Thursday, July 30, 2009

Race Day Jersey

It's not always easy to decide which jersey to wear on race day. It would be cool to have something like this:

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Grasshopper Becomes The Master

There is a new sprinter in town. The grasshopper has become the master. It must be the socks.

Dave and I did the Alpine Loop from the Sundance side for a lunch ride. Once at the top, we decided to add some extra miles by dropping the north side and then riding back into work along the canyon road. Dropping the north side meant there would be a sprint at the guard station. Dave knew it. I knew it. This time Dave got the jump on me and I couldn't close the gap.

I must be getting old.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Compliment

Saturday evening, we meet up with some friends for a BBQ pool party. The kids swam and played in the water while the adults sat around and ate hot dogs and cheese burgers. Good times for sure. But after an hour or so of sitting around, Jamie demanded that all the kids line up on the side of the pool while the Dads took turns jumping off the diving board so we could splash the kids.

My turn to jump.

After a few heckles about my tan line I put together a solid jump with a violent "can opener" move for maximum splash effect.

As I emerged from the water, I heard a bunch of snickering and laughing. Apparently, Sam compared my splash to the kind of tiny splashes the Chinese divers make during competition.

As a cyclist with Leadville only a few weeks away, I'll take that as a compliment.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Scars- The Cyclists Tattoo

Scars are just as cool as tattoos. And if you mountain bike (especially at night), chances are you have your share of natural tattoos.

I got another tattoo last night during the Glenwild ride:

I call it "Flying Dog" not because it looks like a dog with wings but because that is the name of the trail that gave it to me. (By the way, the name of that trail needs to be called "Flying Porcupines". Seriously, we saw 5 porcupines last night).

Of the 8 riders, 5 of us had nasty crashes. The trail was angry last night.

After my crash I sat there and thought....Well, that's just great. Now I have to take a shower before I go to bed. Rachelle would freak if the sheets had dirt AND blood on them when she woke up.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Sock Update

Socks have arrived.  I'll be shipping them out this week.  If you still want to order some, you can do that here

I Hope I'm Fast Enough To Pull This Off

My Niner, as we speak, is being outfitted with a new metallic blue EBB (it's the only color they had besides red) and a single speed specific gold chain (again the only color). I'm also putting on some new Race King tires (2.2).

When Ryan at the shop busted out the gold chain, I admit. I had to stare at it for a few minutes. After which I replied:

"I'm not sure I'm fast enough to rock a gold chain"

To which Ryan replied:

"Come on. Gold is what all the rappers wear. Haven't you seen those teeth things they have?"

"Slap that bad boy on" I said. Maybe it will force me to be faster.

I can't wait to show up at the next group ride with my tricked out bike. Now I just need to find one of those handle bars made from a chain. Anyone know where I could find one?

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Solitude ICUP Results

Soooo.....not a great race for me. This time I have no mechanicals for excuses. But I can now say that a 32x19 gear ratio was a bad choice. Those climbs are 3x harder at race pace. I stand by my claim of Solitude dishing out the hardest course on the ICUP circuit. I knew I was in trouble when I saw brad with a 34x22 before the race.

Somewhere during the downhill section on lap one, I lost my only water bottle which was filled with CarboRocket. That's a bad feeling when you look down to grab a drink and you see nothing there. With the heat and brutal climbs, I knew I was in deep trouble. Whenever I would see a group on the side of the course, I would beg for a bottle but nobody had anything to spare.

I've never been so tempted to take one of the bottles placed on the chairs near the bottom of the laps. (you know, the ones set up by riders without a support crew) But I resisted and pushed on.

On the downhill of lap 2, apparently I decided to lay down in some deep sand and take a power nap. I'm not sure how long I was in the dirt but judging by my face in the picture, It must have been a few minutes.

(click for full image. Photo taken by Brad)
Oh, and I think I may have used my face to dig for water. No luck. I would continue on the rest of lap 2 and most of lap 3 without water begging spectators every time I would see one. At one point, I borrowed a few sips from a fellow rider but the damage was done.

I knew it was a matter of time before my system would shut down and it happened on the climb on lap 3. My mouth was dry and my pace dropped significantly. At the top of the climb, I begged for water again from a lady with a camera. She managed to run over to her bag and hand me a bottle with Bob S's. name on it. (Sorry Bob. She said it was an extra). That saved my life but it was too late. I worked my way down the last lap (no more naps) and ended up taking 4th.

Rachelle and kids came up to watch and cheer. So cool when you can hear people yelling your name. It helps a lot.

I'm glad this one is over with. I was worried about it all week.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Solitude ICUP preview

I pre-rode the Solitude ICUP course earlier this week. By far the hardest of all ICUP courses. Steep climbs & technical downhills. It's going to hurt so good.

32 x 19 might be a little aggressive for me on this type of a course but at the moment, it's all I have.

Paramedics, please stand by.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Shop Conversation

Kid at the bike shop: "....Dude, do you eat an Oreo just before you sit down in the dentist chair?"

Me: "No, why?"

Kid at the bike shop: "Then don't drop your bike off at the shop covered with mud"

That was the conversation I remember years ago when I first got into mountain biking. It has stuck with me over the years and I struggle with it every time I go into a shop.

Is it better to drop off your bike with some dirt on it so the guys know you actually ride it. Or is it better to clean it up out of respect for the wrench?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Snowbird ICUP

How did the Snowbird ICUP race go?  This pictures tells it all.  After keeping my 2nd place position well into lap 3 with all the hard climbing out the way, my chain broke.  I still haven't learned my lesson from Leadville.  I found myself staring at my chain in the dirt asking myself why I hadn't bothered to:

1) Swap out the chain before the race.  It had been creaking and popping for the past month and I knew it was on it's last leg.

2) Pack a quick link or chain tool.

The overall objective for the day was to log some race pace miles and make myself hurt.  I accomplished my objective but a podium spot would have been a nice touch to my race.  

I threw my chain around my neck and descended the "DH of Sketch" (named by Bob S.) and hiked/ran until I got passed by the 3rd place Singlespeeder.  Then I pulled the plug and found a jeep road and hiked back to my truck.  

DNF.  It has a nice ring to it, yeah?

P.S.  After suffering on lap 2, I looked down at my full water bottle of CarboRocket and started to drink the magic juice.  The stuff works wonders.  By the time I past through the start line at the beginning of lap 3, I felt strong like bull and found my legs again.  Probably why I broke my chain.  I blame it on the CarboRocket!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Socks And Jerseys (and if you call within the next 30 min, a set of steak knives)

I've added the "Fly" socks to the Salt Cycling site. They won't be available until end of July but if you wanted to pre-order some, I'm offering them at a discounted price ($10 per pair instead of $12). These are 6" wool socks.

These are guaranteed to not match any of your current jerseys or socks (which is a good thing).

Also, I have a small batch of short sleeve MASHer jerseys that have one pink star on just the right sleeve. (3 Mediums, 6 Large, 3 XL's)

This was an order that was placed by mistake (an idea we tossed around during the design phase but never meant to order them) so I'm anxious to dump them at a discounted price of $50 (normal price is $70).

These MASHer jerseys are made with an upgraded material and have a race fit instead of sport fit. Much better than the original.

I'm sure Brad will offer his custom tailoring services and convert this to a sleeveless jersey if you want.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Leadville Prep

With Leadville only a month away, I've started to make any minor changes to my bike now so I have enough time to field test before race day.
  • I ordered my new Chris King SS cog (I'm going to run a 32 x 19 instead of my current 34 x 20). This is a slightly easier gear ratio than what I've been running for the past year and should help save my legs.
  • I ordered the new Niner Bio-Centric BB. They claim it's a much better system that eliminates the typical creak you get with a normal EBB. If you've ridden with me lately, you will thank me for making this investment. My bike has been very loud

Just need to get a new chain ring, a chain, and a set of fast tires.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Dirtbag Tire Repair

So you overbaked that switchback and burned a massive hole in your tire? No problem. An empty Gel pack and a little duct tape can patch the hole.

(Jon hard at work with his dirtbag repair job)

It might get you down the mountain but it's a little sketchy descending at 40+ MPH knowing you have a Gel wrapper and duct tape holding your tire together.

About 3/4 the way down Big Cottonwood Canyon the repair job blew and Jon ended up making the call of shame and left me alone to suffer in the wind and heat.

I don't remember the last time I bonked so hard but about half way up Suncrest, I was in a very dark place with very bad thoughts in my head. It was about that time that Jon and his wife pulled up next to me (she came and picked him up from the base of BCC). As Jon rolled down the window, he muttered something like ..."Dude, you are flying up this hill". If I could, I would have punched him the neck.