Thursday, December 9, 2010

Dawn, Dusk, and Finals

So, it's finals week for me. I'm done with two, have one to go. Anyway, that's boring. Where it gets interesting is during the part where 3 months ago, before I knew how much work finals were in law school, I signed up with Dan and Nails to do Dawn to Dusk on one of my reading days.
By the time raceday came around I was burned out on studying and ready to ride pedal bikes. I was also behind on studying and could really have used the time to study. Luckily I had already committed to this race.
We ended up getting in 10 laps, 4 for Dan, 3, for me and 3 for Nails. I was pretty nervous about keeping up with those guys, I've been riding but no intensity and had a few weeks off of riding due to school. I feel like I rode pretty well, although my heart rate was through the roof the entire time. There was a section on my third lap where I was at my max - 200bpm for 2 minutes straight. My legs felt good though so I kept pushing. It was also my first ride with suspension in over a year. That was pretty nice. Good times!
Below are some photos of the race experience.

Monday, November 15, 2010


Sure, I tell people that I'm not missing racing cyclocross this season. Given the Arizona climate I live in, I ask rhetorically, "Why would I want to go race on a dry grass field at a city park when I could go mountain biking?" Tame cyclocross over real mountain biking? Mountain biking, of course!

But, my true feelings come out, and show that I'm in a state of denial. In the last week, I've posted 2 cyclocross videos on facebook. I spent part of Sunday afternoon watching the US Grand Prix of Cyclocross on the internet. I look up Utah results every week. I watched Todd Wells crash- - over and over today. The truth is, I miss cyclocross. I miss the mud, the wet grass, the loose drifting feeling in turns, the run-ups, the barriers, and the 'scene'. I miss having so much fun racing that I jump in the next flite. (I really miss the Heber course, but I guess its gone for good.)
So why the denial? I think I'm scared. I remember the pain. The most miserable night of my life was after my first 'cross race. I was so sore, and kept having dreams that I was racing. I didn't stop racing all night, and I'd wake up so sore, only to drift off to sleep and dream of the pain some more. I remember watching Racer and Dan throw up after their races but before mine. Cross, as fun as it is, sure ain't easy.
I won't be racing any cross this year. I missed last year too. Someday though, I will race cross again. Until then, however, I will keep on my face of denial, although I'm sure you'll be able to see my love for the sport if you know where to look.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Flagstaff and Sedona

Brother-in-law Tim and I met up in Flagstaff last weekend to do some mountain cycling. We had originally planned to go to Moab, but the weather forecasters thew us off. Cutting 6 hours off of my drive time and a couple hours off Tim's was a bonus too. From the looks of everyone's Fall Moab pics, it seems like we went to the wrong place.

Nonetheless, we found ourselves in Flagstaff. I rolled in around 9:30 in my Arizona clothes: t-shirt, shorts and flipflops, and proceeded to make camp in 35 degree weather. Luckily it wasn't raining while making camp. Once again, Ashleigh and I registering at REI when we got married paid off, as I slept warm in my 0 degree bag and our nice tent kept us dry. Who needs pots, pans, and linens right?

It rained off and on throughout the night. Just enough that the trails were damp but not soaked that morning. We rode up Mount Elden that day. We realized that it's probably more of a hiking trail after that last turnoff... we were rarely on our bikes for more than 20 yards. But we did get a good 2500' climb in, in just over 8 miles of riding. We literally rode right up into the clouds above Flagstaff. Coming down it started sleeting and raining, and the trails got wetter and slicker. There were some fun sections coming down, but we were ready to be done by the time that, uh, we were done. Some gross chinese food and a movie later, we turned in for cold and wet night number two.

We decided to break camp and ride in Sedona on Saturday. Then we'd both drive home that afternoon, rather than camp another cold night and drive home in the morning.

The weather was warmer further South and closer elevation-wise to the sea. We had a good time riding Cathedral Rock trail in Sedona, and only added about 5 miles of riding by getting lost repeatedly. Of course, we were the only ones on the trails that missed turns. (Apparently I'm good at taking wrong turns. Just ask the pro women at 5 mile pass...) Sedona is Moab like with some steep ledge-laden climbs. Super fun riding. We ran into the Crank Brothers crew, there were like 15 riders all with CB wheels. We stopped one and asked them why they all had those wheels? Did thy know something we didn't? Well, they knew someone we didn't, the owner and product manager of CB, who were also in the group. I told the guy to tell his CB buddies that I have fallen out of love with their pedals and am switching to Shimano's, and we went our different ways.

We ended the ride and had a good late lunch at the Blue Moon Diner, and headed home. A good weekend, except for the cold and wet.

Tim was constantly trying to talk me into getting a suspension fork and some gears for my bike. I kept trying to talk him into buying his own bike so I could ride Ashleigh's (geared and suspended) bike instead of him. I'm caving into the suspension...will he cave into a bike? BTW, Tim, Ashleigh says you can't borrow her bike anymore coz she's riding it from now on.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Niner Fork for sale

So, rocky Arizona has turned me into a wimp. I'm selling my rigid carbon Niner fork. For a low, low price of (email, call, or leave a comment, and we'll discuss prices in the range of $275) this fork can be yours. This isn't just any niner carbon fork either. It has a resume. Like, winning the inaugural hell-o-ween hillclimb, coming close to the podium repeatedly at ICUP and Sundance races, not winning the Sea Otter Classic, as well as being quite the looker. This fork will enhance the look of your bike guaranteed, making you and your bike look younger, fitter, faster, and crazy. Guaranteed to raise trailside questions and comments including "Wow, a fully rigid fork, you must be so hardcore*, and "how can you ride that bike here?". At which point, you will smile, tell them how nice it rides (for a rigid fork) and how much lighter it makes you. Only you and I will know that you only do it for the attention. So, if you want to be the attention getter on the trail, if you want to be a true "hardcore*" cyclist, then take a look at the pictures below, and let's get in touch. Steerer tube is just under 7 inches.

*please replace "hardcore" with "insane".

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Which is better?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Cactus Cup

I remember reading about the Cactus Cup back when I was like, 14 years old, I guess. It was held at McDowell Mtn. which is about 45 minutes away from our home in Arizona. Ashleigh and I made it out there last Saturday and got a good morning of riding in. It's been 15 degrees cooler this week than last so we'll probably start riding mountain bikes a lot more, since we won't have to get up as early to avoid the heat.

There is a pretty nice pump track and some jumps at the parking lot. The pump track was a lot of fun. It's like BMX but smaller and without the pedaling. Definitely would be nice to have the BMX bike too.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Ashleigh's single speed had a terrible gear ratio (39x18!) and she was spun out all the time. So we decided to get some fixin's. The handlebar is a downhill bar and I had to cut almost 7 inches off of it!

My favorite part is the machining on the back of the chainring:

Saturday, September 11, 2010


We made it out to Flagstaff for Labor Day Weekend. And we got on our mountain bikes which was excellent. We had a good ride in the hills. We were climbing up and I was thinking, 'oh man this is great I haven't gotten out of shape because I can hammer up these climbs'; then we came down and I was in that awkward too-fast-to-pedal-but-too-slow-to-be-fast place that you get in sometimes on a single speed. It was then I realized that this wasn't Dry Canyon or the altar. It was still a blast, it just wasn't Utah steep. Which is probably a good thing. There were some good technical sections and I'm sure we'll be there again soon.

Sunday we went to the Grand Canyon, which is a big whole in the ground. The whole time I kept on thinking of TroubleMaker's description of White Rim: You go down into a hole and then you ride around another hole. Ashleigh and I both agreed that we'd rather be in the bottom looking up.

It was a good weekend, and made me remember that mountain biking is fun. I'd like to ride mountain bikes again someday...

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Happy Anniversary Ashleigh!

My tough little Ashleigh and I have had a lot of great adventures over the last 3 years. Here's to many more adventures to come!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

One Month of Commuting by Bike.

I came in just under my goal of 200 miles in August. I know, I know, 200 miles isn't that much, but I wanted to do it all commuting. I got in about 195 this month. Pretty good, considering that school didn't start until the middle of the month. My commute to school is just over 10 miles round trip.

I can also ride around Tempe Lake to get a few more miles in if I have the time. Over the summer I was putting in about 25 hours a month on the saddle, not including my 5 minute ride to the shop everyday. Getting half that in without even making an effort to go on a ride is pretty nice. And riding a bike sure beats finding parking and a long walk.

The bad part is I've been riding my heaviest bike - a steel single speed Lemond - about 5 pounds heavier than my mountain bike. I haven't even sat on my mountain bike this month. We're going to fix that this weekend though...

Thursday, August 26, 2010


So, it's been almost a month since we moved to Arizona. Doesn't seem like it, but it has. Not much action on the biking side, although I have put a bunch of commuting miles in. I went out on the road bike once on the hottest, flattest ride ever, only 200 feet of elevation in 25 miles. Plus I broke a spoke, although I have no idea how. No mountain bike rides yet, but we are headed up to explore Sedona over Labor Day Weekend. It's gotten cooler this week, which means it's been in the low hundreds instead of the low 110s.

I got caught up in a monsoon storm the other night just as I started my ride home. Thank goodness for a waterproof Chrome messenger bag. Everything inside stayed nice and dry. Everything else was soaked. It was fun riding in rain that wasn't cold though. Fun to be soaking wet, being able to splash in puddles knowing they weren't freezing and stuff. Skid through wet corners and stuff, ya know.

I think the rain hit home: it's been way too long since I've been on dirt.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Friday the 13th

Happy Friday the 13th.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Called It

After watching Lance suffer through le Tour, I predicted this. It's too bad some people won't do a race if they aren't sure they can win.

Anyway, look at this!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


We made it here. Although the darn federales sure tried to keep us out. It's funny that they wouldn't let us in with our moving truck while on the other side of the state... Anyway, apparently young college students with a moving trailer pose a major national security threat and are not allowed to cross the Hoover Dam. Unless they are willing to unpack the trailer, allow all the boxes to be inspected, and repack the trailer first. Needless to say, we turned around and took the long way.

It was really nice here Sunday- a high of about 85. Since then it's been a hot 110 degrees, which is fine and makes our 74 degree air conditioned home seem cold.

Pictures coming soon of the one car garage (read 5 bike garage). Sweet.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Bike Lust

My appreciation for 29ers runs pretty deep. That's all I've ridden for a few years. But then Felt announces this:
2011 Felt Virtue LTD. I'm in love with that Yellow over carbon. After suffering through 70 miles of rough rigid riding in Breckenridge, I think this might just be the ticket. I think I've probably stared at this picture for 15 minutes today.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Race Report - Breck 68

At the start

Finishing Round 1

Round 2: What? 30 more miles?

I'll keep it short and sweet, and just say that if you haven't done this race, and if it's not on your future race calendar, it needs to be. This is one of the best run, most fun, hardest races out there. Dan said it well: it's full of ups and downs. And the ups and downs are both amazing. A 10 mile singletrack climb right of the gate, with some of the most scenic views you'll never notice coz you're trying so hard to keep the wheels turning. A fun "BMX track" descent with a bunch of rollers you can pop off of or manual through. More singletrack on the awesome Colorado Trail. Some of the biggest berms to bring you in to start your next lap. More singletrack. More climbs. More descents. If 8200' of climbing in 70 miles isn't enough, you can go for the 13000' in 100 miles option. All on the most beautiful high altitude singletrack out there.

I couldn't wipe the smile off of my face the entire race, even through my patent pending 4th hour funk that hits me at every endurance race. The part where I could barely turn the pedals, or even walk up the 15-18% grade 1 mile climb.

I bested my last years time by 35 minutes. I think this single speed thing helps me ride faster. Gearing for the last 12 mile 3-5% climb helped me push through the entire course, although I'm sick of running these huge gears. I'm putting a 22t on for the rest of forever. Some suspension might be a good idea, too. Anybody interested in a fat-tire road bike? I have one for sale.

It was great having Ashleigh there halfway through to shove some shot blocks in my pockets and swap my bottles out. Unfortunately, she missed my finish because she was taking care of our good friend Larry, who went all Paul Bunyan on a tree - with his shoulder. A few broken ribs and a shattered scapula means that the tree probably won. Hopefully he'll have a speedy recovery. Between Larry, Jay, and Rick, I think Ashleigh is glad I'm on my way to law school.

With cycling taking the backseat for the next three years, it was great to end the season the way it started: with a great result at an endurance race.

Race stats:

49 shot blocks
8 bottles of carborocket and/or water
4 redbull shots (magic)
1 redbull sugarfree
13 new verses to Lady Gaga songs (which I'm sure are make total sense)
1 slow speed "I can totally ride this even though I've been riding 50 miles and can't feel my hands" endo onto a railroad tie.
71.4 smile inducing miles
1 potty break
34x20 max gear ratio
34x20 avg. gear ratio
Home, showered, and back for awards in 45 minutes. Now that's fast!

I finished on the podium.