avoid the branches.

Jamie started out at race pace and for the first 20 min, many of us were redlined. It turns out, Jamie was trying to duplicate the odd heart rate scenario he experienced earlier this week. The doctors have him hooked up to a HR monitor for the next 2 weeks (I guess he needs to leave this on 24 hours a day) and have told him to ride and see if his HR spikes unusually high again. Lucky for us, we were all trying to keep his wheel and ride at that pace while he was doing this test.

So when Joe mananged to break his chain about half way up the climb, I was happy to stop and wait for him while he fixed it. )Note: I always like to have Joe or Jamie along on a ride. They are both killer mechanics and usually can fix anything.)

Joe fixing his chain:

The entire climb, I kept thinking about how fun the downhill was going to be. I followed Jon L.'s wheel for the first half and had a huge smile. I didn't want to lose his wheel since he has ridden this trail a lot and knew what was coming. This was my first time down Mueller. It was in the dark and we were flying. I thought Jon was going to crash hard on one of the many bridges but he manged to ride it out.

The Post Ride Chill:

The "Heartland Scramble" (This is what I ordered...Mmmmm)

Two eggs scrambled with chopped bacon, country-fried potatoes, green peppers and onions, and topped with Cheddar cheese. Served with two strips of bacon, two sausage links, hash browns and three fluffy buttermilk pancakes.

This time we met at Denny's for some food. Did you know EVERY breakfast plate at Denny's either comes with sausage and bacon or bacon and ham? It's out of control how much food they give you for $6.

The storm is rolling in so probably no rides this weekend. This night ride should hold me over until Monday.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The Itch For Something New

I've been thinking a lot lately about adding to my bike collection (Rachelle, turn away now...)

The problem is this. It's too hard to know what to get.

1) I have friends who are pulling the trigger on single speed road bikes

2) My brother just built up a very cool fixie

3) It's cyclosross season and that looks really fun

4) I've always wanted to do it right and get a custom single speed mountain bike

It seems a little crazy to have so many bikes but it's not like I don't ride them. Adding a cross bike to the mix would allow me to do some races late in the year and maintain my fitness.

I like Elden's (Fatty's) advice on how to get approval from the wife to get a new bike. Check it out here:

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

While You Slept....

Soccer Dads:

Last night, I met my "smoking hot wife" and kids at Tatum's soccer game at 6pm. I expected it to be rained out but to my surprise we stayed dry the entire game. It was cold but dry. So dry, in fact, that I began to think a nite ride would be possible. The nice thing about Tatum's soccer team is there are at least 6 hard core riders with daughters on the team. Jamie, Tony, Joe, Sam, Seth, and Matt. Those of us who didn't get a ride in earlier that day began to toss around the idea of a nite ride. We decided on 9:15 at the equestrian center in Draper if it stayed dry.

Here I am waiting in my car for Jamie and Tony to show up.... I tried something new this time. I wore a cycling cap under my helmet to get things nice and tight. It worked great. The head lamp stayed put with no shifting during the downhill.

The Ride:

At 9:25 ish, we met and took off. Jamie, Tony, and I.

We rode up Clarks, down Ghost Falls and stayed left on the new section of trail that took us over to the BST/Jeep road. We climed the Jeep road to the top of Ghost Falls, down Ghost Falls back to the car. The trails were in great shape. No mud but still tacky from the rain earlier that day. We got rained on a little bit as we got to the top of Ghost Falls the 2nd time but not enough to get muddy. By the time we got to the car, it was cold and raining harder.

Jamie managed to get his heart rate up to 224 on the 2nd climb. I was ready to dial 911. Not sure what was going on with Jamie but he was clearly not having a normal night. As soon as Tony and I sensed Jamie was not feeling good (something he ate, didn't eat, or a side effect of a new sports drink he tried), we decided to try and drop him so we could each claim for once in our lives, we were able to beat Jamie on a climb (the guy is sick fast).

(Jamies HR Chart)

It was a great ride. I always feel like I'm getting away with something on a nite ride. Everyone is sleeping, the trails are emplty. No rush to get back.

Thursday night seems like a good day for the next nite ride.....Anyone?