Monday, July 31

Sweat lines and sore legs

This post is nothing profound or revolutionary but I am here nonetheless. Training is good. My cycling cap permanently sports a wavy sweat line and my helmet straps are once again crunchy. Pushing the big ring against the chronograph taxes my sore legs but strengthens my mind. The Fuel and I are once again in sync and preparing for another extended day together. This year I'm confident and look forward to the long day. Last year I was unsure my body could go the distance regardless of what my mind told it. This year my body is prepared and all I need is for my mind to follow through again with soul searching resolve.

Tomorrow will be some quality spinning on the road bike to try to clear my legs out further. Wednesday or Thursday I'm planning a very hard hour on the mountain bike that should again shatter some personal course records. It feels good to go fast. Life is good. Tick tock tick tock. Eleven days to go.

Sunday, July 30

Climbing Mountains

Sometimes you just want to stand on the highest peak and marvel at the world around you and there is no better person to share it with than the one you love the most. Check out a great photo journal of our weekend 14er hike at Marni's Blog. It's worth the wait for the pictures to load.
Sure it's not cycling related but we'll call it high altitude acclimization as Leadville is in just 12 days...

Thursday, July 27

Say it aint so?

Floyd's A Sample Positive
I don't even know what to think. I didn't think we would have to hear this news. Of course I didn't think we'd hear it about Tyler either. Are either of them guilty? How can you even know?

All I can say is Doper's Suck :(

Wednesday, July 26

Mt. Falcon Social Ride (and dinner of course!)

Tonight the storms tried to scare us away but we got lucky and they all blew by to the south. A great group joined tonight at Mt.Falcon for our Wednesday night ride including Craig, Marni, Adam, Nicolette, Ryan, Bill, Erik and me (taking the picture). Scott apparently had something called "work" which prevented him from making an appearance. Once we all stopped hiding in our cars in the parking lot we decided the weather would be okay and we got ready to ride. The group strung out along the Castle Trail climb but we stopped to regroup several times to make sure all was well. This as we all know is the chance for the stronger riders to get a nice rest while waiting for the slower riders to catch up, promptly enabling the rested to proclaim themselves ready to leave again while those who just arrived gasp for air and curse under their breath. Just kidding guys!

The trail was tacky from the rain but with only a few small puddles and no significant mud. Other trail users were out enjoying the evening but everyone got along great. Winding our way up the switchbacks and over the technical rocky sections the miles ticked off until we arrived at the upper gazebo one by one. Bill and Marni both climbed like rock stars tonight!
At the gazebo we all regrouped once more and hung out with a big group of other cyclists. The weather was still holding nicely while we posed for pictures. We can't let something like "riding" get in the way of good photo opportunities.
After waiting a while the group was complete save for Adam and Nicolette who were having some trouble down the trail. Marni went back down to get a head start on the descent and find the missing two riders. All was well though and they just had some trouble staying upright on the trail *cough*Nicolette*cough*. Meanwhile a small group containing Bill, Craig, Erik, Ryan and me rode up the rest of Castle to the Meadow Trail, up around another trail while I forgot how to connect to Parmalee and around the Ute Trail. On Ute we all got to laugh at Ryan who broke his chain after we just talked about doing so.
We fixed up the chain pretty quick and it gave us no more trouble the rest of the ride. My Stan's tubeless appears to be sealed and working great as I had solid pressure the whole ride and no flats unlike last ride here. The sun was beginning to set so we booked it back down Meadow and Castle back to the parking lot.
Marni, Adam and Nicolette had all beat us back down for the 2nd time so I think they're going to have to do some more riding at the top next time. We packed up all our gear and headed over to Woody's to grab some pizza and shoot the breeze.

Another great Wednesday ride in the books and I can't wait for the next one!

Tuesday, July 25

Go me!

Floyd won the tour. That kicks all kind of ass. I can't believe his guts and determination to go out and do it, terrible stage or not it was amazing. Now that the tour is over, I suppose I can peel myself off the couch watching it and get back to blogging each night. I know you all miss my posts :p Tonight I sit here at the table, watching the sky darken and the rain fall. Marni is cooking dinner and Turbo is lying by the door, exhausted from our after work bike ride/dog park trip.

A lot has been happening around here. Some bike related and some not. One big, "not bike related" thing is the at least temporary ending of one of my favorite hobbies.
That's right I'm no long racing cars. It's bittersweet to pack up package after package and ship them out. I'm pleased with the money I exchange each one for but sad at ending of a era. Marni and I had so much fun racing, whether it was autocrossing together or her hearing amazed reactions in the stands when Pivvay would make a pass at Bandimere. I know I made the right decision for now and reserve the right to return to the sport but for now I don't have the desire to dedicate the time and money to it that I need to and I'm better off focusing on hobbies like human powered racing that I can comfortably afford. Not to mention Marni and I now have a cushion in our savings account, something that's been vaporized by buying the house and the IRS.
All the time I used to be spending on cars, as most of you know, is instead spent on my bike and I'm really enjoying that. Each week I've been blessed enough to spend Wednesday nights with my wife and friends, riding great trails and eating and talking afterwords. Things like that I wouldn't trade for the world. We even get to hurt ourselves out riding our ability and show off our (minor) battle wounds.
Marni and I have enjoyed some great road rides alone too. I finally took her on a really scenic and quiet ride south of our house.We got to see farms, roosters, old ranching buildings and just a lot of generally out of place stuff a few miles from suburbia. This weekend we're headed to the mountains to climb our first 14ers together. It's another project of ours that I hope we finish (summiting all Colorado 14ers together) but even if we don't I'm sure we'll enjoy the time spent together.

Of course it's not all biking all the time. One weekend we spent some quality time with my friend Scott's and my friend Craig's Talons. We pulled the engine out of Scott's preparing to install a new one and I welded up some new intercooler piping for Craig's. Pretty stainless steel piping and I hear it's made a big difference in his top end power. If the weather will cooperate and not be over 100 degrees I'm sure he'll run it down the 1/4 mile soon. Last but not least I've been enjoying my own riding. Whether it was the race this past weekend where I had some difficulties and still had a blast, or just riding alone at lunch during the work week, I'm smiling and riding my bike. Just so you know, difficulties mean flatting and crashing into a tree but I'm not really sure which order they happened. Plus I still finished fifth in expert so that's not all bad. Riding at lunch has been a mix of bikes too. A lot of riding my favorite bike (my orange road bike) plus some solid singlespeed and Fuel action as well. I've even been enjoying washing the stable which continues to grow, expecting a new mountain bike for Marni and a new/used fixed gear for me. With Leadville 3 weeks away I'm increasing my intensity again and I feel prepared. While I'm focused on riding the course in under 9 hours, it's really the journey that's been most fun. I've covered some 6000 miles between Leadville last year and now and I have so many wonderful memories from each mile. Memories I get to keep forever and they can never be sold. I'm pretty intent on creating a whole lot more of them too. All you out there in blogland, don't forget to stop and smell the pretty flowers.Now I must end this post as there is a wife and dog that I love very much who also need my attention...

Thursday, July 20

Go Floyd!

Still crazy around here. Great twofer yesterday including a smashing climb on the Fuel for once. Work is difficult. Watching Landis makes me proud to be a cyclist. What else can be said? Someday I'll get back to updating this better for all of you out there.

3.5 weeks until Leadville. I'll be ready for revenge. Phil you better tell Paul my suitcase of courage is bursting at the seams.

Sunday, July 16

Crazy town

I'm trying to sell and ship my car parts, our house problem is back, my mom is in town and I'm trying to fit in a big week of training next week on top of it all. I'm almost looking forward to racing Leadville more so that I can relax and not worry so much about key workouts until I get the rest of this stuff settled. Hopefully I can pull off a miracle and get it all done this week without going insane. Someday I'll upload all the great pictures of rides and races that are overdue too but for now I leave you with this.
I'm going to have a lot of fun traveling by bike once I get all this stuff tested, sorted and packed away. Even dog approves :)

Tuesday, July 11

Monocog Green

Got another awesome lunch ride in today. Starting to feel good again. Thanks Jeff from Sun for the conversation along the way and great pace. We averaged 18-19mph easily! (Don't know exactly because the computer still has a dead battery but I know the route length and time). More updates and race reports coming from me soon but more importantly tonight, one of the big projects we worked on this past weekend...
New lights, paint and beautifying in our dining room. Guess where wifey got the inspiration for the color?
More pictures and details on Marni's Blog! Check it out!

Monday, July 10

I'm back

So I've been mentally gone while physically here. Recovering. Revitalizing. Updates coming today on many things. Had a great ride at lunch today. All kinds of new biking and camping goodies too. New lighting and paint in the house. New personal and family goals for the future. One chapter in my hobby career ending, another continuing strong.

Talk to ya'll in a few as soon as I can ditch this work thing :)