Friday, January 25, 2008

Race Season is Near

Next weekend is the first race of the 2008 season. The Frozen Hog in Alpine. As if early season race pace isn't bad enough, this one will be in several inches of snow. I live just a few miles from the start line yet have never done this race. I don't know...I'm thinking about it.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

10,200Ft by 8:45am

I met some of the DNA guys this morning (Dug, Joey, Sam, Jon, & Scott) for an early morning session before work. We got to a ridge up Days' Fork at 10,200 ft by about 8:45am.
In the background, you can see all of Cardiac Bowl (backside of Superior). We skied about 3,000 ft of white smoke and then went to work- Riding dirty as Sam put it (no shower).

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

I'm Not the Best Guide

What a great weekend. 40 miles of mountain biking in the deseret followed by a powder day in the backcountry with my wife. Big Cottonwood Canyon must have had 15" of some of the lighest snow I've ever seen.

I tried a new route up Greens Basin (between Silverfork and Day's Fork) and despite almost leading Rachelle off a cliff band, we were able to negotiate a route down and skied out safely. I need to work on my guide skills if I want to keep skiing with Rachelle.
Here is a pic near the top of Green's Basin (amazing tree skiing):

Monday, January 21, 2008

Brad's Backyard

Friday night I hooked up with Dug, Karl, and Steve and headed down to Gooseberry for Brad's 100K ride ( We pulled up on the mesa around 11:30 ish and set up camp next to Brad, Kenny, and Josh at the windmill.

Temps were in the 20's and I was sure glad Brad had a fire going when we got there. As soon as I got in my sleeping bag, I had to pee but decided to hold it all night instead of get out of my warm bag (it was that cold).

We got up around 8:30, had breakfast around the fire and waited for the 15 or so other riders to arrive.

About 10am we rolled out of camp and dropped off the mesa....literally. Dug crashed, I crashed, and Christian crashed and rolled 30 ft or so down the mesa. He came up with a dis-located shoulder and ended his ride after just 10 minutes. It turns out dropping off the mesa is a bit sketchy. Steep, loose, and narrow. Parts of it were ridable but it was hectic with so many people .

Once off the mesa, we crusied along. Temps were in the high 40's and sunny. Perfect. A single speed was the right bike as we hit a lot of mud as we rode towards the Jem trail. Anyone with gears had a hard time shifting.
With a group this big, we quickly realized that finishing the original route before dark was going to be impossible. Here we are at 18 miles in trying to decide who is doing the full route and who is going to take a short cut. After watching Brad, Kenny, Josh, the Holley's take off at race pace, the rest of us decided to find a minor short cut.

The route ended with a nasty 1,000 foot climb (hike a bike) back up to the mesa. It took close to an hour to hike this section and we were all feeling it. For some reason, this 40 miles felt more like 100 miles. It must be the off season. But it sure felt good to ride on some dirt.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Low Effort

According to my workout, today was "my choice for mode of excerise, low effort easy breathing". Perfect! Given the choice, I decided to head into the backcountry.

Rachelle, me, Kim & Dug, Ben & Eliana met for a tour up AF Canyon. Only this time we cheated after all, today was a "low effort" day.

Yep, we used a couple of snowmobiles to get us deep into the area between AF Canyon and Little Cottonwood Canyon. With only 2 sleds for 6 people, it meant a few of us would tow in via a rope behind the sleds. It worked out great and we were able to eliminate the long approach to the good stuff. After snowmobiling in a few miles, we ditched the sleds at the bottom of a good pitch and skinned up from there.

The temps were warm, the sun was out, and there was plenty of fresh powder to be had (not to mention some of the most amazing views in the Wasatch).

The girls tore it up and put down some nice turns while Ben, Dug and I opted for less turns. The snow was creamy and we had the entire mountains to ourselves. An epic day (despite a breif period of a lost ski which was eventually found). I can't think of a better way to spend the day in the winter.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Not Exactly Riding Weather

I took this pic last night while standing in my driveway. That shovel is about 4ft tall. More snow on the way today. It's times like this when I start to wonder if the trails will ever be dry again.

Time to head to the desert. Next weekend is the big Gooseberry ride with Brad ( I can't to wait to log some longer miles and suffer a little bit.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Virtual Coach

Today I start my 8 month training program with my virtual coach. Yep, I signed up for trainingpeaks (

At about $10 a month, I can't go wrong, right?

I'm already a bit surprised that many of the workouts are in Zone 1 or Zone 2. I'm not used to riding easy but I'm guessing this is what will help me peak at the right times.

Leadville is my "A" race with most of the Intermountain cup races as "B" races.

It didn't say anything about not eating maple bars with diet coke so I'm pretty sure I can stick to this program. Stay tuned....

Friday, January 4, 2008

Heat wave

I'm a weather junkie. I pretty much watch the news until 9:20 when the 5 day forecast comes up and then I'm done and am usually asleep by 9:23. So last night, when I heard something about 45 degree temps for Friday before the snow storm hits, I got a little excited. Rather than get up for the 5:30am spin class, this meant I could get out for a lunch ride on my road bike.

So this morning, I dug out my gear and bike and went to work.

I emailed my twin brother who works about 15 miles from my office and asked if he wanted to hook up for a lunch ride. I knew he would have his bike becuase he commutes every day (rain, snow, or cold. It doesn't matter). He also rides a fixie.

We decided to leave our offices at 11:45 and meet somewhere half way and then find a nice loop.

I wish I had my camera with me. It was funny to the two of us riding together. Me on my road bike with brakes and gears head to toe in lycra and my brother on his fixie (no gears, no brakes) with his knickers and long sleeve shirt.

It turns out, riding with a fixie is pretty much the same pace. Every now and then he would go into a skid stop and my heart would skip a beat. Have you ever seen someone do a skid stop before? Insane. I would go down for sure if I tried that.

Today felt like Spring. It was a nice change from the bitter cold. So nice , I am seriously considering double dipping today.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Winter Gear

I finally broke down and bought some winter riding gear. Neoprene shoe covers and winter cycling gloves. I'm tired of not riding outside. I think I can deal with the cold as long as it's dry.

Check it out....

Specialized Radiant Glove - has a thick liner and then a shell.
Specialized Neoprene Shoe Covers (black not red)
I went for a test ride yesterday in Draper Corner Canyone area. I didn't realize the jeep trail in Draper was ridable until i heard Jamie and Tony talking about it during the Squaw Peak ride.
Now I just need to find something to protect my man parts for the downhill.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Kenny's 2nd Annual New Year's Day Squaw Peak Ride

A few days ago, the email came from Kenny with the invite to his 2nd Annual New Years Day Squaw Peak Ride. Kenny is one of the nicest guys you will ever meet. So when Kenny plans a ride, people show up. Forget that it was Jan 1st, it was 10 degrees outside, and we just had a significant snow storm earlier in the week. Despite all that, there must have been 25 people at the trail head as we pulled up.

I had my doubts as I opened the car door. It was cold, we were in the shade, and it was still pretty early (10am). I knew there was going to a lot of snow on the road. After a few minutes, we were off and riding. My fingers were numb and the water in my bottle was already frozen. It didn't take long for the riders to settle in at their own pace. It was going to be a suffer fest and everyone knew it.
These rides always turn into a race but the crazy thing is, it makes no sense to get to the top first because we always wait for everyone to take a group photo. The longer the wait at the top, the colder it gets.
About half way up the climb, my fingers warmed up and I actually started to sweat.

Riding was tricky. There was a jeep track in the snow but if you got out of the track it was soft and deep. It was a lot like riding on rollers. You had about 12" of track to ride in and it was slippery.

I'm not sure anyone made the climb without putting a foot down or hiking sections of the road. Especially the last pitch. It got really steep and loose.
After the most of the people made it to the top, we took a group photo (see more pics over at Brad's site at

After the photo, most of us were anxious to get down. The downhill was sketchy. Arond every corner there was someone doing an endo or tipping over sideways into the snow.
It was a good training ride and much more fun than riding inside.