Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Best Ride Ever.

I got 80 minutes on the bike last week (Not including the Thursday Night Race - 2:20 total) So to make up for that, I did this:

I've ridden Hobble Creek a lot over the last few years. I've always gone up Left Fork because that's where everyone rode when I started. Right Fork is a lot better. Nice road, no houses, much more serene. About 9 miles from the bottom of the canyon the road turns to dirt, and turns up. Pat told me I could take this road all the way to Diamond Fork, and he was right. Awesome ride. The dirt section is 7.75 miles long, and the road is so smooth right now that it didn't even phase my ultralight road tires. It's about 3.5 miles up at 8-10% and the rest is downhill. Then it hits Diamond Fork road for 15 miles of smooth fun descending. Get on Highway 6 for 5 miles and it's 13 miles back to Provo. Check the stats below: Laps 2,3, and 4 were on the dirt. Suh-weet.

Cascade from the backside

Pretty up there

Smooth dirt road

It was muddy like this for about 50 yards at the top. The mud was dry enough that it didn't pack up on the bike.

Even found some red rock back there. It's called Red Ledges.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

NOT racing bikes

With the last two Wednesday Night World's races being postponed to Thursdays, I've been too torched for racing twice as much two days later. So I've skipped the last two ICUP races. I know, I know, they were two of the races I wanted to target this year, but the Wednesday (err, Thursday) nighters are so fun and sometimes you just got to take the weekend off from racing bikes.

Last week, I put in a bunch of hours on the road bike instead of racing at Sundance, which was good. No regrets.

This week I was on the bubble all Friday about racing Soldier Hollow. The course suits me well and I wasn't too sore from Thursday. By 10 PM I had decided to race but allowed myself a weather-related opt-out. Well, it rained all night and I hardly slept, and when I did I dreamed a dream that I often have. It's not a great dream and doesn't get me too excited to ride my bike. By morning I was out. Rumors of a snow-line and course change confirmed the decision. I didn't want to spend $40 racing the lower hills that I race all summer on for $12.

Instead of racing we cleaned house and in the PM met up with my dad to go shoot some guns. We don't get out for this very often (Ash has never gone with us, so it's been at least 2.5 years) but it's always fun when we do. Usually an uncle and some cousins show up, but today it was just my dad, Ash, and me. It was nice because it meant we all got to shoot a lot and not wait for each other. Reload and shoot.

After teaching Ashleigh how to load a gun and all that good stuff we set her up on a rifle. After a few clips on that she got ready to shoot my dad's .22 pistol. Her first three shots were dead on. Then she looked at us and was like "how do I aim on this one?" Ummm..... I think you have it figured out....It was her first time shooting guns ever and she totally outshot me on the rifle and the handgun.

Luckily we brought a shotgun and some clay pigeons too. I'm used to shooting with one or two other people at the same clay pigeon so shooting fast has always been a priority, otherwise someone else gets the shot. Today we only had one shooter so I was able to take my time and shoot well. I only missed one out of about 20 birds and even got a couple of them twice, just for fun. My dad was laughing because I was shooting so well and it was nice to make up for getting outshot with the other guns.

It was a fun afternoon, it was great to get out and do something I enjoy but don't get to do very often. And I shot a lot better than I could have raced. And it makes me feel pretty good having such a sharpshooter of a wife too!!!

I don't know how she shot that handgun so well with her eyes closed...

Hit and....


(The proof is in the zoom)


Photo Dump

These have been sitting on my phone for a while and I finally figured how to get them off faster than emailing myself each one individually:

Our 2008 Subaru has been through a lot. That ticker past 50k a long time ago. (It just passed 60). The first pic is deer damage that happened 7-8 months ago.

My BMX bike had Dura-Ace cranks on it for a while, and clearances were tight.

Racer's will fix your broken Superfly. Trust us, we've fixed a few...we've got a rack reserved for the darn things.

This couch used to be in the back at Racer's a few years ago. We threw it out when we found out it was infested with mice. Somehow, it ended up at the local laundromat.

It's been a chilly, wet spring, but at least it's not this bad.

We built up a Superfly for a client that had scored it from the GF Pro Team. It's Heather Irminger old bike. I'd stare at those fork decals for days. This bike was the first we built up with XX. Now everyone rides that stuff.

Ash on the way to one of our few snow days. We definitely didn't get enough snowboarding in this year.

I rode as much of the Alpine Loop (Provo Canyon side) as I could last week. It was pretty rad, I had to use some of my cyclocross skills for the fallen trees and stuff. Made it less than a mile away from the top. Soon we'll be able to ride the whole thing. Sweet.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Wednesday Night Worlds

So, I used to run in high school and stuff. I was decent. I ran cross country in the fall and track in the spring. I was competitive in CC but track was where I came alive. I was much better (relative to others) at the 800m and 1600m than I was at a 3000m CC race.

That said, I'm kind of the same way on the bike. Which is why Wednesday Night Worlds is the greatest race series ever. The races are never over an hour, and that's a lot shorter than an hour and a half, or two hours, or six, or twelve...

The courses are sweet too: Soldier Hollow is a fast, relatively flat course that you rarely need brakes on. At Sundance you're always going up or down, and the it's a good mix of quick and technical.
I first started racing bikes at this series clear back in 2001, I was like 17 or so. Venues and organizers have changed but the racing is always fast, furious, and fun. This has to be the most relaxed racing scene ever. Also, racing is cheap, and you almost always get more out of the raffle than your entry fee. For more info check out www.weeklyraceseries.com

If YOU come, Dan might even break out his old Nike sweatshirt...

Monday, May 3, 2010

Better a saddle rail than a collarbone.

5 Mile Pass. Not one of my favorite races.

Last year, I had 3 flat tires. I finished my 2nd lap when the leaders of my category were finishing their race. I had the slowest time of anyone, including the pros (who did more laps than me).

This year started out better - with dry dirt, but went south quickly. About 15 minutes into the race, I took a wrong turn. Didn't realize it for far to long. This put me pretty far back and I started playing catch-up. Took a few turns in the wash to fast and took a big spill. Bike landed upside down, dislodging my GPS (after crushing it, I'm sure), broke my saddle rail, and we'll find out soon if anything else. My bike sure felt squirrely the rest of the race. The next 15 minutes I was an emotional wreck, and it showed in my riding. I'd get angry, ride hard for a few minutes, then get frustrated and sit up. I finished my first lap and had a nice chat with Stu as I exchanged bottles, which helped me get my focus back on. I had a good 2nd lap, and worked my way up to 4th.

Here's what I learned:

-Don't wake up at 5:30 and drive 3 hours before a race. At least not without some prerace pickmeup.
-Trim those bars. I hit Rick, one of the pro ladies, and a ton of trees with my bars. I either need to cut them down or learn to ride a bike.
-Gearing. My gear coach is two for two in helping me pick a good gear. However, it's always a very painful one. If you don't like the hurt, don't take his advice!
-Suspension. I'm beginning to see the merits of a suspended fork.
-Fitness. All you need is one good, 50 mile, 5000 vertical foot ride per week to stay fast. (And some intervals, a winter's worth of base work, and of course, some recovery).
-It took me a while, and a talk with my wife to realize this, but broken bikes are better than broken bones.
-Don't go the wrong way. Duh.