Monday, April 27, 2009

The Graudation "Walk"

Graduations are awesome. Ya know, you like get to listen to some cool speeches, walk across the stage, shake your dean's hand, etc. Wear the cool hat and robe 'n stuff. Awesome, right?

Well, I decided to try something a little different for my graduation. Save the $30 tassle fee, or rather, trade it for a tank of gas, and go to Moab.

Every year, Kenny puts on a group ride called RAWROD, which means for Ride Around White Rim in One Day in bike acronym language.

White Rim is a 103 mile road in Canyonlands National Park outside of Moab, where "you ride down into a hole, you ride around another hole, and then you ride out of the hole." Most people tackle the ride in 3-4 days, and the N.P.S. recommends that jeepers do it in at least two days.

But since bikers are crazy (or stupid), we all got together to do it in just one.

So my graudation "walk" was a ride. Sweet.

Sweet, especially the descent (Shafer's) into the hole, where Craig and I took turns turning little bumps in the road into jumps. Sweet, except for the 25+ mph headwinds we battled for at least 20 miles. Sweet, except for the 1500 meter climb out of the hole, where I went from feeling like a decent climber to becoming a believer in the 22-34 combo. Sweet, especially the ice cold Cherry Coke Craig promised was waiting for me at the finish.

I had a good time out there in that hole. But it only took me about 30 miles before I started asking myself why I was doing this. I still don't have an answer. Is that what endurance riding is about? Doing things but not knowing why you are doing them? Well, I'm new at this endurance stuff. Kinda like a freshman. Doing stuff coz its good for ya even though you have no clue why.

Thanks Craig for keeping me in the game mentally.
Thanks Fish for letting me know how crappy you felt, it helped me know I wasn't the only one feeling like that.
Thanks Jon for keeping the humor up, and for showing me just how much better discs are than V's. And for not noticing that my shorts were white when you were making fun of everyone else's white shorts.
And thanks Craig for that killer Cherry Coke.
(Yeah that's my RAWROD thank you list, not my college one, in case you couldn't tell.)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Lambert Park

I've never ridden here before. It was totally dry, even after the huge snowstorm Thrusday. Got in a couple of hours with Ash, then ride home. 60 and sunny...nice. A good break from finals.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

What the heck is NOIR?

So in the middle of my ride today I started wondering what the name of my handlebar noir meant (I didn't name my handlebar, the manufacturer, Truvativ, did(It's also the name of their carbon cranks, duh)). In the middle of writing my last undergrad paper ever I started wondering again. This is when you know you're no longer being productive and should go to bed is. So I started looking it up. Here's what I came up with, in a convenient list format:

  • There is a film genre called film noir, which you can read about here. Sounds boring compared to movies made today. No chance they named it after old movies.
  • In english the word noir can have several definitions, which all seem to have roots from film noir. My favorite definition is "suggestive of danger or violence." This could be the meaning, however, I'm not sure that they'd name their lightweight XC carbon components that.
  • In French, German, Cajun German (?), Provencal, and not Scottish noir means black. That's probably it because crabon fiber is, well, black.
  • My favorite definition, although the one I'd least likely to see come true, is the Spanish defintion. NO in Spanish means no, and ir in Spanish is the infinitive of the verb "to go" So basically it means no go. Kind of like the Chevy No-Va (which didn't sell well in Mexico!). I don't want this to come true because that will likely involve my bars breaking which sounds bad.
So, now I (and you) no longer will have to worry about what noir could possibly mean. I just have to worry that my bars don't "no ir" me. We've all been educated here. Too bad this won't help me any with that last paper. Maybe I can just turn this in. It kinda involves economic growth, right? No? Well, looks like I justed wasted another twenty minutes of precious paper writing time. Definitely time to put the computer down and stop working on that paper.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Just came back from a great weekend in St. George racing at ICUP #2, the Cholla Challenge down in Hurricane. Here are some notes.

1. It's amazing how fast the dirt dries out down there. Our Friday evening pre-ride was a mudfest, by Saturday at noon the course was dry. There was only one puddle on the entire course, and the dirt was dry everywhere else.

2. Bad luck. 3 years ago I DNF'd at Cholla less than a mile into the race. My chain snapped. Last year, I rode without incident. Last month I DNF'd with two flat at the Desert Rampage. This weekend, my left shoe's lacing system broke halfway through the race. I was able to finish, and ride well, but imagine running with no shoelaces. That's what this was like. My southern Utah racing stats are one out of four races without a mechanical and finishing two out of four. And...I've had four mechanicals in four races. Dude.

3. Dan, those socks have got to go.

4. The first two times I raced at Cholla I ran a 29/44 2x9 setup. First on a 26" bike, which, I only raced about a mile. Then on a 29er. This year I ran a normal triple, but really wanted to run a single 32 ring upfront. That was the perfect gear. I never left my middle ring.