Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Team Kit

I'm a big fan of the mixed kit. A jersey should never match the shorts (unless it's a race).

Anyone who rides with a full team kit is a massive carrot for all other riders. And anyone who has been a carrot knows how much that sucks. It can turn a casual training ride into a lung busting, blood coming out of the ears, kind of a ride.

Catching someone with a full team kit can put a smile on your face for days. Only slightly less satisfying is catching someone with baggy shorts and knee socks.

Monday, April 28, 2008


About 45 of us did the White Rim in a day on Sat. 100 miles of dirt. Most of us drove down on Friday night, camped out on the Rim, and ate brats until the late hours of the night. Others arrived in the morning. We rolled out at about 7am. The weather was perfect. Mid to high 60's. I kept my vest and arm warmers on for most of the ride. The cool temps kept me from cramping and allowed me to do the ride with bottles instead of a Camelbak.

I wasn't super social. I wanted to ride this at my own pace and get some base miles in for Leadville. But here are some of my thoughts:

  • Kenny, Brad, and Adam - Share the Alpha Male award. They did the ride twice. Friday was a TT around the loop and then they rode w/ the group on Sat. Kenny and Brad posted a 7:39 and did this on rigid single speeds.
  • Kenny- maintains his spot in my book as the World's nicest guy. He organized the ride, cooked the brats, made homemade bread, and made sure everyone made it out alive.
  • Brad K. - wins the cheerleader award. He hung around at the top of the Mineral Bottom climb and yelled at everyone as they made their way up the switchbacks.
  • Dug- Needs to quit his job and become a full-time sheppard. Not a single lamb would ever get lost. He's also like a crack dealer but with mountain biking. He has introduced more people to cycling than anyone I know and manages to keep them hooked.
  • Elden- Was available for photos for all who were interested and intimidated everyone with the Leadville 100 jacket.
  • Eric (Sleepy) - Gets the MVP award. With minimal saddle time so far this year, the guy threw his leg over a borrowed rigid SS and knocked out a 100 mile ride.
  • Jon- Seemed like he could have kept riding for another 1o0 miles. After the ride, polished off a burger from Ray's Tavern in Green Valley and managed to stay awake and drive my tired body home.
  • Dan (Botched)- Needs his own survival reality show. He slept out in the cold desert night with nothing but a plastic tarp (wrapped up like a tortilla) and pushed himself to the limit on the ride. On the way home, after spending some time face down in a ditch on the side of the road throwing up (more than once), was able to regain his strength and continues to live.
  • Chris H- Cleaned the Murphy Hogback climb on his SS. Probably the most impressive move of the day.

If you haven't done RAWROD, you are missing out. Hope to see you there next year.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Husband of the Year - St. George

In my last post I mentioned that I was with my family in San Diego for Spring Break. What I failed to mention was that on the way home from our trip, I had Rachelle drop me off in St. George to meet up with some of the DNA boys for some mountain biking. This meant that Rachelle would keep the kids and drive the last 4 hours home while I got to play for the rest of the weekend. Please submit your nominations for Husband of the Year by April 30th.

The exchange took place at the local McDonalds. I said my goodbyes over a sausage McMuffin with Cheese and a Diet Coke. I met up with Jamie, Tony, Adam, Steve, Justin, Trent and headed for Gooseberry (sorry no pics, it's too fun of a ride to pack a camera). After a couple of hours on Gooseberry, we headed into town to get some Mexican food. Finding a place to eat on a Sunday in St. George is not easy. The only Mexican place open was empty and it felt creepy eating there. We were all craving chips & salsa so we took our chances and the food was actually really good.

After some lunch we headed back to the house we had rented (5 bedroom 4.5 bath, complete with pool, hot tub, pool table, big screen TV with DVR) and relaxed while Steve, Adam, Justin and Trent got cleaned up and hit the road. They had come down a day early to ride. The rest of us (Jamie, Tony and me) stayed.

The 2nd ride of the day was Barrel Roll. It's a great loop that can be knocked out in 30-40 min. Most of it is mellow with great views. But there are a few technical moves. (check out how Jamie managed to get almost the exact same shot of me and Tony)

After riding Barrel Roll, Jamie still wasn't satisfied so we rode a section of the Black Brush trail which is a bit more uphill and technical. We only had about 30 min of daylight left and I had to force Jamie to turn around before we got caught riding technical single track in the dark.
Pizza and a movie later that night.
The next day, we rode the Jem, Rim, Goulds loop but we started from the Jem trail in Virgin. It is the best way to ride this loop because you end on the downhill.

About half way through the ride, Jamie crushed his pedal and was no longer able to clip in. We took the velcro strap used to secure my tube to my seat and set him up with a "power strap". Tony and I grinned because we thought this would help keep the pace slower for the rest of the ride. But Jamie had other plans. Even with a velcro strap, he was able to put the hammer down and ride hard.

The weather was great. Mid 70's and sunny. A great way to log some dirt miles before RAWROD this weekend. Yep, I got the hall pass for yet another weekend of MTBing. Like I said, Husband of the Year.
Don't worry, I'm already working on a trip for Rachelle as payback.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Spring Break

Last week was Spring Break. We loaded up the kids in the Tahoe and met Dug and his family in San Diego. This being a family vacation, I left the bikes at home. It was nice to take some time to chill at the beach, eat large amounts of Mexican food, visit SeaWorld, and do a lot of relaxing.

But in the back of my mind, I knew that RAWROD was fast approaching. 100 + miles on dirt is no small ride. I needed to log some miles. So I borrowed a bike and hit the boardwalk. I loaded up the bike seat with my 2 year old daughter and went for a spin. I think I got about 0.25 miles in of intense effort.

Check out Dug's bike. Love the bars.

Monday, April 14, 2008


It's 75 degrees outside. Go ride.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Early Bird Gets The Worm

Today is the 3rd day in a row that I have been up since 4:45am. The snow is just too good to pass up.

Out of respect for Dug, Kim, Jay, Tyler and his Brother, I shouldn't even post this. They should have been with us for another session on Scottie's this morning. But it didn't go as planned.

We all met at 5:30am at the base of LCC. 12 of us in total (Ben, CJ, Dustin, Mike, Paul, Tyler, Tyler's brother, Dug, Kim, Jay, Rob and me). Because the group was so large and everyone had different schedules, some of us left a few minutes before others to drive to the White Pine trailhead. We would regroup there. As I started up the canyon, I noticed the flashing signs and the Canyon Patrol at the first gate. They were ready to shut down the canyon to do some early morning avalanche control work.

I may have been the last car they let up becuase Dug, Kim, Jay, Tyler and his brother, never made it up the road. They left about a minute after me and got turned around. I would later find out that they went over to Days from the Spruces trailhead in BCC. You'll need to check out Dug's post as I heard something about Tyler, a tree, and a possible broken hip?

As we pulled into the WhitePine parking lot, one of the Canyon Patrol was in his truck and rolled down his window and said..."we're going to do some blasting in the mid canyon area, so whatever you do, don't leave this parking lot until the flashing lights have stopped on the sign". I wanted to ask what is his definition of mid canyon was but his window rolled up and he was off.

As we started the climb up Scottie's, it was like a war zone for the next 45 min. Charges going off and echoing off the canyon walls. Some of them closer than others. Some of them so loud, they made me jump.
Scottie's had about a 12-14" of fresh snow and because the road was officially closed, we were the only group on the mountain. That whole thing about the "early bird gets the worm" makes sense to me now.

It was a hard effort breaking trail but Ben, CJ, Dustin, and I took our turns at the front with Mike, Paul and Rob right on our heels. It's crazy how much harder the effort is when you are breaking trail. It's like 10X the effort. My choice of breakfast wasn't helping me either. Maple Bar and a diet coke. But I didn't mind the extra work. I knew how good it was going to be.

About an hour later, we gained the ridge and made our way to the summit.

Dustin, who Dug and I met 2 days earlier and who has some of the same ski friends we do, busted out the camera again. He got some great pics. I hijacked these from his site:

Tomorrow should be biking weather. I could end the ski season today and be happy but something tells me Dug will get me out on Timp before the snow is gone.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Wednesday Nights Are About To Get Much Better

The Sundance/Soldier Hollow weekly race series starts up again on May 7th at Soldier Hollow. I like these events because:
  • The races are in the evening which means my wife and kids just think I am working late that night.
  • Each race is just $10 (Actually, I think $12 this year). Essentially, the same cost of a movie and drink gets you on the start line.
  • It's a very casual setting yet even some of the local pro's show up.
  • Some of the best single track in the state (Sundance)
  • After each race, they hold a raffle for prizes. You don't even need to be a top 3 finisher to bring home the goods.

I hope to see you there. Maybe we can exchange elbow jabs as we pass eachother on the course.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Powder for Breakfast

It's April 8th and we are still getting pounded with new snow in the mountains. Every time I try to put the skis away for the season, we get a storm like this. Yesterdays avalanche report included the following:

" was zero to 16 inches in about 4 hours, of incredible "Oh, my gosh" Utah Powder. Storm totals were 10-17 inches in the Cottonwoods..."

Dug and I met at 5:30am at the base of LCC and hooked up with another skier- Dustin. Getting up at 4:45am to go ski sounds fine before you go to bed but when that alarm clock goes off and it's 20 degrees outside, it's not always easy to make it. Dustin's friends didn't show up as promised. Not interested in skiing alone, Dustin decided to hang with us for the morning . He has one of those dream jobs. He works in Sales & Marketing for Voile (Tele skis, bindings, & first to come out with the split board).

We piled into Dug's car and headed up. We decided to ski Scottie's and get first tracks on the North facing aspect.

It was a perfect clear morning with no wind and a lot of light dry powder.

Here I am almost at the top and it wasn't even 7am.

And here I am getting burried after getting caught in my own sluff (There goes my BD sponsorship). I was able to ski out of this one but left some of my pride (okay, a lot of my pride)on the mountain.

The view from Scottie's is pretty amazing. Not many people get to experience this.

Here I am after geting washed out of the sluff and wishing I could have kept it together for an action shot. And here is a pic of Dug skiing with SLC in the background.

Hard to express just how cool it is to climb a mountain in the dark, ski it with 17" of powder, and make it to work by 9am. I really, really like living in Utah.

Thanks Dustin for taking some pics and for the good company this morning.

Monday, April 7, 2008

This Will Make You Slow Down

I'm almost done reading Saul's book about his crash, coma, and amazing recovery. Reading this book will make you want to slow down a bit. I think I'll buy a copy for Dug and Eric for Christmas.

When I saw Saul on the start line at the Porcupine Hill Climb last year, I didn't realize how much he had to ovecome to get there.

It's a very cool story.

Warning: If you like to go 55 MPH down Suncrest 4 days a week, I don't recommend you read this book. Now, every time I go past that guard rail on the North side of Suncrest and the cross winds start pushing my rims, I think about what it would be like to be feed through a tube.

Also....Is it me or did 9 out of 10 cyclists on Saturday have on the same yellow jacket? Did REI just have a blow out sale? I'm just saying....It was creepy.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

2 Laps Is Not Enough

For my lunch ride today (The one I rode solo since none of the core group would come ride with me...sheesh), I decided to climb up the steep paved road above the Orem cemetery, then climb up the dirt jeep road and then drop in above the cliff band above the Provo race course. It's been years since I've ridden that section. It still gives me the creeps. The exposure is big and a little mistake could mean big consequences. But the reward is sweet. Instead of riding the jeep road all the way around, this route drops you right onto the race course which is just a fantastic section of trail.

After the first lap, I had to have more. I did a second lap and was seriously considering calling in sick for the rest of the day and just riding laps on the course. Maybe it's just been a really long winter and I forgot just how good some tight, buff single track can be. Or maybe the course is in extra good condition (just moist enough to be be able to rail through the turns but not wet enought to get dirty). Maybe both, but I just couldn't get enough.

After making myself ride back to the office, I decided to top off the ride with a Big Mac. Every 6 months or so, I'll get one of these. Today seemed like the perfect day to do that.

Tomorrow (Friday), I plan to do the same route but maybe add a 3rd lap. 11:45 depature time if anyone is interested.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The Uterus Chute (that's right, we named it)

I spent last Saturday morning exploring the mountains around Box Elder Peak. Dug, Ben, Jon, Mike and I met at Suncrest at 5:30am and drove to the Tibble Fork parking lot. (There are many reasons why I love living at Suncrest but the fact that I know so many guys up there who like to get out and hike AND bike is very cool). We left Tibble Fork at about 6am in the pitch dark and headed up towards Granite Flats. There is a trail that starts from the Granite Flats campground area and winds around a few mountains and dumps you at the base of Box Elder (which was our objective), but we decided to find a more direct route. (For future reference, whenever someone says a more "direct route" in the backcountry, it means steep as hell). Ben lead the way and it was straight up. We must have gained 1,000 ft of vertical in the first 10 minutes. It was a much more interesting approach and we didn't have any trouble finding a route up the mountain. The problem was Box Elder was a lot further way than we anticipated and it required us to navigate across multiple sub ridges to work our way over to it. We finally decided to ski a chute that we discovered instead of try for the summit of Box Elder. I'd say we made the right choice.

Things I learned on this hike:

  • Cheetos and Fruit Snacks make you go fast up the mountain. Ben must have put away 3 or 4 bags of each and he is a mountain goat on the climb. A direct result of his choice of fuel

  • It's important to stretch your Uterus before skiing a chute.

  • When you are climbing 4,000 + vertical ft, just about anything on your ipod sounds good. Just find the zone.

Here we are at the entry. Dug is in red, Jon in black, me in the blue boots, and Ben in the green boots. Mike is on a cliff band about 50 yards away taking the pics (thanks Mike!).