Tuesday, July 31, 2007

monsoon season

Since Vermont I have been on my ultimate career guy family man commuter 45 min training program. 15 min in the morning to work and 30 min home. I have been feeling good and killin it on the hill, I guess if you only ride for a few minutes you better make them count. Plus I get home faster to play with Eva, we have been dancing in the mountain thunder storms every night and even got out in some hail this evening.

Plans are coming together for a 3 day stage race in Puerto Rico in mid August followed by some vacationing on another little Caribbean island, this is Rosie's kind of racing. I need to start doing some longer road rides, maybe I will race Wolf Creek Pass in a couple weeks.

This weeks rain may make the Evanston course somewhat fun, although those OHV trials were made for the KTM.

Friday, July 27, 2007


Road or Mountain I can't get anyone to ride with me tomorrow, I guess I'll have fun by myself again!

So how does Contador climb with a couple juicers like the Chicken and Soler, the Bruyneel/Disco special juice maybe? Is Evans the only one in the race you can trust?

Eva likes her new hydration pack, pink helmet, and bike seat!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Mountain Bike National Championships, Mtn Snow Vermont

Finally getting caught up enough to have a minute to write about the weekends racing highlights. Sorry for the long and randomly detailed post but I have had multiple requests to provide insight into racing and traveling from some up and comers. You don't have to read it!

Rog and I flew to Hartford through Chicago via United. We used the PIKA double case and the airline dude did not charges us for the bikes, off to a good start. The flights were good and as usual my 20-30mmhg knee high compression stockings worked wonders. We met Sager, Stephanie, and Bryan at the airport and packed our Buick Rainier rental tight with 2 bikes strapped to the top. Of course it was pouring rain. The drive through Massachusetts and up into Vermont was good despite a 2 hr stop for bad Mexican food.

Woke up and had my normal cold cereal breakfast. Built the bikes and headed out for a pre ride of the course. It had been raining all week and had now just started to dry out in the open sections. The course is one of the best around with a lot of steep climbing, gnarly descending, roots, rocks, fast transition sections, and when muddy a few sections that are faster to run. With the changing weather and multiple races, the course would morph from hour to hour making tire selection as well as fork/tire air pressure difficult. In Utah we seldom get to race on crazy wet roots and rocks so it takes a few minutes to get the feel of letting the bike float around underneath you, like everything it takes confidence. I felt ok but nothing special, legs a little heavy from traveling all day.

Friday at 5pm the u23's raced and Bryan put in inspiring ride in a podium position the entire race until a last lap fade pushed him to 6th. The thinner of the thinner and thinnest duo had a good push at the end to place 5th. In the juniors the thicker of the thinner and thinnest duo rode to a strong podium position with Utah's own Ryan Harrison not far behind. Later in the afternoon we watched the women's race which was fun, the racing looked tough and only made me more excited for Saturday.

Alex G and Sammy made it up Friday afternoon and rounded out our condo crew. Alex also put together a personal best of 13th from the back row, anyone that has raced with him this year was expecting something big.

I was up early in the feed zone for Rog's race and again watched some good racing. Despite doing 3 laps at the last minute Rog rode well and placed 3rd less than 1 minutes behind the winner. Unfortunately with so many riders on the course from multiple categories knowing where your at is difficult. I guess Rog's comeback from a mid-season back injury is well underway.

We raced at 2 pm and the weather was perfect at about 80F and sunny. I stayed with my XCR tires front and year because I like the volume and am familiar with how they ride in changing conditions, I also like that because they are not a tall mud tire they don't cake up as much. Pressure wise I ran a little more air in the tires and a little less air in the shocks as I wanted a soft ride through the hidden muddy rocks but also was worried about flatting. Rear 32psi, Front 29psi, fork 100psi, rear shock 65psi. Worked perfect.

My plan was to race conservative knowing that this is nearly a 2.5 hr race where you work on the DH nearly as much as work on the climbs- no rest.

From a mid pack start position I quickly established a good rhythm and moved into the top 20. On the climb to the top I had to keep holding myself back knowing the my best result would come from metering my effort over the entire distance. The DH was a blast and I hooked up with Carl Decker and Eric Tonkin to bust through the next couple laps. I noticed when it got steep on the climbs I was going well and was very excited as I slowly started to pull away from guys. Going into the last lap I was feeding well and continued to have good energy. I was now in 9th place and found myself climbing as fast as lap one, I caught Korber and Jeff Hall before the top and rode the last DH carefully, once on the bottom rollers I could see Tonkin chasing me and gassed it to the finish for 7th place. The coolest part of the whole deal was coming into the finish and only seeing the NORBA big guns (Craig, Bishop, Wells, etc) had finished. I also got some props from the announcers about being a 40hr a week working stiff which was pretty cool.

After the DV NORBA I decided to stop working around the house so much for a few weeks and try to prepare for Nationals in Vermont. My preparation went well and I put together the best race I could. To me thats whats it's all about. Placing 7th was cool but riding my race and having the form come together at the right time is what I will always remember.

With our STXC scheduled for a late 5:45pm this day had the potential to be really boring or a great time. We decided early on that we were not going to wait around all day keeping our legs up for a lame 20 minute race and instead got out to explore the mountains of Vermont.

We did a 3 hr road ride through the mtn villages of Vermont to a secret swimming hole complete with cliffs and rope swing. It was nearly the high light of the weekend. Upon returning I consumed a coke and changed kits to burn the STXC. Because I have not done any short tracks this year I started at the back which can be kind of fun if you have a little luck. I got off the line pretty good and raced to a 15th place. I just needed a tiny bit more power at the end of the race and I could have made the selection into the top 10, although I would not have traded the days activities for a little more juice.

Monday: Rog and I had a 5:20 pm flight out of Hartford but had to drop Jason and crew off at the airport in the am so we had some time kill in Connecticut. We explored downtown Hartford and went to a cemetery from the early 1700's, you can't see that in the west. The flight was nearly flawless and we made it home around 11pm. The tough part about pretending to be a Pro bike racer for the weekend is returning home and getting up early to be a Pro physical therapist.

Anyway, thanks to all that made the trip possible especially Mona Vie who has been supplying me with the power of the berry. sorry no pics, I forgot my camera.

I am hoping to get out for a good ride this Saturday morning if anyone is interested. Maybe wolfcreek pass on the road bikes or the BC crest loop on MTB's. Drop me a line if your up for something fun.


Monday, July 16, 2007


The absolute best part about racing at snowbird is swimming in the stream afterwards and this year did not disappoint. The race for me was marginal at best, I had pretty good legs but just did not feel like pushing it very hard. When Alex went at the top of the 2nd lap I did not respond, I was not hurting but just did not feel like pushing it. I cruised around at my own speed for the rest of the race and was exceptionally slow on the DH, again not in the mood to push it. Maybe it was the heat, maybe the altitude, or maybe just a cracked psyche.

Yesterday I headed out about 1pm for a ride over to east canyon resort and back, it was another perfect 100 degree day. I just rode steady and had a good time, the spring coming out of the pipe at the top of big mountain was a lifesaver. That was the first non-commuting ride I had done in a while and will be my last real ride before heading to Vermont this weekend. I will get in a little commuting but have a lot to get done before I go and need some rest.

Last night I was watching the chicken crush everybody in the alps (he learned that on the MTB), when some friends that live in the canyon show up on my door with a gift bag from London where they went to watch the prologue and early stages. They had some great stories and I scored some cool tour goodies.

Anyway, back to the salt mine!

Monday, July 09, 2007

sherwood hills Icup

Possibly the best race course of the Icup. World Cup style course with multiple ups and downs per lap and real flowing 1 track. None of this norba style 30 min fire road boring climb and 20 switch back descents. It seemed the heat scared a few people away, to bad they missed some good racing.

In general I had a good race but was unable to seal the deal. I gassed it after the start loop to get out of the dust and Alex and I got off the front. We rolled for a couple laps and I was feeling pretty good so on the 3rd lap I kept the pace up and found myself building a little lead. By the 4th lap I was fairly confident I was going to pull off a win, but this is racing and things happen. A slow leak turned into a flat I found a small slice in the top of the tire that I thought would seal, it did not and I was forced to pull it apart and put a tube in which took me forever because I could not get the valve stem out. I tried with gloves on, gloves off, my teeth, gloves on again and finally was able to pull it out through the hole. Once I got going again I knew with only 1.5 laps to go I would never catch back up but I put in a good effort just for kicks and ended up 2nd again. That's racing! I am changing valve stems, no more adapters.

I was pleased with my energy levels in the race and suprised considering I have been battleing a cold all week. The heat did not seem to bother me and I think riding home from work at 4pm everyday has helped with climitization. My hope is I can whip this cold just in time to have a good ride in Vermont. Will see!

Bear Lake at the cabin was a good time and Rog and I rode around the lake before hanging on the beach and swimming with Eva. We headed home early as Rosie, Eva, and I are still trying to shake a head cold.

2nd lap climb to the feed zone, note the new Mona Vie kits. We have green, purple, and green and purple coming soon, tough decisions.

Eva showing off some dance moves on the deck at the cabin

Sunrise at Bearlake

Eva heading out for a swim

Now for a Monday of chores, cheers!

Sagers free!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

a few days late

Solitude State Championship last weekend= 1st loser, I did the best I could but just did not have the juice at the top of the 1st climb when Alex gased it, after that I rode steady.

Why is the state champs always at solitude, I think we should call it the big cottonwood championships. It seems having it at the same place every year crushes its credibility, just a thought. Anyway, the best part of the race is always the dip in the stream followed by a ride home on the crest trail, this year with Atorney jared.

So little Eva picked up another cold from who knows where and while I was a little worn down from the weekend I picked it up, so now I am waging a war. On the Mona Vie front we got a few kits to use until our goods come in, we also registered for La Ruta and are working on some good stuff for cross and 08. The rest of the crew is at the Firecracker 50 but I was already committed to pulling Eva in the evergreen parade so I took a pass on the high altitude fun. I should have some great parade pictures if your into that kind of thing.

happy 4th