Wednesday, May 27, 2009

What's That Smell?

People have stopped coming by my cubical to chat. I wonder why?

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Draper ICUP

The 9am start didn't happen due to wet/muddy course conditions. The hour delay turned into 4 hours which meant a lot of hanging out. (Thanks Brad for sharing the CarboRocket tent)

It was hard to manage the food intake when the start kept changing. I hate eating Gu's or Shot Bloks if I don't need to. Rachelle went home and got a run in while I watched the kids which worked out well. She brought me back a peanut butter and honey sandwich. She made one for Sam too which clearly would help him. I think she gave Sam the sandwich with more peanut butter because he beat me up out on the course.

Despite the delay, they ended up modifying the course. No Clarks climb. And no Ghost downhill. I was bummed and thought it was going to be lame racing a shorter, less interesting course, but stuck around anyway. My kids were having a blast playing with the other kids and throwing rocks at the racers.

It turned out that the modified course had more climbing than I thought it would. 3 Laps was plenty.

I got the hole shot and led the SS group through the start lap so my kids would think I was winning, and then dropped back a few spots once we hit first road section. My plan was to keep the wheel of of the lead group and hang back a little. Save a little in the tank for lap 3 and then re-catch the lead group but that never happened.

I managed to keep Sam in sight for a while but never closed the gap. I settled for 5th. Sam took 3rd.

Here is a picture after I punched Sam in the neck at the finish.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Mile Marker 18

This morning, more than ever, I had hoped that during the winter, Mile Marker 18 up AF Canyon had fallen down or had somehow gone missing.

If you've ever ridden AF Canyon with the group, you already know the significance of Mile Marker 18.

To my disappointment, it is still there. That little green sign in the bushes.

I didn't have the legs today. Maybe it was from being sick. Or maybe it was from lugging my 10 lb messenger bag (and I even packed flip flops instead of normal shoes to save weight) up the 11 mile climb. But I think it was probably from trying to keep Jon's wheel all morning long.

He was on fire. At one point, I had to publicly ackowledge that he was (at least for the day) the Alpha Male of the group. I thought if we awarded him his prize verbally, he would back down the pace a little but he didn't. It got worse.

As we passed Mile Marker 18, you could hear the clicking of the shifting gears. And just like that, Sam flicked it over to the big ring and stood up. I shifted, stood, and then quickly sat back down and watched as Steve and Sam battled it out.

The summit sprint up AF is the working, family man's equivalent of taking a Stage win at the Giro or Tour and is almost as important as the sprint to the Guard Station at the base of AF.

In retrospect, I should have known it would have been Steve that would take it. Have you seen those calves? Holy crap.

At the top, Sam, Jon, Mark, and Steve would turn around and ride back down the North side, while Aaron and I dropped the South side, passed Sundance, into Provo Canyon, down, and into work.

Once at work, for $0.65, I was able to purchase the following recovery food and make my 9am meeting (with 3 minutes to spare).

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Sundance Race Series

Despite being violently ill this week, I knew I had to get back on the bike and try to get back some fitness.  I was feeling good enough to test out my race legs at the first of many Wed night Sundance MTB races.  When I say "I felt good enough", I mean I can finally last 3 hours without having to rush to the bathroom.  Oh, and I'm eating again which helps. 

The Sundance course is about a 15 min drive from my office.  A perfect way to unwind after work during the middle of the week.  It has some of the best single track dirt in Utah, and attracts several of the local Pro and Expert riders.  Especially from the Utah County scene (which has a lot of good riders).

The field is usually pretty hard core but the scene is very casual.  No podium, no times are posted until a day or two after the race.  Usually everyone has a great chance to walk away with some cool prizes despite their finishing times.  And the race is only $12.   I can't think of a better way to get some hard, fast training rides in than this weekly race series. 

But it's not all roses. Sundance has the most horrific start to any race.  The start is a paved road meant to shake things out before hitting the single track which is 99% of the course.  But the paved road is steep.  Very steep.   It's not super long but it sure hurts.    

The trick is to hit it as hard as you can to get the hole shot before the single track.  Once on the single track, it's really hard to pass.  It's not easy going from a cold start to complete redline and holding it for several minutes without totally blowing up.

I managed to get a pretty good start by punching it just before we hit the dirt.  But I knew I wasn't going to be very fast tonight so I settled for mid pack (Expert and Pro race in the same group so mid to near the end of the pack seemed about right for me)

Lap 1 was good.  I was hurting and really wanted to pull out of the race until I hit the downhill.  It just makes you smile.  It's THAT good.  After coming through the start line, I was anxious to climb again just so I could do the downhill section one more time.  My legs didn't have much punch for lap 2 and I let at least 4 riders pass me.  Towards the end of the 2nd climb I started to get my legs back but it was too late.  I just enjoyed the downhill and almost forgot I was in a race.

There were a lot of Racer's Cycle Service kits riding SuperFly's.  I'd say Racer is selling a lot of those machines. 

I donated several Salt Cycling jerseys and t-shirts for the prizes but I didn't stick around to see if they handed them out.  Had to get home and see the kids before they went to bed. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Dropping Lbs the Hard Way

Anyone looking for a quick way to drop some extra lbs? Then head on over to the Italian Place in Lindon and order the Steak n Everything sandwich. It's loaded with steak and veggies and all sorts of vomit inducing bacteria.

I spent most of yesterday afternoon curled up in the fetal position or in the bathroom.

I haven't been able to eat since 2pm yesterday and drinking is even a problem. The good news is, I should be at a good climbing weight for the Draper race. The bad news is, I haven't been able to log any ride miles so far this week.

A 20 oz bottle of Sprite has 100 calories. I wonder how long I can live on just Sprite because I will never eat anything ever again. Never.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Draper ICUP Course

The Draper course has been posted on the ICUP site. If I'm reading this map correctly, most of the course is single track. The passing (or getting passed) should make it interesting.

I'm pretty excited for this one.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Monkey in the Middle

I was set up. After a good night's sleep and time to think about my night ride last night, I think I was part of very mean trick.

I met Chad and Scott at the EQ for a night ride. (By the way, the moon is very big and very bright this week. I highly recommend getting out for a night ride). The ride started out normal. Chad in front, me in the 2nd slot, and Scott behind me. The pace was good but not painful. We made our way to the base of Clarks and all of a sudden, Chad took off at race pace. I chased and managed to keep his wheel despite the blood coming out of my ears. At the bridge he backed off and the pace was normal again. A few minutes later, Chad stood up again and was back to race pace. I started to chase and after 30 seconds decided this is silly and backed off. And that's when the questions started from Scott. I was breathing hard and wasn't in a state of mind for being social but Scott is such a nice guy, I wanted to try and answer his questions. I could only manager simple one word responses. Yet the questions kept coming. And with every one word response, I knew I was wasting precious air. I sounded like I was either anti-social or retarded.

Once I caught back up with Chad, he said "I'm not trying to be a weenie. I'm just doing my interval training. One minute on 3 minutes off."

Nice, glad I could be a part of your interval training.

I think they planned this. Get me in the middle spot, and then Chad was to put the hammer down and Scott was to start up with the questions just to see if they could make me pass out.

And yet....I loved every minute of it.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Guy Code- Chapter 6, Section 3.1

Chapter 6, Section 3.1 of the "Guy Code" handbook clearly states that: "When a ride, race, road trip, or bike related purchase is discussed among fellow riders, it is be held secret until all the riders have been able to discuss it with their spouse and seek appropriate approvals."

Recently, on more than one occasion, my wife has found out about a bike trip or bike race from my friends before I've been able to plant the seed and talk to her about it (Lotoja, Palm Desert...). I've been lucky so far. She has been very cool about it and usually only requires that she gets to spend an equivalent amount on something for herself (pillows or jeans seem to be the default).

But one of these days, I won't be so lucky. It's only happened to me a few times which is impressive considering that 2 of my brothers-in-law ride, my twin brother rides, and all my riding friends have very cool wives who are good friends with Rachelle. Once a friend or family member leaks the plan to their wife, it usually only takes a few hours for the word to get out.

Nothing catches me off guard more than walking in the door from work and Rachelle saying "So, you're doing Lotoja again, huh?".

So it is my proposal that we all put on our water buffalo hats, meet at the EQ parking lot tonight at 8:30pm , and review the rules over a night ride.

Monday, May 4, 2009

My Dark Side

Here is a fun exercise to put you in a really, really bad mood.
  • Skip out of work early on Friday, drive 30 miles to 5 Mile Pass and pre-ride the ICUP course.
  • Make your special pre-race dinner (spaghetti w/ cottage cheese)

  • Spend time cleaning and dialing in the bike
  • Wake up, force down some Oatmeal and a powerbar
  • Drive 30 miles to 5 Mile Pass in the rain
  • Pull up to the parking only to get confirmation that the race has been delayed and maybe postponed.
  • Turn around and drive home.
  • No ride. No race
It's one thing to not get a ride in, but it's a completely different thing to plan on racing, go through all the rituals, eat oatmeal, drive all the way out there, only to turn around and go home.

I wasn't in the best of moods on Saturday. In fact, I showed my darker side for most of the day.

Turns out. Plan B wasn't too bad. Took the kids swimming and then to Training Table for some greasy cheese fries. Rachelle did her best to cheer me up.

Racing is silly. I don't know why I get all worked up over it.

Friday, May 1, 2009

The House of a Cyclist

Drive by my house and you'll notice the fence door, detached from the fence, and laying on the ground. It's been like that since the early winter.

Come inside and you'll notice the blinds that hang over the sliding glass door to the back deck won't work. They've been like that for several months, maybe years. I'm not sure. Or the picture in our bedroom that has been on the floor propped up against the wall since Christmas.

The garage is full of clutter (although, I do make sure that we can fit both cars inside the garage). Stuff is out of place and there is junk everywhere. Except for the bikes that hang neatly on the wall racks.

Last night, we were going over our weekend plans. It went somewhat like this:

Rachelle - "What are your plans for this weekend?"
me- "Oh nothing, really.....(pause)...."But there is a MTB race that I'd like to do"
Rachelle- blink, blink....chirp, chirp
me - "But I don't have to do it. It's really not a big deal"
Rachelle - blink, blink
me - "What did you have in mind?"
Rachelle- "I'd like to spend some time taking care of our house"
me - blink, blink....chirp, chirp
Rachelle - Rambles on for 5 minutes about all the stuff that needs to fixed or put away
  • Fix the fence door
  • Remove blinds and replace with new curtains
  • hang picture I bought for her at Christmas that is still on the floor propped up against the bedroom wall.
  • Change hallway light bulbs
  • Clean garage
  • Work on yard
  • Dust
  • Set up a work space in bedroom
  • blah....blah....blah
Why is it I can ride my bike for 10 hours straight and feel great but taking 30 minutes to fix the fence seems like an overwhelming project that I just don't have time for?

Cyclists are addicts. I'd never neglect my wife or kids (at least not intentionally) but I have no problem ignoring the house projects in favor for a ride.

Anyone know a good handy man or cleaning lady? If so, please send my way.