Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Road Trippin'

We just rolled back into town after a quick trip to visit family in Minden, NV and of course some riding in the Lake Tahoe area. Great weather meant lots of riding crammed into four days but for now I will leave you with a picture post. More details later...

Thursday, May 24, 2007

A few hills...

When JayP calls and says he is thinking about a mountain bike ride with "a few hills" you better bring the climbing legs and your "A" game. Perfect! I was ready for a good thrashing and trying to keep Jay in my sights for 2 1/2 hours provided just that.

21 miles and 4,100' of climbing later we were back at the trucks and I had that raspy throat feeling that you get when your heart rate has been pegged for while and you are sucking as much air as possible through your mouth. Plus, I learned a couple new dirt climbs & trails to add to the training arsenal.

Jay is looking super strong and his new Orbea carbon 29er is light! That is a deadly combo GDR fans!

Monday, May 21, 2007

KTR Meltdown

I pulled the plug very early into my race when the contents of my stomach and intestines decided to leave my body repeatedly without much warning. Sorry for being gross but there is just no other way to say it.

This is not how I envisioned my race turning out when I was pre-riding with Lynda, or during the many hours on the trainer while it was snowing here in Driggs, or during the time I spent looking at maps and planning my hydration and calorie intake strategy.

There is a big void where the soreness, fatigue, and sense of accomplishment should be and I am scheming ways to fill it quickly.

Huge congrats go out to:
Lynda – 5th overall in her first race back after surgery. Amazing!
Adam – I haven’t heard how his race went but he deserves huge props for his composure while dealing with “The Man”
Chris – the force is strong in young Skywalker

And to everyone else who finished!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Mood swings

I expect there will be a few of them this weekend.
Thanks to Adam for the original graph.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Fun weekend

With KTR a week away this weekend was all about fun. I rode for a total of six hours and have been feeling better each day as I gradually clear this alien out of my sinuses. He's a tough little bastard but I think I got him beat now.

Sat was a 4 hour road ride and Rick joined me for the big climb portion of it up Teton Pass and then I continued on alone and climbed up to Targhee to finish up the ride. Notice the lack of arm warmers, vest, or knee warmers in the pick. Woohoo, sunshine!

Sun was a 2 hour mtn bike ride with Michelle, Rick & Joanne up in Horseshoe Canyon and the trails are in great shape. I showed the crew the new trail I discovered last Thurs and even hit the new log jump, yeah baby!
The rest of the week will be minimal riding and a bit of gear prep. The Flux needs new brake pads and good once-over before the race. After laying out all of my gear & calories it looks like I can carry everything I need with the bag system I have with room to spare. There is nothing light about this venture.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Lunch Loop

I needed a "non training" ride today so I loaded up Kenai and headed over to Horseshoe Canyon where I heard the trail beavers had been busy. Once there, the rumors were immediately confirmed. There is a sweet new south-facing piece of singletrack that connects with the rest of the trail network there and probably adds 20 minutes of riding in one direction. Horseshoe Canyon is the first dirt that dries out here in Teton Valley so I am glad to see the additional trail. To the beaver responsible for this, thanks!

As you come flying around the corner you can just make out the jump.

If you look closely, you can see a pink kid's bike in tree as a warning you are about to hit the jump. Hilarious! Kenai wasn't too impressed.

One of my favorite pieces of downhill singletrack.

Just over the hill from the south-facing stuff lies the twisty and shaded singletrack goodness.

I basically just pedaled around for 90 minutes jumping off of every log and rock I could find while getting my head screwed back on straight. Stress in the personal life does bad things to my cycling life but today's outing helped. Tomorrow thru Sunday its back to a bit more focused training program before KTR.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Finally back on the bike

So how does the first day back feel after not riding for 13 days straight? Not great, but way better than not riding for 14 days straight! This cold has been a whopper and really zapped my energy level.

Got out for a rolling 2:45:00 road ride at an aerobic pace today to shake loose the cobwebs. As expected, the heart rate was abnormally high for a given effort and the legs felt like water-logged tree trunks. Mentally I felt great though and I could have ridden much longer but I decided to see how I feel post ride and go from there.

If I had continued with high volume after the Kokopelli recon trip I would be in taper mode right now but at this point I am not quite sure how approach the next two weeks prior to KTR.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Breaking news...

There will be a snow bike race in the Jackson, WY area in January, 2008.

I have been thinking about ideas for a snow bike race since training with JayP over the winter and my ideas for the race took shape today during a very productive meeting with Linda Merigliano and Ray Spencer of the Bridger Teton National Forest office over in Jackson. I decided to initiate the meeting and see what their thoughts were on a snow bike race and I am glad I did. I expected skeptical scowls and opposition such as " wanna do WHAT on our snowmobile trails?" Instead, I got some great ideas, honest enthusiasm, and several ways to arrive at the same goal: A snow bike race in January, 2008.

Initial thoughts on the race:
- No Entry Fee
- There will be two distances including a 100 mile version
- The entire race will be held on a network of groomed snowmobile trails between 6,000 and 9,000 feet in elevation.
- The course will include parts of the Continental Divide Trail system
- There will be a Blog site with details sometime this summer

The one thing Linda and Ray stressed during our meeting today is that safety is the #1 concern of the Forest Service when issuing recreational or special use permits and having a successful first race, with no injuries, is important. Snow biking is a barely spec on the radar of the Forest Service and National Park Service right now so first impressions are important.

In other less important news, my crud won't let go. It might be Ebola. Day 11 off of the bike.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Working out the details

I really enjoy the planing aspect of a big solo effort whether it is a long ride, a lap race, or my first unsupported race; KTR. Since I am still fighting the crud and not riding I have had a lot of time to think about random details for KTR.

Here are a few of the numbers I have rattling around in my brain right now:

10 minutes, 30 seconds - The time it takes to remove my pack, hook up my filter, pump 150 oz of water into my bladder, pack up the filter, and put the pack back on. (And that is from a clean water source with a clean ceramic filter) There is nothing fast about the MSR ceramic filter.

4.2 lbs - the weight of 5600 calories worth of Hammer Perpetuem and Hammer Gel and my means for carrying them on me during the race

120 - the number of Endurolyte capsules I will start the race with

7 Hours - the actual runtime of my Wilma LED light, at 100% (750 Lumens), with a 328gram, 6.8 Ah battery. Sweet!

5:28am - Beginning of Civil Twilight on May 19th, 2007

Tires are another item I have been thinking about. For my KTR recon trip I mounted up an almost-new set of Schwalbe 2.25 Racing Ralphs. As you can see from the pic below, the tires didn't fare too well in the rocks so I don't think I trust the sidewalls for the race. Although I never flatted in three days but I think I got lucky because both tires have threads coming through in various places. I did like the traction and the overall performance of these so I might try to track down the SnakeSkin version which supposedly have thicker sidewalls. The Kokopelli Trail is a flat tire waiting to happen in many areas and if I rode terrain like that more often I would convert to UST wheels and tires. For now I am sticking with Michelin latex tubes.

Parting shot; my wife says that I am not a patient sick person.