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.