Thursday, June 22

Wednesday Nite Social at Red Rocks

Last night's ride was lots of fun. An easy loop around Red Rocks/Matthew Winters on nice tacky dirt. It stormed and rained right before and right after our ride but we never had more than light rain during. As a bonus it knocked all the dust down and it's been so dry the trail still wasn't muddy. Marni did a great job riding some even harder technical elements and touched her butt to her rear tire for the first time ever! I've heard rumblings of Mt.Falcon at 6pm for next week, we'll see if that holds true.

Marni hiding from the rain on the tailgate.
The group hangs out along the trail during a regroup.
Everyone rolling out from the start.
Erik on a fully rigid while his Sugar is in the shop. Didn't shift either to try out this "singlespeed" thing :) Haha.
Beautiful double rainbow.
Chris and Marni at the top of Morrison Slide.

Marni, Turbo and I are off to Park City after work. See all you fellow endurobloggers there and the rest of you wish me luck!!!

Wednesday, June 21

Fun-derful Weekend!

What a fun weekend! This will be light on text because I have another blog to post about our social ride last night and I'm busy packing to go to Park City for the E12 hour this weekend. The highlights:

Marni kicks butt in her first race ever beating guys and girls up the hill climb. And she even said "That wasn't terrible, I might do it again"
Erik finishing 3rd in the hill climb and 1st in the XC race in Beginner 25-29!!!
Chris finishing 3rd in the hill climb and 4th with a flat tire in the XC in Expert 19-24. Who knew?
Scott kicking ass and catching people on descents.
Danh for doing an awesome job and having two *sweet* bikes.
Good food, fun and a kickass place to stay at Michelle's grandparents. Sleeping in a real bed between races is like being royalty!
The Element seriously rocks. 3 bikes (2 19.5"), 3 people, gear and still plenty of room for everyone to sit. All inside the car.
Marni's delicous chocolate chip cookies and Michelle's dad's great dinner on Saturday night.

Here's some pictures:
The group rests after delicious Beau Jo's pizza so they can be ready to rock the hill climb on Saturday.Marni's first race and Chris's first race as an Expert! Who's cool Element is that?White is the new pink. Or is it brown. Oh SOB can't I ever get tan?Marni destroying our 34 high Jenga tower after the hill climb. No one could believe the game made it that long.Getting ready for day two of racing.
Chris and Jim before the start of Sunday's 22 mile climbfest.
Chris finishing strong in the Expert race.
Sweet side shot action :pJim finishing on Sunday in Expert 40-45. Go Jim!Erik winning beginner 25-29 on Sunday!Scott kicking some butt on Sunday and not letting the course get the best of him. He's a *way* faster descender this year.
Danh coming back for more and racing Saturday and Sunday.
Overall Winter Park was awesome. Two great races. Lots of friends. A couple suprise podiums. What more could you ask for?

Friday, June 16

Double Header in Double You Pee

The Element is loaded up, 3 bikes, 3 people and no racks. We're headed up to Michelle's grandmother's place in Winter Park for the weekend. Today Marni graciously drove an hour each way to pick up the less important half of my new wheelset (front spokes didn't arrive) and 3 new tires. I also ordered an 18t Surly cog for next weekend's 12 hour. I'm coming to race in Park City with at least a 52" gear at my disposal in addition to my standard 20t and 22t cogs.

This weekend we'll be up in Winter Park kicking off my XC season with tomorrow's 5.3 mile hill climb and Sunday's 22 mile expert XC race. Marni will also be racing for the first time tomorrow and she's going to do awesome! Her bike and the Fuel are washed, lubed and ready to go. I most likely won't be able to post until I'm back Sunday night so I'll post a full report then.

I leave you with 2 things. Number one, RAAM and Tinker are amazing.

Number two, a funny quote from EnduroSnob: Johnny said, "Well, with the way you ride..." and then went on to, in essence, describe how I beat the shit out of bikes like there is no tomorrow and ride with the grace of a pitbull.

Thursday, June 15

Great Divide Race

No I am not doing this race but I'm really impressed with those who are. Maybe someday if I can get 3 weeks off but for now I'm posting this about those who have prepared and are about to embark on the journey. It's a 2500+ mile race on the Continental Divide Trail and Mike Curiak describes it as "The Great Divide Race is a self-supported, solo competition following the 2,490-mile Great Divide Mountain Bike Route. Traversing Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico, the route demands over 200,000 feet of climbing along it's length. Competitors carry all equipment necessary to negotiate the backcountry, restocking on food and other supplies from the small towns along the route."

The race is self-supported, key words there. You can get race information here including the rules. Rules are important as there is no entry fee, no prize money and no glory outside the wonderful tight knit enduro community. These riders have no one to rely on but themselves to travel day and night for anywhere between 2 weeks and over a month. Can you sleep in bear country peacefully after riding your bike every day for a week straight while cooking all your own meals, maintaining your bike, navigating in the wilderness and carrying all your supplies? The Tour de France is one thing but this ride has no TV cameras, neutral wheel support, massuse, chef, coach, riders to draft or feed zones. And it's longer with less sleep and almost entirely off road.

One of my friends here in Denver, David Nice, is about to embark on this journey. Is he prepared? How many of you have ridden 1000 miles on a offroad fixed gear in the past 12 days? David has even with working 2 jobs and moving due to his apartment being broken into (and some of his race money stolen). Nonetheless he will take a Greyhound bus for 27 hours to Montana and then push his 36x16 fixed geared Surly CrossCheck (29er BTW) over 200,000 vertical feet in the coming month all while carrying his belongings with him. Checkout his awesome blog for info on his gear, audio updates during the race and to wish him well. Email him or me if you'd like to make a donation to his race fund. David has asked for no such donation but believe me when I say that he's certainly deserving of any change you can spare. Racers often fuel up with whatever they can find at small towns and gas stations along the way and any extra money will help him fuel his body with what sounds good instead of what's cheapest.

So over the next month, keep your web browsers and RSS feeds linked to Tom Purvis's awesome race tracking blog and cheer on David and all the other GDR racers. They're amazing and deserve all of our support. Good luck racers of the GDR!!!

Wednesday, June 14

Wednesday Social Part Deux

Tonight we had a big group mountain bike ride at Bear Creek, following last week's ride with Scott, Erik, Nicolette and Adam at White Ranch. Tonight we had even more people. Marni came with me along with ScottyD, Erik, Craig, Nicolette, Adam, Mike and Scott#2 and it was a blast! Sometimes among all the epic planning and hard training it's easy forget that we do this for fun. I haven't had this much fun on a ride in a while and the time and miles just flew by. Despite the busy afternoon trail traffic and the still broiling heat we all rode, laughed, talked, goofed off and had a great time. Not even a broken chain and ensuing game of "push the guy who can't pedal" (cough)ScottyD(cough) or a smashed pedal or a few small crashes could spoil the fun.
Craig looking nonchalent about being a bike stud on his huge seatposted bike.
Adam and Nicolette returning and smiling despite the torture of Belcher last week.
Marni and Erik cruising along towards the climb.
Marni bashing through the water crossing!
Craig flying through the water. Who knew I could time a picture right?

Next week we'll be continuing the new tradition and plan to keep things social and fun. We'll be at the Red Rocks parking lot around 5:30-6:00pm Wednesday. Feel free to come say Hi and join us! Just bring your bike, helmet and a friendly relaxed attitude!

Tuesday, June 13

Where am I going?

Thank you to Scott Morris for the amazing pictures of some of the Grand Loop Course!

This year has been an eye opener for me. I've enjoyed finding my bike again and riding long undisturbed miles. My body and mind have been transformed from a triathlete several years ago to a a casual rider who got his ass handed to him at Leadville to an aspiring long distance racer. Reading things like this only further solidify my goals and resolve to prepare myself for some incredible adventures in 2007. At first thought it may seem foolish to ignore the present and plan for goals over a year away but it's more foolhardy to not give them the respect they deserve. I will still be doing some more traditional events because I do enjoy them but events like these will be my focus. In the Mike Curiak style I will be doing an individual unsupported time trial on these rides.

White Rim Trail
Kokopelli Trail
Grand Loop
Colorado Trail

So there you have it. Public declaration of my intentions. Those who would like to join are more than welcome as long as they intend to follow the unsupported style. It sounds like the Colorado Trail trip has some interest and the new rough timeline is later in July. Stephan graciously informed me that he's had one trip modified on the CT because of huge snowfields when starting too early.

Sunday, June 11

Relaxing weekend

This was a really nice weekend leading up to this week's taper. I'm really feeling awesome coming down from the huge volume in the beginning of the year and all the speed workouts have been great. I can ride as long as I want and everytime I go to the tank for some speed it's there in spades. The Winter Park double header this coming weekend should be a lot of fun (Marni racing her first race at the hillclimb!) and I'm really excited about racing the singlespeed at the E100 12 hour and Firecracker 50 the following 2 weeks!
Saturday and Sunday Marni and I got to ride together, both on and off road, and I got even more comfortable on the new lighter Fuel. She's doing great on both bikes and really happy with her sweet new Sidi's we got on clearance Saturday. If she keeps riding 4 days a week the other girl racers better watch out! Lightening details on the Fuel coming as soon as the last couple pieces are here this week. Gears feel fast and snappy and climb so easy even with a 12-27 cassette. Who needs a 34?
This week I'll be keeping the workouts short and fast in the heat to continue my already great acclimation. I can use the extra time to continue my obsession with researching my ultralight backcountry racing gear...right babe? :) That and pursuading my sister to keep sewing me prototype equipment.

Hope everyone else out there had a great weekend of training or racing. It's been almost a month without racing for me but I think the break worked out just how I was hoping it would. I'm hungry to race and train over the next two months leading up to Leadville. Those close to me know just how strong I might be after my surprise riding partner last week, holy crap!

Friday, June 9

Pictoral Update (more snake!)

Wednesday I went biking with some friends: Scott, Erik, Nicolete and Adam. We went to White Ranch and had a lot of fun. I got there early and did a quick climb up Belcher to the top and then down Mustang and Round Up. Descending I got flat number one of the day in the rear. Kenda Klimax lites need at least 50psi in them for White Ranch. After I got back to the parking lot we all go ready and headed up Belcher again.
At the top of the first part of Belcher we regrouped and hung out at the bench.
Erik showed us his mad trials skills while we waited.
We climbed up round up loop and started up the upper Belcher singletrack but Scott, Adam and Nicolete had enough climbing so they descended to Sawmill and were going to meet us at the intersection of Sawmill and Mustang. Erik and I continued to the top of Belcher and descended down Mustang.
We all regrouped there and were joined by Mr.Deer. There's a lot of wildlife at White Ranch and Erik almost hit 3 other deer descending Belcher later! I saw another rattlesnake too but it was just a baby. I also flatted again halfway down Belcher on the front this time which was still at 40psi. Too low for tubes and such skinny tires.
We finished Mustang and Belcher and had a great time BSing in the parking lot as darkness set in. Yesterday Marni and I took Turbo to the dog park to go swimming. He had a wonderful time swimming and fetching the tennis ball and sticks from the middle of the pond. Silly wet dog!

After swimming we took him on a bike ride on the rest of the trails to wear him out further. He looked in every prarie dog hole as usual until he got a big scare in one hole!
I don't think this rattlesnake wanted to be bothered! Turbo was good though and ran over to us and stayed away from him. Marni and Turbo didn't like the snake too much.
We had a fun rest of the ride with no more snakes and then we loaded up the Element and headed back home for Turbo to get a bath in the front yard.
What a spoiled dog!