Saturday, June 30, 2012

Views from the Cream Puff Pre-Ride

As I was staring up into the trees and looking out across the river, I had to remind myself to pay attention to the road since I was pedaling down Hwy 58. I took the scenic way back after my short pre-ride on the North Fork trail. There are more shades of green here in Westfir, OR than anywhere else I have been. The hillsides just ooze green and the humidity in the air adds to this oozing effect.  Speaking of humidity, it is higher than any of the previous years I have been here for the Puff.  The NWS says it is 72% but it feels higher to me.  It also looks like we will get a little wet tomorrow but that does not matter. We are racing bikes and it will be glorious!             

This deep pole looks inviting
Oregon's longest covered bridge

Selma has been here before

The view upstream from inside the Red Covered Bridge

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

It's Cream Puff Week!

This Sunday, July 1st, I will start my 5th consecutive Cream Puff and I fully intend to finish my 5th consecutive Cream Puff.  Some might think that doing a race five years in a row is boring but some of my best race memories are from the Cream Puff.  The race organization is top-notch, the terrain is unlike any other race that I do, and it is also one of the most challenging.

I am really looking forward to the Puff this year because we are racing the same course as 2009.  I finally have a chance to race against myself on a previous Cream Puff course!  The 2009 race was one of the harder versions with 17,500' of climbing in 103 miles...and a little rain thrown into the mix just to keep us on our toes.  I raced my geared Air9 hardtail in 2009 but I am racing the Selma SS this year.  If I execute well, I can go faster than I did in 2009 when it took me 12:03 to finish.  Ironically, the forecast is calling for a chance of rain on Sunday.

My 2012 Race Mantra
Look through the corner.
Stay off the brakes.
Stay on the gas.
Repeat x 10,000.

Map & Profile of the 2012 Cream Puff Course

As I was checking the Cream Puff website for race updates, I read the news (Posted 6-14-12) that Scott Taylor is stepping down as the Race Director of the Cream Puff.  Wow, I wasn't expecting that.  Every single Cream Puff I have attended has been excellent and they set the bar very high for how to run an endurance race.  I am glad that I am racing Scott's last Cream Puff so that I can shake his hand one more time. Thank you Scott!

This was posted on the Director's Corner of the Cream Puff site

Scott Taylor greets me at the finish in 2011

Scott Taylor, Captain Cream Puff

Monday, June 25, 2012

Another Boring Weekend in Boise...

...nothing to see here.  The weather sucks, the trails are too far from town, nobody here likes dogs, and nobody smiles or says hello out on the trails.  You might as well keep driving west.  I hear California is nice. (Insert a big FAT dose of sarcasm here) Ha!

Selma is ready to rock

Singlespeed Saturday
As I pedaled over to Ft. Boise to meet Pete for our ride I realized that I was still feeling the pace of the Thursday Night Ride, aka TNR, with the Eastside Cycles crew.  My stoke level was super high but my legs were heavy.  Being a great guy, Pete showed me no mercy and dropped his 32x20 hammer on the Orchard/Watchmans climbs.  I was lubing the top tube with drool.  The next time I ride with Pete I need to bring the metal sledgehammer and not my plastic toy hammer. Doh!  The trails were surprisingly empty for a gorgeous Saturday morning and we had Watchman’s to ourselves.

Pete Ross off the front on Watchmans
With the Cream Puff being a week away, Saturday was to be a nice 3-hour shakedown ride on Selma and I even broke out the Enve race wheels for the dress rehearsal.  Selma is ready to rock.

Pete needed to bail a little early so I circled back to where I “thought” M might be riding and I met up with her on her descent of Shane’s.  She had stopped to say hello to Cairo, a handsome 2 year old Rhodesian Ridgeback out for a hike with his owner.  M and I finished out the ride together.  Whenever possible, we try to end our rides on Red Cliffs so we can huck sick air on the mini-tabletops.  Did you notice my proper usage of “huck” and “sick air” in the same sentence?  Yeah, I am hip like that.

M and her new buddy Cairo
Exploration Sunday   
I was looking forward to Sunday’s ride all week.  M and I had planned to explore the trails just below Bogus Basin Resort.  Cory was nice enough to share a GPX file from his BIG RIDE the previous week so I loaded in into Topofusion and created the route I wanted.  Let me just say right now, the East Side Trail rocks!  The temp was 15F cooler up there and we were in the trees for 80% of the ride.  A lot of folks park lower on the Bogus Basin Rd but I wanted to experience the whole enchilada, up and down, so we parked at the top of East Side and descended all the way down to the bottom.

Eastside to Stack Rock to Big Stack to Mr Big to Sinker Creek and back out Eastside
 It is well worth the 30 minute drive to get up there but it will also be cool to ride from town up to these trails on big ride days.     

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Training with a Gangsta'

For the last two years I have met up with my homie Fiddee Cent over in Jackson, WY for some quality Cream Puff training.  Each of the last two years, we have met up for big rides around the classic Snow King trails.  Last year we added singlespeeds to the mix and I chased Fiddee for three laps on Ferrins & Game Creek Trails.  Chasing the Gansta' proved to be good training as I had a great race on my singlespeed last year at the Cream Puff.  Since I am headed back to the Cream Puff this year, why mess with good mojo?

The stars aligned and I was able to make a quick getaway to Teton Valley this past weekend to visit friends and ride some of my favorite trails.  I shot Fiddee Cent an email early in the week to see if he was up for continuing the tradition of pre-Cream Puff suffering and he was "all in".  Being two weeks out from the 2012 Cream Puff, the timing was perfect for six hours of glorious suffering on the singlespeed and Fiddee Cent did not disappoint.
The Route:  (Old Pass Rd + Phillips Connector + Arrow + Snow Tel + Phillips Ridge + Fish Creek Rd) x 3
Long sustained climb + long descent = good Cream Puff training

We decided to change the route this year and ride the trails on Teton Pass and begin with solid 30' climb up Old Pass Rd before cutting over to the sweet singletrack of the Arrow Trail.  Fiddee Cent was "en fuego" and it was all I could do to keep him in sight.  Riding with fast people will make you faster.

Some folks don't like the Phillips Ridge Trail because it is so rocky in places that some find it hard to "flow" on this trail.  I personally LOVE this trail.  It forces me to think about every pedal stroke and body weight shift and makes me feel like a mountain biker.  The trail condition was perfect and Fiddee Cent and I were flying down the Ridge trail.  Descending is a key component to the Cream Puff as well.  "Look through the corner", "stay off the front brake", "stay low"...these were key thoughts that I consciously reminded myself of while chasing the Gangsta' down the Ridge Trail.

Saturday, June 16th was a perfect training day as well as being an incredible day out on the trails.  As a bonus, my lower back felt better than it has in months and I think I am on the right track with a long-term solution.  More on that later...Thanks Fiddee.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

K-Edge Releases New Mount for Garmin Edge Computers

K-Edge released their anticipated Garmin Mount today and it will be available at your local bike shop very soon.  As a Garmin 500 user, I have been waiting for this product to be released for months.  I prefer to have my Garmin 500 out in front of my bars on all of my bikes because I find it is much easier to see in this position.  Best of all, the mount is 100% machined aluminum, comes with a lifetime warranty, and is only $10 more than the plastic competition. No brainer.

K-Edge Garmin Mount with 500
K-Edge Garmin Mount with 800
The K-Edge Garmin Mount extend to accommodate the longer Garmin 800

No plastic here. Beautiful machining work.

K-EDGE Computer Mount for Garmin Edge®
Part No: K13-490-[color]

Product Description:
Professional grade mount for Garmin Edge® GPS computers.  Sleek design and placement of the computer enhances the use of the Garmin Edge® 200, 500 & 800 models.
K-EDGE’s Computer Mount ensures success and security of the computer through three locking points, CNC-machined out of a single piece of aluminum.  The definitive click gives the user the confidence to focus on the ride, not their computer mount.
The K-EDGE Computer Mount positions the Garmin computer display below the top of the handlebars, centered and in-front of the stem.  This gives the user an improved ergonomic view of the display from their position on the bike and a wind-cheating, sleek cockpit. 
Unique design is adjustable for the smaller Garmin Edge® 200 and 500 models or the larger 800 model.
CNC machined from aluminum, Made in the USA, Life-Time Guarantee and No plastic parts or components.
ü  Made in the USA.  CNC Machined 6061 T6 Aluminum
ü  Compatibility – Garmin Edge®800, 500, and 200 GPS Bicycle Computers
ü  Fitment – 31.8mm diameter handlebars - powerful clamping via all metal bolt/mount system
ü  Weight – 30 grams (weight includes bolt, clamp, mount)
ü  Lifetime Guarantee – if you break it, we will replace it

Anodized Colors:
ü  Black
ü  Gunmetal
ü  Red

MSRP $49.99

15 June 2012