Wednesday, May 31

The need for speed

Yesterday was an awesome day of riding. At lunch I did a one hour mountain bike time trial on the singlespeed and destroyed my previous personal bests on my lunch course. After work I came home briefly and then rode about 3 hours more on the single out at Marshall Mesa. Despite the 45 minute road ride to get there and back it was really fun to bomb some singletrack and practice a few technical skills. Today is a quick recovery day and then tomorrow is more riding singletrack on the singlespeed if I can escape working late. For now I'm stuck here most of the night to test bottles for a pallet run. We're picking up the slack for one of the plants which is good for business, just not good for me going home early. More pictures soon, I'll have to steal the crappy camera back from Marni so I can bring it along on rides.

Tuesday, May 30

Group Mt.Falcon Ride

Scott, Marni, Scott's parents and I went on a ride right when we got back from California at Mt.Falcon. It was lots of fun and I've wanted to throw these pictures up for a while. Marni kicked butt climbing and descending despite not being on her mountain bike in months! She was going down the hills so much faster than last year and I'm really proud of her. So enjoy the pictures and checkout the sweet calf tattoo Marni got. She's definitely a biker now :D

Monday, May 29

Desert Refreshment

(Really, Gay Johnson's? Is that the best name you can come up with for your gas station?)

This weekend Marni let me head out to Fruita with my friend Scott and a couple of his friends. This isn't going to be a long post because there's only 1 picture and I don't even have it right now. Okay that's never stopped me before but it just doesn't fit the vibe. Those who've been to Moab/Fruita from Denver will recognize the picture.

We camped, I tested new gear (9oz pack, 7oz bivy, blue sleeping pad), I rode my singlespeed on kickass trails (Rustler's, Mary's, Horsetheif, Moore Fun, Eagle's Tail, Eagle's Wing, bits of Tab) and rocked my climbing and technical socks. It was very relaxing overall and just what I needed to close my rearranged rest week and get ready for summer.

3 weeks until Winter Park and my volume will be coming down and my intensity going way up. If you're on a hard ride with me soon prepare to suffer.

Thursday, May 25

CCTT#7 Report

Hmmm where do I begin. Last night it was sunny and warm. It was also windy as hell. Dave showed up on his CrossCheck to watch the race and hang out which was a blast. I warmed up, somewhat halfheartedly. The race went off and I struggled into the headwind. When I looked for another gear, it was apparently still on vacation. I did my best the rest of the race but it was a struggle and I was way off my normal times. So is the way life goes. I guess I'm recovered from last week for the most part but not for racing quite yet. Tale of the tape was 26:30 and 33rd place I think. Something just under a 24mph average.
The good news is that Marni took these cool pictures and I was 16 points ahead of 8th place going into the race. As long as no one made a miraculous leap I should stay in the top 10 overall when the final results come out and therefore meet my series goal. Not bad for a long distance mountain biker eh?

In even better news than the racing, Marni, Dave, Erik, Michelle, one of Michelle's friends who's name I'm really sorry I forgot and later on Scott, all went to the Bourbon Street Grill after the race. We ate and talked and had a generally wonderful time. Hopefully another event will get us all together so we can hang out and have some more fun. And eat. Definitely a fan of the eating. Alright that's about it for the CCTT series wrapup. It's been a wonderful 7 races but longer and more of a commitment than I was expecting. I'll probably be back next year though and if I do, perhaps a Cervelo and some trick aero parts along with actual time trial training will allow me to crack the podium. And if not, we'll just find a road tandom and embarass ourselves every week.
Make no mistake though. I will be rested and ready for the start of the Winter Park series in one month. Expert 19-24 riders, this is what's coming at ya!

Wednesday, May 24

Last race of the series

Tonight is the last race of the Cherry Creek time trial series. It's been 6 races so far with only 1 DNF due to a flat tire. I'm currently tied for 7th place and hoping to hold onto my series goal of top 10 overall in the catagory 4's. Not bad for an endurance mountain biker doing little speed work other than the previous week's TT. Tonight is a warm night here in sunny Colorado and I'm fresh since I've been resisting the urge to kick my own ass on the bike the last 2 days. At least I'll have the weekend to do that in Fruita. That's right, Scott and I are headed out to camp and ride during this long weekend before he starts his new job on Tuesday.
In other news I ordered a new light race wheelset for the Fuel with some deposit money I got refunded for a car project. They'll be Stan's Olympic rims, WTB lazerdisc lite hubs and Sapim CX-Ray spokes. Larry over at Mountain High Cyclery is doing the build and I'm excited to see how light they turn out when they're finished in the next couple weeks. Combined with the other light parts on the Fuel, it will finally at least be close to the weight of the heavy hardtail I rode last year.

Also here are some pictures from Marni and I's trip to California for the wedding. They're long overdue but hopefully you'll enjoy anyway :D They are of Muir Wood and also the Golden Gate Bridge.

Race report to come later!

Tuesday, May 23

Four hundred and one (very long)

Okay so this post is overdue but here goes...

Last week was my first 400 mile week and it went really well. Those who follow along are well aware of the beginning of the week so I'll start with Friday. I woke up early, stuffed my seat pack and jersey pockets full and rolled out for a long day in the saddle. Marni and I left about the same time, her to work and me for Salida. It would be a good 12 hours before I'd see her again. The morning was already warm and even before 8am I rolled southwest in just shorts and a jersey for Golden and Morrison. My energy level was high and Golden came and went in one hour. Morrison was next and besides dropping my gatorade bottle and having it spill all over the road I had no issues. Rolling out of Morrison I hopped on 285 for just a couple miles before exiting onto South Turkey creek road. This side road bypassed some of the busiest sections of 285 but I just enjoyed the welcome shade and more gradual climbing. Before I knew it I was back to 285 and climbed into Conifer for my first stop of the day. I refilled by bottles at the gas station and called Scott to check in and have him email Marni. I wanted to keep moving since I had only completed 40 something miles and had well over 110 miles still before me.

Feeling strong I descended down to Baily and made good progress climbing fast towards Kenosha Pass. Eventually the climb begain to wear on me but I enjoyed the ride and passed the time by checking out the beautiful scenery. Eventually a sign alerted me to the 4 mile to go mark and I ticked off each tenth of a mile towards the summit. At 75.5 miles into my ride I summited Kenosha Pass and had climbed up and down from 5400 feet to 10,000 feet. Happy to descend for once I started down the backside of the pass. Unfortunately the backside greeted me with strong winds and poor road surface making my descent less than enjoyable. It was a sign of things to come and as I pushed on my route my mood became less than enthused. I was hungry for some lunch and sick of drinking warm Ensure. Hoping to find some lunch in Jefferson I rode with reaching the small town as my sole goal. Ten miles later I arrived in Jefferson to find the diner promising burgers and shakes dark, a sign announcing it's opening day on Memorial day. Dejected I pushed onward but I only made it out of town several miles before pulling over to the side of the road. I set my bike down in the gravel and relieved my bladder in a farmers field. Moving slowly I ate the only solid food I had, a small granola bar and I read the note Marni had written me. Her notes were now a tradition for my endurance rides and I looked forward to her words to help me through my low moments.

After a few minutes of rest and reflection I packed my trash in the front of my jersey as I had all day and got back on the bike. Having something like an hour to go to Fairplay, a town of unknown size to me, I did my best to pedal hard into the winds and up the hills. Along the way I stopped only to don arm and leg warmers as the weather had gone from sunny and 75 in the city to low 60s and cloudy in the high country. Eventually a town appeared ahead of me and when I reached a small but most importantly open resturant I pulled off and headed inside to find food. I spent about 40 minutes in Fairplay refueling my body and spirit. I knew there were still 60 something miles of unknown difficultly left to face. I called Scott again, the first cell reception in many hours, and let him know I was still planning on meeting him and Marni in Salida. It was easier to say those words than to convince myself I was going to get back on my bike and make it a reality. My chicken fingers and fries tasted great and I once again refilled my water bottles. After a quick conversation to some other Buena Vista century participants I remounted and cruised out of town.

Enter my new favorite bike descriptor, the nuclear tailwind (care of Dave Harris). The wind out of Fairplay was mostly a tailwind and I made the best of it to cover a lot of miles and improve my spirits. Mile after mile flew by and even after the tailwind was gone and the route turned back uphill I was feeling positive. I finally reached the top of one more small pass and began a great descent. In fact when I realized that I was going to descend 12 miles into Buena Vista I decided it was the greatest descent ever and couldn't stop smiling. Less than 30 minutes later I rolled into the outskirts of Buena Vista and turned towards Salida. While riding I grabbed my cell phone out of my jersey pocket and realized I had service again. I pulled over in Nathrop to call Scott and Marni who were now on their way to meet me. I figured I had an hour more of riding to get to the hotel so I told them I'd beat them there.

Although I covered over 20 miles in a little more than an hour between Buena Vista and Salida I wasn't tired. I was just motivated and happy to get to the hotel and get there as fast as I could. Wrists draped over the tops of the bars I time trialed the final 8 miles past the cows and 14ers into town. After stopping to ask a local and a couple trips up and down the side streets of town I arrived at the Days Inn, thus ending my ride. In all I covered 156 miles in a little over 9 and a half hours for a 16.2 mph average and a total time from door to door of ten hours and thirty seven minutes.
Marni and Scott arrived a couple hours after I checked in and we all went to grab a bite to eat before getting to bed early. In the morning we woke up at 6:30am to some rocking oldies music and drove over to Buena Vista to check in for the Buena Vista century. After we checked in we grabbed some delicious breakfast bagels and cinnimon rolls from a local bakery. After breakfast we all donned our cycling gear and began the ride. Marni, Scott and I rode together for a while before Scott got the itch to speed up a bit and we agreed to reconviene at the various rest stops along the way.

Marni kicked butt and we were at the first rest stop at 20 miles really fast despite it being all up hill. Scott was waiting for us and we had some great rest stop snacks. Good thing I don't do these kind of rides all the time or I'd gain weight!
We took off again for the 62 mile turn around and since Marni felt so good she came along with us. Climbing uphill and into the wind this time Scott put some distance on us but slow and steady Marni and I made our way 11 more miles to the next stop. Aside from Marni taking some advil for her knees she was in good spirits considering she'd already ridden further than she ever had before and we were only halfway! Unfortunately some bad winds and rain started right after we got to the rest stop and Scott, Marni and I got moving quickly back down to Buena Vista. Now it was all downhill from here for the most part but the first section was in the rain and with a pretty wicked cross wind. This was definitely not Marni's favorite but at least she had on my knee warmers.
Before long we dropped enough elevation that the rain and wind died down and the sun came back out. From this point it didn't take long to get back to the next rest stop and everyone was all smiles back in the warm sun. We even got to check out this sweet 5 person tandom piloted by a whole family, dad, mom and 3 kids!
The rest of the 20 miles back to Buena Vista went really quickly as Marni and I cruised down hill at 25mph. We got to really enjoy the collegite 14er peaks, Harvard, Princeton and Yale, along the way and also talk to a rider with only one arm. Marni was pretty amazed to see him bombing down the hills.
Finally Marni, Scott and I all made it back to town and changed into street clothes for the most important part, eating. The ride hosts a BBQ and then we had some ice cream before heading out of town and back to Denver.

218 miles in 30 hours, 401 miles for the week, and a recovery ride at 19mph on Sunday. It wasn't all easy but I'm really pleased with how well I feel and also how well Marni did! While I can't stay away from these enduro rides and races I've got a lot of short and fast stuff coming up and that's really exciting too. That's all for now, I've got to finish some work so I can go home and get a short ride in. Tomorrow is the final CCTT of the year. Wish me luck!

Friday, May 19

Gone to the hills

No posts until late tomorrow or Sunday. I'm leaving now on the orange bike for Salida, about 150 miles away. I've got 3 gels, 6 Ensure Pluses (half frozen), 2 Starbucks DoubleShots, 2 water bottles, a credit card, cell phone, tools, a jacket and warmers.

When I get there I will crash in a hotel room and wait for Marni and Scott to drive up after work. Then on Saturday we will all be riding various routes in Buena Vista, Marni doing her first 40 miler and Scott and I doing the century. We'll be back Saturday night and if all goes well I'll have completed my first 400 mile week. See you in 250 miles!

Thursday, May 18

CCTT#6 Report

Well last night's race was hard but I gave it everything I had considering the circumstances. Time was 25:11.8 which is just a spot over 25mph average. Everyone else did well and it was only good for 20th place but I'm still holding onto 7th overall at the moment.

Excuses...I mean reasons...for being slower? I'm not going to give any. It was a good race and only 30 seconds off my best time despite a headwind that kicked my ass in the final 3 miles.

I'm both sad and excited that next week is the last race of the series. Seven races seems like a lot now and it's a big commitment showing up every week and vying for an overall series placing. But more than that the races have been awesome workouts which show I'm strong and consistant. More importantly I've got to hang out with Marni and Turbo every Wednesday, see all my friends every week and even make some new friends with my fellow racers.

Just one month from today begins the Winter Park series, one of my real focuses for the year and my first race as an Expert. There are lots of loose ends to tie up (put the Fuel back together) but I've put in the training and I'm really pumped to start racing on dirt.

Wednesday, May 17


Last night I got home and showed the car to the propective buyer and that went well. Hopefully she'll buy it soon. Then Marni got ready for work and shortly after she left I started to get a migraine headache. That put me down for the count all last night as I went right to bed after a quick trip to the bathroom floor.

Today I'm feeling better but not 100%. I'm hoping all will be well for the race tonight as I need a good ride to hold my current overall position. Not much more to say right now, just a quick update. I promise more pictures soon.

Tuesday, May 16

Back in the saddle

Yesterday I ended up with a pretty busy day and good miles on the bike. I rode hard at lunch over the Boulder Beer course and up the Sims climb in 2:20, a new PR. Then after work I went home quickly to mow the grass and see Marni for a few minutes before heading down to Golden. The temperature was in the 70s and it was nice to ride in shorts and a jersey. The light wind and lack of riding made my legs not feel their best but I was having fun and pushed on towards Lookout anyway. I decided there was just enough time to head up Lookout Mountain and then get back home before 8pm when I told Marni I'd be there. Starting my watch at the Pillars I climbed quickly but not as smoothly as I liked through the bottom. Motivated by each biker playing rabbit in my mind I climbed at a good tempo. Once the road leveled out in the middle I cranked up the speed even more and before I knew it the final switchbacks called me to get out of the saddle. I reached the post in 24:04, technically also a new PR. A fellow biker was waiting at the top and we chatted a bit while I pulled on my arm warmers for the descent. It was nice to have someone to talk to on the way down. The sun was beginning to set behind the foothills now so I ate a gel and picked up the pace down hwy 93 and back home. Right on time, I walked in the door at 7:50 to Marni fixing up some dinner and a clean car. Someone is coming to check out the Civic today since it's posted for sale.

All in all yesterday was 70 miles on the road, 4 hours, 2 unexpected PRs and I even got some chores done at home. My legs are still a bit sore and blocked from all the time off but I'm sure it was good for me. Today will be some recovery and then racing hard at CCTT tomorrow night.

Monday, May 15

Back in Town

Marni and I are back from the wedding in San Francisco. It was a blast and the wedding went great. Congrats to Jim and Jenn Berry, you both looked very happy. Marni's parents, Marni and I also got to see the Golden Gate Bridge and Muir Woods. That was a lot of fun playing tourist in Marni's dad's new Mustang GT.

After getting back yesterday we went mountain biking with my friend Scott and Marni kicked butt at Mt.Falcon. I'm really proud of her improving downhilling and technical riding. Her climbing as always was great despite not riding a ton the last couple weeks. I somehow also washed the orange bike, the singlespeed, the time trial bike and Marni's mountain bike including cleaning all the drivetrains, replacing a couple tires and swapping some cassettes. The single speed is now running a real spacer kit so we'll see how it works compared to the PVC.

Pictures and a more complete report to come after I catch up on everything at work and home. This is a big riding week for me too so bare with me. Congrats to all the KTR finishers!!!

Thursday, May 11

CCTT#5 Report

This has to be short as it's 4:25am and we're about to leave for the airport. Going to a fun wedding in California for a few days.

Last night I was super motivated. Long warm up, serious about the hard sessions. Great start, heavy head and crosswind on the way out.

PUNCTURED 7 minutes and change into the race. Son. Of. A. Biotch.

Didn't have my CO2 inflater as it was still with the mountain stuff so I hitchhiked a ride with an SUV in the park back to the start. I was *rocking* the course too. Damn. Over 26mph average and 31.4mph max where I stopped even with the wind and everyone said there was some tailwind sections on the way back.

Oh well there's always next week. 3 more days of rest and then time to train like an animal :)

Tuesday, May 9

Rest week tinkering

First of all it snowed this morning. WTF? Okay now that I said that, sorry about the lack of posts. No real big training news as it's a rest week and this time I'm really resting. It's pretty hard to take it this easy but I know with the huge weeks I have planned I need to let my body catch up. Plus we leave for vacation and a wedding tomorrow so we've been cleaning, packing and doing all the normal stuff needed to be able to leave town for a couple days.

Speaking of catching up I've been attending to a few other projects during the time I usually spend riding. One big one is getting the Fuel ready for race season. I'm officially signed up for the Expert 19-24 catagory at the Winter Park series and a 32 lbs bike just isn't going to cut it. I've been stock piling clearance bike parts all winter and now I've started installing them. I'll do a bigger write up on the weight reduction later but for now here's a teaser. Good riddance Splice, hello Reba!

I've also been working on another housing design for my LED light project so that I can have a small and light triple housing. I think I'm finally close to something I'm happy with. In contrast to Dave's quick pace I've been taking my time with my prototypes. (Mostly because the money for LED lights is the lowest priority). While I wait for ummmm, adaquete funding, I continue to design the perfect combinations and housings. My latest triple could be called the Cateye DoubleShot Killer.

At least 85% of the light of a Cateye DoubleShot and 2.9 *times* the runtime. I suspect head to head they are equally as bright.

Friday, May 5


Thursday was the first day in 45 days that I haven't ridden a bike. Although not really a planned day off it just sort of worked out that way and I'm sure it was needed. Instead I took care of some important things at work on a big project and then I helped my friend Scott with his car. He dropped a valve so we brought his Talon over here and started pulling the old engine so we could drop a new one in. It was fun to work on a car again since it's been awhile for me.

Friday I got in a nice lunch ride with my new friend Bill (from the huge ride last Sunday) and the CEO of his company. We cruised around the dogpark for an hour or so at lunch. That was all the riding for Friday since the skies decided we needed more rain in the afternoon. This next week is going to be relaxed for me. Other than Cherry Creek I've got no real riding planned starting Monday for a whole week. Marni and I will be in California for my brother in law's wedding and I think we're going to have a lot of fun. Some time off will be great because I've got a lot of really exciting rides and races planned in the next 3 months and my body could use a little time to recover from the beating I've been giving it lately. Now I've got to go get ready for one more race before my rest week.

Thursday, May 4

CCTT#4 Report

Marni took some great pictures for this one which I will add later which I now added. The weather was so bad I drove to work today. Okay okay not really. I really did drive to work today but that's because I have an afternoon meeting in Boulder. No cliff notes version today so grab a cup of coffee and now back to our regularly scheduled story.
The weather was overcast and rainy all day yesterday and driving to the race was no different. At least that's what Marni tells me because I was sleeping. During my lunch ride I knew my legs weren't quite recovered but I was determined to show up and race anyway. We rolled into the parking lot and I sat there for a while, slowly changing my clothes and complaining aloud. It wasn't long before my partners in crime for the evening, Scott and Erik, rolled in as well. They started to get ready and I followed suit. We all sat there on our trainers warming up and watching the sky go from cloudy, to clearing, back to dark clouds. Scott went off on mostly dry roads but Erik left for the starthouse as the skies darkened even more. I finished my warm up and rode quickly to the starthouse to use the restroom before my race.
As I rolled to the starting queue the skies opened up. Big fat raindrops fell and I was eager to get underway. At least riding hard would keep me warm but standing around in just a skinsuit and warmers in the rain was a freezing proposition.
Finally 7:16 rolled around and off I went. It was raining hard but I wasn't cold. My pace was pretty high and even the hill came and went without too much drama. I felt okay to the turn around and even managed to hold off the P-1-2 rider until after the turn around was finished. My time was about 30 seconds off normal at that point but I was still feeling okay and kept the hammer down to chase down my usual catches. I could tell overall my top speed wasn't there and on the way back I could only muster 26 mph or so where I usually ride 30 mph. I concentrated on holding my form and giving it all I had to the line. Marni cheered me on from the car down the final straight and I pinned it all the way past the finish. My new friends and competitors that start both ahead and behind me all chatted briefly during our cool downs. Pretty soon I was cold and completely soaked so I flipped around back to Marni waiting at the car and got changed. Scott, Erik, Marni and I had a quick dinner at the Bourbon Street Grill and then Marni and I headed home to get some sleep.
I finished in 25:40 which is 24.53mph and good enough for 12th position last night. A bit slower than normal but between the wind, standing water on the roads and my fatigue I'm pretty happy with the time. Everyone was slower yesterday and those who rode in the rain were almost all well off their best times. Now my dad thinks I'm fatigued and for this race I definitely was, having some 24 hours in my legs the preceding week. However the forcast for next week calls for good conditions and I will be on a rest week leading up to our vacation so I should be fresh by Wednesday night. Is my 23:xx lurking out there? I believe that it is and I've got three more weeks to find out!